We Never Win At Home & We Never Win Away…oh hang on a minute!

Has there ever been a better time to support Manchester City? 

It’s a rhetorical question as City look to clinch the Premier League title with a win over Manchester United, along with a Champions League semi final berth at the expense of Liverpool.

No words needed…

Pep Guardiola has confounded all his critics by imposing his tactical genius and unique style on English football, complete with sublime skills, electrifying pace and goal-fests aplenty.

As City continue to mesmerize opponents and delight lovers of the ‘beautiful game’ in equal measure, it’s the easiest gig going nowadays to be a City fan.

Nearly there – City laid the Goodison Park bogey to rest in a superb 3-1 win. Victory over Manchester United this Saturday will see City crowned Premier League Champions.

But it wasn’t always like this – oh no!

For decades being a City fan meant pain, false hope, disillusionment, misery, albeit there was the occasional ray of sunshine, before the storm clouds returned and the rain came pouring down again.

Forget ‘thick and thin’, City’s long suffering support stayed true through thin, thin and nigh on anorexic times, as their beloved club would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with alarming regularity.

The latest Manchester City read to hit the book shelves – a tome written for the fans by the fans.

It takes a special breed of football fan to laugh in the face of adversity, take self deprecating humour to new heights and still remain resolute in their love for their team, their colours, their very passion in life.

Manchester City fans are cut from such cloth and the essence of being a ‘True Blue’ is encapsulated in We Never Win At Home, We Never Win Away…a new book from Don Price & published by Empire Publications.

Dizzy Heights – Merlin and Jesus are taking City to soaraway success under Guardiola.

It’s a tome packed full of personal experiences and anecdotes as supporters reminisce about the good, and recall the bad, times over the years.

Heralded as a book ‘written by the fans for the fans’, Don and a collection of contributors combine to give an insight into the DNA of what makes a City fan just that – a City fan.

The Main Man – Don Price as pictured in the book with wife Cath and granddaughter Ayala.

It’s an eclectic mix spanning well over half-a-century, encompassing a diverse and dizzying array of City stories.

The reader sees it through the eyes of those who bore witness to the highs and lows on the Sky Blue rollercoaster ride.

Don and his cohorts take fellow Blues on marathon treks including a risky 500-mile round trip during the Cold War, a two-day booze fuelled pilgrimage to Pompey just a fortnight before City’s lowest ever league attendance, plus a hitchhiker’s guide to Vienna, complete with highly unorthodox sleeping arrangements, just a few feet away from City’s finest European glory.

This is how it feels to be City – City celebrate at Everton while Shrek cuts a forlorn figure.

As any time served Blue will readily testify, there’s plenty of tales of woe to be found in the history of a club that some imbeciles would have you believe has no history.

Back in the dark ages of domestic football hooliganism it was often a toss-up as to who posed the greatest threat to the travelling City support – opposition hard cases or the unlawful uniformed thugs in a variety of constabularies.

Don questions the wisdom of the age old phrase ‘Go West, young man’, bearing in mind the rough ‘justice’ often meted out by the respective police forces of West Yorkshire and West Midlands.

Knock knock, who’s there? Sean Riley had a pleasant surprise when Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan came calling.

There’s boardroom bust ups, fanzine fisticuffs and the notorious mismanagement of  Manchester City down the ages, plus a Who’s Who and What’s What of City pubs of the past, along with Don’s guided tour of his favourite and not-so favourite away grounds.

Don also reveals the origins of popular City terrace anthems such as ‘The Invisible Man’ and the book title, ‘We Never Win At Home…’ His revelations lay to rest many a myth and will surprise many.

The remarkable Sean Riley – City fan extraordinaire – who hasn’t missed a City game since 1989 (it doesn’t count when you’re not allowed in at CSKA Moscow because of UEFA corruption and incompetence) – shares his first City match experience…and what an experience, especially with the Manchester derby at the Etihad, just days away!

City fan extraordinaire Sean Riley writes about his first ever City match – and what a match it was.

A female perspective is forthcoming courtesy of Sean’s wife, Jane, Don’s wife, Cath, and an intriguing chapter from Loz Southon, who stepped into the then, almost totally male dominated, world of supporting City.

Phill Gatenby – author of Teenage Kicks: The Story of Manchester City’s 1986 FA Youth Cup Team – tells of the time he turned out to represent City against Liverpool in the USA, while Dutchman Eric Jonker weighs in with how his desire to be ‘different’ sparked his City allegiance in the 1970s.

For my own sins, Don asked me to write a chapter in the guise of Read But Never Red.

Happy to contribute – Read But Never Red wrote a chapter in ‘We Never Win At Home…’

I indulged myself in recounting how masquerading as Francis Lee on the streets of Cleethorpes, became entwined 42 years later, with the ’Aguerrrooo Moment’ on that fateful day in May 2012.

The ‘scribblings’ from 16 contributors in all – some seasoned writers, whereas others are comparative novices – combine to serve up a mixture of Manchester City memories spanning three generations, from the 1950s to the present day.

Don remarked: “Whilst three of the lads have written books themselves and have contributed to City fanzines, other contributors haven’t written so much as a letter in donkey’s years.

Typical City…no more – Pep Guardiola has transformed the mentality of the club and the mindset of the fans.

“Many thought they didn’t have the skills or talent to write what they have. I encouraged them by saying ‘…just write it as you would talk to somebody in a pub, or in your front room…’

‘We Never Win At Home…’ should hold a broad appeal for City’s ever growing fan base.

The older ‘hardcore’ element who have lived through the good, bad and the ugly prior to Sheikh Mansour’s arrival, will readily identify with all 25 chapters spread over 232 pages.

We have three copies of the book to give away in our easy to enter competition.

For the new generation of supporters who’ve only really known City as an entity that sits at the top table of English and, arguably, European, club football, it serves as a raw eye opener on what preceded ‘the money’ in 2008.

It’s an illustration of the indomitable spirit that drives City fans on, watching their team go from punch drunk prize fighters, to landing knockout blows and lifting titles.

Well covered – Don Price’s new book is available at just £9.95

‘We Never Win At Home…’ published by Empire is available at £9.95 from http://mancitygifts.bigcartel.com/

Don would welcome any feedback on the book and he can be contacted by email at don-price@live.co.uk or via Empire Publications enquiries@empire-uk.com

  

By David Walker

 COMPETITION TIME…

We have three copies of ‘We Never Win At Home…’ signed by Don Price to give away. All you have to do to have a chance of winning is describe in three words or less, what qualities it takes to be a Manchester City fan.

You can enter via the Comments section on here at www.readbutnevered.com or on our Facebook Page or Twitter Feed @ReadButNeverRed using #WeNeverWinAtHome

The winners will be those judged to have best summed up what and why it takes to be a True Blue. Closing date for entries is this Friday 6th April and the winners will be announced via the Read But Never Red website and social media channels after the Manchester derby.

 

 A Dedication…

This blog is dedicated to George Hands (25), a City Blue who is battling bowel cancer. George is a real fighter who even had Anthony Joshua in his corner, via a one-to-one FaceTime chat, in the run up to AJ’s World Heavyweight Title win over Joseph Parker on Saturday night.

Come on George – punch the living daylights out of cancer!

 

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

42 Comments

  1. April 2, 2018  2:56 pm by Joanne Wilson Reply

    Mentally Unbalanced

  2. April 2, 2018  3:07 pm by Ian barton Reply

    My 3 words to sum up city as a 48 yr old ...Through it all

    • April 2, 2018  3:20 pm by David Walker Reply

      And there's a lot more still to come, but it should be the good stuff for the foreseeable future ;-)

  3. April 2, 2018  3:13 pm by Andrea Kiernan Reply

    I look forward to reading the book. Having supported City for over 50 yrs qualities it takes to be a City fan are: ironic, humerous, resilient

  4. April 2, 2018  3:15 pm by Wayne Schofield Reply

    Would love to have a chance to read it by winning the competition. But if I don't, I'll buy it anyway. Thanks.

    • April 2, 2018  3:18 pm by David Walker Reply

      Try 3 words as to what it takes to be a City fan and you'll be in with a chance. You have to be in it to win it!

  5. April 2, 2018  3:18 pm by Steve White Reply

    Happiness in Adversity

    • April 2, 2018  7:34 pm by David Walker Reply

      Didn't Ken Dodd sing something about 'Apenis' being the greatest gift that he possessed? Hopefully that'll be in short supply for the Scousers in the coming week.

  6. April 2, 2018  3:23 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    Loyalty For Ever

  7. April 2, 2018  3:24 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    Better in 2 words : Loyalty Forever.

  8. April 2, 2018  3:32 pm by Pete Reply

    Dave, as I know you like unnecessarily long words, how about Pertinacious, Facetious and Vociferous.
    Sadly couldn't find a word for trying to prove you're sober by trying to do press ups with half a dozen blokes standing on your back.

    • April 2, 2018  7:31 pm by David Walker Reply

      Blimey Pete one can only hope your passing of the combined thesaurus and dictionary, that you've obviously consumed, is relatively pain free. Try half a bottle of Southern Comfort, it works well at numbimg the sensation/pain when undertaking press ups with six fellow Blues standing on one's back en-route to an FA Cup Final.

  9. April 2, 2018  3:44 pm by Will Reply

    Sounds like a great read and this should be next season’s Cityzen gift so that newer fans can get a feel for where we have come from. Three words? Nothing like Rags.

    • April 2, 2018  7:23 pm by David Walker Reply

      If City have any plans whatsoever to give out 40,000 of these books I'd better get on to Don pretty damn quickly to negotiate my commission for Chapter 18 ;-) Your words of wisdom are duly noted. Cheers Will.

  10. April 2, 2018  3:56 pm by Susan Bookbinder Reply

    Great writing David - look forward to seeing you at the derby

    • April 2, 2018  7:20 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Suzy B, aren't you going to give me three words that epitomise being a City fan? Go on, you know you want to :-)

  11. April 2, 2018  4:45 pm by Paul Barber Reply

    Four Generations Blue

    • April 2, 2018  7:19 pm by David Walker Reply

      Bit of longevity going on here Mr B.

  12. April 2, 2018  4:46 pm by Banman Reply

    Those three words to describe a Manchester City fan would be 'Superbia In Proelia' 😉 we've never lost our pride in the countless battles have we.

    • April 2, 2018  7:19 pm by David Walker Reply

      Now, where've I seen those before? ;-)

  13. April 2, 2018  6:09 pm by Levenshulme Blue Reply

    Alright Dave. Yeah, I've got this one. How about "Totally, Absolutely Bananas"?

    Works on many levels for me!

    • April 2, 2018  7:18 pm by David Walker Reply

      Do you come from Fyffe by any chance? ;-)

  14. April 2, 2018  6:26 pm by John Palmer Reply

    The only 3 words I good use....

    Blue not Bitter 😎

    • April 2, 2018  7:17 pm by David Walker Reply

      There's a bit of a clue in your email address isn't there. Cheers fella, keep your eyes on the prize.

  15. April 2, 2018  6:52 pm by Andy Reply

    Hi mate hope your well.......looking forward to Saturday like no other ! Nice to read your stuff pal as previously stated. Just read a piece from Kevin Palmer in the Irish independent.....his work is similar to that of his namesake Carlton or rather Paul :)

    • April 2, 2018  7:15 pm by David Walker Reply

      Hi Andy, as my dear old Dad used to say 'I'm taking the rough with the very rough' as far as life goes :-) Good to hear from you and, yes, I've read Kevin Palmer's pathetic prose...it's great isn't it, their pain is palpable as City disappear over the horizon. Why not give me three words and see if you can't win one of these here books?

  16. April 2, 2018  8:27 pm by Rob Kerr Reply

    Bananas Relegation Aguerooooo

  17. April 3, 2018  8:37 am by martin sloan Reply

    Never lose faith

  18. April 3, 2018  8:38 am by Mike Wild Reply

    Pessimistic, realistic, optimistic

  19. April 3, 2018  7:49 pm by Susan Bookbinder Reply

    Despair, delight, divine

    • April 3, 2018  9:27 pm by David Walker Reply

      Nice bit of alliteration going on there Suzy B, but of more relevance is the upward trajectory of emotions from a City supporter's perspective. A definite contender :-)

  20. April 4, 2018  9:50 am by Andy B Reply

    Loyal ad infinitum

  21. April 6, 2018  8:14 am by Red is the only color Reply

    Man Shitty are a classless club with zero pedigree that can't sell out the empyyhad....... what a joke of a club...nothing more than noisy neighbors for MAnure

    • April 6, 2018  9:30 am by David Walker Reply

      Spoken like a true Liverpool fan ;-)

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