Newsletter #742

Well folks,

Many thanks to Steve for taking over the past couple of issues and ensuring continuity of service. I may just go away more often…

Thankfully my second team have seen some long awaited success: I’ve still not landed back down to earth after witnessing Saturday’s truly incredible game, hopefully this Saturday will not bring me back with a bump.

Tonight’s issue sees Michael’s news, with the 3-month signing of one Buzzer and some French chap (ooh la la), plenty of opinion on TV and other, a bagful of requests, a unique new service to McVittee, and a brand new book on our beloved Blues; read on.

Anyone off to WBA at the weekend please consider sending a report in for the masses.

Tschuss H.

Next game: West Bromwich Albion, away, Saturday 8 September 3pm


General News

French trialist, Alioune Toure gave KK something to think about as he put in a very polished performance in the friendly against Oldham on Tuesday night. Toure scored the winning goal in a 2-1 scoreline. Apart from a superb display from the Latics’ ‘keeper, Toure could easily have had a hat trick. BBC Sport has consequently reported that a fee of £500,000 has been agreed between City and Nantes for the striker with the dotting of the old i’s and t’s to be finalised. Keegan said: “We are very close to agreeing a deal. It is not a done deal yet. Fees have been agreed, as have personal terms, but we haven’t got confirmation and are just waiting for that.” Shaun Goater revealed that he has already given the Frenchman the nickname ‘Twister’ because he apparently turns defenders inside out. Toure was a member of the Nantes squad that was riding high at the top of the French league last season and also participated in the Champions’ (Runners-Up) Cup last season, so it appears he has some pedigree. He has also represented France at every level up to and including under 21. Against Oldham our first goal came from a Shaun Garnett own goal. Oldham equalised on 55 minutes before the Frenchman smashed a winner from the edge of the box after 58 minutes. City’s team was Nicky Weaver, Richard Edghill, Stuart Pearce, Gerard Wiekens, Darren Huckerby, Simon Colisimo, Danny Tiatto, Tony Grant, Alaine Toure, Danny Granville and erm… Nicky Summerbee! Subs were Charvet for Edghill, Goater for Huckerby and Cooke for ahem… Summerbee.

Another New Signing!

Erm, no mistake in your eyesight, as yes we’ve secured the services of former Kippax favourite (!) Nicky Summerbee. The enigmatic w(h)inger has signed a 3-month deal. Let’s all take the moral high ground and hope that Buzzer fulfils some of the promise he showed in the one or two decent games he had for us in his last incarnation as a Blue. Further speculation regarding the future of Paul Dickov, as it appears that Oldham Athletic have made a bid for the Scot. City turned down the undisclosed offer and it’s thought that Paul may wait until he is a free agent in the summer before making a move, though it’s widely known that he would rather sign a new contract with us as a preference.

Internationals on Duty

Paulo Wanchope was again on the winning side for Costa Rica in their match against the United States. Paulo didn’t score but his team came out 2-0 winners. The win secures Costa Rica’s World Cup spot, so we can look forward to seeing at least one Blue rampaging through the opposition ranks at next year’s finals. Kevin Horlock will not be rampaging through World Cup defences next year but did have a part to play in Northern Ireland’s 3-0 win over Iceland. Horlock who won special praise from boss Sammy McIlroy for his return to International Football won his 27th cap for his country. Rhys Day captained the Welsh under 21s against Norway, but they lost 2-0. Ex-Blues on duty included Kit ’50p head’ Symons in Wales’ 3-2 defeat in Norway; incidentally Wales were let down by the sending off of Rhodri Giggs’ uglier Brother whilst Michael Hughes scored in Northern Ireland’s win over Iceland.

City, City Top of the League

Well, the reserves actually. City’s second XI took on and beat Leeds United reserves 2-1 at Hull City’s ground to go top of the FA Premier Reserve League. Goals from Stephen Paisley and Chris Killen were sandwiched around a Leeds equaliser. A young City reserve side was as follows: Brian Murphy, Tyrone Mears, Stephen Jordan, Glenn Whelan, Stephen Paisley, Dickson Etuthu, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Terry Dunfield, Chris Killen, Leon Mike and Chris Shuker. Subs: Furnival, Browne, Barton, Hogan, Quigley.

Michael Leafield (


Forthcoming Home Fixtures

          SHEFF UTD*      BHAM         WALSALL
Date      16/10/01        15/09/01     26/09/01
K-O       7.45pm          12.30pm      7.45pm
Cat       B               C            A
Citycard holders by post and phone
          Now             Now          Now
Open Sale Now             Now          6th September

* This game has been re-arranged due to international fixtures.

Forthcoming Away Fixtures

            WBA             COV             SHEF WED        NOTTS CO(WC2)
Date        08/09/01        19/09/01        22/09/01        09/11/01
K-O         3pm             7.45pm          3pm             7.45pm
Rcvd        2961            2590            3645            5400
Form        C               D               E               AA
Tracking    6               4               4

The Notts Country tickets will be on sale by post and to personal callers to the ticket store. There will be no phone/fax sales for this game.

With thanks to MCFC Ticket Store


A while ago we had, at the Morecambe Bay branch, Barry Pollen and Peter Fletcher talking about the new stadium. Barry Pollen said that it was based on a stadium in South Africa (Jo’Burg I think). Does anyone know which stadium this would be and are there any photo’s of it anywhere?

Lance Thomson (


The marketing manager at City got back to me very promptly and said that City are in discussions with their media partner (Sky) about streaming highlights on the City website. They were unable to tell me anything definite but hoped to make an announcement in the near future.

Jim Sim (


You’ve been badly mis-informed about Richard Dunne’s recent performances for Ireland. In the recent home draw against Portugal, he was simply awful. A lot of Irish fans, as well as the Irish TV commentators, felt it was only a matter of time before he was substituted. The fact that he wasn’t was down to other Irish players carrying injuries into the game. As the game went on, the fans’ attitude to him went from annoyance to disgust to horror to actually feeling sorry to see one of our own young lads so badly out of his dept. In the away game against Estonia, Dunne’s game improved, as did the entire team’s. He even got a goal – a scramble following a corner – but the memory of the Portugal game was still fresh and every time he went near the ball, we sweated.

Overall, as a fan of both City and Ireland, I don’t think he’s yet good enough to be a first team choice. Maybe with time – he is still very young – and with a bit of that excess weight shed, he could turn into a good defender. He certainly has the pedigree: both his father and mother’s families are well known in Irish soccer circles, and several cousins on both sides have played in the League of Ireland.

[You know, us in the EEL have started focusing on his shorts not his performance, though that could be the female perspective – Ed]

Aidan O’Reilly (


I was there on that day when Bert sent the ref into orbit (City Diary for September 8th 1962) – Platt Lane end of the Kippax, just under the floodlight. We were awful, and Bert was as angry at the defence as he was at the ref. I don’t think the ball ever left our half, and even then the goal wouldn’t have been offside if we’d been fast enough to get back.

When the fifth went in, Bert ran into the net, picked the ball up and drop kicked it up to the centre spot. The ref can’t have been more than five yards in front, running back for the kick-off, and fortunately the ball got him right where he’d got the most padding – if it had hit three feet higher it would have taken his head with it. The ref – I swear this is true – left the ground with the force of it. Bert had ripped his sweater off and was already halfway to the dressing room before the ref landed. He certainly didn’t wait to be sent off – in fact I think he’d had enough and had decided to go home anyway.

Oh, such happy days.

Michael Cavanagh (


I was able to listen to the entire Burnley match via Yahoo.

It took a while to assemble all the bits (Netscape 4.7 and Real Player 8) but then was clear and hassle-free. Don’t wait until the next broadcast to do this.

Ian Bell (


I have no intention of getting into the habit of changing my TV provider each time a new bunch of billionaire con men comes up with an even more obscene amount of cash than their predecessors for those poor, unfortunate club chairmen to cream off. So, I just checked ITV Digital’s clever little map on their web site to find pubs in the Greater Manchester area (specifically Chadderton/Oldham) which are adequately equipped and guess what! Either there aren’t any or their clever little map doesn’t function as successfully for the Manchester area as it seems to for the rest of the country.

I know that the vastly over priced Sky is run by cowboys but at least they deliver. ITV Digital, you are the weakest link.

Phil Sutton – Chadderton (


If you want to badger ITV Digital re coverage on Sky, please ring 0207 8438215; I phoned them last week only to be told they are in negotiations with Sky but do not have any firm dates when the ITV Sport channel will be shown on Sky. Let’s keep on at them!

Sheelagh Hawes (


The Northern Ireland training session prior to their very good 1-1 draw with Denmark last Saturday lasted 20 minutes and consisted of a “free for all” competition in trying to hit the stadium roof (recently erected for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest)!

Kevin Horlock was of course the instigator of this revolutionary method as well as hitting the roof more than any of his team mates.

Nice one Kev! And thanks for the autograph (which now takes pride of place in Bloomsday Bar, Copenhagen)!

Phil Simpson (


Have to say I’m puzzled by the return of Nicky Summerbee to Maine Road.

Contrary to KK’s opinion I don’t see this acquisition (however temporary) as improving the squad. Terry Cooke is already waiting on the sidelines, who in my opinion is just as capable. Besides, Summerbee was always a lazy b*****d when playing on the right wing in a 4-4-2 formation; does anyone believe he can handle playing at wing-back in the current 3-5-2? That said, I do wish him better luck this time around.

Gary Maxwell (


Travelling fans to WBA, may be interested in the Met Office’s new web service, providing specific forecasts for upcoming games for all English and Scottish league/cup games throughout the season. The forecast for this weekend’s game is 13 degrees and raining. An hour-by-hour forecast will be available on match day.

The Met Office press release says: The Met Office has teamed up with the ITV web site to offer fans the first ever dedicated football weather service on the web. It means you can now check whether you’ll need your brolly, scarf, coat or even your sunglasses for any match to see your team playing this season.

The address is:, where you can select the forecast for any team.

One last request – please don’t blame me if the forecast is wrong! I’ve got nothing to do with forecasting here!

CTID, Chris Jones (


It’s my fourth book on City (after The Maine Road Encyclopedia, Blue Heaven and The Essential History of Manchester City) and covers the period 1965 to 1972, hence the title Manchester City – The Mercer/Allison Years. The book was written with the full co-operation and assistance of three key figures during those great days, namely Malcolm Allison, Tony Book and Neil Young, and their personal recollections feature predominately throughout the book. Even Joe’s wife Norah has kindly contributed a foreword.

I’ve been fortunate enough to arrange three events with the players, although as Malcolm is still too ill, his place has been taken by Mike Summerbee. With James H. Reeve hosting the two bookshop events, they promise to be highly entertaining evenings:

Thursday 13th September at Waterstone’s, St. Ann’s Square, Manchester from 7.30 p.m. – tickets £1 – a question and answer session with Tony Book and Mike Summerbee followed by a signing – event hosted by James H. Reeve.

Thursday 20th September at Waterstone’s, Mersey Way, Stockport, from 6.30 p.m. – tickets £1 – a question and answer session with Tony Book, Neil Young and Mike Summerbee followed by a signing – event hosted again by James H. Reeve.

Saturday 29th September at MCFC Superstore, Maine Road 1.00 to 2.00 p.m. – prior to the home game with Wimbledon – a signing session with Neil Young and Mike Summerbee.

Obviously all ‘players’ are ‘subject to availability’ but at the time of writing everything appears to be OK.

Ian Penney (


Dorset and District Branch of the MCCSA will be holding its next meeting on Thursday 6 September at 8 pm at the Shaston Social Club, Shaftesbury.

More information and directions, if needed, can be got from Jeanette on 01747 854526.

CTID, Pete (


The next meeting of the Reddish branch will be on Wednesday 12th September at The Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport starting at 8.00pm. As usual all Blues are welcome and membership is available on the night.

For further details on all home and away travel and/or joining the branch, please contact branch secretary Howard Burr on 0161 292 2525 or via e-mail at the address below.

Howard Burr (


Further to the great TV debate, can anybody inform me as to whether or not those of us outside the North-West, who have subscribed to ITV Digital, will be able to see the games which have been earmarked for local terrestrial coverage? For example, I am told that the Preston and Bradford games are due to be shown, for free, on Granada(?). I am unclear as to whether the local coverage is in addition to or instead of the digital coverage.

Scott Turton (


Any Blues in Huddersfield?

I will be starting uni in Huddersfield and so will be unable to make the night games at Maine Road. So, I am hoping I can blag a lift off a fellow Blue. I will pay my share of the costs, and you would be doing me a big favour.

Here’s hoping.

CTID, Martin Rudge (


Would it be possible for any subscribers to supply me with any info/pics relating to Eyal Berkovic as I am constructing a web page.

Thanks, Jaine Dutton (


One day, an Englishman walked into a curio shop in his native city of London. Looking around, he notices a life-sized bronze sculpture of a cat in a dark corner. The sculpture is so intriguing, he decides he must buy it and asks the shopkeeper the price.

“Twelve pounds for the cat, sir,” the shopkeeper tells him, “and 100 pounds for the story that goes with it.” “I’ll take the cat,” says the man, “but you can keep the story.”

The transaction completed, the tourist leaves the store with the bronze cat under his arm. As he crosses the street in front of the store, two live cats emerge from an alley and fall into step behind him. Nervously looking over his shoulder, he begins to walk faster, but every time he passes another alley, more cats come out and follow him.

By the time he’s walked two blocks, at least a hundred cats are at his heels, and people begin to point and shout. He walks even faster, and soon breaks into a trot as multitudes of cats swarm from alleys, basements, vacant lots, and abandoned cars. Thousands of cats are now at his heels, and as he sees the waterfront at the bottom of the hill, he panics and starts to run full tilt.

No matter how fast he runs, the cats keep up, hissing insanely, now not just thousands, but millions, so that by the time he comes rushing up to the water’s edge a trail of cats several blocks long is behind him. Making a mighty leap, he jumps onto a light post, grasping it with one arm while he hurls the bronze cat into the River Thames.

Clinging to the light post, he watches in amazement as the seething tide of cats surges over the banks into the river, where they drown. Amazed and almost dumbstruck, he makes his way back to the curio shop.

“Ah, so you’ve come back for the story,” says the shopkeeper.

“No,” says the tourist, “I was wondering if you had a bronze Man United Fan”

Jon Reese (


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Newsletter #742