Newsletter #474

Still quiet on the news front, perhaps indicating that a deal is somewhat less likely than it was a week ago? There’s also some unnerving rumours about bids for some of our key players. The inaugural meeting of the Westminster Supporters’ Club has taken place – with 60 attendees – and Miles Webber has done us a synopsis of what went on, even though it appeared to be a very ‘red’ affair! We also have a review of the latest issue of City magazine, and one of the most unusual Why Blue’s ever!

John Maddocks informs me – in reply to a query in the last issue – that Mike Doyle still lives in the Greater Manchester area and is a Sales Manager for Slazenger, selling golf equipment. Dave Watson lives in Nottinghamshire and runs his own consultancy firm in sales and marketing.

Next game, AFC Bournemouth away, Saturday 13th February 1999


City Play Down Investment Story

David Bernstein is keeping tight-lipped over the possible investment in City, declining an interview on local radio to discuss the buy-in, and the official City web site is playing down prospects of a quick resolution to the discussions. It claims that, though the board would like to conclude a deal which will see Joe Royle’s spending power boosted before the transfer deadline, they “would be prepared to wait longer for quality investment.” There’s persistent speculation that a deal may include more than just the shares belonging to the Boler estate and if the speculation is true, it would seem that the potential buyer wants to acquire as many shares as it can without exceeding the 30% threshold which would oblige it to make an offer to all shareholders. To this end, it’s being claimed that part of Francis Lee’s holding may be involved. However, I’d have thought that Brenda Swales’ shares are more likely to be included.

The apparent desire of the club to play down the possibility of an imminent deal and to maintain the maximum possible degree of secrecy hasn’t prevented speculation from hotting up over the identity of potential investors. After the Sunday Telegraph’s UK venture capital angle as reported in MCIVTA 473, the Mirror reported that the ironically-named American investment company United Asset Management Corporation, whose portfolio is said to be worth £50 billion. There are so many contradictory rumours that I’ll refrain from any prediction whatsoever. Interestingly, the Ofex site quotes the current share price as having closed Wednesday at 90p, down 10p since I last checked at the weekend.

Wiekens Watched

Apparently, twenty other clubs were represented at Saturday’s Maine Road clash with Millwall, Dutch defender Gerard Wiekens being rated the player most likely to be the subject of their interest. Among the clubs with scouts present were Arsenal, Manchester United, Celtic, Blackburn, Leeds, Everton, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby and Sunderland. However, Joe Royle has affirmed that he has no intention of selling a player whom he reckons is worthy of serious consideration for a place in the Dutch national squad. I’ve seen Wiekens quoted as affirming his desire to stay, while any cash injection would remove a financial imperative to sell him to pay debts falling due. But if he were to go, I hope we’d insist on a fee larger than the £1.5 million Sunderland are reputed to be willing to offer.

The Cooke Report

Alex Ferguson has offered Terry Cooke a new contract at Manchester United, but the player is being fairly cagey about his preferred option once his current deal at Old Trafford and loan at Maine Road finish at the end of this season. He’s admitted that he wants first-team football and that he’s enjoying his spell at Maine Road, but when pressed on his future plans will only say that things should be sorted out come the close season. And there’s also a possibility that both Manchester clubs may lose out on the winger, with some of the posse of scouts at the Millwall match suspected of running the rule over Cooke.

City Looking At ‘Keeper

As expected, Everton’s Steve Simonsen was preferred to Nicky Weaver for the England under-21 side’s match against France at Pride Park, Derby on Tuesday night. Weaver is another player supposedly on the wanted list of many clubs and may also have been the attraction for some of the scouts at Maine Road on Saturday. And no doubt those pedalling the rumours that City could be set to cash in on their young goalkeeper will see evidence to support the story in reports in the Shrewsbury Chronicle this week stating that City have been watching Shrewsbury Town’s teenage goalkeeper, 17 year old Glyn Thompson. Both Alex Stepney and Alex Williams are said to have been to watch him in matches and at his team’s training ground over recent weeks. Apparently, City wanted him to play against us for the League of Wales outfit TNS (whoever they are) against our reserves last week, a chance the player missed through injury.

No Transfer Cash Before Investment

As ever, Joe Royle is “talking to other managers, monitoring movements and has targets in mind.” However, his hopes of making a significant addition to the City squad before the transfer deadline rest on the club attracting new investment prior to that date – according to the manager, he’s pursuing transfer matters “only in case any investment does arise.” He continues, “As it stands at the moment, unless all our players who are available, Craig Russell, Neil Heaney and company, disappear, we would not have the funds to bring another player in.” This surprises me a little, as when Lee Bradbury was sold, David Bernstein said that the decision had been Joe Royle’s, taken on football rather than financial grounds. I assumed, especially with Ged Brannan also having just departed for almost £400,000, that Royle had decided to trade Bradbury to give himself the means to make other signings. Reports of a bid of £800,000 for Oxford’s Joey Beauchamp and interest in making Michael Branch’s loan permanent for almost a similar fee were consistent with this interpretation of events. In fact, since the Bradbury deal, we’ve only spent £400,000 on Gareth Taylor and the bargain-priced Andy Morrison. Even so, it appears that the kitty is empty.

Limpar Link Looks Unlikely

Reports from the US seem to indicate we can dismiss the speculation that City are set to sign Anders Limpar, a player who probably wouldn’t dent the transfer budget too much but who’d certainly inflate the wage bill. Limpar was apparently in the US earlier this week negotiating with the Colorado Rapids and is said to be keen on a move to the States. He’s reportedly been offered an annual salary of US $350,000 (approx £210,000), the maximum permitted in American Major League Soccer.

Loan Players

If Joe is banking on offloading players to enable him to make more signings, he won’t be pleased to hear that Craig Russell hopes to use his loan spell at Port Vale to prove his worth at First Division level with a view to winning his City place back. “I wouldn’t say my Man City career is over,” said Russell. “I just need another chance and this could be it here at Vale.” Meanwhile, Jeff Whitley, another transfer-listed player, is set to stay on loan at Wrexham for a second month while striker Alan Bailey will not be playing for his temporary employers Macclesfield Town at Maine Road next week. Managers Joe Royle and Sammy McIlroy apparently have a gentlemen’s agreement that Bailey won’t feature in the clash between the two sides.

Kinky Fancies Villa Switch

One other possible source of funds is from a sale by Ajax of Georgiou Kinkladze. The player is available from Ajax at a cut-price £4 million, of which City will reportedly receive a quarter. And Kinky’s harbouring hopes that Aston Villa might turn to him to reignite their faltering title charge after missing out on Juninho. While City have first option on the Georgian, I’d have thought given Joe Royle’s comments after Kinkladze departed Maine Road that there’s more chance of me signing for the club. He’s reported to be interested in Villa as they’re near the top of the Premiership and look likely to be playing European football next season. Kinkladze has also been linked with Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Newcastle in recent weeks.


City reserves faced Port Vale at Hyde on Wednesday evening knowing a win could take them above Oldham and Sheffield Wednesday into second place in Pontin’s League Division One. The match saw a first start at this level for youth-team striker Shaun Wright-Phillips, given an opportunity in the absence of the away-on-loan pair Craig Russell and Alan Bailey. Unfortunately for Wright-Phillips, he had minimal chance to impress. The match was abandoned after only thirteen minutes owing to a sudden frost.

Bournemouth Preview

More or less every game City have played in the last six weeks has been described as a crunch match, and the forthcoming visit to Dean Court is no exception. Bournemouth are flying high in fourth place, only two points ahead of City but with two games in hand. This is largely on the back of an exceptional home record – they’re unbeaten on their own patch in the League, with a highly impressive ten wins and three draws from thirteen games. Danger man is undoubtedly the ex-Luton, Oxford, Stoke and Chelsea player Mark Stein, who’s managed 23 goals in all competitions this season. However, to dismiss Bournemouth as a one-man team would be a mistake, since they were without Stein at home to Stoke last Saturday, played half the game with only ten men and still won 4-0.

Bournemouth’s manager is Mel Machin, one of City’s many former bosses. Infamously sacked by Peter Swales for a lack of “repartee” with the fans (although I don’t actually remember him being under any pressure at all from the crowd), Machin presided over two of City’s most startling results in living memory – matches so famous to Blues that they’re denoted by their scorelines alone when many fans recall them. And while he only spent two years at Maine Road, the style of play embraced by his swashbuckling young team still provides me with some of my best memories in more than two decades watching City. He’s only come up against us twice since leaving, and City have won both (a Cup tie when he was managing Barnsley, our win setting up the disastrous Spurs quarter final, and Bournemouth’s visit to Maine Road five months ago). Here’s to the hat-trick!

City in the Corridors of Power

Miles Webber promised a few weeks ago to send an account of Tuesday night’s opening of the Westminster branch of the City Supporters’ Club. I won’t duplicate information he’s likely to give – hearing first hand would undoubtedly be better than me culling a few details from various reports I’ve seen. The meeting did generate a fair amount of publicity, with several on-line and printed sources carrying accounts. Incidentally, many of the reports made play of the fact that, historically, most of City’s best days have come under Labour governments. This is true – I’ve done the calculations myself in the past. Or at least it was true until 1997-98. Shame no-one told Frank Clark.

New E-Mail Address

I’ve had to take the emergency step of registering for a hotmail address, as my firm has banned staff from posting our work e-mail addresses in any public forum. It suffered a bit of embarrassment in a mailing list for Moscow’s foreign community arising from a posting by a member of staff here. The firm was identified as her employer from the e-mail address and there ensued a thread in which she and the firm were both subjected to ridicule. I somehow don’t feel that my views on City are particularly likely to cause them problems. However, as I’m likely to need a decent reference from them soon, I don’t want any risk that I’ll be seen to have deliberately contravened a rule which, as a conservative law firm, they regard as important. So please send any news items, rumours and the like in future to the address below.

My Forthcoming Absence

I’ll be away from work between 17 and 24 February, and hence also without access to this computer. As at Christmas, Geoff Donkin will be producing the news summaries in my absence. I’ll still be compiling the news for the next MCIVTA but Geoff will take over for the three after that. So if anything lands in my mailbox after next Tuesday, it’ll remain unseen for over a week and will be out of date by the time it can be used. I’ll give you Geoff’s e-mail details in MCIVTA 475.

Peter Brophy (


Not even a nasty bout of ‘flu could have kept me away from this one; last night’s launch of the official Westminster Manchester City Supporters’ Club in the House of Commons.

Hosted by Labour MPs Ivan Lewis and Paul Goggins, about sixty Blues packed out the Jubilee Room to listen to a celebrity panel including Chairman David Bernstein.

A smattering of MPs, including Foreign Office Minister Tony Lloyd (seeking refuge from the Select Committee Report on Sandline), joined a large number of researchers, the odd Lord, the media and the marvellous Eddie Large.

Without wishing to be partisan, it appeared to be an exclusively Labour occasion, and much was made about City’s success during Labour governments (which is of course true).

After a brief introduction (featuring many a joke that has appeared on here about the sufferings of City supporters) from Ivan, Howard Davies opened the evening.

Howard has been deputy governor of the Bank of England and is presently chief executive of the new FSA. He is also, more importantly, a subscriber to MCIVTA as he revealed at the meeting. In fact, that was only the first mention of MCIVTA, as we were also mentioned during the question session.

After a very witty speech from Howard (and that’s not only because he will be reading this!), Colin Schindler, author of “Manchester United Ruined My Life” recalled his ups and downs (more the latter) as a City fan over the years, including an awful joke about a frozen parrot. Tony Goldstone, a Manchester businessman and evening sponsor talked briefly about his City supporting past, before handing over to the man most had come to hear, Chairman Bernstein.

It’s the first time I’d heard him speak, and although he is not a dynamic or inspirational speaker, he does inspire confidence, and reminds me (with no disrespect) of a competent junior minister. He was extremely well received and spoke well, and answered the few questions precisely and honestly. He spoke of the need for getting rid of at least 8-10 more players to reduce the wage bill by £4 million and of the prospect of another batch of young players emerging into the senior team. He also explained the move to the new stadium and the club’s new corporate strategy. When contrasting the political environment to football, he observed that while politicians only go before their constituents every five years, he goes before his every weekend.

During the questions, Kappa’s ownership of the new Logo was raised, and denied categorically. The new stadium was discussed, with a particular emphasis on how far the seats will be from the pitch. Bernstein was clear that when the running track is removed, the stands will be right up to the touchline. He also refused to comment on the specifics of any investment rumours.

After general declarations about being back in the Premiership in two years, the meeting ended. Rarely could there have been so much blue in a House of Commons room full of Labour politicians.

Miles Webber (


February 1999, price £2.00

Issue 6

Cover Stories:
“Loan Star Terry” – Main image
“Joe’s ‘State of the Blue Nation’ address”
“Jo Blakeway’s ‘Eye in the Blue Sky'”
“City Physio Roy Bailey”
“70’s Star Ian Mellor”
“1969 Revisited”

Joe Royle interviewed by Mike Barnett.

An excellent interview with Joe Royle who comments on his first 12 months in charge. Joe talks frankly about the quality of the players he has let go, Lee Bradbury performances, Nick Weaver transfer speculation and ‘the future’.

Pick-of-the-quotes: “I want to see Nick Weaver help us back into the Premiership”

Insight: 5/5

Roy Bailey interviewed by Mike Barnett.

Roy spends most of the interview talking about the end of his short playing career, plus Kakhaber Tskhadadze and the “surprise” sacking by Peter Reid. A short interview that was probably done in 5 minutes over the phone.

Pick-of-the-quotes: (When asked whether he ever offers the manager a bit of advice), “No”, (perhaps a lesson has been learned!).

Insight: 2/5

“The Cooke Report” – A feature on Terry Cooke by Nina Haigh.

A wonderful ‘feel good’ interview for any City fan to read. It is obvious that Terry is not shy with his comments on other clubs and he even discloses that “United fans don’t go [to Old Trafford] that often”. He reveals what it is like to share a room with Michael Brown, the fact that he is a Birmingham City fan and that his girlfriend is about to produce his child.

Pick-of-the-quotes: “I think the atmosphere’s much better here than at Old Trafford”

Insight: 5/5

“Inside the Spider’s Web” – Mike Barnett interviews Ian Mellor

An interesting article with a player that most of us won’t remember playing for the club. Mellor talks about his time at Maine Road and he corrects the history books on his transfer and how it affected Malcolm Allison’s departure. Plus a mention of his PFA work and how it makes him feel like “Father Christmas”.

Pick-of-the-quotes: “I was a pawn in a political game [at Maine Road]”. I wonder how many ex-City staff members can say that?

Insight: 2/5.

“Eye in the Blue Sky” – Traffic Girl Jo Blakeway is interviewed by Mike Barnett.

A fairly pointless interview with the girl who reads out birthdays at Maine Road. Jo blunders on about her upbringing, how she got the job and wonders how we’ll all manage when she takes leave to have her baby in April. I was particularly non-plussed by the ridiculous picture of Jo sitting on her bath drinking wine sporting a pained expression.

Insight: 0/5

“A Harvest for Neil Young” – John Maddocks looking back the 1969 FA Cup run

A delightfully written article looking back at the days when a City fan could be truly proud. Especially interesting for those readers, like myself, who are the youthful side of 30 and don’t ever remember any glory days. Some great photographs too.

Insight: 4/5


Terry Cooke’s United comments are worth the cover price alone. Go out now and buy ten copies just to give to any Rags that you know.

My verdict: 4/5. I enjoyed this issue more that most.

Next issue: March 1st.

Simon Jones (


In MCIVTA 473, someone requested clarification of what the term ‘venture capital’ actually means. The following definition is taken from Black’s Law Dictionary: “Funding for new companies or others embarking on new or turnaround ventures entailing some investment risk but offering the potential for above average future profits. Venture capital is often provided by firms which specialize in financing such ventures with capital supplied by investors interested in speculative or high risk investments.”

So how do City measure up against these criteria in terms of being a target for venture capitalists? Well, any football venture is high risk in the sense that the potential for profit depends massively on on-field success, which is practically impossible to guarantee. There are countless examples of teams (mentioning no names!) who’ve invested major sums in team building only to be unsuccessful, and there are instances where one on-field moment (one crippling injury to a key player, one individual error in a vital match) has arguably changed the course of a club’s history. City, however, have the “largest unfulfilled commercial potential outside the Premiership” according to the Sunday Telegraph article of 7 February.

Note: This does not mean we’ll definitely be looking at some kind of venture capital backing in the imminent future. It simply means that the prospect is not inconceivable.

Peter Brophy (


Ian Niven has agreed to give me an interview for

I would be happy to ask him any question you give me (I can’t guarantee he will answer all of them).

Ian Niven was a Director at Manchester City from 1970 until last year. He may reveal some very interesting things!

Send your questions to me, Bob Young at the address below.

Bob Young (


(Longest name in British footy, I think)

As a means of adding flavour to the forthcoming fixture against Bournemouth, I enclose what the AFCB site ( wrote on September 7th just before we beat them 2:1.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday 8th September) AFC Bournemouth take on Manchester City in what is likely to be their biggest away fixture of the season. Indeed, the crowd tomorrow will almost certainly be more than the capacity of Dean Court twice over. And it is a team that they have never beaten, with a record of played 4, lost 3, drawn 1, goals: for 3, against 7.”

“It’s been said many times before, but Manchester City are undoubtedly one of the country’s bigger clubs but have fallen on hard times in recent years – at least on the playing field if not financially. By contrast, the Cherries are a team on the up, with gradually improving results and finishing league positions over the last three years and a steadily improving financial position. This year, both teams have started the season well, with the Blues’ true colours not showing fully as yet as they have played just four league games so far.”

“The Cherries will be anxious to erase the defeat at Stoke last Saturday and to re-establish their winning ways. Previous results against Man City must be put into perspective – Man City were playing at a much higher level than they are now and Bournemouth have a good chance of upsetting the Maine Road faithful and coming away with the at least a point if not all three.”

“There seems to be an element of the Man City support that believes that playing the likes of AFC Bournemouth and Macclesfield Town in the same week is boring and sums up the lows that the Blues have come to: that playing us is beneath them and the result is pre-ordained. Nothing could be further from the truth – both Bournemouth and Macclesfield are teams moving upwards and deserve more respect. Even if the Macclesfield branch of the Man City Supporters’ Club has more members than the usual Bournemouth and Macclesfield home gate, the Blues would do well to remember that there is a reason why they are in the Second Division. Perhaps those ‘disgruntled’ supporters would do better to go across town and support another local team?”

“Ironically, the best of Bournemouth’s results against the Blues was a 3-3 draw in 1989 when Cherries’ manager Mel Machin was in charge at Maine Road, Bournemouth coming from 3-0 down to level in the last 20 minutes of the game, with the equaliser coming in the eighth minute of injury time. A similar result tomorrow would be a point well earned.”

Normally I would say that as Bournemouth are the only team in the Nationwide league, unbeaten at home, that on this occasion a point would be an satisfactory achievement. However if City are to be in with a chance of automatic promotion this is exactly the team we have got to beat, i.e. a team capable of taking points off our promotion rivals. So keep the run going Blues and here’s to 3 very valuable points.

Hope to catch McVitee F.C. in the morning as well. So here’s to 6 points!

Stu Wells – News at Ten – Bournemouth (


I read with interest the plea for a USA based Supporters’ Club, since I moved to Philadelphia about 6 months ago. I do not know of one, but if there is one would like to join… whatever happened to the International Supporters’ Club?

If such a club does not exist then all interested parties please e-mail me with your views and how you might be able to help. I have some ideas as to how we might proceed, and would be willing to co-ordinate.

Philip Gregory (


As, on current form, it looks like we’ll reach at least the play-offs I have created a spreadsheet indicating the current form and predicted final positions of the top teams in Division 2.

Team              Pld GS Pts L6 L6  Final Final Final
                             GS Pts  GS    Pts   Pos
Fulham            28  41 59  6  11  59.00 92.00   2
Preston North End 29  53 56  12 13  87.00 92.83   1
Walsall	          29  40 54   5  8  54.17 76.67
Bournmouth        27  47 49  13 13  88.17 90.17   3
Gillingham Town   28  45 48  12 11  81.00 81.00   5
Stoke City        28  37 48   7  4  58.00 60.00
Manchester City   29  36 47  10 14  64.33 86.67   4
Chesterfield      29  33 45  10 12  61.33 79.00   6
Milwall           30  34 43  10 10  60.67 69.67

[GS = Goals Scored, L6 = Last 6]

I shall update this on a weekly basis, however, points to note are:

  1. On current form City will finish fourth and play Gillingham in the play-off semi-finals.
  2. On current form Preston will be champions.
  3. To finish in second place, we must beat Bournmouth and Preston andhope other results go our way (i.e. plenty of draws between the teams above us).

Richard Mottershead (


Just to take up Andy Noise’s point on Terry Cooke, my understanding is that he is on loan until the end of the season. Players under the age of 24 or something can be loaned out for longer periods, so I didn’t think that he would be going in April. However, I’m not certain about this. Does anyone else know anything more about this?

Mark Braude (


I was saddened to read of the untimely death of Arthur Mann who I had the pleasure of knowing during his time at Maine Road. He was an extremely talented player and ironically suffered through being at Maine Road during a period of comparative success. Although a defender, he shared a common trait with Denis Bergkamp; a morbid fear of flying. I was working at Manchester Airport in those days and City were off on one of their European games. I had been in the departure lounge and saw the players onto the aircraft before going back to my office. About half an hour later on, I was on my way to the ramp when I bumped into a Corporation porter pushing a wheelchair with an extremely old man in it. I was shocked to realise the “old man” was in fact Arthur who had thrown a wobbler just prior to take off, and the aircraft had returned to the ramp to offload him. He was in a dreadful state, poor guy, and it was not much later than this that he left City.

Just a footnote to this; I never really understood what this kind of phobia was like, fortunately, as I had never experienced anything like it. However, a few months ago I had to have a scan (MRI) in hospital and as I was being drawn into the machine headfirst, for some reason I panicked. I couldn’t believe it, my heart was pounding, I was sweating and my knees buckled when I managed to get off the stretcher and onto the ground. I tried again a little later but to no avail as I felt like being buried alive. I will never again take lightly the feelings of people who suffer from any kind of panic attacks or phobias.

In the meanwhile, Rest In Peace Arthur and Joe Hayes.

Leo Fewtrell – The Wythenshawe Exile (


I was full of good intentions last night and ready to do a view on the Reserves vs. Port Vale, but unfortunately match was called off at 7.15pm due to “an early frost”. Yeah, right. Vale were making a show of skidding about like schoolboys in the playground. Anyway, at only £2 entry it is cheap entertainment and we were all given vouchers for the next game, which is at home against Wolverhampton on 23 February, 7pm k.o. So long as I don’t have to go and watch Hyde Utd. Couldn’t be bothered watching England match though.

Heidi Pickup (


Out at Bournemouth on Saturday, Bert Trautmann’s Helmet No. 23. Includes the (belated) second half of the AGM with Joe Royle, a look back at Kaziu Deyna’s City career, The Wookie’s best links and a bit about Blue View plus a load of other stuff so exciting it’s taken my breath away!

Noel Bayley – editor


Further to my mail in the last issue of MCIVTA, I received a cracking reply from the Customer Liason Officer at the ticket office apologising for the difficulties and that two tickets had been put aside for me.

I thank the CLO for this, but would also like to let MCIVTA readers know that all was not lost; the same day I received two tickets in the post following my phone call to Dial a Seat, so I was on my way to see the match already. My thanks to the CLO for restoring my faith in the Ticket Office and especially to the lad who works in there, who had already managed to get the tickets winging there way to Cyprus for me.

CTIDWMFFR (City Till I Die With My Faith Fully Restored), Graham “Herbie” Hibbert (


Could someone please tell me that the rumour of dear Joe getting £20 million to spend is false? I would not trust the guy with 20 pence. The guy is clueless, for example £400,000 for Gareth Taylor? What a joke, he could not score in a brothel. Danny Tiatto is another name that springs to mind; he was supposedly being coveted by Stoke City, probably to wash the coach, but yet again Joe came up trumps and signed the Aussie star who’s only contribution to City’s cause is to get sent off. I think that Andy Morrisson is Joe’s only good signing, he is a player who will give his all to a club, but only it seems in the lower divisions. My advice is to not give a penny to Joe and let someone with some tactical nous spend the money on young Premiership players who have not made the grade e.g. Huckerby, or maybe look in the lower divisions for players such as Cresswell at York. Whatever happens, there needs to be a new striker (who has a presence) at the club, or alternatively bring some youngsters through such as Bailey. That is all, sorry for the whine, but it had to be said.

Edward Duckworth (


Edghill – the new Adrian Heath

Now I know that most of us regard Adrian Heath as the most unprolific player ever to wear the blue shirt. Whilst he might be the most frugal forward we’ve had, assorted defenders have made his scrooge-like scoring pale into insignificance.

Have you noticed the recent change in Richard Edghill’s attacking forays? At Walsall, he tried to shake the crossbar from its very posts as he smote a vicious blow from all of twenty yards. At Stoke he forced their ‘keeper to perform acts of Weaveresque heroism in preventing him from scoring.

So. Why the sudden change?

Certain stats. started coming to mind. Didn’t Kenny Clements fail to score in his first spell? Didn’t Nicky Reid only manage a goal or two when used as an emergency centre forward? Obviously Edghill is as anorak as I over such things, and he realises that he has now entered the modern Hall of Fame. Recently he passed Tommy Caton’s 100 league games before your first City goal, now only the said Clements and Reid stand before him, excluding goalies of course.

For the record, Edgy has currently played 109 league games. Clements is second with a mark of 122. But way clear of this is Nicky Reid on 139 games.

If he plays every game until then (and still fails to score), he could move into second place at Gillingham. Give him an extra cheer if he does.

Trevor Christie

Someone, a couple of weeks ago, asked for some info on Trevor Christie. Apologies, I can’t remember who, but why is more to the point. No matter, here’s my somewhat brief memories of him. It was the summer of 86 and we’d just survived our first season back up in the old 1st Division. We were skint as usual and that legendary loyal Blue, Mark Lillis had to be sold to pay the rent. Billy Mac had, however, spotted a lad at Derby that had banged in a hatful for Notts. County the previous season. He made an exchange, pocketed £100,000 and put him in the first team for the opener of the 86-87 season. Obviously bought as a target man, he duly found it on his début. This happened to be a 3-1 win against newly promoted Wimbledon. This game was noted for a couple of more interesting facts, however. The début of Ian Brightwell and that it was our only win between February 8th and November 8th (nine months!) that year. Apart from a brace against Norwich, he failed to find the net again, though. When Frizzell took over from Billy Mac, his first act was to sell Christie to Notts County (for the £30k we’d effectively paid for him) and bring in Imre Banana, swapped for the truly obnoxious Robert Hopkins. He lasted a grand total of ten weeks, had a moustache and I seem to remember him as a Geordie. That’s it.

Chesterfield Game

In desperate need of two tickets for the Chesterfield game (our end). I couldn’t bear to miss us give my old town their just desserts. Any assistance? I’ll keep posting stuff until I get them.

Andy Noise (


In your last issue Anthony Prince of Adelaide, Australia asked for some opinions on his comments.

First of all, I agree with you that it was a crazy thing to sell off quality players before the deadline, whilst we were in the Premier League; we then had injuries and no one of strength to play. Blame that little move on Francis Lee who had the right idea, but terrible timing; we did have a lot of players who should not have been with City, Frank Clark did not help as he added more players to the list of unwanted.

We have now got decent managers who have unloaded the surplus and now I do think we are on track for promotion with Joe Royle & Willie Donachie at the helm. If you read through the Manchester City FC official website you will find that I wrote (after the World Cup) – Liverpool have Michael Owen, England have Rose (Golf) and Manchester City have Nicky Weaver; I just hope that City do not sell Weaver. City, when they have won a trophy, have always had a great goalkeeper. If City get the cash from investors there will be no need to sell Weaver. Let’s keep our young stars, that is our future.

Keep the Faith – Ernie Barrow (


I am coming over to Houston sometime in March, probably 14th, for a 10-day training course. I presume I will be staying at a hotel somewhere in the city centre. Anyone over there know the area and maybe meet for a few drinks somewhere?

Andy Stevenson (


Are there any Blues in the Blacksburg area of Virginia? I will be working in the area in March and April and hope to meet up for any further coverage of City on Sky or perhaps on the Internet, to keep up to date with the promotion race.

I’ll be based at Virginia Polytechnic and State University but contact me on the adress below before March 1st.

Rob Hulme (


I am a True Blue Aussie from Melbourne who has supported Man City for about 28 years.

Strange really, my mum is a Geordie and my dad is a Londoner. I just liked the sky blue strip when I was a kid. My one dream is to walk into Maine Road and see my team play – even better would be in the Premier League – even better still to see them win.

Anyway enough about my boring life – Can anyone give me some feedback on how our two Aussies are really doing at Maine Road?

I thought with the goal drought in the first team recently, young Danny Allsopp would have got a shot at the big time. He seems to be putting them away in the reserves.

Thanks for the chat.

Roy Hunter (


Two copies of the programme for: Manchester City vs. Korean National Team, Pusan Stadium, South Korea, 01 June 1996.

Offers to:

David Openshaw (


I was born Blue. My dad said it was only natural, ’cause he was born Blue and my grandad is Blue, but the doctor said it was ’cause the cord was wrapped round my neck and if she hadn’t cut it off pretty damn quick I wouldn’t be dictating this now. My dad said that had nothing to do with it. My mum said that if I stayed Blue there’d be plenty of times in days to come when I’d consider putting a cord back round my neck. My dad didn’t like that. I’ve been a Blue all my life and my dad says there aren’t many City fans who can boast that the boys are unbeaten in the league in their lifetime. That’s probably because I’m only four weeks old but my dad says if I can keep things this way till the end of the season, he’ll change my diaper every time I ask, and right away too, not like now when I have to wait till half time or until he puts his beer down. He says there’d be plenty of other people who’d offer to do the same as well. I haven’t been to a game yet, though my dad says he’ll take me next season to see City play Nottm. Forest, Southampton or Everton, but I have listened to all the games on my dad’s computer. I usually fall asleep in the second half but this week he woke me up three times and tried to make me stand up ’cause I loved City, but I kept falling over until he said it that was OK to sit down too. My mum didn’t like that, and I wasn’t too keen either, though my dad said that it might not happen any more ’cause now he has to pay to listen to the game and all his money is going on my diapers. I think he’ll pay up though, so I’d better learn to stand up pretty quick. My grandad is coming to see me in two weeks. He’s got the same name as me and he’s been a Blue for over sixty years. My dad said he’s going to tell me all about the good old days. My mum said that should help me sleep. My dad didn’t like that. Anyway, I think I’ve heard most of it already from my dad. He says those days are soon to come again, but when he does my mum just gives him a pitying look, but I think my dad is right. My dad says my grandad is bringing me my first City shirt when he comes. I’ll be sure to send a photo.

CSIWB – City Since I Was Born, Jim Duncan – Aged 4 weeks, 3 days (


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Newsletter #474