Gary King

Why Blue?

This may seem like a strange “Why Blue?” because unlike so many others I never had to sneak off to Maine Road using a cover story, I wasn’t in the record low crowd that day against Swindon and I was never dragged off to ‘The Swamp’ by some well meaning (but sadly misguided) Red relative.

I was born and raised in Gorton; my mother, my uncles (all 3 of them), my grandparents and my cousins were all Reds (though all but one uncle and his son were true Reds, i.e. never went near the ground but had comfy armchairs). Fortunately my father was a Blue and had no intention of taking me anywhere near Trafford Park.

I don’t remember my first game in any detail, I can’t remember who we played but I remember sitting in the open bit between the Main and North Stands (we always sat there for some reason that escapes me). I think this was around 1975 (I would have been about 7) and what I do remember was that I loved it.

The remainder of the 70’s is a bit of a blur, I remember attending matches but none in any great detail. I idolised Peter Barnes and Dennis Tueart, admired big Dave Watson and Joe Corrigan and wished I’d seen Colin Bell before that unspeakable Red b*****d cut him down in his prime.

I continued going until 1979 when after the Maine Road derby (3-0 to them) I saw a young man stabbed in the leg. After this my father stopped taking me and I never asked to go again. The next 8 years were a football wilderness for me, I showed little or no interest in football of any type and certainly didn’t attend any games. I watched the 1981 Cup Final and Replay and wanted City to win but the passion was gone. I didn’t relate my lack of interest in football to the stabbing incident and still don’t, it was just one of those things; if it hadn’t happened I may have carried on going or may have just drifted away, another one of those ‘What if … ?’ questions that will never be answered.

In 1987 I went to University in Liverpool, and while there a friend persuaded me to go along and watch, of all teams, Tranmere Rovers. All I remember of the game was that they played Bristol Rovers, they lost and it was crap. Despite this, I found myself considering a trip to Maine Road. I can’t explain why, it was just an itch that needed to be scratched. On my next trip back to Manchester I organised to take my father along to see a game, we stood on the Kippax, City won and I was hooked all over again. That year I travelled to as many games as my grant would allow, much to the bemusement of my parents, after years of living in Manchester and showing no interest.

This continued until I finished University, got a job and could afford a season ticket. Even though my new job was in Gloucester (another hotbed of devoted, armchair owning Red morons) I managed every home game, and about half the away games, for the next 4 seasons. In 1994 I briefly moved jobs to Warrington to be closer to home (closer to Maine Road more like it), and then 6 months later accepted a job in Australia (not closer to Maine Road). Since then I have been back once taking in the first 4 games of the 95/96 season (1 draw, 3 losses including trips to QPR and Coventry). I tune in the radio in the early hours every Sunday morning to get the results “Live” and spend hours scouring the net for every piece of information on the Blues I can obtain.

It looks like I will soon be returning to England at the end of my contract and am already itching to get to a game, I don’t care who we’re playing I just want to be there. If watching City was like watching ‘them’, sterilized, faceless and without any soul, then it wouldn’t have the same attraction. There tend to be more downs than ups, we’re unpredictable, frustrating and sometimes you just want to bang your head (or preferably a player’s head) against a brick wall, but that’s what it is to be a Blue! It’s about humour, belonging and the pure, unadulterated, bloody minded knowledge that we are fighting the good fight.

So “Why Blue”? Well I don’t think it’s something you choose, I think it’s something that chooses you.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #281 on


Gary King