Even though I was born in Stockport, from an early age my family decided (for some crazy reason!) that the future was in Southampton. My dad was a Blue (even though he played in goal for a Stockport County reserve game!), and my uncle was an avid Red, therefore I had no choice (not that I would change it for the world).
My earliest memory of City was when I was 10 (I am now 28) when watching World of Sport (remember that!) and it was FA Cup Semi-Final day and we were playing Ipswich, when the reporter interrupted Dickie Davies to report their had been a goal at Villa Park. I erupted when I found out Paul Power had curled a free kick into the net! Everyone knows what happened in the final; still think Mackenzies goal was better than Ricky Villa’s.
My first game at Maine Road had to wait until the first game of the season when we beat Plymouth Argyle at Maine Road 2-1, I think it was 1986-1987. The début of White, Hinchcliffe, Lake and Redmond, the spine of the FA Youth Cup winning side, I stood in The Kippax and just fell in love with the place (remember I had only been to The Dell before!). Living in Southampton I had to catch the 6:30am train from Southampton that arrived into Piccadilly at 12:30pm and walk/bus to Maine Road, stay on my uncle’s couch and then on the Sunday catch the 6 hour train back! I did this once a month for about 3 years through the late 80’s.
Last year I could actually afford the time/money to buy a season ticket (good timing for a play-off ticket!), and hopefully in the near future to actually move to Manchester (when I get offered a job!).
Their have been many heartbreaks within the last 10 years with our great football club (Liverpool, Stoke, Spurs FAC etc.) but none had more of an impact on me than the last day of the Kippax against Chelsea. The Kippax was full at 1:45pm that day (OK, reduced capacity!) but the atmosphere that day just so emotional. Never, never have I heard Blue Moon being sung with such passion (OK, apart from Wembley!). Maine Road is still a beautiful stadium, but not as half as intimidating without the Kippax!
Being a City fan is special, no other club’s fanbase would have stayed as strong through the last 5 years that City have endured. I actually believe for the first time in over 20 years we have the foundation (chairman, youth policy, new stadium being built etc.) to become a top six team over the next 5 years. Even if we don’t get promoted this year, it’s obvious that the club is heading in the right direction.
Proud to be Blue!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #564 on