A girl growing up in a small West County town supporting City? Whatever next! In 1968/9 I was a football fanatic – playing, that is, round the park with my school mates every minute possible. And an envied reputation for getting goals past our school goalie that bemused the boys. Everything was just fine until puberty started kicking in, and some of the boys made some lewd comments that offended me deeply. After all, wasn’t my prowess on the pitch more important than that? Suddenly feeling threatened and very self-conscious, I stopped playing.
So I cast about for any way I could still keep in touch with the game. My dad’s advice was to support a team, and by now it was cup final time with two teams playing that I couldn’t make an obvious connection with. Why not Bristol Rovers, said my dad, whose support for the Pirates spanned two generations? Mmmmmm, not good enough, thought I. So out of Leicester and Manchester City, who should I root for in the final, dad?
Luckily, having been brought up in Radstock and going to school in Bath, dad knew all about Tony Book and Malcolm Allison. He even told me that Tony Book still had links with Radstock Town FC, and that Tony had married one of my dad’s second cousins! Wow! Reason enough for any 11-year-old. Dad even arranged for someone to get me Tony Book’s autograph.
So I forgive my dad for not taking me to the testimonial at Bath when City were the visitors. He gave me the inspiration to follow City, albeit long distance, and that will never leave me. Last season, after 30 years of support, I went to Maine Road for the very first time (vs. York City), and have been several times this season – all home wins, too!
It might be a long, hard road sometimes following City, but the highs are worth every drop of pain along the way! I’m City ‘Til I Die!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #606 on