Peter McNally

Why Blue?

Legend has it that I first became a Blue at around the age of two (1964), when my mum sat me on the steps of the house we then lived in, in (shock, horror) Old Trafford, and encouraged me to shout suitable antagonistic slogans at the less intellectually gifted members of the family, as they headed for a game at the nearby pig sty. Thus began my lifelong love affair with the Blues. The 60’s passed filling in wallcharts from the Evening News, in the days when it was still a newspaper, in rivalry to my misled older brother. I was only a kid and championships and trophies meant nothing to me, I just loved my favourite players Lee and Bell, and the kit which my parents got me for my birthday, you remember the one with the socks with maroon and white stripes at the top.

Then at the age of eight my dad took me to my first game. It was a night I will never forget, City vs. Coventry on a cold November night in 1971. The lights, the noise, the atmosphere are all forever etched in my memory. Needless to say City were runaway winners.

It was 1975 before I was allowed to go on my own with my mates from school. Those were great years, all the home games, lots of aways. Wembley in 76, 2nd in the leauge in 77, great players, good times. My favourite games were the European nights. I’ll never forget seeing Juventus warming up in the tunnel in 76 and being scared to death of them, and listening to the radio as we went out in Turin the last time I can remember crying! Then in late 78 I got a job working at Lewis’s travel. It included some Saturday work which was a disaster. They sold tickets and I had to take back the unsold ones on the morning of the match, pure torture. I used to walk to the ground and spend the bus fare to buy programmes for my collection. I arranged my days off to coincide with City games. I well remember going to a League Cup game at Sunderland on the train, there were only about twenty on it and as we reached our destination each of us stood leaning out of a door so that the local thugs would think that the train was full! One of my finest moments following City was going to Germany for the U.E.F.A. Cup match with Borussia Mönchengladbach; that trip is a story in itself. Little did I know that it would be City’s last competitive game in Europe. Went to some overseas friendlies and then big Mal came back. Today I can see that this was the beginning of the end, and that we’re still paying the price today. But then I thought he was the messiah and I still love the man.

Well, as you know things went from bad to worse apart from temporary relief via Wembley in 81. In May 82 I and fellow Blue Mike Turner quit our jobs to hitchhike round Europe, and I arrived in Israel for the first time. I returned for the second half of the season including the Luton débâcle. Shortly after I returned to Israel and have more or less lived in exile ever since. Life as an exile is a whole other story, but I’ll save it for a rainy day.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #546 on


Peter McNally