Newsletter #494

Preston did both themselves and us a favour on Tuesday, beating Walsall 1-0. This result piles the pressure on Walsall, who also may be without one of their most influential midfielders for some of their last four games, as he was sent off in the game.

I’m afraid that it’s now pretty late (actually wrote this Wednesday so am guessing!), so the contents will have once again to speak for themselves.

Lastly, we seem to be experiencing a dearth of match reports of late, with the burden resting on one or two individuals. If anyone out there has considered writing a match report, please don’t hesitate to send them in; it’s always good to see the match from several perspectives, and they are an important component of MCIVTA.

Next game, Wycombe Wanderers at home, Saturday 24th April 1999


Walsall Loss Boosts Hopes

Walsall are still in pole position, but their defeat in Tuesday evening’s match at Preston keeps City’s hopes of snatching the second automatic promotion spot alive. And maybe, just maybe, if we can keep our winning run going for another three games, the pressure may start to tell on our midlands rivals – Saddlers’ manager Ray Graydon has admitted already that it’s starting to have an effect. “The relentless pressure coming from Man City is starting to tell,” said Graydon after the match at Deepdale. “We will have to battle all the way to stop City pipping us at the post. They have hit a purple patch and we now have to expect them to win their last three matches… at least we know what we have to do in order to keep them at bay.” Walsall are two points ahead of the Blues with a game in hand, so what they have to do, assuming (fingers crossed!) Graydon’s expectations as to City’s results are fulfilled, is take eight points from their matches away to Lincoln and Stoke and at home to Oldham and Fulham. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s result means that Preston are still in with a shout if both Walsall and City falter. North End are a point behind City and have matches away to Millwall and Fulham and at home to Notts County. Joe Royle, who at Oldham and Everton always seemed adept at shielding his players from the tension, seems to be fairly relaxed about it all. “There are definitely plenty of twists and turns left in this campaign,” he observed. “In one sense the issue is out of our hands because if Walsall win all their remaining matches we can’t catch them. But it’s not over yet!”

Reserves Won On Penalties

City reserves, humbled 5-1 in their home Manchester Senior Cup tie against Manchester United a fortnight ago, looked to be heading for a repeat performance when they went two-nil down early on in the same competition at Gigg Lane on Monday. However, goals by Gareth Taylor and Mark Robins saw the Blues draw level before the break, and City went on to have the better of the second period, though they couldn’t find a winner. However, the three points did end up coming to Maine Road after a 4-1 win in a penalty shoot out. The men who were successful from the spot, perhaps giving Joe a hint as to the composition of his substitutes’ bench should City be in the play-off final, were Jeff Whitley, Mason, Allsopp and Tiatto. Despite being credited with a win over United, their nine points from six matches is insufficient for the Blues’ second string to progress in the competition.

Play-off Speculation

Fans of Saturday’s visitors Wycombe Wanderers are already aggrieved at being relegated to the temporary, uncovered seats in “Windy Corner”, between the North and Kippax Stands. The reason is that Wycombe would be unable to sell out the area of the North Stand normally occupied by away fans and there’s expected to be enough demand for tickets from City fans to fill those places. The same will apply for the York game. However, should City reach the play-offs, we won’t be able to make arrangements to suit ourselves in this way. We can expect the supply of City tickets for the away leg of the semi-final to be totally inadequate to cater for the demand. There are rumours that the semi-final first leg will be brought forward by 24 hours from Sunday 16 May, which is also the last day of the Premiership season. This, assuming we finish third or fourth and are thus home in the second leg, is consistent with the whispers that the away leg will be screened by Sky. However, the television issue is unclear. It’s also been claimed that Sky will screen only matches from the First Division play-offs. It’s also unclear to me whether Sky’s entitlement to offer six Nationwide games on a pay-view basis before the end of the season extends to play-off games. What does seem clear is that both the club and our opponents’ local police force would probably welcome a screening in some form or other to prevent to the maximum possible degree the prospect of City fans travelling without tickets.

Meanwhile, if claims currently being made about ticket regulations for the semi-final home leg and the final prove to be true, there are likely to be howls of protest from City fans. One is that for the home leg of the semi-final, the entire North Stand will be given over to away fans. It simply seems a crazy prospect for us, if we’re playing Bournemouth, Gillingham or Wigan, to provide an away allocation equal to those teams’ average home league gates, while the 25,000 seats left for City fans will cater for less than our average attendance. If, as I’ve seen quoted somewhere, the rule is that in play-off semi-finals, ten per cent of ground capacity must be made available to the away team. Surely, then, the 3,000 odd tickets could be catered for with the Gene Kelly stand and the usual area of the North Stand. The allocation for the final will be decided when the identity of the participants becomes known. After tickets for sponsors, dignitaries and the like, there should be around 70,000 left for fans of the two teams. Much, of course, would depend on the pulling power of City’s opponents, though whichever team we’d be facing would have a considerably smaller support. One report’s claiming that if Preston win through, both teams will receive an allocation of 35,000 tickets – not much more than an average City crowd while North End would be able to serve their average attendance three times over. The same report reckons that we’ll receive a maximum of 45,000 tickets against worse supported opposition. I don’t think we could expect a distribution based solely on average attendances, but these figures can scarcely be seen as just.

Wycombe Home – Preview

Saturday sees Wycombe Wanderers providing the opposition for Joe Royle’s team in a critical encounter for both sides before what’s expected to be a large Maine Road crowd. The peculiarly-nicknamed Chairboys will travel in good heart. They’ve improved since the appointment as manager of former Wimbledon cup final hero Lawrie Sanchez, and have won three and drawn one of their last four away games, a sequence which has given them genuine hope of avoiding the drop after looking relegation probables for most of the campaign. In their poor run, they still managed to turn City over at Adams Park, a first half penalty being sufficient to divide the sides, so this is also a chance for revenge. Wycombe are another side making their first ever league visit to Moss Side, though they did make the trip for a League Cup match in October 1995 after a turgid goalless first leg at Adams Park. On that occasion, the 4-0 win provided welcome respite for City from a dismal run under our old friend Alan Ball when we took two points from the season’s opening eleven league matches. A similar pattern of a convincing home performance against the Chairboys to make up for a disappointing display at Adams Park is even more necessary this time out.

In Brief

February’s infamous City vs. Millwall clash featured on BBC1’s Crimewatch programme. The troublemakers whose pictures were shown were apparently all in the Millwall end of the ground, though I understand this wasn’t made clear by the presenters… As noted in the last MCIVTA news summary, Nicky Weaver has the chance against Wycombe to break the all-time record for the number of clean sheets this season. Hope I haven’t jinxed him by mentioning this fact… The recently-arrived Mark Robins has to have a hernia operation and is expected to be out of action for two weeks. If this prognosis were to prove accurate, he’d be back in time for the play-offs (should City be participating, of course!)… City reserves travel to Port Vale on Thursday evening. Facing the Blues will be centre half Steve Rimmer, still on the books at Maine Road but on trial with Brian Horton’s side… The Maine Road pitch is apparently suffering from a grass disease known as “thatch”. City are looking for a solution, but given the club’s proposed relocation in four year’s time are thought to favour short-term measures over more costly, long-term remedies.

Peter Brophy (


The play-off semi-finals will take place on the 16th (or 15th) and 19th of May. If City finish 3rd or 4th we will play the home-leg second.

Season ticket holders can take advantage now of our special advance booking scheme. You are invited to send in a postal application (cheques only) to reserve your normal season ticket seat. In the event of the Club gaining automatic promotion your application will be destroyed. Category ‘C’ prices will apply for this fixture.

Supporters who will become 1st year season ticket holders may also apply, however the choice of seat cannot be guaranteed.

Applications should be sent to MCFC, PO Box 178, Manchester M14 7TA. Please note this address applies to the play-off scheme only. The closing date for applications is 5th May 1999.

Full details will be on the official website shortly.

Supporters are advised that in the event of tickets for the possible play-off semi-final becoming available to non season ticket holders, they will be required to produce a ticket stub from the Wycombe fixture as part of the requirement to purchase a ticket.

Manchester City vs. York City, Saturday 8th May

Due to the huge demand for this fixture tickets have now been limited to 4 per person.

MCFC – Ticket Office


McVitee FC, football team for this mailing list, played their 10th match of the season on Saturday against Gillingham. We won the match 3-2, which makes us 2 matches away from winning the PSINet league. Our last 2 matches are against Stockport County on the 8th and the league leaders QPR, which we are hoping to play in the morning before we go to Wembley for the play-offs (touch wood and all that – rather go up in that 2nd place!).

We will announce where the match is to be played for QPR and we are hoping to get as many of you people out there to come down and support us to win the league.

Saturday saw a bad injury to one of our dedicated players Gavin. His foot is badly fractured and has required ligaments to be sewn up and a plate put into his ankle – he will be out of action for at least 18 months and maybe longer. It’s a real shame because he is one of our most dedicated players and puts his heart into every match we play.

Look at for an update on the league and latest scores.

If you want to play for McVitee FC, send me an email and I’ll give you some more information.

Dave Barker – McVitee FC (



It looks like I’m not going to get any more bids for the book, so it’s time I picked a winner! Basically, everyone deserved to win, you’re probably thinking I had to say that, but it’s true.

Anyway I’ve looked at all the emails again and there was one obvious one, for me at least. You see I also have a daughter aged 10 who is rapidly becoming a super-keen City fan, wants City wallpaper in her bedroom etc. And yes they’re all the same, you’d spend your last penny on them, and you know for sure that when they look in your eyes and ask for something more you’d go straight out and steal it!

So congratulations Nigel Gibson, I know exactly what Jemma is putting you through.

Get in touch with me so we can sort out the best way to get the book to you… are you and Jemma going to the York game on May 8th (we are)?

Finally – there is an obligation that comes with the prize. Ashley has suggested (and I agree!) that the winner should provide a book review for a later edition of MCIVTA. So sorry Nigel but that means a little job for you, I’m sure you won’t let us down.

Steve Maclean (


Those of you who read MCIVTA regularly will know that Sharon Bennett, who sends in match reports on a frequent basis, got married on Saturday whilst the Blues were winning at Gillingham. I thought you might all want to know that everything went really well and she (and Mark) had a brilliant day. Contrary to popular rumour she did not wear blue but the more traditional colour. However, the 3 bridesmaids did wear a rather attractive colour which closely resembled the laser blue of the team shirts.

Her first words when she left the church were – “What’s the score?” and of course someone was able to tell her that we were 1-0 up. The smile on the photographs was even more radiant when I was able to shout over to her “Horlock has just got the 2nd”. What a brilliant way to celebrate your wedding day!

Moonchester made a guest appearance in the evening after speeding his way up the motorway from Gillingham to Lancashire and he was able to give us a blow by blow account of the great victory. He also had some fun teasing the Bolton Wanderers’ chairman (Mark’s uncle) who is now worried that we might blackmail him with the photographs of Moonchester kissing him on the lips (might be worth a Wembley ticket – two play-offs to watch?)! Mark (the groom) was concerned that he had begun his married life by dancing with a blue alien but I personally see nothing wrong with that.

Sharon is now away in Bali for 3 weeks and it is touch and go whether she makes the York game but I will be organising her play-off tickets (if we need them that is) so hopefully she will be writing another match report very soon (a City match I mean – not her own “match” to Mark). She has arranged to ring me the day after each City game to find out the score because Mark has refused to let her take her laptop with her. Can’t imagine why not but there you go – that’s a Bolton Wanderers fan for you!

Ann Bennett – Sharon’s Mum (


Chant of the week has to go to Southampton.

Following an 85th minute equaliser at home to Blackburn Rovers the fans broke out into a chorus of: “Blue moon, you started singing too soon, you thought you’d beat us three-two, but now were both f*****g doomed.”

Ralph Sheppard (


Meeting 28th April

This is a reminder to all City fans in and around the Merseyside area, that next Wednesday on the 28th April, the newly formed Man City Supporters’ club on Merseyside have an open meeting in the function room of “The Letters” pub in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead from 8 pm. It has been arranged that Joe Mercer’s wife will be installed as our President – a great honour for all of us! Also, it is planned that Tony Vaughan and Gareth Taylor will be present at the event, so it will be great to be able to wish them all the best for the run in. I’m not sure I dare tell them about MCIVTA though!

Tickets are £3 and are available from our secretary Wendy Martindale on 0151 678 6799.

See you there!

Neil Haigh (


Ich bin ein Munchener.

Andy Noise (


by Noel Bayley – editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet

So the Rags are in the European Champions’ Cup Final. So what? Who cares? They’ve got to win it yet and even if they do, it’ll be a hollow victory anyway, given that they aren’t even Champions of England; just as Bayern are not Champions of Germany. Why, even Cow Pat Crerand disagreed with this highly dubious format when it was introduced last season, although funnily enough I’ve not heard him mention it this term. Also, little or no mention has been made this time around of the one hundred and odd games the Rags have played in Europe and the fact that, to date, they’ve only appeared in two bona fide European Finals in over 40 (yes, forty!) years of trying although, according to the office Rag, they’ve actually played in two European Cup Winners’ Cup Finals in the last ten years. While we all remember the game against a depleted Barcelona team in 1991, we still await details of the ‘forgotten’ ECWC Final with bated breath and have done so for some months! Even so, it’s a pretty poor return, but this is never mentioned by the Rag-loving media.

Even if they do win it, it’ll be the beginning of the end for them, just as it was 31 years ago after their home triumph at Wembley. If Ferguson has got any sense he’ll call it a day – to be replaced by someone like Bryan Robson and then we can all have a laugh – and already superstar Beckola apparently wants away. Posh Spice is nagging, the bright lights of London are calling and, let’s face it, Orient could do with a free-kick specialist. Call me bitter if you want, but while I hate the Rags as much as the next man, I’ve hated them for as long as I can remember. It’s only natural, but as we look forward with dread to the weeks of hype and hysteria like we have never witnessed before and the equally dreadful prospect of being buried beneath more ‘Manchester United Evening News’ Specials than you can shake a stick at, let’s remember that the Rags are a club traditionally built on hype and mythology. They can’t hold a candle to the great teams of Real Madrid, Ajax or even Liverpool and while the media works itself into a frenzy over the debatable merits of Andy Coke, Right Dorke and Crap Stump whilst manufacturing wild claims of greatest goals and games, the rest of the nation will defy the hacks and pundits’ ill-founded opinions by refusing to take the Rags to their hearts. Back the English team in Europe? No thank you very much.

It is also worth remembering that what doesn’t kill you can only make you strong. I didn’t really understood this statement at one time, but now I do. Look at us, look at Manchester City: a club whose worst period in history has coincided with the Rags’ best ever. They are a distant speck in the distance and yet, here we are, still kicking around and, more to the point, we are actually going from strength to strength. A modern day miracle, City fans have flown in the face of the Rags’ numerous recent triumphs, to stand up and be counted with two fingers raised aloft. This has to have been a major factor behind our increased support in recent seasons.

They can keep their hype and when you see and hear the New Rags (i.e. those of several weeks’ standing) wittering on about the chances of getting a ticket for Barcelona when they haven’t even ventured as far as Stretford, just rewind your mind those few short years to when their crowds were in the region of 20,000 and 30,000 for it will come again. In fact, I think the Rags should take a leaf out of City’s book and sell European Cup Final tickets only to those who can produce a stub for that Wimbledon game when the crowd was barely 20,000. There’s no chance of that happening, of course, as the attendance for the Final wouldn’t be nearly as big as the last time the Rags played there in September, when the 70,000 crowd was a mere 40,000 down on capacity.

And finally… on the subject of Euro Finals, I think now would be a good time to play the second leg of that 1991 European Super Cup Final at Red Star Belgrade – preferably in a night match. Perhaps this was the game the office Rag was referring to!?

* If you need cheering up in this week of despair, look no further than the new issue of Bert’. Out on Saturday, it features the second half of The Dennis Tueart Interview and a major article from Worthy about City’s supporters while Hugh Ryden reviews the book, ‘I Just Can’t Help Believing’ and I take a look at City’s kit manufacturers past, present and future. In case of difficulty in obtaining a copy, send £1.40 (inland) or £1.80 (abroad) to: 217 Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, Manchester, M26 2GE. Prices include postage.

Noel Bayley


Some time ago I sent in what I thought was a fairly contentious post-war City eleven that would have subscribers leaping for their keyboards. Unfortunately, it didn’t cause a ripple! This made me realise that – at least amongst MCIVTA readers – I’m something of an anachronism. How many remember Frank Swift, Roy Paul, Ken Barnes? The reason I’m back again, however, has nothing to do with the lack of reaction to my superb selection, but a sense of shock when I read Walter Smith’s report on the Gillingham game. He casually mentions that City fans were taunting the opposition with references to Munich. Does he mean “the City fans” or just a few sick minds, further addled by alcohol? In Issue 492, Paul Ashley referred sadly to songs such as “Who’s that dying on the runway?”, sung at a previous game. In the days when I was a regular attender at Maine Road, we were generally considered to be a friendly club with a great atmosphere – what on earth are we becoming? I dislike United as much as anyone, and shall be sitting in my armchair this evening, attempting to conceal from my wife that I’m hoping Juventus take them to the cleaners, but the idea of revelling in the deaths of young men whose worst crime was to wear a red shirt is really sickening. I’ll confess that I’d readily have found a space in the City team for Duncan Edwards. A further reason for deploring the references to Munich is that my boyhood idol, Frank Swift, was amongst those who died on the runway. Surely the vast majority of City supporters don’t join in the singing? If they do, the sense of shame will make me seriously consider severing a fifty-four year link with my beloved team. Is there anyone out there who can reassure me and restore my faith in human nature?

David Buxton (


I am sorry to have to say this but, I must agree with Mike Doherty assertion that Lincoln people are indeed strange. This is not to say that they are not nice people. On the contrary, I found the Lincoln lasses to be more than welcoming enough (no offence intended). However, all said and done Lincoln is a lovely place to visit. I just hope we don’t have to go there for league match again in the near future!

CAIDCFM (City although I don’t come from Manchester!), Jason Powell (


It has to be said, this subject is getting tiresome now. The point I was tring to make when I replied to MCIVTA last time about Lincoln was that everyone in the town doesn’t behave like they’ve just walked off the streets of Moss Side. These people are different. To the other guy who seemed to take the whole taking as a joke, the whole ‘laugh, he’s a fellow Blue’ thing doesn’t wash. I’d like to think I’ve got a good sense of humour, but I never remember laughing at Bernard Manning either, and he’s about as blue as they come.

Observational humour No. 1 – Make fun of the audience – Don’t take the p**s.

Seems funny though, as soon as one person steps up to air an opposing view, someone pipes up with an argument that has no bearing on the subject at all. What the hell has lunch labelling got to do with everyone in Lincoln being backward? It’s easy enough to sterotype people for what a few look like. I live in Salford for the half of the year that I’m not in Lincoln. It has come to pass that everyone under the age of 20 here is:

  1. Dressed in shell suit bottoms tucked into their socks, with Reebokclassic trainers. Has a pack-a-mac style hiking jacket with abaseball cap tilted back in a Macdonald’s employee fashion. Has a haircut (can only be verified in the summer – the only time they take thecap off) that used to be call a pudding bowl – leave the hat on,shave off all visable hair.
  2. Supports Man Ure. Says ‘Unnniiiiitttttteeeeeeddddddd’ every timeyou go out in sky blue.
  3. Will nick anything that isn’t tied down. Will come back with boltcutters if it is.

Truth is, seeing the relation between 3 and 1, it’s not surprising that no crime ever gets solved here. Everone (bar me) looks the same. See, if anyone gets to bear a grudge it’s me, because one of these unnamed masses nearly killed one of my friends for his old 486 computer. He was carring it out to his car in the middle of the day , and 4 or 5 of them set about him. After hitting around the head with an iron bar, they started to bang his head into his own car door. Ended up at Hope hospital with 1 dent and 1 hole in his skull. Rumour has it that, and this is strictly rumour, they were the 4 lads killed joyriding a couple of months later in Eccles.

Now to my knowledge no-one has had a similar experience back in Lincoln, people still get mugged, people take the same drugs, get addicted to them and have to commit the same crime to feed the habit. Different way of life. Different people. Not better, different. Embrace the difference, that’s why we all go on holiday. Not to tell everyone else they’re deficient because they’re not from Manchester, England, or whatever else, to enjoy the difference.

Ah, what’s the point. I shouldn’t be lecturing people old enough to make their own decisions in things like this. You’ve already made the decision to support the greatest football team in the country, I know for a fact that we have the best supporters, 30,000 people will turn out at Maine Road this weekend to say why. To support a semi-directionless Second Division football team. Our football team. It’s the first thing anybody says; they’re a big club. It’s sad to see them struggling. Each and everyone of those 30,000 plus knows that by hook or by crook, we’ll be playing in the First Division next year. And after that, who knows?

City-zen Ward over and out.

Dave Ward (


Well, I was just about to offer the olive branch to the Rags after their hideously good performance last night against Juve. It’s a bit daft us bleating on about them when we’re so far away from them in footballing terms etc. and all that. For a brief moment I felt like a new person, with all that weight of hatred lifted from my shoulders. But you can always trust Rag fans to ruin the moment with that chant at the end of the game: ‘Are you City in disguise?’

I suppose we could always take this as a backhanded compliment though.

Tim Mossey (


Firstly, I couldn’t agree more with Michael Pullin, Tony Burns brightens up my otherwise dull days at work. Anyone who takes offence, is in my opinion being just a little bit too sensitive.

Secondly, to the play off/automatic situation, I have a couple of good friends, one is a Bournemouth fan and the other is a Gillingham fan (note to self: get new friends). Both have said to me that they hope City get the automatic spot as they don’t fancy their teams’ chances against us, which makes a change from the p**s taking that I was getting at the beginning of the season.

Finally, I’d like to say well done to the City fan who was running the London marathon in our lovely change strip, the only thing that did worry me was that a Bournemouth shirt went past about ten minutes before him.

Come on Preston, Stoke and Fulham!

CTID, Stuart Langley (


No one can dispute that Joe Royle, Willie Donachie and the team, have really given us fans a season to shout about, and what a way to finish it. From time to time during the season I have been critical of the home record, and I was pretty upset after the defeat at home by Oldham, well now maybe Oldham can do the same to Walsall that could help us a lot, plus Fulham beating Walsall. Yes we still have a chance to go 2nd.

The final games that count:

WALSALL: Lincoln (A), Fulham (H), Oldham (H).
CITY: Wycombe (H), Bristol Rovers (A), York (H).
The bottom line is that as long as we go up to Division 1, we won’t care how we do it. Well this will be my last letter to MCIVTA this season, so if you don’t mind I would like to thank a few people.

Mr. Bernstein and the Board for turning the club around without big funds (I know we have some way to go, but we are on the right track). Joe Royle and his sidekick Willie Donachie who are the best. All the staff at MCIVTA for all their hard work, and sometimes during trying times. Ashley, and his buddies who filled in for him at times, Mr Brophy with brilliant write ups. All the fans who gave match reports, Richard Mottershead for all his stats. Now I am just going to cross my fingers, toes, legs, arms and shout for City to go up!

City fans are the best in the world. Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow (


Sorry to be boring, but can anyone explain to me exactly how the play-off system works? Thanks.

Incidentally, I think I can be thanked for City’s recent form. I haven’t managed one game in recent months, and lo and behold they haven’t lost for ages! Every time I went last season, they lost!

Alison Prior (


My name is Ben Richards and I am currently studying at Roskilde University in Denmark as part of my Masters degree. I was just wondering if anyone knew of anywhere in the Copenhagen area that will be showing the pay-per-view game against Bristol Rovers live?

CTID, Ben Richards (


I am a City fan who is at university in Uxbridge, Middlesex. I am wondering if there is anybody from this area travelling to Bristol and has room available in their car/coach? If anybody can help please contact via email.

Many thanks.

Claire Allison (


Born on the 14th May 1977 in Orkney to a Scottish mother and Mancunian father, I was brainwashed from birth by my dad into the ways of being a Blue.

My first real memory of Man City is being relegated, surprise surprise. It must have been 1983 and the last day of the season fell on my birthday (this may not be 100% accurate as I was only 6 at the time, any stattos out there could confirm this, but I’m pretty sure I’m right) and my grandmother had sent me my first City kit as a birthday present. So there I was well chuffed and wearing the kit with pride, I still have the kit – team sponsered by SAAB, when my dad came home from the pub. “Daddy, daddy what does relegation mean?”, I asked after hearing the term on the radio. Obviously not wanting to upset me on my birthday he replied “Nothing son, it doesn’t mean a bloody thing, now go and sod off and enjoy your birthday.” or words to that effect. I knew it was a bad thing.

My next memory is going to my first football match. We were staying with my grandparents, on my mum’s side, near Dumfries and City were playing at Carlisle Utd so my dad and my uncle (my mum’s sister had also married a Man City fan) took me down to see them. This must have been the season after we got relegated, see above, and although memories of the game are very vague I’m pretty certain we got beaten.

Despite these two setbacks I’m still a Blue and although the majority of Saturdays would have been more fun had I got out early I have no regrets. Seeing 5-1 appear on the vidiprinter at full time made all the heartache worthwhile.

Hope it’s not too long till it’s repeated.

Niall Dry (


For some reason Soccernet haven’t caught up with the Preston-Walsall result… but here’s the table for those who haven’t committed it to memory already…

Second Division Table, Up to and including Tuesday, April 20 1999 (10:25pm)

                              HOME            AWAY
                         P  W  D  L  F  A   W  D  L  F  A   Pts   GS
Fulham                  41 17  2  1 42 10  12  4  5 27 17    93   69
Walsall                 42 12  6  3 32 20  12  2  7 25 22    80   57
MANCHESTER CITY         43 12  6  3 33 12   9  9  4 29 17    78   62
Preston North End       43 12  5  5 45 22  10  6  5 30 22    77   75
Gillingham              43 14  5  3 41 17   5  9  7 25 26    71   66
Bournemouth             42 14  5  2 37 11   6  6  9 24 28    71   61
Stoke City              41  9  4  8 29 28  10  2  8 25 25    63   54
Wigan Athletic          39 11  4  4 34 14   7  4  9 25 26    62   59
Chesterfield            42 14  4  4 34 16   3  7 10 11 24    62   45
Millwall                41  9  7  5 31 21   8  3  9 18 26    61   49
Reading                 43  9  6  7 27 26   6  7  8 24 31    58   51
Blackpool               42  6  8  7 21 21   7  5  9 18 27    52   39
Wrexham                 42  8  6  8 21 26   5  6  9 21 32    51   42
Notts County            41  7  5  7 26 23   6  5 11 22 33    49   48
Luton Town              42  9  4  8 23 24   4  6 11 23 33    49   46
Colchester United       42  8  7  6 22 26   3  8 10 23 35    48   45
Burnley                 42  7  7  8 22 33   4  7  9 25 37    47   47
Bristol Rovers          42  7  8  6 30 26   3  8 10 24 24    46   54
Oldham Athletic         42  6  4 10 22 27   6  5 11 21 32    45   43
York City               42  5  8  8 27 32   6  3 12 26 42    44   53
Northampton Town        42  4  9  7 18 23   6  5 11 17 26    44   35
Wycombe Wanderers       41  7  4 10 27 23   3  7 10 18 30    41   45
Lincoln City            41  8  4  8 26 25   3  3 15 11 43    40   37
Macclesfield Town       41  7  4  9 19 22   3  5 13 16 31    39   35

Dorien James (
With thanks to Soccernet


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Peter –
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The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #494