Newsletter #632

Defeat at Everton, so we are in for a long hard winter and the lucky red and black stripes are rapidly falling into disrepute (weren’t we supposed to have a new away kit?). Fret ye not, the phoney war will soon be over. Only the Evil Empire on Wednesday to go. This issue lacks a match report but contains much else for the discerning Blue palate. Read and enjoy.

David Butler.

Next game: Wednesday 16th August 2000, Manchester United away


Everton Inflict Friendly Defeat

Manchester City suffered their third defeat in the last four pre-season games on Saturday. The Blues were beaten 3-1 at Everton in Joe Parkinson’s testimonial. Although City started brightly, an early goal from summer signing Niclas Alexandersson gave the home side the lead, and the same player doubled the advantage midway through the first half. Another new boy, Alex Nyarko, netted a third for the Toffees early in the second period, but an improved City showing after the interval was marked by a goal from Shaun Wright-Phillips. Parkinson, who has retired from the game through injury, came on as a substitute for the Merseysiders for the last fifteen minutes as the game drifted towards its conclusion.

Royle Satisfied with Goodison Display

Most reports on the game claimed that Saturday’s trip to Everton underlined the tough task Manchester City face in establishing themselves in the top flight this season. But Joe Royle refused to be downhearted despite his team’s 3-1 defeat at Goodison Park. Royle believed the Blues showed enough as an attacking force to indicate that they are capable of troubling Premiership defences. And he feels that the match will have allowed the back four, featuring new boy Steve Howey, to build up an understanding ahead of the start of the new campaign. “I was quite pleased overall,” the City manager told the Manchester Evening News. “We looked inventive up front and other than the goals there wasn’t much between us and Everton.”

City Land Steve Howey

After spending weeks in the fruitless pursuit of Ugo Ehiogu, Joe Royle switched his sights to Steve Howey at the end of last week. And the Newcastle central defender has joined the Blues in a transfer which could eventually be worth £3 million. Howey agreed terms with the Blues on Friday and passed a strenuous medical to seal a deal which will see City pay the Geordies an initial £2 million. The 28-year-old won four England caps when Terry Venables was in charge of the national team, but then a serious achilles injury almost ended his career. Royle is convinced that the player’s fitness woes are behind him, and feels that the Sunderland-born star will prove a bargain buy. “For a player of his age and an international who is a proven Premiership player, the fee certainly represents good value,” said the City boss.

Howey Delighted with Maine Road Switch

Steve Howey has played for Newcastle United for the whole of his professional career. But the former England man has no regrets over leaving the Magpies and joining Manchester City. Howey completed his move to Maine Road on Friday, and met his new team-mates for the first time the next day, ahead of the Blues’ friendly match away to Everton. And after featuring in Newcastle’s resurgence during his time at St James’s Park, the 28-year-old believes he’s set to enjoy more success at Maine Road. “I was delighted to be able to join City who are a club on the up and up,” he said. “There are exciting times at Maine Road these days and I’m looking forward to being part of them.”

City Agree to Sell Robert Taylor

Portsmouth’s signing of Lee Mills last week led many to believe that the south coast club no longer had an interest in City’s Robert Taylor. But the assumption proved incorrect and the striker is now deciding whether to move to the south coast outfit or Wolves, after the Blues accepted £1.6 million offers from both clubs. A decision was expected on Monday, with the striker believed to be reluctant to uproot his family less than a year after moving north from Gillingham. However, according to Joe Royle, Taylor is likely to leave to give himself a better chance of first-team football. “I am not desperate for Robert to go but his opportunities are obviously going to be limited with George, Paulo and Shaun Goater all ahead of him,” the City boss told the Manchester Evening News.

Injury Thwarts Dutch Trialist

Manchester City this week gave a trial to Melchior Schoenmakers. But the Dutch defender has returned to his homeland after picking up a groin strain during his first morning’s training with the City squad. Schoenmakers made his name with Groningen, fierce rivals of Gerard Wiekens’ former club Veendam. And it’s believed that Wiekens recommended the player to Royle, who was attracted by the prospect of signing the defender for a knockdown price after his current club Den Bosch went into receivership. However, the move is now on hold, although Royle has promised to “reassess the situation” once the player is fit again.

Defender Hunt Still On?

Manchester City’s hunt for defensive reinforcements looks to be continuing despite last week’s signing of Steve Howey. Joe Royle admitted after landing the ex-England star that he’d been on the trail of another centre back, and reports claim that a signing could take place soon. Monday’s Manchester Evening News has even claimed there could be developments this week, although it’s unclear whether this was a reference to the arrival of Dutch trialist Melchior Schoenmakers, who has now departed after sustaining an injury. Meanwhile, Aston Villa have reached an agreement with West Bromwich Albion over the sell-on clause relating to defender Ugo Ehiogu. However, it appears that a renewed City bid for the player is unlikely after his agent said the 27-year-old will see out his contract at Villa Park.

No Hard Feelings As Pollock Leaves

Jamie Pollock has left Manchester City for Crystal Palace. But the Eagles’ new signing says he’ll be looking out for his former club’s results as they bid to establish themselves in the Premiership. With the arrival of Alfie Haaland likely to limit Pollock’s opportunities to feature in the City midfield, the 26-year-old agreed to move to South London in a deal which will eventually be worth £700,000. But the ex-Middlesbrough and Bolton man has happy memories of his stay at Maine Road, and wishes the Blues well for the future. “It has been a fantastic roller-coaster while I have been at Maine Road,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “I think City is a wonderful club and I wish Willie, the gaffer and all the lads nothing but success for the season.”

Fenton Priced Out of Cherries Switch?

Bournemouth are believed to be ready to make a bid to clinch the signing of Nick Fenton. But the Cherries are unlikely to be able to afford the Blues’ asking price for the young defender. It’s thought that Bournemouth are prepared to pay around £100,000 for Fenton, who has is on loan at Dean Court after impressing in a temporary stint there last season. But the Blues are said to want more than double that amount for the 20-year-old, who played for the south coast club in their 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers on Saturday. And though the Cherries recently banked £425,000 from the sale of goalkeeper Mark Ovenden to Luton, their financial position prevents them from making a higher offer for the ex-England youth international.

Horlock Hopes to Win the Nod

Kevin Horlock is satisfied with his pre-season endeavours. And the Northern Ireland international is hopeful that he’ll be in Joe Royle’s starting line-up when the Blues kick off their Premiership campaign at Charlton next Saturday. Horlock says that the spirit in the squad is such that the players Royle omits will all be rooting for the side at The Valley. But the former Swindon man believes he’ll return from duty with Sammy McIlroy’s squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Yugoslavia in good shape for the season’s opener. “I have worked hard in pre season and am well prepared for the international,” he told the official club website at “I want to come back on Thursday morning and be part of the squad which travels to Charlton.”

Reserves to Visit Maine Road

Manchester City take on Maine Road on Monday evening. The Blues will send a strong side to face the non-leaguers at Brantingham Road, Chorlton, and the match will see a first pre-season outing for club captain Andy Morrison. Also in the City line-up will be Terry Cooke, Jim Whitley and Gary Mason, all of whom are on the transfer list. Meanwhile, the City second string drew 2-2 at Ashton United on Friday in a match which saw Joe Royle’s son Darren feature in defence for the home side.

City Fans Snub Irwin Testimonial

With 48 hours remaining before the match, City have sold fewer than 4,000 tickets for the Denis Irwin testimonial on Wednesday. And it appears that the attendance for the match at Old Trafford on Wednesday will fall well short of original predictions of more than 60,000. City supporters in particular are proving reluctant to pay £20 to watch a non-competitive game, while there is also a marked reticence on the part of many fans to hand over their money to a player whose weekly salary is more than £20,000. It had originally been thought that the crowd would be a record for a testimonial match in this country, but revised predictions put the likely figure at around 45,000.

Weah to Make Old Trafford Date

George Weah had been due to star for a World XI in an exhibition game in France on Wednesday. But Joe Royle has told the Liberian he must stay in Manchester to play in the Denis Irwin testimonial. Royle feels that it is important to allow his new signings the chance to get used to playing with their new team-mates. And though the City boss is powerless to stop Kevin Horlock and Jeff Whitley from joining up with the Northern Ireland squad, or to prevent Paulo Wanchope from playing with Costa Rica, he has insisted that Weah must remain with the Blues. “It is important that we work on team building as much as we possibly can,” the City boss explained to the Manchester Evening News.

Peter Brophy (


Whilst not being SBT’s biggest fan, he does seem to have an understanding with George Weah. City only came alive for the brief spell they played together at Stockport and they set each other up at Oldham for a goal each. Is this the right time to sell SBT? Or would he be a good sub alternative? Then again we could rely on Paul Dickov’s one good performance per season ratio (albeit he seems to do it in the important games, but so did SBT against Birmingham last year). By the time you read this he’s probably gone to Portsmouth or Wolves anyway.

David Kilroy (


I am at the moment travelling around Turkey and have seen many Man Yoo shirts be worn by Turks and people from all over the world, incidentally none from Manchester. Anyway, I bumped into a family of City fans from Manchester on a small minibus in the some Turkish mountains.

The father was a season ticket holder with son in the Family Stand; we chatted at length about City’s fortunes and prospects for this year, about the areas of Manchester we grew up in, about the pubs around Maine Road, about away games, schools we went to, characters we both knew etc. (you get the picture). We said our goodbyes and then left with a smile on our faces, having had an enjoyable bit of banter.

Later on that day it occurred to me if two blokes met up a Turkish mountain on a small minibus wearing Man Yoo shirts what would the conversation of been about.

Bloke 1: ‘G’day mate I see you follow Man Yoo’
Bloke 2: ‘Sorry , me Inglish, not Good’
Bloke 1: ‘Have you been to the ‘Theatre of Dreams’?’
Bloke 2: ‘Eh, The Thearte is playing ‘Titanic’ at the momento’
Bloke 1: ‘No not the local cinema, Old Trafford’
Bloke 2: ‘Argh yes Andy Cole, Giggsy, Posh Spice I love em all’
Bloke 1: ‘Sod Off’

No enjoyment whatsoever, you get the picture.

Walter Smith (


It’s not often I agree with anything Noel Bayley says, in fact I think the last time I posted to MCIVTA was to slag off yet another of his self indulgent rants (this is going back a couple of years, so he must have improved), but regarding the MUEN’s bias (MCIVTA 629) he’s got a point. Last Friday on page 5 of the news section we get two pictures of Beckham having broken down during training at the open day (£3 to watch your hero get injured!), whereas an article about Jim Whitley exhibiting some of his paintings is tucked away in the sports section. Surely the Beckham story belongs on the sports pages, and Whitley’s artistic leanings in the “light” news or arts supplement? Unless of course there’s an editorial policy which dictates that Rags sell rags.

Paul Monaghan (


For those who are looking for Alfie’s website, you can find it at (it’s in Norwegian).

Steinar Sel (


Wow! Weah and Wanchope (Whan-copay or One-Chop? Prefer the latter – song: “One-chop, one-chop, let’s get together and feel alright” – Robert Nesta Marley). Why am I writing this? Two botts of Meursault? 5 Powers Gold Label? Or simply to say (more probably) lay off yer man Paulo until we see what he can do. The guy gets goals, one every 2.5 which ain’t bad for a striker these days. And furthermore, he gets good ones as the TV replays show. And Mancs aren’t East Enders – okay so Paulo weren’t “fambly” dahn West Am, so fr*gg*n what! Let’s hope we have more generosity of spirit than the Ammers.

Dave Kilroy made a good point recently. The same point that I got my head chewed off for last season, saying the jury’s still out on Joe’s ability to spot talent. But at least in Paulo’s case he’s bought us a player who’s not a straight-up-and-down guy, who has latent talent bubbling just under the surface, bit like our beloved Goat, but faster, younger, bit more flair. And powder-puff Peacock’s gone. And it’s good to see a manager selling somebody he bought, a tacit admission he was wrong.

Next, please a midfield admiral (the Navy always had the best) and a central defender, but tell Gregory/Ellis to stick Hedgehog up their arse, pricks and all. We don’t want to get back to the Swales/Allison “It’s City, they’ll pay silly money” era. Somewhere out there there is a “they shall not pass” person that we can afford. After that a right sided (wing?) back or maybe we can send Reg on a passing course.

Nicky; Reg (or A.N.Other), Spencer, Big Hard Fast B*****d, Tiatto; Gerard in front of them; Midfield Passer, or could it be SeanWP, be nice to think so, Super Kev, Kennedy; Georgie, Paulo & Goat (perm 2 from 3) and we’ll stay up in style, I’m sure.

One-chop! One-Chop! (lemme heah yah) let’s get together and feel aaright!

Pre-season best to Messrs Ash, Kilroy, Cahal “Stream of Consciousness” Whelehan, Simon Curtis, S. Willis, Flong (What about Dervla, nice one!?) HM (wherever you are), Jack M, Matt Thomas, Bennie Blue, Helen Murtagh, Bartley, Rakes & Steve, the two Salford Catering Lads (owe you a pint) and everyone else who’s contributed to my best close season since 1966.

One more musical quote:

“… only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin’ on
Like a bird that flew
Tangled up in Blue”

Bobby Dylan a City supporter?

Ernie Whalley (


Oh no, Steve Howey, another “W” in the squad!

The people who supply the stick-on letter for shirts must be going berserk; I wonder if they’ve thought of using spare M’s and turning them upside down? On the plus side, now that we’ve got rid of Pollock and Peacock, there must be plenty of spare K’s, so if Joe was waiting for the right moment to buy Gio back…

(Obvious flaw in the above argument – how many supporters’ shirts did you see with Peacock or Pollock on the back?!)

(Second obvious flaw – Joe and Gio are not exactly best mates!)

Anyway, just for the hell of it, and in case Joe is planning any more purchases before the start of the season, here’s a “what if” team made up entirely of W’s:

Manager:   Peter Weid

Sorry for the above, it’s the pressure of being too near the start of the season, that combined with serious shortage of acronyms…

Steve Maclean (


Just to let you know, you can now hear BBC GMR’s Saturday Sport programme on the Internet from 1pm-3pm and 4.45pm and 6pm.

Unfortunately we do not have the rights to broadcast City commentary on the Internet. But you can still hear all the pre-match build-up, interviews, live guests, team news etc. And all the post-match reaction to the game.

Hopefully quite a few Blues will enjoy this new service – just log on to on Saturdays.

Any queries, contact me at the address below.

Incidentally, we’d really like to get someone on the phone on Saturday who’s listening in some far flung part of the world.

Richard Burgess, BBC GMR Sport producer (


For those lucky enough to have a ticket for Saturday, and not wanting to brave the traffic on the M25 and in sarf London, here’s the public transport gen.

You can use the M40 to a variety of places like Beaconsfield (J2) or Denham (J1) then to Marylebone, then Jubilee line to Charing Cross (12, 27, 42, 57 past each hour to Charlton, 22 minutes journey).

The M1’s harder with only Harlington (J12) and Leagrave (J11) close to junctions, but from there it’s a straight run (every 15 minutes) to London Bridge for the Charlton trains at 04, 08, 19, 34, 38 and 49 past the hour.

But a favourite is M40 and onto the A40 coming off at the A4127 taking Oldfield Lane left off the sliproad to Greenford station. That’s in London Transport zone 4 so it’s only £4.10 return to Charlton (including stopping off in central London if needed).

From Greenford it’s Central Line to Oxford Circus then Jubilee Line to Charing Cross.

Steve Parish (


If you have any spare Fulham tickets you would like to sell please email or

P.S. I hope the MCIVTA subscriber who I met in the Red Lion in Funchal had a good holiday.

Alex Heylin (


I’m glad that Peacock has gone. Why? Is it because he wasn’t up to scratch? No. Was it because he didn’t have the necessary credentials to make it in the 1st team. No. It’s down to the Belfast game. Or should I say afterwards.

As one of the Brooklands and Baguley (Clampetts on tour!) supporters who went to Ireland, I managed to see half the game. Why? Well, I will write up later a tale that no one will believe, I assure you all!

After the match we went to where City’s coach was. Mark Kennedy had just signed an autograph for a mentally disabled girl, who was with her father/guardian.

We had moved to the side away from the building, and she came and stood a bit away from us. Now she was delighted to have the players’ autographs, I looked up at the coach windows. Lee Peacock was shirtless, showing off his celtic (‘k’ eltic – not football) tattoos. He looked at the girl and dissolved in laughter, in fact so much he hid his head. The girl obviously didn’t understand or care, however the hurt in the father’s/guardian’s eyes was apparent. Peacock alone was having a laughing fit until he saw myself and a couple others looking at him.

He then cast us a glance that spoke volumes, well to me it did. It was a look of, hey, I’m a professional player. I’m not bothered that I upset someone, she is only disabled.

Now I was going to go and see Joe Royle at the front of the coach, but was talked out of it. I was also going to write to the club but heard Peacock was on his way. I’d have reported any one of our players for what Peacock did.

It’s bang out of order, so Peacock you arrogant b*****d I’m glad you’ve gone.

Simon Haines (


WH Smith in the Trafford Centre, Manchester, are pleased to announce two City related book signings.

The first is for Blue Moon Rising, as reviewed in MCIVTA. The authors (Andy Buckley and Richard Burgess) work for local Manchester radio station GMR, and offer ‘unbiased’ commentary on Manchester City games. The signing takes place on Sunday 20th August at 1.p.m.

The second is for a book due to be released on the 25th August, The Essential Manchester City. It is in large hardback format, and offers a complete history of our great club, and is complemented with some great photographs. The foreward is by City legend Tony Book, who will be attending a signing session on Saturday 2nd September (time to be announced).

If you would like a signed copy of either book, but cannot attend the session, please contact Steve Tonge on 0161-755-0299.

Steve Tonge (


Just when I think that football executives know what they are doing yet another example comes along to prove that if they ever got a job in the real world their ass would be toast within days.

Villa don’t want to sell Ehiogu for less than £8 million because West Brom get 50% of the fee. So in effect Villa would take £4 or £5 million for the player if they didn’t have to deal with the West Brom percentage. So pick a young Villa player, any player, who City like and is valued around £1 million by Villa. Buy him for £4-5 million and buy Ehiogu for £1 million. Villa get the money they want, City get their player and West Brom get £500k. End of story.

Bloody amateurs.

Wallace Poulter (


It’s Monday, so that means there are 5 days and roughly 3 hours to go until kick-off… can my nerves stand it?! I was delighted to see that the Guardian in its free booklet (titled ‘Season’) has tipped us to struggle, so at least the pressure isn’t on us. Actually their comment comes directly underneath one from our own absent Ashley Birch, can’t remember what he wrote… something about being City and something else. Funny monthly comments underneath by the Guardian has us winning the title with a victory against Chelsea last game of the season, Joe being knighted and turning the England job down as it is 10 years too late, and managing Everton to a 1-0 win against us at Goodison where David Bernstein comments ‘It shows you what a good manager he is’… or something to that effect. My major worry was the fact that the Guardian claimed that to stop Kennedy would halt our attacking options (shhh… message to Guardian editor: please don’t reveal our secret weapon (sic)); they could be correct. What about a right-winger Joe? Onechop? Peter Abbott voiced Solano or Summerbee as options. My only problem with these two would be Solano is foreign (Peruvian) so exceeding the 3 non-EU player quota and Summerbee is (a) rocking the boat at Sunderland, with alleged training ground bust-ups with Reid, (b) he is becoming as lazy at Sunderland as he was at City, (c) Sunderland have no other right-wingers in the squad. Odds on Sunderland to go down: Reid seems to be losing it again. Maybe Cooke might return into favour or am I still clinging to the dreams enhanced by watching the Division 2 season video again? I still have a broad grin on my face every time Dickov slots the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net. We came back from 2-0 down; remarkable.

As for Jan Harald Eriksen’s request for a team poster, see this month’s City Magazine, does it get as far as Norway?

Meanwhile, on the subject of transfers, pleased to see the Howey deal is only £2 million with more if he plays enough matches; considering his recent injury problems it seems a reasonable enough deal. Can’t say I was ever that impressed by him but he isn’t that much worse than Ehigou and for onder half as much as the Ehiogu deal it isn’t bad business. My only concern is what was the point of playing Haaland at the back all pre-season? If we were so dead set on buying a centre-half surely it would have been better asking Alfie to play in midfield (presumably where he will start the season). I don’t mean to question Joe’s tactics but it makes you wonder if Haaland and Howey will start as the natural centre-back pairing. As for midfield, the Guardian said not to forget Bishop who’s passing abilities would suit the Premiership.

Glad to see a clear-out of some of the deadwood. With Pollock, Peacock (have the clubshop done a deal to swap P’s for W’s?) and hopefully SBT (it’s a shame but he isn’t Premiership quality, in fact he didn’t look good enough for Division One!) going this will hopefully mean that the likes of SW-P, Dickov, Horlock, Wiekens etc. will be given a chance. Not bad deal for Peacock; how did we make the extra £100,000? Is inflation that high?

As for David Cash’s request for support for a Neil Young testimonial, count me in. His winner in the 1969 cup final is a momentous event in the history of the club, celebrating our most successful period as a club so far. Maybe some of the players who played alongside him could have a knock-about before the main testimonial match. Preston does seem a good choice of opponents, maybe the choice could be left to Neil? Let’s hope something comes out of our pressure.

CTID, James Walsh (


I notice the testimonial game against Everton was organised for former Everton midfielder Joe Parkinson, whose career was cut short by a knee injury. The crowd was over 21,000. Does anyone know what the financial deal is, and how much Joe will receive?

Dave Smith (


Since the music debate was declared dead in MCIVTA 631, I’ll finally pull my act together and write a comment and even a suggestion.

I like Fat Boy Slim’s “Praise you” and Oasis’ “Roll with it”, and I won’t deny their hit quality. But instead I suggest the All-seeing I’s “Walk like a panther”, which has chorus that goes something like this:

“You’ve got to fly like an eagle
Prowl like a lion in Africa
Leap like a salmon
Pulled from the sea
To keep up with me
You’ve got to walk like a panther tonight
Walk like a panther tonight”

Sung by 70s crooner Tony Christie(!)

I find the lyrics quite appropriate for the following (more or less obvious) reasons:

  • Our club crest involves an eagle.
  • We’ve recently signed one of the greatest African players ever (a prowling lion up front, see?).
  • Leaping (or jumping) like a salmon – an expression often used in match reports.

It still lacks a reference to feeding the goat, but that’s probably asking too much.

Furthermore, it contains this bit as well:

“The standards have fallen
My value has dropped
But don’t shed a tear

Some walk like they own the place
Whilst others creep in fear

So try if you can
To walk like a man
But you don’t come near”

As far as I know, the All seeing I are from Sheffield, but hopefully that wouldn’t stop us from using it.

Does anybody know whether the Maine Road DJ actually reads this, or do we have to write to him personally to pester him with ideas?

CTID – Andreas Lloyd (

May I suggest ‘When the Levee Breaks’ by Led Zeppelin? No, didn’t think so.



Two exiled McVittee City fans (plus families) located in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.

Desperate to know from anyone from USA/Caribbean if the Man Ure – Man City friendly is being shown on DirecTV.

Please email!

Phil Lines (


I’m going to be in Manchester for the Newcastle game in September (I’m living in Newfoundland, Canada) and was wondering how one goes about getting tickets for the game? Can anyone help?

Vince Walsh (


Please Please Please

Any kind soul with information leading to two tickets for the Charlton game will be rewarded. Please and thanks.

CTID, Cass a.k.a. dubcity (

My sister is friends with the Charlton chaplain. Even divine contacts cannot bring forth tickets. Best of luck.



It basically took me more than three months to get over that emotionally draining rollercoaster of a season but now I have gathered up enough energy to write these few words to thank everyone connected with the MCIVTA and MCFC.

The last note from our (guest) editor about sparing a moment to remember where we were two years ago has stirred all those vivid memories from the last four seasons. I can still see myself, some Sunday morning in May 1996, sitting in a Montreal bar watching the Rags winning the League, while news came from Maine Road that we got relegated following our 2-2 draw against Liverpool.

Then the managerial merry-go-round; then two years later, checking the scores on the web to see us beat Stoke and still get relegated again. Shell-shocked, speechless, my wife could not understand what was happening to me. The rest you know too well, that Dickov goal on the BBC World Service and finally jumping like a mad man while looking at the Blackburn vs. City score changing every 7 minutes, on my computer screen on some lonely Sunday afternoon, here in my office in Beirut. Now, all this is already history and I can finally get to see City playing live on TV, the feeling of anticipation is so great, so how about the real thing when it will come in a few days?

A word perhaps about the transfer activity. I guess there is little I can add about the Weah, Wanchope, Howey and Haaland deals and the prices we got for Peacock and Pollock are good. One thing however, about Super Bob Taylor, I believe he would deserve a chance at the top level. I feel we have not seen the best of him yet, it would be a pity if he leaves now.

Finally, somebody wrote some time ago that he/she had a full 4 hours video about the Play-Off final against the Gills (pre-game and post game shows included)? If that person could e-mail me, I would really like to have a copy of this video for any price! Thanx in advance!

Malek Tabbal (


As those within the Manchester City Centenary Supporters’ Association (MCCSA) may know, there is an open policy with regards to the Committee meetings and any member of a CSA branch (not just the co-ordinators and “officials”) is welcome to attend.

Our meetings, which if not being held at one of the branches, take place at the Platt Lane Complex and generally start about 8.00pm. Details of the 2000/2001 meetings dates are as follows:

11th September 2000
18th October   2000
20th November  2000
 5th December  2000
 4th January   2001
22nd February  2001
22nd March     2001
17th April     2001
16th May       2001
10th June      2001 (Annual General Meeting)

Our Objective – the CSA want to continue to make the Committee meetings as accessible as possible and we will continue to visit branches and different locations.

Please Note – the above dates and venues are provisional and please remember – all the meetings are open to all CSA members and we would be grateful if you could share this information with as many CSA members so they have the chance to come and participate in the meetings etc.

Renewals to CSA branches

We have recently issued information to all CSA Branch Secretaries confirming that renewals are now due. We are pleased to confirm that central CSA memberships costs remain at £2 per membership (a membership is either 1 individual or a “family” – 2 adults and children). There is now a capping system of 100 memberships to allow (larger) branches to retain funds in their coffers!

A CSA membership card is produced to confirm membership.

If anyone would like details of branch contacts etc. then please let me know.

Thank you, Clive Hamilton – Secretary, Manchester City Centenary Supporters’ Association (tel/fax 0161-746-7638


I have been asked by our Manchester City FC Supporters’ Club of South Australia members to lend our support to a “Neil Young Testimonial Game”. We understand that younger City supporters may not feel it is important to acknowledge a truly elegant and terrific player like Neil. He was part of a very successful City Team in the late 60’s, who took City (the team they now support) to an excellent level (to which I feel we are heading towards again).

Neil’s record stands for itself, it’s all part of tradition.

We would like to see a side made up of past City players from 60’s and 70’s, playing the current Premiership team at Maine Road. Excellent! If not, at Nynex the Indoor Stadium where our City Masters 7-a-side team appeared last month.

Whatever the venue, we will have one of our members (from South Australia) there to say thanks to Neil in person, so let’s get rolling.

P.S. It’s not commonly known, Neil was an excellent header of the ball and won many in-club head tennis competitions – just ask him when you all meet and shake his hand.

Dave Thorpe (


I would like to respond to Dave Cash’s request for opinions on whether the club should give Neil Young a testimonial. I would be very much in favour of this. My mates and I were lucky enough to meet Neil (and Colin Bell) at Wembley last May and he is a thoroughly nice person. He seemed to have no chip on his shoulder and was happy to talk with us for as long as we wished, both before and after the game. He’s still so Blue through and through that he wears his Division One winner’s medal round his neck to this day.

Funnily enough (on the subject of his treatment by the club) he only received his invitation to Wembley a couple of days before the game. When I asked him, tongue in cheek, who hadn’t been able to make it he smiled and said he had thought exactly the same thing. Although there was no bitterness in his voice his wife clearly thought that he was a bit hard done by.

To sum up, the guy is still as much a class act as when he graced Maine Road with probably one of the best left feet City have ever had. Let’s hope we can see justice done and help Neil get the testimonial his service to and performances for City so richly merited.

Michael Warren a.k.a. Redding Blue/RB on BV (


Hello from (not so) sunny Blackpool.

This morning saw a preview screening of the new footie movie “There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble” at the Odeon, with the film due to open in a fortnight. My better half is the General Manager at the cinema and would like to get some Blackpool based City fans involved in publicity for the film (she is already planning to approach Paul Stewart and Paul Simpson for some photos etc.). So it’s Sunday afternoon, there’s only the Charity Shield on TV (as I write Chelsea are two up against you know who) and a surf of the web finds MCIVTA and a film review. So are there any Blues fans in this part of the world who might like to help?

Please e-mail or telephone the Odeon Blackpool on Tuesday/Wednesday (01253) 299714 and ask for Jane the Manager.

Good luck for the season ahead except for the two games against United (Leeds that is!).

Thanks, Dave G (


Just a quick note to say I saw a preview screening of the film ‘There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble’ on Sunday morning. For those who don’t know – it’s about a young City fan who struggles through life, he wants to play for the school football team so he can play at Maine Road in the Manchester Schools Cup Final.

The film is a bit slow to start with, but by the time the credits roll, every City fan will have a huge smile on their face. It also contains one of the best lines in a film ever; it appears very close to the end and I’m sure you’ll not need to second guess which line I’m talking about. If it was up to me then it would be illegal to miss this film – go to the cinema when it’s released and watch it – you will love it.

Martin Alldred (


You may have seen the reviews of “There’s only one Jimmy Grimble” in MCIVTA 628 when it was shown at Planet Hollywood. Well, here is another view of the film from its first showing in Sheffield on Sunday 13 August.

A great film it is not, but it ranks amongst the recent smaller British films of the last few years, such as “Little Voice,” “Waking Ned,” “Brassed off” and that one about growing cannabis in Cornwall. What was that called, again? More to the point though, if you are a City fan – and who isn’t if you are reading this – you should see it. The stereotypical Stretford fan is depicted as the no-brain bully, and similarly the City fan is shown as the downtrodden failure. But of course, the City fan comes out on top in the end.

I suppose when compared with other soccer films, it is one of the best. That is not great praise though because there have been some dogs. At least Jimmy Grimble uses football players who can act rather than actors who can’t play football. The skills shown on the field give an air of reality to the film, together with a hero who won’t win a beauty competition and has sticking out ears (sorry, Lewis McKenzie). Two things I will remember the film for are the shots inside Maine Road and the use of my old school for some of the locations. It will be worth buying the video when it comes out just as a record of how Maine Road used to look. We may be at Eastlands when the video is released! The school I referred to, by the way, is the Hulme Grammar School, Oldham. Are there any other old boys receiving MCIVTA? As there are several school locations used in the film, no doubt MCIVTA will be full of other people pointing out that their old school was used as well.

In summary, do go and see the film. It will not win any Oscars but it is a must for all City fans. I can foresee a rush to buy replica shirts with number 10 and “GRIMBLE” printed on the back. By the way, if you want to see a good recent film built around a soccer story, see “The Cup”, which tells the story of a group of trainee Buddhist monks trying to see the World Cup Final.

Arthur Hill (


Any idea when the movie may be coming out in Australia?

Bronson Justus (


How hilarious: not one venue for the film in Manchester, unless I missed it!

Kelly Beaver (


Just to let anyone know who already doesn’t (I know I’ve emailed a few of you out there with the good news already) our opening game, back to where we belong in the Premier after 4 long years, vs. Charlton will be shown in the U.S. on Saturday Aug 19th at midday Eastern standard time, 9am Pacific time (2 hour delay for everyone). It’s on Fox Sports World which is available on some cable outlets and is definitely available on Directv (small satellite dish). There are at least 4 different small satellite companies out there now so make sure you get the right one if you’re buying one or the pub/bar that you’re going to carries Fox Sports World on Directv satellite system. For more info go to or

Read on BV game will be shown in Australia also so it looks like it’s going world-wide. Think this has anything to do with a certain Mr Weah playing for us? I believe you get additional appearance money every time Sky picks you for a game so King George’s pulling power is already into effect. I’ll be over in person for the Sunderland and Coventry games, can’t wait, Sunderland game should be a cracking atmosphere. Take care everyone.

CTID, Paul Whittaker – Florida Blue (


I still can’t quite believe this, but I just received an email from the City ticket office… they had seen my plea in the last MCIVTA issue for a ticket for the Sunderland game and wrote to me to say that they had just released another 800 tickets and if I got in touch I would get one. I did and I have, so thanks to Nathan at the ticket office and to MCIVTA for getting to the places that other newsletters fail to reach.

This is one of the reasons why I love being a City fan; our club still cares for us fans – can anyone imagine the manure ticket office doing such a thing?

Here we go…

Jeff Berens (

The ticket office gets hammered from time to time – sometimes deservedly so – but give them credit when it’s due. It’s good to know the club both listens and acts. Well done City.



Call me cynical and sceptical but…

  • wasn’t Steve Daley our record buy?
  • wasn’t Lee Bradbury our record buy?

On the defender situation I re-iterate my previous comment: City should look at Kilmarnock’s Jim Lauchlan, out of contract and free!

Brian Morrison (


I took time out on Sunday to catch the last day of this photographic exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, having been tipped off by a member of our CSA Branch. It’s not the most extensive exhibition you’ll ever see (though admission was free) but it beats some things I’ve seen in art galleries! I particularly liked the picture of Alloa’s former club shop – makes the City store look like Harrods by comparison though to be fair it was stated to be the Ex-Alloa shop – and the papier mache sculpture of Jimmy Five Bellies. Anyway, if it’s in a town near you – I understand it’s on tour – and you’ve got an hour or so to kill, why not pop in for a bit of footy culture. There’s more info on the web at

Geoff Donkin – Beverley Blue (


I was living in Buxton but going to school at Xavarian College in Rusholme at the time. There was a big group of us that used to travel to games together getting the 12.33 train from Buxton which used to arrive in Piccadilly circa 1.30 pm on matchday. We used to travel on the footie specials (were they from Corporation St?) for something like 5p. The day of the Ipswich game, we reckoned there would be a big crowd and took the 11.33 from Buxton. the specials didn’t start till 1.00 so we walked to Maine Road. We arrived about 1.00 and got into the ground real early.

I remember that goal well. It was Saturday 2nd April 1977. City had taken the lead but Trevor Whymark equalised for Ipswich. With four minutes left on the clock, City swung over a corner and Watson powered in from the edge of the box to send it into the goal at the North Stand end of the ground. I was sitting on the low wall in the middle of the Kippax and the place erupted with me going head first down about ten steps before being rescued by my “minder”, Mark Bradshaw. I was eleven at the time. I remember we were singing and dancing for around ten minutes after the final whistle.

I have checked the Match of the Day book they brought out for their 25th anniversary and the BBC didn’t cover the game so if anyone did then it had to be Granada. If you are successful in your search for a copy of it I would also love to obtain a copy.

Bartley Ramsey (


Mention of Dave Watson’s goal against Ipswich in ’77 set my mind wandering. I’ve not seen the goal since but I remember being at the game with my dad in the old Platt Lane stand (those old wooden benches – ouch!). My memory might be a bit hazy but I seem to recall the mighty Dave rise up at the far post like a great big risey-uppy thing and powering a header into the opposite top corner. Who provided the cross? How late in the game was it? I’m sure somebody knows the answer to these questions and more besides. I’ll no doubt be up until the early hours flicking through old programmes for an elusive ‘action photo’.

The other reason I remember the goal is because, amid all the celebrating, the bloke in the seat in front of me turned round and kissed me on the forehead. Not something I was used to – I was only a young boy after all. This has only happened once since, many years later away to Portsmouth towards the end of the 84/85 season (I think). I think it was a Paul Simpson goal. Everybody behind the goal went absolutely crazy and it was almost an exact replica – bloke in front turns round and plants a kiss on the forehead of the first person he saw. I’m happily married now and have a baby daughter so I like to think those two incidents had no long term effects. I’m going to go and sit down now.

Does anybody else remember goals for non-football reasons?

Steve Oliver (


Soon, dear reader. Very soon.


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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]David Butler,

Newsletter #632