Newsletter #646

A lacklustre performance on Saturday saw Newcastle take home all three points, with yet another defensive howler being the defining moment of the game, irrespective of the fact that the goal was later shown to have been offside. Positive points were the excellent performances of Wright and Ritchie, the latter playing at centre half and looking an absolute steal at £500k. We have three match reports (thanks lads); a report on TG4, which seems to have been a riotous occasion undimmed by the result; an update on the SAFE campaign; and some opinion.

This one reaches 3,447.

Next game: Bradford City at home, Saturday 14th October 2000


Shearer Punishes Below-Par City

Manchester City have dropped to 16th place in the Premiership after losing at home to Newcastle on Saturday. A 74th-minute Alan Shearer goal separated the sides, giving the Geordies a deserved win in an entertaining game. There was more than a suspicion of offside over Shearer’s goal, but even Joe Royle conceded that Bobby Robson’s men had been the better side on the day, forcing stand-in goalkeeper Tommy Wright into a man-of-the-match performance with fine saves from Gary Speed and Kieron Dyer. Despite looking slightly lethargic, the Blues did pose the visitors some problems, but were guilty of wasting their best opportunities. Paulo Wanchope’s header straight at Shay Given in the first half and Mark Kennedy’s mis-hit shot after rounding the Newcastle goalkeeper late on were particularly disappointing finishes.

Royle Laments Tired Display

Joe Royle conceded that Newcastle deserved to take all the points from Maine Road on Saturday after his own side produced its “second most inept performance of the season”. But the Blues’ boss felt that tiredness among his players was a contributory factor to the defeat. City had come through a gruelling two-hour League Cup slog in midweek after the tie at Gillingham went to extra time, leaving Royle to reflect that, “There were one or two [City players] out there today that looked to be struggling a little although we still caused them the odd problem.” And that may mean the City manager rethinking his attitude to the Worthington Cup, opting in future to field a weakened team rather than selecting his strongest side.

Robson Praise for Stand-In Wright

Newcastle manager Bobby Robson had pinpointed reserve goalkeeper Tommy Wright as a possible weak link in Manchester City’s armoury before Saturday’s meeting between the sides. But the Newcastle boss admitted his error after the match. Wright produced a string of fine saves to earn the man of the match award – even though Alan Shearer claimed that in his pre-match team talk, Robson had told his players the Northern Ireland man may be lacking in mobility. But the ex-England manager had a different view after the game, claiming, “Tommy Wright was the man of the match and I think he deserved it because he made three great saves.” Ironically, the 37-year-old had himself been an injury doubt to face his old club, but while disappointed by the result, he was pleased to have taken the chance to give a reminder of his abilities.

Dickov Misses Scotland Place

Reports last week claimed that Paul Dickov could be named in the Scotland squad for the forthcoming games against San Marino and Croatia. But the City striker suffered disappointment when the party was named. National coach Craig Brown sent representatives to monitor Dickov’s form in the Blues’ early matches this season. But despite impressing in those games, the 27-year-old has been overlooked for selection. Team-mate Paul Ritchie has had better luck, though. The ex-Hearts player has been recalled after missing the trip to Latvia in early September.

Weaver Out of Under-21 Squad

Nicky Weaver missed Manchester City’s defeat by Newcastle on Saturday. And now the young goalkeeper has withdrawn from the England under-21 squad for the match against Germany this week. Howard Wilkinson’s side take on the Germans at Derby’s Pride Park on Friday. But their regular last line of defence will be missing after sustaining a groin strain in the Blues’ Worthington Cup win at Gillingham last week. Wilkinson will now choose between Arsenal’s Stuart Taylor and Paul Robinson of Leeds, with Robinson expected to get the nod.

Morrison Bows Out With a Win

Andy Morrison has ended his loan spell at Blackpool and has returned to Manchester City. But at least the 30-year-old was finally part of a winning team before he left Bloomfield Road. Morrison was in the Blackpool side which put its miserable recent form behind it with a 4-1 win at Kidderminster on Friday, with former Blue Paul Simpson scoring two of the goals. The big defender will now be hoping to play himself back into Joe Royle’s senior side, although he faces considerable competition for a place in the centre of defence. Royle has signed Spencer Prior, Steve Howey and Paul Ritchie since the 30-year-old’s last first-team display in October 1999.

City Land Villa Tie

Manchester City face a difficult task if they are to progress in this season’s Worthington Cup. The Blues face a trip to Aston Villa in the third round of the competition. City have a good recent record at Villa Park, having won three times and drawn twice in their last seven visits. But the two sides’ meetings in the League Cup competition were unhappy affairs for the Blues. The sides have been paired together twice, and in both 1976-77 and 1983-84, the Midlanders notched 3-0 home victories. This season’s fixture will take place on Wednesday, 1 November.

Right-Back Search: Charvet Linked

Manchester City have reportedly been looking for a new right-back since Richard Edghill was consigned to the reserves earlier in the campaign. And after failing in their bid to sign one Newcastle star, Joe Royle is targeting another of the Geordies’ players. City were recently said to have made a bid for youngster Andy Griffin, but found St James’s Park boss Bobby Robson unwilling to do business. But several sources including the Manchester Evening News and the official club website claim the Blues are now considering an approach for Laurent Charvet. The Frenchman is out of contract at Newcastle in the summer, so Robson is said to be willing to cash in now at a considerably lower fee than his original £2 million valuation. However, any deal could be on hold owing to the north east club’s own injury crisis and Royle says there’s unlikely to be any movement this week.

Royle Still Looking for Players

Joe Royle has admitted he’s still looking to bring in new faces to boost his Manchester City squad. But the Blues’ boss denies that the desire to make fresh signings represents a change of policy. Royle is being strongly linked with a move for Newcastle’s Laurent Charvet, with Sunderland’s Chris Makin still being mentioned as a possible alternative. And assistant boss Willie Donachie and chief scout John Hurst are expected to monitor other potential signings over the next fortnight. But Royle says that he already knows where his team needs strengthening. “I know in my own mind what we need to improve the team,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “It is finding it that is the problem. It will not be a case of ‘Royle steps up search for players’ – which is a great headline – because we are always looking.”

Two-Week Break Before Vital Clash

Manchester City now have a two-week break before again sampling league action. And for Joe Royle, the gap represents a welcome chance to nurse some of his walking wounded back to match fitness ahead of a game which already has the air of a six-pointer. The Blues have dropped to 16th in the table after picking up only two points from four games since the superb win at Leeds at the beginning of September. And if that sequence is extended on October 14 at home to one of the four teams currently below City in the table, the pressure on the team will build. However, Royle sought to play down the significance of that match against Bradford. “People will say that is a pressure game but they all are at this level,” he told the Manchester Evening News.

Peter Brophy (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED, Saturday 30th September 2000

Where were you when you were s**t? We seem to sing the above quite a bit these days, it’s replaced the old favourite “what’s it like to see a crowd?” (which we can’t really do to Newcastle – plastic or not). Anyway, a sunny afternoon at Maine Road and a good game to boot, albeit a disappointing result. There was an air of nervousness in the first few minutes – perhaps due to City having an OAP in goal. Weaver’s groin was still playing up after Gillingham and Old Man Wright was back in the Premiership for City (gulp).

A bright start saw some early City pressure before Newcastle settled in and showed they are a classier act than City at present. Whilst they knocked it about neatly, we were all gusto and pumping the long ball. We had our chances – a Wanchope header straight at Given, one cleared off the line and a Wanchope header over the bar, but at the other end Tommy Wright rolled back the years with a Weaver-esque performance. Every save brought applause of relief rather than the adulation afforded to young Nicky – Tommy Wright is still Premiership class.

Half time arrived goal-less and we watched the best shot of the day in the ‘Kick for Cash’; ironically the £200 he won was probably about what Mr Weah earned during the half-time break too! Mark Kennedy was brought on for the second half and Super Kev was allowed to give his left foot a rest. Same old stuff after the restart – early pressure from City but gradually Newcastle get the upper hand. As JR said after the game, we looked tired and lacking in ideas. But JR himself had an idea, and that was to bring on Bish instead of Mr Weah, who looked like the 2 hours against Gillingham had happened that morning rather than 4 days previously. We huffed and puffed a bit more but then they brought on Lua Lua and, er excuse me, Lua Lua… who? Newly signed from football hotbed Colchester a week or so ago, his first touch brought another fine stop from Tommy Wright Wright Wright. Lua Lua went on to show he will be a star of the Premiership this season – great control and pace and he set up Shearer to nod in the easiest goal of his career. We nearly got one back when Kennedy went around Given but when he realised it was on his right foot he scuffed it and fell over. Wiekens had a drive blocked and then it was the end.

Final Score – 0-1

Wright 9/10
MotM Haaland 6/10 I know, let’s buy a right back so he can return to midfield.
Ritchie 7/10 Seems a bargain to me.
Prior 7/10 Shearer only got away once, unfortunately though…
Tiatto 6/10 Not his best game defensively.
Whitley 8/10 This season’s biggest surprise – the Ratter lives.
Horlock 5/10 A bit jaded.
Dickov 6/10 Usual effort – sadly, usual lack of finished product.
Wiekens 7/10 Quality without being exceptional.
Wanchope 6/10 Our biggest threat, just not his day.
Weah 5/10 Weah-ry.
Kennedy 7/10 Good in patches – should have scored.
Bishop 7/10 I think he may start against Bradford.
Crooks 6/10 Replaced the injured Alfie.

Matt Cadman (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED, Saturday 30th September 2000

Another defeat at Maine Road, meaning that we have only won 1 home game so far. Clearly not good enough, although there are some positives (admittedly some quite abstract!) to come from this game. The team and formation we used was unusual as we lined up in a 4-3-1-2 type formation. Tommy Wright replaced the stricken Weaver for only his second game in over a year. Haaland, Prior, Ritchie and Tiatto made up the backline. Midfield consisted of Whitley, Wiekens and Horlock with Dickov in a roving right side/ behind-the-front-two rôle. Wanchope joined Weah up front.

It was clear from the early exchanges that today our midfield was not as good as Newcastle’s. Speed, Lee, Dyer and Gallacher looked far more comfortable and assured than our trio (plus Dickov). Certainly they are more experienced at this level, but whether it was the formation we played, whether it was tiredness or players carrying injuries, we just could not hold onto the ball effectively. Consequently our back four were put under more pressure than they should have expected and our front players did not receive adequate service. Tommy Wright was the undoubted star of the game making 3 terrific saves in the first half from Shearer, Speed and Dyer which on another day would have surely hit the net.

Despite our clearly below par performance we did create some chances, mainly from set pieces. Gallacher cleared off the line from Wanchope and another Paulo header hit Given in the midriff. Again from a Wanchope header we were denied, but this time by Spencer Prior’s shoulder! Kennedy, a surprising omission from the starting line up, came on early in the second half, replacing an ineffective Horlock. For a while it seemed that his introduction had done the trick, stretching the game a little and creating more space for us to play. Unfortunately it was temporary and Newcastle regained, if not control at least the upper hand. Bishop replaced Weah in an effort to shore up the midfield but Bish could not get into the game. Of far more significance were Newcastle’s attacking substitutions of Lua Lua and Solano replacing Cordone and Dyer. The two combined to set up Shearer to score probably his easiest goal for several seasons, as he bulleted a header past Wright without a City defender in sight. The fact that he was offside (as proven by MotD cameras) was not really the point – Newcastle deserved to win this game. Haaland (who probably should have been in the vicinity of Shearer) was replaced immediately afterwards, clearly limping. Lee Crooks slotted in at right back.

Our best chance came and went minutes later, when Whitley slotted a classy ball through the Newcastle defence. Kennedy raced onto the ball, rounded Given and… fell over and scuffed his right footed shot. Newcastle defenders were covering and it was not certain that Kennedy would have scored even if he had got a shot on target. Nevertheless the type of chance you need to take in this type of game. JR called this game our most inept since the Charlton débâcle. He’s certainly right. It was a strange game in that no-one had a ‘nightmare’ of a game, but likewise no-one other than Wright and perhaps Ritchie played anywhere near their best. However, if nothing else Tommy Wright confirmed that he can still do the business. The saves were the icing on the cake, but his kicking, handling and domination of his area were good too. We played poorly, with players out of position and several carrying injuries, but we nearly got away with a draw. There is certainly no reason to panic, but we clearly need a specialised right back and bit more creativity in midfield. Wanchope and Weah in particular were way below par today, but were given little service. If anything this game cried out for a fit and hungry Goat as the chances which fell to Wanchope you just feel that Shaun might have been a little more predatory. Goat reckons he will be ready to be involved for the Bradford game. Here’s hoping.

8 points from 8 games is not good enough, but 2 wins could put us in the top 5, 2 defeats would certainly put us bottom. C’mon City, let’s get it on!

Phil Hartley (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED, Saturday 30th September 2000

As this is my first report you’ll have to bear with me. This was hopefully going to be a special day for as it was the first time I had been to Maine Road since the City – United derby way back in 1983 when a certain Irishman won it for the scum.

The only way I managed to get a ticket was thanks to a friend of mine who was a Newcastle season ticket holder, so this gave me a different way of looking at the game. To start with we left York at about 12:55, had a reasonable run over but had to ask a few people on the way how to get to the ground. We eventually parked the car off Platt Lane and jogged to the ground, reaching our seats just after the kick-off.

As the first action I saw was at the other end it looked like Tommy was going to have a good game, which on reflection was probably a good job as I think it could have been worse. There were a few more half chances for Newcastle but we did start to fight back and hold our own. To say we dominated would be wrong; we did restrict them, but at the same time the only really serious threats to their goal were from set pieces, with Paulo looking the most likely to score. So half time arrived and I thought we played well apart from Jeff Whitley having a few lapses of concentration, but he still managed not to give the ball away to Newcastle without tackling back.

We came out for the second half looking like we had had a talking to from Joe and started to play the ball more confidently; one thing that really did catch my eye was the amount of running both with the ball and off it by Paul Dickov, always harrassing the Newcastle defenders when they had the ball. We made a substitution after about 60 minutes, with George Weah being replaced by Mark Kennedy. When this happened there was a marked (no pun intended) improvement; even my friend noticed the left wing had suddenly become a very active area for crosses. Soon after Mark’s arrival, Paulo had a header that looked a lot closer from the far end than it did on the highlights I saw later.

Things started to turn on the introduction of Lua Lua and Solano by Bobby Robson. Lua Lua made an instant impact on our defence he was doing to our defence what we had been trying to do all afternoon. And I’m afraid Lua Lua was the difference with the goal. All the way through the game Tommy had been our last line of defence and been spectacular with it but on 74 minutes he and the other defenders, Prior, Wiekens and Whitley were all pulled towards him, leaving the back post wide open for Shearer to score, typically his first goal in open play this season. So from then on, of course, we were chasing the game and might have got a deserved equaliser when Mark Kennedy was clean through on goal, but significantly, on his right foot rounded Shay Given only to scuff his shot and trip over while the ball went harmlessly wide. In the end judging on the amount of play both sides had, a draw would have been the right result but if we carry on being drawn in towards the skilful players coming at us and leaving our back post exposed then we are going to get caught out every time.

My opinion is probably not as strong as some of the more staunch supporters out there but I have been a loyal fan all the way through from the late sixties and I still love the club but we must learn very quickly from our mistakes and put them right and make sure we don’t forget if we are going to survive in the Premiership. One last thing I noticed was the vocal support that Newcastle got; come on you regulars, put your singing heads on, the more noise we make the more intimidating we can make it for the teams that visit us. There that’s my two penneth thrown in; if I’ve upset anyone then just think it is only my opinion but you must agree our vocal support was a little subdued. Anyway I have been promised a ticket for the game at St. James’ Park in February so we shall see if we have improved. Thanks for listening.

CTID, Andy Wright – Beverley Blues branch, Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire (


I decided to write this report because I just watched some of Liverpool’s UEFA Cup match against Rapido Terriblo on TV tonight.

There I was, despairing of our chances this season, when I had an epiphany. Liverpool are shockingly average. Chelsea are rubbish. Spurs are boring and ineffectual. In fact, in short, every team is terrible. Maybe I exaggerate a little but it’s clear every team plays lots of terrible football. The ones that are more successful are those that play slightly less terribly sometimes. So, now we know, all we have to do is play well occasionally and, as that is in fact what we do, we’re gonna be alright.

So, heartened by this new perspective, I give you my report of Gillingham’s latest piece of bad luck.

In the first half of this match City played no worse than Chelsea. Gillingham showed some good control but looked a little lacking in ideas. Thompson scored a goal but only after Ritchie insisted on it. The kids (mine that is) screamed obscenities at our television set and at several unsolicited phone callers. We do seem to be getting used to playing poorly in the first half of matches. Maybe Mr Royle (sic) could be persuaded to give his half-time talk before the match begins.

In the first 10 minutes of the second half we were irresistible and scored two good goals. Kennedy skinned their left back and Weah can score as well as sweat and he did both twice here.

Naturally, having established the lead, had our ‘unterrible’ time and with the comfort of the away goals rule to fall back on in the event of conceding a goal, we fell back and conceded a goal. Thompson scored it from a mis-kick but Weaver and his defence were at fault.

Extra time came and Gillingham looked like they would score and exact some small revenge for being the fall guys in the greatest match ever. Of course they didn’t because this little guy always ends up the loser. It is their fate. I really have come to like these Gills-type people (I always fall for the underdog) and wish them the best for the season ahead.

But back to us; Dickov took his goal well and Kennedy scored with his right peg (I like saying peg because it reminds me of Alan Oakes and his one-footedness).

Overall, Dickov was excellent value, Weah classy, Kennedy bright, Whitley ok but Tiatto tatty.

I still think Dickov has got what it takes and, boy, he’s the fittest footballer I’ve ever watched. Tiatto, whom I like, is the most one-footed player we’ve had since the aforementioned Peg-leg. Last night, because he is obviously completely incapable of kicking the ball with his right foot, he once attempted to slice a pass with the outside of his left foot from a position that was a yard outside of his right. Is his right leg well? I mean, to use the vernacular, can it kick it?

Oh well. I apologise for my style of match report but not for my point distribution table which goes something like this:

Weaver 7
Crooks 4
All other defenders and midfielders except Whitley, 5
Whitley 5.1 (unfair perhaps but hey, this is my game)
Weah 7
Dickov 8
Kennedy 7

Finally, I offer a prize to anyone who can prove they saw Tatty kick the ball with his right foot (it must be a fair swing of the foot by him, not a stumbling-over or an unavoidable-collision-with type event). The prize is one of Alan Oakes’s old legs.

Simon Fink (


By Debra Brown

Friday morning: The Sports Bar, Platt Lane Complex

Scall and I arrived at the Platt Lane Complex early to discuss the day and night’s arrangements. People started to arrive from 11:30am onwards. Most people stuck around for a drink or seven, whereas some others were just popping in to pick up their party and/or match tickets.

The Dutch were the first to arrive en masse. Very well done to Ian Hawthorn (a.k.a. Mad Ferret) and Mags (Mrs Ferret) for the organisation of that trip.

Redding Blue arrived with Hoppy, Ariana2 and Stella’d up Blue (who shall be henceforth known as “Stella’d up Meatloaf” – explanation later). RB had brought yours truly a care package all the way from Connecticut comprising of a mixture of bagels and a pack of peach Bacardi Breezers. And then, within the hour, Chippy arrived with another bag of bagels for me. I’m so bageled-out at the moment, but happily so.

Mr and Mrs Sitemaster (Doug Bennett of Blue View fame) arrived and Mrs Sitemaster proceeded to create labels for everyone to wear, bearing their Blue View names. This included Baby Pupi, Georgia, who was in her element running round like a little loony, and young Master William Sheridan (aged 5) who had arrived with his mum, dad and titchy brother, Alex, from “Dixie”.

Bit by bit, a selection of TGers arrived from all over the globe; Australia, America, Canada, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Spain, Germany and Holland, to name just a few places.

The majority of TGers are also regular posters (or readers) on the Blue View message board and many of them were meeting in person for the first time. There were about 50 or 60 of us at one point and, as we all watch last season’s video (Over The Blue Moon), we cheered the victories and winced at the defeats together.

As the afternoon wore on, folk took leave to go home or back to their hotels to freshen up for that evening’s party. However, some people stuck around and stayed on the “pop” for the duration; MoK, Le Tank Bleu and JT (who had also been drinking all the way up to Manchester) to name but a few. More about their drinking exploits later!

Friday evening: The Oasis Suite, Platt Lane Complex

By the time City Bird (Alex, ex-MLI) and I arrived at The Sports Bar in the Platt Lane Complex at 7:00pm, it was already bursting at the seams with TGers eager to get a good seat in the Oasis Suite.

I went along to find Katrina and Kelvin, our “minders” and Platt Lane Complex staff to see where our “doorman” was, only to be told that he would be arriving late. So, Scall went on the door, accompanied by OSC Games Secretary and Levenshulme OSC Vice Chairperson, Kath Corser. They did a splendid job stamping hands and giving out ISC application forms and the limited edition TG2000 beer mats (well quite posh drinks coasters, actually) to everyone.

At 7:30pm, the first of our special guest speakers arrived in the shape of Dennis Tueart and Shaun Goater. We had a truly wonderful question and answer session with them both, with Shaun stealing the limelight. He is a really lovely man and had to be bullied into admitting who he would like to give a “sly dig” to if he were able to get away with it. I’m not gonna say who it was, but I’ll give you some clues: Irish, woman-beater, hateful, ugly, good footballer, overpaid and scored for Real Madrid last year! Tee hee! Dennis Tueart was very entertaining too, especially when confronted by a ghost from his past in the shape of Le Tank Bleu (Tom). Tom admitted to Dennis that he had been one of a group of teenagers who had knocked on his door several years ago “trick or treating”. Dennis was left almost speechless when he was reminded that he had told the group of kids to eff-off. Very funny.

Other guest speakers began arriving, Nick Leeson, Gary Owen, Chris Bird, John Wardle and Paul Lake. Moonchester also made his entrance. Shaun and Dennis wound up their Q&A and got themselves comfortable before signing hundreds of autographs and having their pictures taken. Shaun had to get off home as his wife is expecting a couple of kids (geddit?) any day now. Good luck to you both with the new babies, Shaun…

Once everyone settled down again, the next part of the Q&A started, with Steve Sayer wandering around the room with a remote microphone for TGers to put their questions to the panel of guests.

Paul Lake got a standing ovation when one TGer saw fit to pay a personal tribute to him. Paul told us how he had started a physio clinic in Northenden with a couple of friends, and how he was studying to become a Chartered Physio in the hope of, one day, returning to City as club physio.

Nick Leeson was as good-humoured as ever and mentioned the work he was doing for a colon cancer charity. He signed several cheques and IOUs on the night too!

Especially funny was when Chris Bird was asked about who had designed the new away strip… Chris asked TGer, Brian Tilley, who was wearing said strip to get up and model the same for everyone. Whilst Brian strutted up and down the dance floor, Chris Bird gave an explanation of the design of the kit (“Spirit of 99” – hence the navy blue and citrus strip on the front and sleeve edging) in the same way a commentator at a fashion show would do.

John Wardle passed on a message to us all from the Chairman and put Moose straight over his confusion between JD Sports and JJB Sports!

Gary Owen told his Vinnie Jones story again, by request incidentally, and had the place in uproar. He then very kindly presented a signed shirt to Mad Ferret on behalf of the ISC for all his work over in Holland and did the raffle prize draw for us.

The prize was a signed football, donated by the club, and the prize winner was a bloke who had bought the very last raffle tickets. Actually, we had to do two draws, as no-one came forward for the first tickets drawn. It was to later materialise that Cockney Blue (Stuart) had been in possession of the winning ticket, but was in a drunken snooze when the draw was made. DOH!

Once the Q&A was over, out came the buffet and all the guests very kindly stayed around for a while signing autographs, chatting and having their pictures taken. The buffet was really very good and everyone got stuck in.

By this time, one of the other organisers, Bob Young, had arrived. He was immediately swamped by friends and Blue Viewers alike and was quite hard to get hold of for most of the evening. When I did eventually get him sat down for a quick chat, I saw him in a way I had never seen him before, extremely drunk. He’s like a different person – that’s all I’m saying.

Then it was time for the kamikaze karaoke to begin… By this time, yours truly was well on the way to being ever so slightly inebriated (understatement alert!) and don’t remember very much about this part of the evening. What I do remember is City Bird, Deb D, Mags, Jersey Blue (Rob – JB) and Oxford Blue (Billy) doing an Abba compilation thing and Ariana2 (Jane) and hubby Stella’d up Meatloaf (Dave?) doing an impressive (not) rendition of Paradise By the Dashboard Light.

There were a few “Posh Spice is a Slapper” verses sang over the microphone too, lead magnificently by Blue Dynamo (Stef)!

The beer was flowing (the bar staff were great!) and everyone was just generally having a great time. Now it was time for a dance and more sing-along stuff. Special mentions from me go to Big Time Blue (Craig) and Le Tank Bleu for their dancing. At separate points in the night, they could be spotted dancing on their own (aw) and having a ball!

We were chucked out some time around 2:00am by the Platt Lane staff and the whole evening was an unwarranted success. Everyone was on their best (?) behaviour and it should be interesting to see some of the photographs that are going to surface from this particular evening’s festivities.

Random memories from Friday night:

  • Me grabbing Likely Lass by the boobs and her not stopping me!
  • City Bird and I have a picture taken being every so slightly rude with our tongues!
  • JB and Oxford Blue jumping on top of me and City Bird on the floor and pretending to do “it”!
  • Some gorgeous bloke from Norway called Frank – Tor, if you’re reading this, tell him… er, never mind!
  • Snogging a couple of Blue Viewers (who shall remain nameless), but only playful, drunken-type snogs, if you know what I mean.
  • Meeting Norvaner (who had laryngitis) and his brother and asking them if they were twins when, in actual fact, there was 10 years between them!
  • Ferret’s little face when he was presented with the signed shirt – he was well-choked – bless!

Saturday morning: Maine Road, Tour of the Ground

I was still in bed, so someone else is going to have to tell you about this. Apparently, there were about 50 people on this.

Saturday afternoon: The Parkside public house, Moss Side

Me, City Bird and Oxford Blue arrived at the pub about midday, but called in at “Chips ‘n Gravy” first for the best hangover cure of all time – a Holland’s meat and potatoe pie! By 1:00pm, the Parkside was teaming with Blue Viewers and TGers alike, all re-living the evening before and drinking.

Saturday afternoon: Maine Road, City vs. Newcastle

We lost and their goal was offside. That’s all I’m prepared to say at this point in time. I’m sure you will have all seen Match Of The Day or read a report in one of the Sunday rags.

Saturday night: The Albert public house, Rusholme

After leaving the game, most TGers made their way to the pub, although some did call in at the Parkside on the way. A couple of people got caught up in the fracas that occurred between some City and Newcastle idiots but none of our lot got hurt. The landlord of The Albert wondered what had hit him and, even though he had been warned that we had targeted his pub for our pre-curry drink, he still ran out of draft lager!

We were all in fine voice as City songs rang around the place. City Bird and I accosted poor Cockney Blue and forced him (yeah right) to have a slightly indecent photograph with us. I think that particular picture may be in the possession of Madmcc (Mark). Look out for it – it’s a cracker!

At this point I would like to make special mention of some of the London Blues, specifically, Le Tank Bleu, MoK and JT, and of JB who joined them. They had nominated Saturday as “Comedy Drink Day” and spent the whole day drinking anything that was not ordinarily deemed a “bloke’s drink”. They drank The Albert dry of port (port and lemon); they also partook in Campari & Soda, Matteus Ros