Alistair Banks

Why Blue?

A New Zealander in Brunei

I never realised there were so many City fans in New Zealand! I’ll tell you now there’s bu*ger all in Brunei although there is one on your list. Anyway I feel like others that I must tell you about my allegiance with City – on the day they’ve been relegated again – I feel prouder than ever to wear my City top. I was born in ’73 when City were a decent enough team but knew nothing of the great late 60’s/early70’s era until later. My father was a good enough rugby player to be selected for an All Black trial, but as a kid we used to sit together and watch big league soccer every Sunday at midday – I loved that show. I was so young I can’t remember whether I started liking City because United was more popular or whether I stayed up in ’81 and watched the F.A cup finals. I reckon probably the last. The old man used to wake me up for all those games.

Anyway I was a busy enough kid to not really care enough about a footy league in England until I came to work in the Isle of Man in ’92. A mate asked me which team I supported and I said well since everyone else likes United, I’m keen on City. As luck would have it he was a Blues fan too! Anyway a month later we were heading to watch the Blues play the champs that year Leeds at Maine Road. My mate bugg*red the early kick-off time up and by the time I approached the stadium it was pulsing with glee at 2 early City goals! I was a bit gutted at missing them but didn’t give a hoot when after halftime Niall Quinn scored with an unbelievable chip from the corner of the penalty area over John Lukic – absolutely set the place alight. Mark Brennan made it 4 – zip and I experienced my first City chant “You are sh*t , you are sh*t, you are sh*t…” From that day on I’ve been a much more dedicated supporter. I also saw City draw with Oldham that year 3-3.

I’m now in Brunei where the Premier League is all over the satellite TV. I’ve watched City beat Leicester away with Wanchope’s brilliant back heel, shed tears of joy when Steve Howey rescued a point at Old Trafford, gritted my teeth through the 1-0 win over West Ham and laughed and cried when Ipswich sent us down this morning. I hadn’t seen City play on TV or live since ’92 but having watched 4 games this year in Brunei, what blew me away was the fantastic fans we have, cheering and giving it up for a team that tries its blo*dy a*se off – it’ll get better too…

P.S. Got my City top in the Malaysian resort of Labuan this year for about 20 quid – not a bad deal!

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #707 on


Alistair Banks