DT Knight

Why Blue?

I have lived most of my life in the West Midlands, surrounded by supporters of Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, teams I have previously had the honour of looking down upon from a footballing point of view.

My father and his family lived in Manchester all their lives, and during a visit with him in 1981, he decided to take me to see my very first football match. He chose the League Cup Tie at Maine Road against Notts County (then a 2nd Division club) where City massacred them 5-1, including a 4-goal spree by the great Dennis Tueart (I seem to remember the other goals may have been scored by Dave Bennett for us and Trevor Christie for them, but I could be wrong).

As an 8-year-old watching his first football match, the euphoria of scoring 5 goals was simply mind-blowing. I may even have come away from the game thinking (in error) that all Manchester City games would boast such dramatic scorelines. Either way, it was enough for me to fall in love with football as a game and Man City as a team. This was particularly difficult as there were no other Man City fans anywhere near my home town, and the only ones who didn’t support Wolves or West Brom tended to be affiliated to another Manchester team who shall remain nameless.

Still I persevered and attended several home and away games with my father that season. The club at the time was somewhat in a state of flux with the new manager John Bond coming in and arranging the transfers of the now legendary trio of Hutchinson (God, how I’ll never forget him), McDonald and Gow. This was, lest we forget, the season when we reached the League Cup semi-final against Liverpool, and the FA Cup Final against Tottenham.

I was fortunate enough to be at the FA Cup semi-final against Ipswich at Villa Park as it was near to my home, and I will never forget the roar in the ‘new stand’ there when Paul Power scored his extra time goal which sent us through to the final. I remember the noise after the goal rather than the goal itself, as being only 8, I had a hard time seeing the pitch with the assembled throng standing up in front of me. The moment was nevertheless unique and will remain with me always. I did not manage to attend the final at Wembley, and had to make do with watching it on TV.

The first game against Spurs was as every City fan knows, split between absolute elation when Hutchinson connected with his header, and absolute disbelief when Hutchinson connected with his shoulder later on. Even this did not compare with the replay, when at 2-1 up, I thought we had the cup in the bag, only to be devastated by a certain Argentinian. Somebody could perhaps confirm something for me which remains a mystery to this day regarding Garth Crooks goal against us, as I seem to remember there being talk about the goal being offside. I have not seen the clip in later years to confirm it, but at my age at the time I did not fully understand the offside rule and couldn’t comment either way. When the final whistle blew however, I was in no doubt about my emotions, and spent months afterwards commenting on how unlucky we were to anyone who would listen.

The memory of following City through the rest of my formative years is coloured totally by a blurr of managers. Good and bad, with the omnipresent image of P J Swales etched in my mind. Regardless of our misfortunes, I have never wavered in my belief in the team, despite not being able to see them as often as I’d like, and hope one day to see them back where they belong. I hope that I won’t have to wait too much longer to see them resume their path in the top flight, with cup runs, but in many ways I am glad that I am now an adult with a lot more patience than I had as a child, because patience is something we are all going to need in the next few years.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #466 on


DT Knight