Mark Henshall

Why Blue?

I remember when I became a Blue. It’s one of the few early memories I have. I was at primary school in the summer of 1969 – A big kid came up to me and asked me who I supported – he had a football, so I guessed he was talking about football … it was a hot day, and we were in the field at the back of our school in Stockport. A couple of other big kids came over.

I was 6 at the time, and I guess I remember someone saying that City had won the Cup. I knew that just about everyone at school supported United – but at that age, I didn’t understand that Catholics supported United and Protestants supported City. All I knew was that City had won, and I liked people that won – like Captain Scarlet and the Man from Uncle.

The big kid wanted an answer. I said City. I figured I was being smart – everyone likes a winner I thought, with a 6 year old brain. Oh no missus.

He was happy enough, I suppose. At least he didn’t hit me. I think I’m happy enough as well. My Catholic sense of suffering and guilt has stopped me switching to anyone else but it has meant that, apart from 1976, I’ve been waiting for vindication for a decision made by a 6 year old. I don’t mind.

Supporting City has taught me a few things – ‘hope against adversity’ is one. Being able to laugh and do the Conga round the terraces at Nottingham Forest when you’re getting a right good spanking is another. Tell me that United supporters would do the same. Supporting City is sort of hard, but there is a cameraderie in defeat that Arsenal, Liverpool and even someone as crap as Everton don’t have. Watching Peter Swales (God rest him) make awful decision after bad misjudgement after cock-up shows you that we’re all capable of taking something good and fubar’ing it.

The one thing that I’m really pissed off about this season is that City got relegated, and Sky get the Endsleigh TV rights. I can’t even cancel my subscription to that bastard Murdoch.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #192 on


Mark Henshall