Daniel Hartley with assistance from dad Phil Hartley

Why Blue?

My own ‘Why Blue’ is boring:- born and raised in Denton, a traditional Blue stronghold, 3rd generation City fan. First match in late 60’s etc. I therefore had a chat with my son, Dan who is 3 and 7/8ths(!) and I agreed to be a ghost writer for his story so far…

My mum went into St Mary’s hospital in Manchester a few days before I was due to be born in October 1995. Dad had a great time drinking dirty beer and eating take-aways, making the most of being on his own. He also went to see City play Liverpool in the Coca-Cola Cup. Even Gio couldn’t halt the Red Machine chalking up another victory, this time 4-0. Never mind thought dad, we play them in the league on Saturday, we’ll get our revenge then. Trouble is, I decided that I should make my début in this world on that same Saturday (28th October). Mum phoned dad at around 9 a.m. to advise him that he should come to the hospital. Dad tells me that although he was in a bit of a panic, he remembered to bring his Liverpool ticket, just on the off-chance that I popped out in time for him to make his way to Anfield in the early afternoon. You see though, I knew what was going to happen, so I made sure that I delayed my entrance (or should that be exit?) until 3.45 pm, bang on half time. Mum didn’t really appreciate the time it took for me to get out, but a foetus has got to do what a foetus has got to do (as I was at that time). Dad forgot all about the match (honest!) until he was driving home at about 9pm, when he phoned a friend with whom he was supposed to be going to the match. The match had ended 6-0 to Liverpool and dad still has me to thank for allowing him to miss that particular humiliation.

Anyway, immediately after I had been born and had a little cuddle with my mum, the nice midwife gave me to dad. Dad took me over to the window of the room, which was on the 4th floor and showed me Maine Road for the first time, which could be clearly seen, the magnificent new Kippax Stand towering above the other buildings in the area. Obviously I had my photo taken at a very young age with a City scarf and various other City regalia spread around me on my cushion (I mean, who hasn’t!), but I was somewhat disappointed with dad that he didn’t enrol me in the Junior Blues until I was 7 weeks old. Mind you, he made up for it as it was only