Newsletter #744

Tuesday’s events in the USA serve to put everything into perspective, with football just a game.

Tonight’s issue contains the usual helping of news, with KK linked to Hamburg already; a sprinkling of opinion; a pinch of requests; a dash of humour and a why blue. That’s enough of Ready Steady City.

Also included are Carol’s Comprehensive City Mag review (always read a review before purchasing the goods), thanks to Sharon for her WBA match report; any reports after the weekend shenanigans will be gratefully received.

Take care everyone out there.

Next game: Birmingham City (home), Saturday 15th September, 12.30pm


General News

KK To Hamburg! Rumours emanating out of Germany are linking Keegan with a potential approach from his former club Hamburger SV. Current coach Frank Pagelsdorf is under pressure and it’s thought that only a couple of wins over the next few days will keep his position tenable. Along with Keegan the other candidates are thought to be Hertha BSC Berlin’s Jürgen Röber and Freiburg’s Volker Finke. Hamburg’s youth coach Stefan Böger has also been linked with the post.

No Spending Spree: Disappointing news as KK says he will not go overboard with the club finances. Unfortunate really as we all remember the plethora of talent that such financial binges provide. Who can forget the excellence of Daley, Reeves and MacKenzie or the wonder of watching Badbuy, Brannan and Clough… misty eyed memories…

Anyway, enough rambling I’ve got a tear in my eye. Keegan has announced that he will back the current squad after their unconvincing display against Notts County on Tuesday. Keegan said afterwards “It was one of those nights where there were things to admire and then suddenly something happened and I thought, I don’t like that.” He added “I said when I came here that I am going to look at these players long and hard and see what they are about. I am going to stick by them as long as they deserve that, and they still deserve it. It will take me four or five months to learn exactly what I have got here and if I need something that is when I will be looking to spend some money, but at the moment I am happy with what we have got. I know we can improve and that we are better than we played against Notts County.”

Notts County 2 City 4: City’s high scoring early stage Worthington Cup exploits continued with the unconvincing victory against the Second Division outfit. County fielded two ex-Blues in the fast and furious though couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo whilst he was at City Danny Allsop and formerly highly rated centre half Nick Fenton. The Blues took the lead through débutant Chris Shuker then fell 2-1 behind before a late equaliser from The Goat. City finished the Magpies off in extra time with goals from Paul Dickov and Darren “plays well against below average tiring defences’ Huckerby.

City Wanted Cancellation: KK and Chairman David Bernstein rightly and gracefully requested a cancellation of the tie on Tuesday night in the aftermath of the devastating events in New York. Notts County agreed to this but for some reason the authorities declined the request. After The Football League refused to grant a postponement, chairman Bernstein declined to travel to the game as a mark of respect. Bernstein was not impressed, accusing the Football League of “inappropriate” behaviour in their failure to react to the terrorist acts witnessed in America yesterday. He told the Manchester Evening News: “I love my football but I just thought it totally inappropriate. There is a time and a place for everything. Americans suffered the worst outrage since the end of the Second World War and I felt I just didn’t want to go to a football match.”

Berko Out for Six Weeks: After his ill-fated comeback in the Worthington Cup, Eyal will face up to 6 weeks on the sidelines after a reccurrence of his hamstring injury. Keegan said “It is the same injury as the one he picked up at Norwich; it has gone again. He has come back from that initial injury pretty quickly. He trained for ten days and not felt it. The idea was to give him an hour against Notts County.” Also in doubt for Birmingham’s visit to The Academy on Saturday is Shaun Goater. The Goat suffered a foot injury and he limped off against Notts County on Tuesday. His likely replacement could be Paul Dickov, who bagged his first goal of the season in the same game.

Walsall Game Rearranged: David Bernstein has announced that the reason for the rearranging of the Walsall game is purely on religious grounds, due to it falling on the Jewish Day of Atonement, ‘Yom Kippur’. Bernstein said “The Nationwide League Division One match against Walsall, originally scheduled for 26th September 2001, has now been brought forward by one day to the 25th September. The reason for this is that the original fixture fell on a religious holy day. The change of date has been agreed with both the Football League and Walsall FC.”

Ins, Outs, Rumours

City, Sunderland and Southampton are all in competition for Algerian midfielder Ali Benarbia. The 32 year old is currently at Paris St. Germain. The midfielder has trialled at Sunderland last week and Peter Reid said that Benarbia had impressed but it’s thought that his demands for a 3 year deal have put Peter Reid off.

Jason Koumas is still being heavily linked with a City swoop, with Keegan prepared to use the fantastic, ball winning, mercurial and classy (are you reading this Tranmere?) Tony Grant as bait. If not then personally it may be an idea to use Grant as bait anyway, might attract some wild predators we can use in the restaurant?

Ex-Blues’ News

Former City boss Joe Royle is one of several names being linked with replacing Gordon Strachan as manager of Coventry. Also linked are former Blues West Brom boss Gary Megson and Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough.

Mark Kennedy was involved in an alleged incident with ManUre chief Einstein David Beckham. The alleged bust-up, which resulted in Kennedy being charged by police last weekend, could also see the former City man hit by a massive fine by his current club Wolves. Kennedy is alleged to have got into an argument with Beckham over remarks he made about numpty’s wife, who apparently has some friemds who are singers. The incident allegedly continued back at the luxury apartment block where both players have homes and Kennedy was later charged with dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen to police. He will now appear before Macclesfield Magistrates on September 19 to answer the charges.

Michael Leafield (

MATCH REPORT: West Brom 4 – City 0

What a complete and utter shambles. I can’t work out what’s going on here – how can we win so easily one week then play like a bunch of schoolboys the week after? The day didn’t start so well, thanks to the West Midlands police decision to ban any away fans from the pubs near the ground, followed by the complete lack of ability of the West Brom catering people to serve beer at anything resembling a decent rate. It can’t be that difficult to think ahead, surely? There are five thousand thirsty people turning up to watch a game who haven’t been able to get a drink. Why not get some drinks ready poured for when they arrive at the ground so they don’t have to wait as long? Haven’t they realised they will sell more that way?!

I suppose I’d better get on to the football, although I don’t really want to. Huckerby replaced Wanchope for this one, so full line up was Weaver, Edghill, Howey, Dunne, Pearce, Granville, Grant, Tiatto, Horlock, Huckerby and the Goat. We had the whole of the stand behind one goal – unfortunately from where we were sitting the view was fantastic. The game started really scrappily and we hadn’t settled at all when we were suddenly behind. A throw in from the left hand side of goal wasn’t cleared by our oh so steady defence and fell to a West Brom player just outside the penalty area. That’s a completely unmarked West Brom player by the way. He hit the ball first time (note that strikers?) into the net – Weaver had no chance of stopping that. Would we be stunned into action and storm through the game to win 4-1? Would we heck. We did have our best (only decent?) chance of the half not long after that, but sadly for us all it fell to Granville. Tiatto played the ball through to him from midfield for Granville to run on to, but the final shot was easily saved by the ‘keeper. Just after that Huckerby demonstrated again why he has such an impressive scoring record for us when he shot wide. If we’re going to play someone who runs around a lot and makes a nuisance of themselves then personally I’d rather have Dickov; at least he can shoot straight.

We probably had the majority of the possession in the first half, or at least it certainly seemed that way. However, when was the last time we saw anyone score a goal from our own half? Our tactics seemed to consist of one of two options. Firstly, the “boot up front” option. This would take the following form. West Brom attack but Weaver, after a bit of panic in defence, collects the ball. Edghill and Granville (who incidentally are the only two in the team that I’d say at least tried on Saturday) go chasing up towards the centre line into literally acres of space, screaming for the ball to be thrown to them for a quick counter attack. Weaver kicks the ball straight up the middle towards Huckerby and Goater’s heads. Huckerby and Goater aren’t where the ball goes to. The ball falls to a West Brom player. West Brom attack. Secondly there was the “five minutes of possession and do naff all with it” option. This starts the same as the first option and usually follows on from it. West Brom attack. Weaver, after a bit of panic in defence, collects the ball. Edghill and Granville go chasing up towards the centre line into literally acres of space, screaming for the ball to be thrown to them for a quick counter attack. Weaver throws the ball to Howey, who passes it sideways to Dunne. Who passes it sideways to Pearce. Who passes it sideways to Dunne. Who nearly falls over then passes it backwards to Weaver. Weaver looks for Edghill and Granville to pass the ball to for a quick counter attack, but they’ve got fed up and are coming backwards, followed by the West Brom midfield and attack. So for the next thirty seconds we pass it around our defence until Horlock gets fed up and comes back to collect it. Play moves upfield a whole 20 yards, and we now watch Horlock and Grant pass the ball to each other – sideways – until Tiatto comes over to join in. By this time the West Brom defence have had all the time they need to get back into position and make sure there’s no chance of anyone from our side being able to take them by surprise or play the game at the sort of tempo that suits the better footballing side (that’s us in case you were wondering), so as soon as Tiatto passes the ball forwards they are there to collect it and West Brom attack. Aaargh!

Half time – surely they’re in for a bo**ocking in the changing rooms at half time? Surely Grant, who was as ineffectual as I’ve ever seen him during the first half, will be substituted – you could have replaced him with a corner flag and it would have been more involved in the game. Ha, no – we’ve been doing so well in the first half we’ll keep the same team. Why oh why oh why? Finally, twenty minutes in to the second half, Kev makes some changes. Wiekens and Dickov come on for Dunne and Grant. We go to four at the back, Tiatto plays on the wide left where he likes to be instead of the middle of midfield where he looks unhappy, Dickov and Goater both score two and we get the expected 4-1 scoreline. Er, no, actually, it’s Granville and Horlock who are replaced. Seconds later a West Brom forward falls over in the penalty area and they get a penalty. 0-2. No less than we deserve.

Can we score two in the last half hour and salvage an undeserved point from the game? Thirty minutes is plenty of time to score two goals, isn’t it? Well obviously, as West Brom went on to do just that. The next came after a foul on Bob Taylor (that’s Bob, not Blob) outside the edge of the area. The wall line up, the West Brom player steps forwards, the ball is kicked, and Weaver watches it as it hits the top corner. Was there any reason why he didn’t even try to save it? Would it have made any difference? Will we ever know? Are we now past caring? 0-3, how embarrassing. Four minutes later it gets even worse. Dobie, who’d looked more dangerous in the half hour he’d been on the pitch than our two strikers had between them all game, held off our defence (i.e. ran past them) and shot past Weaver to score. 0-4. Deserved? Most certainly. Not because they were that good either, more because this was an even more inept performance from City than the one against Norwich. We can’t rely on every team giving us the sort of space that Crewe and Watford did – we’ve come up now against two teams which (with all due respect) are several rungs below us on the footballing talent ladder (with the exception of Tony Grant who’s right down there at the bottom) but they’ve known exactly how to play against us. And so we’ve lost to both. The others will soon realise – if they harry us, don’t let us settle, clatter us in midfield and run like hell at our frankly rubbish defence then we haven’t a clue what to do. We’ve got to sort this out, and quickly.

Sharon Hargreaves


Front cover: Nick Weaver, Carlo Nash and Peter “The Cat” Bonetti

Safe as Houses: “There’s only one pint of Guinness” sang the fans at Norwich when Nick had to replace the unfortunate Carlo after the latter had been clattered and suffered damaged ribs (fortunately bruised, not broken as first feared). Many fans were relieved last season when Carlo was purchased from Stockport to cover Nick and when he broke into the first team after Nick’s confidence was eroding fast after making some rather telling and, on occasions costly, errors. My Stockport/Liverpool supporting neighbour was devastated Carlo had been sold to us but said we’d got a good buy – he was right too! It was just a shame that Carlo’s début was in the 4-0 mauling/drubbing/thrashing… choose your own word… by Arsenal at home! Poor bloke didn’t stand an earthly that night! Both goalies say that they get on very well, they room together (wonder who makes the tea?!), and know that only one of them can play on the Saturday and it will be who is playing the best at the time but the one who does make the team knows he’s got his mate’s full support. Makes a change from the situation at Chelsea where de Goey and Bosnich had a bit of a bust up! Carlo started the season as Nick was still suffering from a strain but Nick took over when Carlo got injured and has stayed put ever since whilst Carlo recovers – apart from the ribs he reveals he’s been playing with a broken hand! Whether KK decides to put Carlo back or leaves Nick in the side remains to be seen. But we’ve got two good young goalies on our books – long may we keep ’em both.

The Cat that Got all the Cream: Those of us somewhat more mature fans… ok wrinklies, remember Peter playing for Chelsea and England – Peter is approaching 60 (nah never!) and was at Fulham before KK called. He’s worked with Nick before with the England U21 squad so knows him very well although Carlo of course he’d not met before although rated him highly from his days at County. Peter wants to work on their agility as well as other key factors of goalkeeping even to the extent they can play more like sweepers. Young Brian Murphy hasn’t been forgotten either! Peter thinks he too will do well when the time comes.

Top Ten Goalkeepers: David Clayton picks his top ten goalies in this order: Bert Trautmann, Frank Swift, Joe Corrigan, Harry Dowd, Tony Coton, Nicky Weaver, Alex Williams, Ken Mulhearn, Andy Dibble, Keith McRae. Each of you will probably want to throw a couple out or change the order round somewhat! I wouldn’t have put Dibs in there myself but there you go.

Mr Blue Sky: How many of us would want to swap the warmth, clear blue skies and gorgeous sandy beaches for rainy Manchester or Grimsby on a wet Wednesday night?! Nah, thought not! Shaun could turn his hand to most sports but football and cricket were the main sports. The weather and pace of the game initially made him want to give up but, fortunately for Bristol City, Rotherham and ourselves, he decided to stick it out. Shaun can wander round back home without getting mobbed – he was delighted with the “Shaun Goater Day” held on 21 June last year (it would be someone different this year). He’s delighted that the fans have finally accepted him and he prefers “Feed the Goat” to “Who let the Goat out” as the City fans originated it. The proud father of twin baby girls, on being asked will he retire to Bermuda, he replies he doesn’t look that far ahead but he probably will!

MCFC Diary: Can I say I was dismayed that the Mag got the late Bobby Johnstone’s name wrong under August 22; when announcing his death they wrote “… City legend Tommy Johnstone, …” Come on folks, let’s get it right. An apology should be printed in next month’s issue (bearing in mind the tribute later in the magazine). RIP Bobby.

Academy Award Winners: Congratulations to the Under-15 squad who returned from Switzerland with the Jugend Cup, winning all their group games and remaining unbeaten through to the Final, where they triumphed over Dortmund 3-1. Very well done boys!

My Left Foot: Mr “Aggressive Walker” himself, Super Kevin Horlock! Kevin, to me, has been a great buy for City although he does have his off days like the rest of the team!! His Premiership season ended unfortunately with a damaged ankle vs. Charlton at the end of 2000 but the ankle is now fine after spending a quiet summer and welcoming the birth of his third child. He’s enjoying the new challenge of KK’s arrival and that of Juan Carlos Osorio plus the added spice of competition from Eyal Berkovic. KK’s enthusiasm has caught on and SuperKev hopes we can get back to the Premiership fairly soon (not on the evidence of West Brom we won’t!). Kev also is mystified how he got the tag of practical joker and his infamous karaoke machine has also bitten the dust – stick to the day job Kev!

Zero2Hero – Trevor Morley: Ooh Trevor Morley – my goodness how often did I sing that during the late 80s – especially after that goal at Bradford which took us back up! Also infamous for an alleged off the pitch incident – enough said! Trevor first made an impact in March 1989 when Paul Lake had that clash of heads and swallowed his tongue (later to fully recover); Trev came on to score a hat-trick. Of course as already mentioned his “claim to fame” is the equaliser with four minutes to go at Bradford which took us up! Boy did I get ratted that night! Unfortunately after scoring in the 5-1(!) Trev’s career with us went into decline as Mel Machin was sacked after we got thrashed 6-0 at Derby (nearly lost my first ever City badge on the way to the ground – it now resides somewhere safe… so safe I can’t remember where it is!) and Howard Kendall took over. Trev’s last appearance was vs. Norwich on Boxing Day 1989 – two days later he and Bish were on their way to West Ham with Mark Ward coming the other way. He then went on to Reading and is now a Scandinavian scout for Arsenal.

BlueBird: David Clayton has a Q&A session with Chris Bird.

Centrefold: This month it’s Eyal Berkovic.

The Juan and Only: Juan admits to eating up to eight meals a day but they are all healthy and he’s not got an ounce of body fat on him! That would rule out virtually all of us and definitely me before any of my fellow London Branch members say anything! He drinks nothing stronger than coffee – Colombian of course! Fortunately the players won’t have to follow Juan’s own eating plan but they will, to a certain extent be allowed to eat what they fancy. He hopes to win them over gradually by them seeing the long term benefits. This is the man who persuaded Lothar Matthaus to stop running to boost his fitness as it was having the opposite effect. Juan is an ex-player, has loads of top coaching awards as well as educational qualifications from universities both sides of the “pond” so he does know what he’s talking about! Juan studied a degree course at John Moores University and watched both Liverpool & Everton train and what he’s learned from that he is putting to good use at City. Science is applied with a couple of the players linked to heart monitors during each session and he can apply science to help with training, conditioning etc. as well as working closely with physio Rob Harris and the medical team. He enjoys working at City, especially with KK, realising the magnitude of his footballing accomplishments and the huge support that we fans give the players. I think us fans are safe for the moment!

Stand Up if you love City – interview with Bernard Manning: An interesting interview with Bernard, focussing on his love for the Blues since his birth back in 1930 (he doesn’t look his age!) and his charity work.

Fanzine Focus – King of the Kippax: What can you say about King of the Kippax?! I’ve bought the fanzine since it began in 1988 although I must admit that I don’t tend to keep the back issues ’cause I haven’t got the room! It’s the only fanzine I tend to buy these days (sorry to the other editors). Keep up the good work Dave and Sue!

Classic Match – UEFA Cup 3rd Round, 23.11.78 – AC Milan 2, MCFC 2: Ah those were the days! I must admit I had only just started travelling to watch City in 1976 and trying to get to midweek games in those days was an impossibility and Europeans? Forget it! Different now that I live in Bramhall! Read and enjoy! The pics will bring back some memories too!

Bobby Johnstone: Dominic King pays tribute to Bobby Johnstone. As usual with tributes in the magazine, the author says it all.

Inside Back Page: The new goalies’ kit is now available – looks better on Nick & Carlo than it would on me but at least you can see ’em which is more than can be said for last season!

Carol Darvill (


Our season has been win 1 or 2, lose 1, followed by comments of how poor some of our “seasoned” players were on the day.

What I cannot understand is why KK did not play some of the players who performed so admirably in pre-season; notably Dickson Etuhu, who was reportedly excellent in the holding mid-field rôle. City have at least 3 or 4 players who are not good enough and still seem to warrant a place in the squad. Dunne seems to be a liability, Wiekens not the player he was 2 years ago, Howey also seems to be playing poorly, Weaver commands no respect any more. Yet Howey and Wiekens have been magnificent at other times.

Before KK buys any new players he should start trimming some of the under-performers if anyone will have them. If KK does bring in some new players – he should consider Jason Koumas and Craig Hignett, both creative midfielders and good replacements for Eyal Berkovic plus 1 more should they get injured or suspended.

My starting team would be (if fit): Nash, Pearce, Howey, Colisimo, Edghill, Tiatto, Berkovic, Etuhu, Horlock, Goater, Wanchope.
Subs: Huckerby, Toure, Granville, Wiekens.

Glyn Albuquerque (


A quick thanks to all the MCIVTA correspondents who posted positively and negatively on my “Three More Years for Royle Please!” posting of a while back. The fact that there is still a general disagreement about Royle tends to prove that my thesis is right: we needed another three years to totally convince ourselves one way or another. But we’ll never know now…

So on to Keegan. I was hoping that KK would prove me right by storming us out of this division in style. But in true City fashion, the more things change, the more they stay the same. And we now find ourselves yet again with a bloated, mediocre squad, new players being added to the pile, no clue to our best team, and lagging behind in a pushover league. I expected better, I really did, and I still do.

The problem is so obvious it’s not true. And it is something that I posted on under Royle: the dreaded wing-back system. This system absolutely will not work, because it cannot work.

Why do City managers persist with it? Clark the ‘duffer’ started it. Royle the ‘gaffer’ (full respect and credit to Mike Barnett!) tried it in all three divisions and failed in all of them. And now KK is obsessed with it.

To recap: in this system you end up with three centre halves when you only need two; this usually results in gaps opening up through the middle of your defence, as each centre half thinks the other two are marking the two opposition forwards. You have no wingers, and therefore create no proper chances because the full backs are pretending that they know what they are doing going forward when in fact they don’t; your strikers then look ineffective as they have no service. And the striker who should in fact be going out wide, looks useless waiting for the ball down the middle.

Next you have no full backs, because remember they are now pretending to be wingers (who you’ve just dropped from the squad); this now leaves you exposed to attacks on either flank (as well as through the middle because you’ve still got too many centre halves). You also have no idea of your best team (and this is out of a massive squad) because everyone that you do pick, is either playing in system that they don’t understand, or in system that actually undermines their natural rôle. Confused? You should be. Will it ever end?

To sum up for Keegan, we can judge him by the speed with which he drops the wing back formation and sorts the squad out. It took Royle until the famous York away game to give up on this system. Remember? If you don’t, then flick back through MCIVTA and I’m sure you’ll see the reports of a City team pinging the ball perpetually from wing to wing, across the back, all to no effect whatsoever. From then on it was Cooke, Brown and Taylor and off we went. Now read the latest West Brom reports and tell me what has changed. Hopefully, once the wing back system is gone, expect Wiekens and Grant to go too (only to reappear like ghosts under the next manager). If this happens in the next two months then Kev’s your man. I expected it to have happened already.

Despite all of this: I am backing our SuperKev, but really I’d “just luv it” if he dropped the wing back system. What do you reckon?

Neil Haigh (


It was a very nice gesture by our operating officer Chris Bird to try to call off the game at Notts County due to the tragic events here in the USA. Our Chairman David Bernstein went as far as to not attend the game as his personal protest; our manager claimed “this is not a day for football”.

As a City fan living here in Virginia USA, I am proud of our club for what they said and stood for. Let the Football Association bow their heads today! All sports amongst other things were cancelled here right away (well we do know that it happened here, but it was a blow against what we all believe in).

At the end of the day our team, City, got through to the next round by the skin of our teeth, but when it’s a cup tie just to win will do. Let’s hope it won’t take anything from our important game on Saturday.

Come on you Blues! Ernie Barrow (


I hope there’s a good excuse for shifting the Walsall game – changing it 2 weeks before is ridiculous. What with the TV and internationals cancelled at 10 days notice even though it’s obvious from the start of the season that they’re going to be cancelled, changes like this are beyond the pale.

Steve Parish (


Below is a copy of a message I sent to the club; perhaps other similarly affected Blues throughout the season should do the same:

Dear Sir/Mm,

I wish to convey my huge disappointment along with other members of the County Wicklow supporters branch, with the very late decision to switch the game vs. Walsall. Eight of us had planned this trip months ago, arranging time off work, booking and paying for flights, to discover that the game has been switched for no apparent reason. We, as Man City fans not living in the UK, go to a lot of trouble to follow our team, but I have to say regrettably that this very late fixture change has shown a complete lack of respect for the best football supporters in the world. I would be obliged if the receiver of this message would pass it on to Mr David Bernstein and or Mr Chris Bird.


Paul Fegan (


Old Keegan may think the play offs are the best route but projections still have Manchester City and Birmingham taking the automatic promotion positions.

Projected final positions based on results through Sunday September 9th. The number in parentheses is their current league position.

 1 Manchester City (8)
 2 Birmingham (3)
 3 Bradford (6)
 4 Burnley (1)
 5 Wolverhampton (5)
 6 Grimsby (2)
 7 Norwich (4)
 8 West Brom (11)
 9 Gillingham (10)
10 Coventry (18)
11 Preston (22)
12 Watford (9)
13 Nottingham Forest (15)
14 Sheffield Wednesday (21)
15 Wimbledon (20)
16 Crewe (14)
17 Barnsley (17)
18 Sheffield Utd (16)
19 Portsmouth (7)
20 Walsall (19)
21 Crystal Palace (12)
22 Millwall (13)
23 Stockport (24)
24 Rotherham (23)

Wallace Poulter (


I am writing to see if you can help us please.

We are from Melbourne Victoria Australia who are keen on watching videos of UK Soccer [loosely translated as football – Ed].

We were wondering if it was possible if you had any videos you could send us please so that we can have some socials and watch them.

If you are able to help us would you please send them to:

PO Box 2092
Werribee 3030

It certainly would be a great help to our being able to watch the games when we can’t watch it on TV because they don’t televise it here in Australia any more.

Any help you can give us would be very much appreciated please.

Judi-Ann (


Posh takes her car into a garage to have some dents removed. The mechanic, knowing she isn’t the brightest Spice Girl in the world, decides to play a joke on her. “You don’t need me to take those dents out,” he says. “Just blow up the exhaust pipe and the metal will pop back into place.” So she takes the car home and tries it. David spots her from the house, opens a window and shouts: “You daft girl! You have to wind the windows up first!”

David Beckham is celebrating: “57 days, 57 days!” he shouts happily. Posh asks him why he is celebrating. He answers: “Well, I’ve done this jigsaw in only 57 days.” “Is that good?” asks Posh. “You bet,” says David. “It says 3 to 5 years on the box.”

David Beckham had a near-death experience the other day when he went riding. Everything was going fine until the horse started bucking up and down out of control. He tried with all his might to hang on but it was no good. With his foot caught in the stirrup, he fell head-first to the ground. His head continued to bump on the ground as the horse refused to stop or even slow down. Fortunately, however, there was a happy ending. Just as he was giving up hope and losing consciousness, the Woolworths’ manager came along and unplugged it.

Chris Hand (


I’ve had this filed on my PC for over year, so it’s about time I updated it and showed it to the world.

I’m a Blue. My dad was a Blue. My brother is Blue. My grandad was a Blue and most of my uncles are Blues (either that or don’t follow football). Red just isn’t, never was, never will be, an option.

I was lucky to be born to a dad who breathed football. Whether it be supporting the boys on a Saturday, playing in the local team as a stand-in ‘keeper (even though he was disabled with polio from an early age) or being secretary/treasurer for the club and eventually the league. My first recollection of football was dad telling me about the two teams from Manchester: ‘City and City reserves’.

One of the earliest memories of my affiliation started with me watching City beat Leicester on my gran’s old TV, with my non-footballing cousins from my mother’s side.

I awoke the next morning to find the Cup Final programme, a City rosette and one of those old wooden clackers next to my bed. If truth were known I didn’t realise my dad had gone to the match but I was still only seven.

My first match was a reserve match against the old enemy; I can only assume it was at Maine Road. I can’t remember anything about the match other than my dad pointing out to me the guy sitting a few rows in front of us. A certain ex-City player, who did very well as the manager of another (local) team and ended up having a road in Trafford named after him.

My first official game came when a family friend took me to the opening match of the 1972 season, versus Leeds, a 0-1 defeat when Wyn Davies made his début (feel free to correct the date, but I’m sure that was the score).

I was in regular attendance from the mid 70’s through to the early 80’s; those were mostly good times, winning the league cup, going to Wembley with dad, competing with and beating Europe’s best, coming so close to the title in 1977-78. During the 80’s and 90’s, although I was there in spirit and managed at worst to attend at least two or three game a season, I was playing rather than attending. The low spot was watching a certain Raddy Antic’s hopeful shot whiz passed a full stretch Alex Williams. Then in the mid 90’s, when my tendons finally gave up the ghost, I found myself attending more and more games.

The Division Two year saw me at Maine Road more often than not and so the day before that game, I took the plunge and invested in a season ticket for the first time in nearly 20 years. Upon reflection a very wise choice indeed.

The dynasty is still going strong with daughters, nieces, cousins and all their kids all pledging allegiance to the cause. The only difference being that it’s now on a global scale, with my uncle Harry’s family living in Melbourne (see Why Blue back issues) but still keeping up to date with all the news via the net. Harry and my cousin John (an occasional contributor) are spreading the word to the in-laws, grandchildren and anyone else who cares to listen.

Why Blue!

  • Remembering the old days standing on the Kippax.
  • That feeling you get walking towards Mecca.
  • Wembley ’76, the expectation.
  • The good times and those not so good.
  • Wembley ’99, the elation.
  • Ewood 2000, the bitten nails.
  • The family, the friends, the fans, the future!

There you go Harry & John. It’s been a long time coming. Hope it’s worth it.

Anthony Ward (


Recent results from 9th September 2001 to 12th September 2001 inclusive.

12 September 2001

Wimbledon             3 - 3  Portsmouth             7,138

9 September 2001

Watford               3 - 0  Wimbledon             15,466

League table to 12th September 2001 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Burnley          6  2  0  1  8  6  3  0  0  7  2  5  0  1 15  8   7  15
 2 Grimsby Town     6  2  1  0  4  2  2  0  1  4  4  4  1  1  8  6   2  13
 3 Birmingham City  5  3  0  0  8  1  1  0  1  3  4  4  0  1 11  5   6  12
 4 Norwich City     5  3  0  0  5  0  1  0  1  1  4  4  0  1  6  4   2  12
 5 Portsmouth       6  2  0  1  6  4  1  2  0  6  5  3  2  1 12  9   3  11
 6 Wolves           5  1  1  0  3  2  2  1  0  5  3  3  2  0  8  5   3  11
 7 Bradford City    5  2  0  1  8  4  1  1  0  3  2  3  1  1 11  6   5  10
 8 Manchester City  5  2  0  0  8  2  1  0  2  4  8  3  0  2 12 10   2   9
 9 Watford          5  3  0  0  8  3  0  0  2  0  4  3  0  2  8  7   1   9
10 Gillingham       5  2  0  0  8  0  0  1  2  1  3  2  1  2  9  3   6   7
11 West Brom A.     5  2  0  1  5  1  0  1  1  2  3  2  1  2  7  4   3   7
12 Crystal Palace   4  1  0  1  5  4  1  0  1  5  6  2  0  2 10 10   0   6
13 Millwall         5  1  0  1  4  2  1  0  2  3  6  2  0  3  7  8  -1   6
14 Crewe Alex.      5  2  0  1  3  3  0  0  2  2  6  2  0  3  5  9  -4   6
15 Nottm Forest     5  1  1  0  5  3  0  1  2  1  3  1  2  2  6  6   0   5
16 Sheff. United    5  0  3  0  4  4  0  2  0  2  2  0  5  0  6  6   0   5
17 Wimbledon        6  1  1  1  6  5  0  1  2  3  7  1  2  3  9 12  -3   5
18 Barnsley         6  1  2  0  5  4  0  0  3  0  8  1  2  3  5 12  -7   5
19 Coventry City    5  0  1  2  0  2  1  0  1  3  2  1  1  3  3  4  -1   4
20 Walsall          5  1  0  1  3  3  0  1  2  3  5  1  1  3  6  8  -2   4
21 Sheff. Wed.      5  0  1  1  1  3  1  0  2  2  4  1  1  3  3  7  -4   4
22 Preston N.E.     5  0  2  1  3  4  0  1  1  2  7  0  3  2  5 11  -6   3
23 Rotherham Utd.   5  0  1  1  3  4  0  1  2  3  7  0  2  3  6 11  -5   2
24 Stockport C.     5  0  0  2  0  3  0  1  2  4  8  0  1  4  4 11  -7   1

With thanks to Football 365


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[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

Deadlines for issues are nominally Monday and Thursday evenings.

[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[3] Club Web Site

The official club web site can be found at

[4] Supporters’ Clubs

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Fans’ Committee

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. It has its own website, containing info about forthcoming meetings as well as minutes from previous gatherings.

[6] City of Manchester Stadium Progress/Web Cam

The latest information regarding the progress of our new home can be found at

[7] Match Day Broadcasts

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

[8] 01/02 Season Match Day Theme Tune

The music the teams run out to at Maine Road this season is “Nightmare”, by Brainbug, and is available on the Positiva label.

[9] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the information regarding match day music and to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service.

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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #744