Growing up in Thornton Road (the street just behind the Kippax), I suppose you would expect me to be a Blue. And so it happens, I am, but not for the want of trying by my dad to turn me into scum. He had been a Red all his life, growing up in the Old Trafford area of Manchester. I remember watching Match of the Day, with my dad sat there in his flared jeans cheering as a scum player notched another fluke for the Rags. I wasn’t that interested in football then, but I tended to watch between playing with my first Star Wars figures and the lego. I used to play footie with my mates outside the ground, we used the North Stand floodlight as goalposts.
It wasn’t ’til I was a bit older I really got interested, and I’ve got my grandad to thank for that. Not coming from a rich family, I was never given enough pocket money to attend first team games, but every Tuesday night without fail, grandpops used to take me to a reserve or youth team game at Maine Road, and I remember enjoying myself stood up in the old Main Stand, screaming my head off with about a hundred other people. I thought that was what it was all about. I used to look out of my window, staring at the looming shapes of the four floodlights, waiting for them to be turned on.
Then a friend of mine who had a season ticket couldn’t go to a game. It was a match against Charlton. I grabbed the ticket and was in the ground by 2.00, waiting in anticipation for my first first team game. I couldn’t believe how many people turned up! I was only expecting the hundred or so that came to reserve games. To top it all we won the game. I was hooked, I had to have more of this. I pestered my dad to get a season ticket for me. He was reluctant to let me go on my own at first, so he got two, and started attending with me. As time went on he became more and more involved with City’s exploits, and gradually lost faith in the Rags. He became a Blue (his rose tinted glasses eventually broke when the sh** started changing their kits six times every season: ‘Bloody t***s,’ he used to say, ‘they don’t care about their fans.’).
Now that my grandad has passed on to the great big City gates in the sky, I attend every game at home, and most away if work will allow. I’ve moved to Edgeley in Stockport now, so next season’s derby games at the County ground will be handy, but my parents still live in Thornton Road, and when I go to see them, it’s still a buzz to be able to see the looming shape of the new Kippax.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #310 on