Newsletter #46

Nothing much has happened during the week which makes a change from the recent hectic schedule and United’s troubles. We have a good ‘Why Blue’ from Roger (anybody else care to try?) in which a City shirt yet again played a decisive rôle! I’m afraid the Villa list failed to come up with a Match Report despite having four subscribers at Maine Road. It looks like it was all just too much for them 8-); maybe they should try losing 5-0 to get an idea what gloom is all about.

Does anyone have any news on Paul Lake i.e whether he played midweek (see NEWS article) and if so, how did he do? I watched the ‘Arse’ vs. AC Milan game in midweek on German TV and the match analysis expert was Tony Woodcock (remember him?). As the match wasn’t much to write home about, the discussion turned to the English game and in particular Germans currently playing ‘on the island’. Gaudino got a mention as did Uwe; he was even called by a nickname but unfortunately I didn’t quite catch it; seems Uwe is building a reputation back home.

Reports on the Southampton game welcomed, I’ve been promised one, in person, by the administrator of the Southampton list so maybe we’ll be luckier than with the Leicester & Villa swaps.

Next game Southampton away, Saturday 4th February 1995


I saw a great T-Shirt at Maine Road on Saturday. It is in the style of his (Cantona) infamous Nike advert sporting the George cross and reads like this :-

“95 was a great year for English football – Eric f*!%&d off”

Anyway more good news; Lakey is set to make his final comeback this week away at Blackburn, his knee being stronger than ever before. Brian Horton is writing to the German manager, inviting him to come and watch Uwe in action; Phelan, Quinn and Kernaghan are all in the Republic’s squad for next weeks game.

ND Pugh


Niall is being lined up by QPR… to replace Ferdinand this summer. Rangers have already asked BH about him, as Baldy Ray is resigned to losing the England star at the end of the season – or possibly as soon as Rangers have secured their Premmiership safety. Wilkins, who will want 4 million pounds plus for Ferdi, would have to spend at least 2million to land 28-year-old Quinn. A move of this nature would be in Quinn’s best interest, with Ireland in the European Championship qualifying stages.

Shane Kelly


City youth team drew 2-2 with Pompey last night in the F.A. Youth Cup. There are reports of a possible cash plus player deal with Villa for Terry Phelan, the Villa player probably being Bryan Small.

Mark Haworth


Roger Sharp – The True Story of a Blue Kiwi

As an exiled New Zealander living in the UK I’m often asked, by football supporters of every type, why I support Manchester City? I usually reply with a wry smile that I had the choice of any team in the league and simply decided that City were the best! However, if the truth be known the reasons are a little more diverse (and honest) than that.

By some quirk of fate all the rest of my family were born in Britain and so growing up I was surrounded by “All Things” British. However, much to my family’s annoyance I failed, initially, to pick up on the great tradition of supporting a football team. If the truth be known, I was, like most New Zealand boys, obsessed with the sport of Rugby. How the All Blacks were doing seemed to me infinitely more important than whether my Dad’s team (West Ham) had beaten my brother’s (Liverpool). Having another rugby mad brother who was born in Cardiff just confirmed my belief that Rugby was cool and football wasn’t.

They say there comes a time in every person’s life when a single event, or timespan, does something drastic to alter the course of your life. For me it was the year 1981, when all of a sudden I discovered football. The reasons for this were threefold. Firstly, and to me most importantly, my new “best-mate” was an avid Coventry City supporter and he, more than anyone, finally convinced me to abandon Rugby (New Zealand was wrapped up in the protest violence of the Springbok Tour) and adopt football instead. Unfortunately for my friend I would only start supporting Coventry if I had (like him) a strip, so as to replace my shrinking All Black jersey. And so it was all set, with his Auntie going to Britain to visit relatives, I had at last a chance to get that elusive strip. Trouble was, being a New Zealander, the said Auntie soon forgot most of the details concerning my request and could only remember that the team shirt I wanted was Light-Blue. You guessed it… I instantly became a Man. City fan, much to my, and particularly my friends, amusement. This fateful team shirt (which I still own) greatly influenced the second factor in my Man. City equation – the fact that my mum, and her entire side of the family were/are Man. Utd supporters. Now we’re not just taking your average Red fans; Tommy Docherty used to come around to my Gran’s house for tea and Matt Busby would often pop in for a chat. The (pardon the pun) ragging I got from all concerned at being the owner of a City shirt only served to convince me of one thing… if a team could piss my mum off this much then they had to be excellent. The choice was made, I became a die-hard City fan on the spot. If there were any lingering doubts they were dispelled by the fact that the Blues marched all the way to Wembley that year as well. All of a sudden City seemed to have so many things to do with my life; was I blind not to realise that the year I was born (1969) the Blues lifted the FA Cup? How could I not have noticed that when I was 7 (my lucky number) they again picked up silverware? For a football obsessive such things assume an out of proportion significance!

The final piece of the jigsaw occurred when, 3 years ago, I travelled to the UK to “discover my roots”, or, if the truth be known, to watch Man. City play. I had been a fanatical Blues fan for 13 years now, so the only place I was going to live was Manchester. The fact that some relatives lived there as well provided a convenient excuse. I’ll never forget that first match, a 1-0 home loss (after 13 years a loss!) to Chelsea. I didn’t care, the atmosphere and the enjoyment of finally seeing my team in the flesh far out-weighed the result. I may now live in London but the Blues still occupy most of my travel plans!!. Living in Manchester also provided me with one other lasting feeling… a severe dislike for the rags!!!. Cheers, and Blue Moon,

Roger Sharp


John Shearer received the following mail from the Spurs list and has passed it on. I can’t comment myself as I haven’t seen the incident but anyone who feels strongly about it could support this letter; maybe mail John to see how best to do this. [Ashley]

Do you think anyone on the Man City List would be prepared to amend the letter below by adding their names and sending the letter to the F.A.? People on the Spurs List are keen to kick the F.A. up the backside to get them to take some action and they wish to receive as much Spurs and especially Non-Spurs Supporters’ assistance in their case (to show it’s not just a bunch of biased Spurs fans trying to make noises).

Mr G Kelly,
The Football Association,
16 Lancaster Gate,
W2 3LW.

Dear Mr Kelly,

In the furore over the Cantona incident that took place on 12th January, another vicious assault committed by a Premier League player on the same night seems to have gone unnoticed and unpunished.

At Villa Park Mark Bosnich, the Aston Villa goalkeeper committed what has been widely regarded as the worst assault on a footballer since Schumacher against Battiston in the 1982 World Cup. The TV pictures show clearly that Bosnich, some 10 yards out of his penalty area and with no hope of reaching the ball, jumped knees first at Klinsmann’s head. The German was knocked to the ground and was unconscious for several minutes. Independent observers have commented that a weaker man may have been killed by such an impact.

As Bosnich was well outside his penalty area his actions have to be judged as those of a normal defender. The rules of the game clearly state that his actions amounted to violent conduct. Under the circumstances, my understanding is that Bosnich should have been sent off and charged by the FA.

For reasons that are best known only to himself, the referee decided that no foul had been committed. Since this was clearly a mistake, it is therefore now up to the FA to intervene to see that justice is done. The actions of Bosnich, and the referee (for condoning what he did), have potentially done more long-term damage to the reputation of our game than Cantona.

I look forward to hearing how you intend to proceed with this matter.

Yours sincerely on behalf of us Tottenham Hotspurs Supporters,

Extract taken from the Man City Supporters’ List of a match report on their last F.A. Cup game against Villa. I find it interesting to note that other teams’ supporters were also aware and shocked by the event:-

>>There was a big contrast in the receptions given
>> to the two goalkeepers; Bosnich, in goal for Villa, was roundly booed
>> by the City fans in a show of solidarity with the Germans - his
>> appalling challenge against Jürgen Klinsmann on Wednesday had gone
>> unpunished by the referee despite the fact that he missed the ball
>> and knocked Klinsmann out cold.

Cheers, Kevin

John Shearer


We’re out of the Cup – season over! Another Sky performance means another defeat for City. Yeah, you may say I’m paranoid but that comes from supporting City since I got my first season ticket in 1987.

The defence will have to play well against Newcastle. At present, I’d drop and sell Vonk ‘cos he’s crap and buy Shaun Teale. However, after Villa just selling Earle Barratt to the Blue Scousers, it doesn’t look very likely, does it?

David Whitwell


Cantona, Quinn, Phelan, and all that stuff.

So City are to start selling players again, what joy!. Surely one of the biggest problems over this and previous seasons has been the fact that our team squad is so pathetically thin? We have no depth whatsoever in key positions. With Quinn rumoured to be up for sale and Carl Griffiths also said to be on his way (to Southampton apparently) who’s going to put the ball in the back of the net if Uwe or Walshy gets injured? Adie Mike perhaps? You’ve got to be bloody joking!! Personally I like Niall and I remember back to the misty days when we struggled without him (last season). Managers always seem to make the most of the claim that “competition for places” is good for a side, so if this is the case then what the hell is E.T. (Horton) doing? City are also a team whose strength still lies in excellent supply from the wings and whilst I’m glad to see the back of those long-ball (Reid) days, I still think Niall has a rôle to play in this set-up. I’m not so sad to be seeing the back of Phelan. To be honest Terry used to be my favourite player but even I can see that his form and confidence have gone. The simple truth is he’s played shit for the last 6 months and City do have some better options available for that position. As for the Cantona incident all I’ll say is that he gets everything he deserves and those rags sticking up for him just make things worse. Ask yourself this: Has Cantona even indicated the slightest remorse for his actions at Palace (and in other incidents)? Finally, can anyone tell me the result of the City vs. Newcastle Reserves match which was played about a week ago? Any comments are again most welcome. Cheers and Up the Blues (whoever manages or plays for them!!),

Roger Sharp


A new T-shirt has appeared at Maine Road and once again it’s at the expense of the unfortunate rags. This time the target is none other than our very own little ‘mis-understood, flawed’ French genius. Picture the shirt, white and on the front there is printed the image of two sets of stud marks, chest high. Underneath there’s the legend “I’ve met Cantona” :-)))

Another point. With the arrival of Franny and the new board I was under the impression that things at the “Academy of Comedy” (as quoted by Stuart Hall on Saturday’s Radio Five) were changing for the better. Now forgive my suspicions but I was under the impression that the attendance figures were starting to show the truth, no offence intended but bear with me. Against Leicester on a cold, wet and windy night there were somewhere in the region of 21K fans who turned up to watch that spectacle. The Kippax was particularly empty (and I don’t blame them) and there were also pretty big spaces in the Umbro stand. Now the following Saturday against Villa in the Cup, the vast majority of the Kippax was taken up by Villa supporters who filled their section. The rest of the ground was also heavily filled including the Umbro and what’s the attendance then? Somewhere approaching 25K? No, another figure of 21K!! Unless my eyes were playing tricks on me I could have sworn the ground was fuller than that! No doubt if anybody doubts the figures, I suspect that the club will say they included all season ticket holders for the Leicester game, whereas the Villa game was an all ticket tie and that’s how many were sold! Forgive my suspicious nature but…..

Terry Phelan has reportedly been put on the transfer list over the weekend and he’s claiming he doesn’t know why. I don’t want to get involved in this debate but he opened his mouth once too often for Horton’s liking. BH didn’t like what was said in the light of the OT derby defeat (the 2-0 last season). He’s also continually whinged about the club back-tracking on a contract promise but let’s face it, when you’ve got three years left of your current contract, why ask about a new one? His form has also been pretty inconsistent of late.

Finally, when will the new Kippax stand be opened and why is it so late? The club initially promised the stand would be open in time for the return derby on Feb 11th but that is a definite non-starter. I don’t think it’ll be completed before the end of the season. Just why has it taken so long to get the stand built? Is it true that the old Kippax stand was built on an old tip and toxic substances were found during excavation, which had to be removed before the foundations could be laid? Is it also true that the builder went on strike over Christmas claiming that they hadn’t been paid?

Definitely last. Why oh why Newcastle in the FA Cup 5th round? There I was, just finished watching the Sunderland – Spurs Cup game, waiting for the draw when out of the hat first comes Newcastle. My reaction, no not them, followed swiftly be a feeling of despair as second out of the hat come Manchester City, groan! Alright so City haven’t lost to them but Newcastle will be even more determined to reap revenge for the CC Cup knock out. Just to compound my fears, Sky have made it a live game, Sunday 19th Feb k.o. 13:00 🙁 So it’ll be back to League football pretty soon 🙁

Martin Ford


I have just borrowed my mate’s Sun paper and read the following small article headed FA PROBE AT PALACE :-

‘An FA probe has been launched over a disturbance at Selhurst Park 2 weeks before eric (…call me Jackie Chan / Jean-Claude / Mike Tyson… etc) Cantona’s clash there with a fan. The ground was the scene of crowd trouble during Crystal Palace’s Coca-Cola Cup win over Manchester City. Problems flared when a small group of fans from City’s enclosure climbed the barriers after Palace’s 4th goal. One headed for striker Chris Amstrong before being grabbed by a steward while others ripped up advertising hoardings and used them as weapons against stewards and police.’

OK, so the fans were way out of order but again it’s the FA’s one rule for us, another one for the rags. The FA see no need for an enquiry into the fact that fans are being ripped off (re a recent MP’s failed attempt to get an FA probe into deals for soccer fans and various alleged ‘bung’ scandals) and their lack of judgement on the Cantona incident is unbelievable but what’s the odds that they quickly come down like a ton of bricks on City (and possibly Palace)?

Any comments?

Ian Thompson


We have a new subscriber called David Smith whose Uncle, George Smith, played for City. Well, as a result of Uwe’s 4 goals against Notts County, there was a feature in the Leicester programme about players scoring four or more goals in a game for City and George was mentioned:

“If you look for goal-scoring exploits by City players before that [Johnny Hart’s 4 goals against Swindon in 1953], you have to go back to a surprisingly late finish to the 1946-47 campaign, when United also played at Maine Road.”

“City clinched promotion long before their final fixture which was against Newport County played here [Maine Road] on June 14th.”

“The game was memorable for more reasons than one, not least the date. Roy Clarke was making his début in City’s colours but the man who stole the headlines was George Smith, who scored all FIVE City goals in a 5-1 victory.”

“George had managed four goals against Manchester United in a wartime league fixture the previous season and just seemed to have a penchant for scoring. Sadly, the war years accounted for some of his best opportunities because he had joined the Blues in 1938. Whilst out in South Africa, he sustained a gun-shot wound which led to him having a hand amputated.”

“Despite the handicap, he continued to trouble defences until he was transferred to Chesterfield for 5,000 pounds in October 1951.”

Paul Howarth


I’m occasionally asked what certain nicknames mean e.g SB = Schoolboy and refers to Kernaghan’s old habit of making schoolboy errors (thanks to Martin for this one). I thought it would be a good idea to assemble a list of all the nicknames of the current squad together with the reasoning behind them. If it looks good enough we could put it on the WWW.

Meanwhile, some to be going on with:

Flipper, Sputnik, Buzzer… any others?



Does anyone know the exact origin of the term ‘rags’ and exactly what sentiment it is intended to give (no profanities please)?

On the Cantona debate – having boarded himself in his modest Worsley house when he wasn’t out training – the media circus took it upon itself to interview the neighbours (everybody needs good neighbours). People were generally very complimentary including a woman who ended the interview with the truism ‘he doesn’t get provoked until he’s provoked’!!!

Robert Watson

It means: Red Arrogant Gits (I believe); does anyone know differently and furthermore, when did this term come into use? [Ashley]


Could somebody please supply me with the names of the players as they appear in the team photo on the home page? I recognize some of them but not all.

Alan Arensen


FA Cup 4th round replays
To be played Wednesday 8th Feb.

Chelsea       vs  Millwall
Southampton   vs  Luton
Norwich       vs  Coventry
Wolves        vs  Sheff Wed
Liverpool     vs  Burnley      (Tues 7th Feb)

Premier League Table
All results up to & including 1st February

Pos    TEAM            P  W  D  L  F  A   PTS
 1. Blackburn Rovers  26 18  5  3 57 21   59
 2. Manchester United 26 16  6  4 47 21   54
 3. Newcastle United  26 13  9  4 45 26   48
 4. Liverpool         25 13  7  5 44 20   46
 5. Nottingham Forest 26 13  6  7 39 28   45
 6. Tottenham         25 11  6  8 41 36   39
 7. Leeds United      25 10  8  7 34 28   38
 8. Sheffield Weds.   26  9  9  8 33 32   36
 9. Wimbledon         25 10  5 10 31 40   35
10. Norwich City      25  9  7  9 24 27   34
11. Arsenal           26  8  9  9 29 28   33
12. Aston Villa       26  7 10  9 32 35   31
13. Chelsea           25  8  7 10 32 35   31
14. Manchester City   25  8  7 10 33 39   31
15. Southampton       25  6 11  8 35 40   29
16. Crystal Palace    26  6  9 11 19 26   27
17. QPR               24  7  6 11 35 44   27
18. Everton           26  6  9 11 25 35   27
19. Coventry City     26  6  9 11 23 43   27
20. West Ham United   25  7  4 14 22 32   25
21. Ipswich Town      26  5  5 16 29 53   20
22. Leicester City    25  4  6 15 23 43   18

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Ashley Hevicon sent me a ‘Cantona’ poem by Chantelle. For those of you not ‘in the know’. Chantelle posts to the football newsgroup RSS and purports to be a eleven year old girl with a crush on Ryan Giggs and everything Man United. Clearly the real Chantelle hasn’t seen eleven for many years now, may just not be female and definitely doesn’t support Man United. Although anti-Rag, the posts are often extremely funny and worth a look.

Coincidently almost all ‘her’ posts are now available on Mysterious Meggie’s football page so try ’em out!



Thanks to Robert, Martin, David, Roger, Alan, Paul, Neil, Ian, Shane & Mark.
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.

Ashley Birch

Newsletter #46