Howard McCarthy

Why Blue?

I was born and reared in Manchester, though by a mishap of being born on the way to hospital, I somehow got registered in Oldham. My dad, like many before him, due to the economic conditions in Ireland in the 50’s, emigrated to Manchester where he used to watch whichever team was at home, but he was and still is a U****d fan.

It was naturally thought that I would follow the family tradition and be a Red too. Shudder. And to my shame I was one of them until one day, when I was 8-years-old and attending primary school, St. John’s R.C. in Benchill, when we had a visit from both Tony Book and Sir Nobhead Charlton to talk about road safety. After the talk was over, Slur Nobhead gave our teacher a few reflective armbands to be disrtibuted amongst us. Our teacher stressed that only Real U****d fans could have one , so to my shame I put up my hand, and looked forward to safely walking home in the long winter evenings. I was the only one with my hand up who didn’t get a band. Disappointment welled up inside me. On the way home, a friend of mine at the time named Kevin Hill said “Why not be a City fan?”, so I thought “yeah why not.”

That year City won the Cup; my dad wouldn’t let me watch it so I went to watch it at a neighbour’s house and remember cheering wildly when Buzzer crossed and Neil Young scored, I was hooked. Secondary school brought me into touch with more Blues and I began to attend matches with a crowd; a season ticket was bought with the proceeds of a summer spent delivering leaflets around south Manchester, at the costly sum of