Why City?

With Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Manchester City justifiably laying claim to being the finest ever Champions of the Premier League, it’s worth looking at why City fans are just that…City fans.

In this age of social media where #footballbanter can easily and regrettably escalate into online abuse, some of the milder insults hurled in the direction of many a Manchester City fan is to label them as a ‘Plastic’ or a ‘Gloryhunter’.

100 Not Out – City’s Centurions created by Stiz of our BlueRoom sponsors.

It’s by no means a term of derision reserved exclusively for City supporters, but it’s one regularly trotted out by keyboard warriors, keen to undermine the loyalty of fans, many of whom have been through thin, thinner and anorexic times, following the often Not So ‘Super City from Maine Road’.

It goes hand-in-hand with the ill-informed or just pig ignorant, chants of the imbecilic ranks of opposing supporters. ‘Where were you when you were shit?’ they ask City fans, in the perverse belief they somehow command the moral high ground.

Obviously these misguided morons never do their research. Many of them are probably still graduating from crayons and moving up to felt tips. If they took time out from licking windows and did some research, they’d see City averaged home attendances nudging 30,000, while slumped ignominiously in the third tier during 1998/99.

Outstanding – Kevin De Bruyne – the man above all men who made City’s Centurions tick. Graphic created by Stiz of The BlueRoom.

City used to be heralded as ‘everybody’s favourite second team’. It was an unwelcome ‘accolade’, based on the sympathy vote of being in the shadow of United. Everything changed on September 1st, 2008. Sheikh Mansour took ownership of the Sky Blues. Overnight, City literally became the focus of every green-eyed, disaffected football follower on the planet.

Instead of Mario Balotelli’s famous question ‘Why Always Me?’, supporters of clubs the length and breadth of Britain, not least in Liverpool, London and Newcastle, were querying ‘Why Not Us?’

Mario asked ‘Why Always Me?’ When Sheikh Mansour bought City, opposing teams asked ‘Why Not Us’?

It’s a bona fide question, but every other club’s disappointment was massively outweighed by the incredulity, joy and disbelief of those associated with Manchester City Football Club.

Here was an intensely loyal fan base who’d ridden a football rollercoaster like no other, one which took every proverbial kick in the ‘spherical objects’ and turned it into a badge of honour.

Prior to the Abu Dhabi takeover, Tom Cruise and the Mission Impossible film franchise would’ve more than met their match, if they’d gone in search of glory hunters bedecked in City sky blue.

As for finding hordes of ‘plastics’ – that would’ve been limited to local landfill sites or environmental recycling plants.

Shukran Sheikh Mansour! It’s been nearly 10 years since the Abu Dhabi takeover of City. What a transformation.

Rest assured if you were a City fan prior to ‘The Money’, your loyalty should never ever, for one nano second, be questioned.

Your credentials are ‘impeccable’. You are a true blue, well versed in your understanding of the self deprecating term, ‘Typical City’, with all the scars to prove it.

But what are the origins of allegiance to our beloved City? The answers are manifold, some obvious, some slightly more obscure.

The big ticket answer for many who have suffered through decades of under achievement is that they’re Manchester born and bred, blessed with parents who bestowed a blue blood birthright upon them.

Undoubtedly being a City fan has – for prolonged periods – been a very heavy cross to bear. It’s an analogy light years removed from where not one, but two, Jesus’ have risen to prominence in City’s match day line ups.

In Good Hands – CEO Ferran Soriano and Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak are helping make City stronger on all fronts.

Whereas Navas became a City Premier League Champion and two-time League Cup winner before returning to Sevilla, he never quite nailed the art of crossing.

Fast forward to the here and now and a certain Gabriel Jesus is shaping up as a potential world-beater, a Brazilian superstar in the making, who will crucify opposition defenders for years to come.

It’s a joyous prospect as Pep Guardiola prepares to take City to hitherto unknown heights with a squad awash with skill, speed, youth, creativity, belief, guile, spirit, experience and resilience.

Pep’s first Premier League title win. Surely there’s more to come over the next three years?

The transformation from ‘Typical City’ to perennial title and/or cup winners is well underway.

In the immediate aftermath of The Centurions’ record-breaking Premier League triumph, and the prospect of even better to come, it’s the easiest thing in the world to be a 21st century City supporter.

But what of my own humble origins and why did I swear a lifetime of allegiance to the City cause?

Having been ‘created’ in Cleethorpes on the East Coast, I cannot lay claim to Mancunian blue blood.

Indeed, my first experience of watching football was from the terraces of the Osmond Stand at Grimsby Town’s Blundell Park, back in the late 1960s.

Up the Mariners – As a youngster I saw a lot more of Grimsby Town than Manchester City.

My Grandad Anderton took me to see The Mariners play Doncaster Rovers in the old 4th Division. I’d only just started primary school and my football education was in its infancy. Grimsby lost 2-0. My abiding memory was that of Grandad buying me a pink and white coconut bar en-route to the ground. It was my half-time treat.

Such were the levels of ‘excitement’ as Town plodded to inevitable defeat, I kept mithering my poor old Grandad. When would half time dawn?

A lifelong Grimsby fan, the ageing John Lovell Anderton must’ve been disheartened by the disinterest displayed by his one and only grandson. With barely 20 minutes played, the coconut confectionary was surrendered.

I’ve always maintained a healthy affection for my hometown team, but my true football love is Manchester City. It stems from one woman and one man – my friend’s Mum and Francis Lee.

City legend Francis Lee and Mrs Scott were the reasons I became a City fan way back in 1970.

As kids we would play street football. We’d assume the identity of various star players of our time. My best mate was Stephen Scott and he supported Queen’s Park Rangers, hence he was Rodney Marsh.

His mother, Margaret, had a soft spot for Franny. For some unknown reason, I ‘became’ Francis Lee in the highly competitive knockabouts in Braemar Road.

I shudder to think how different it might’ve been had I opted to be George Best, Bobby Charlton or another non-City icon from my childhood.

Things are looking up – life could get even better for City fans as Pep targets more success over the next three years.

As a six-year old, I was ‘Franny’ despite never having seen him play or knowing that much about City.  Sadly, Mrs Scott passed away this week aged 90.

When I grew up she used to tell me to call her Margaret, but I couldn’t. It didn’t sound right. She was and will forever be ‘Mrs Scott’. I owe that lovely lady a debt of gratitude I can never repay. She inadvertently set a course for me from which there was no turning back. Once a blue, always a blue.  Thank you Mrs Scott, I’ll cherish the memories and hope you’ll be watching City from a sky blue heaven.

My loyalty was further bolstered by a certain Bobby Kennedy, City’s left back immediately prior to the glory years of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison. He took over as Grimsby Town’s Player-Manager when I was just seven years old. His daughter, Lorraine, was my first ‘proper girlfriend’ at Thrunscoe Primary School. Another City thread was woven. Lorraine, a fine sprinter even as a little lass, later went on to represent Bradford City and Scotland in women’s football.

Merlin magic just keeps on mesmerising City’s opponents – David Silva has been at the heart of City’s success since 2010.

As a kid I’d be lucky to catch a glimpse of City if they featured in one of the two games on Match of The Day’s highlights, and only then in black and white. We weren’t posh, we didn’t have a colour television.

The saturation TV coverage of today, with Sky, BT, BBC, ITV and online streaming, wasn’t even close to being a droplet in my childhood.

My first ever City match was Crystal Palace away at Selhurst Park on August 19th 1970 – a 1-0 win. Alan Oakes scored the winner.

The winner – Alan Oakes scored the only goal against Crystal Palace at my first ever City game in 1970.

My Dad – an eminent journalist – wrote to Joe Mercer a few weeks before the game. He explained it was to be my City ‘debut’. He asked if it’d be possible for me to meet the players.

He received a typed response, personally signed by Gentleman Joe, in which the City Manager was delighted that ‘…young David was a Blue…’ and that City would do all they could to beat Palace on the night.

However, Joe stated, if City were to lose the game there might be some ‘industrial language’ that wouldn’t be appropriate for the ears of a 7-year old boy. Regrettably he couldn’t accommodate my Dad’s request.

Gentleman Joe – City manager Joe Mercer signed a personal reply to my Dad’s letter.

It was a lovely letter – sadly lost a long time ago – but one which only served to enhance my Sky Blue passion.

I can recall TV footage of City winning the League Cup against West Bromwich Albion in 1970 on a mud heap of a pitch. The turf had been churned up days beforehand as Wembley hosted ‘The Horse of the Year Show’.

Even more vividly, I remember seeing a grainy monochrome BBC TV News clip of Tony Book, hoisted high on his City team mates’ shoulders, holding the European Cup Winners Cup aloft in rain soaked Vienna.

Dennis Tueart’s winner at Wembley in 1976 went down a treat in the Newcastle end!

I was at Wembley with my Dad in 1976 when Dennis Tueart struck that wonderful bicycle kick winner against Newcastle. For some bizarre reason we were in with the Toon Army at the wrong end. It didn’t matter, we were happy and the Geordies didn’t give me, my Dad, or our travelling companions, the Rector of Healing, Jack Abbott, or Lincolnshire Headmaster, Keith Walton, both true blues, any grief.

Like every other City fan, none of us could have imagined in our worst nightmares that it’d be a 35-year wait before we’d, once again, win ‘major’ silverware.

Even so, there was plenty to keep us occupied between the mid-1970’s and the dawn of Arabic ownership, some of it pleasurable, most of it pretty painful.

Just about there – City’s Class of ’99 prepare to celebrate the penalty shoot-out win.

The unlikely 1999 2nd Division Play-Off comeback is a standout memory. From 2-0 down and staring into the abyss of another season in the 3rd tier of English football, came a truly iconic victory. It was ‘Typical City’ in reverse.

City played two Get Out Of Jail cards that day, thanks to a late Kevin Horlock goal and Paul Dickov’s late, late equaliser. Nicky Weaver’s penalty shoot-out heroics ensued as Joe Royle’s men, bedecked in that loudest of City shirts, sent the massed ranks of City supporters into unexpected ecstacy.

It was a marvellous high amidst a myriad of desperate lows as City bounced up and down the divisions.

Iconic image – Paul Dickov’s late late show saved the day at Wembley in 1999.

Having ravenously devoured Wembley wins over Manchester United and Stoke City to lift the FA Cup in 2011 nobody – absolutely nobody – could have prepared themselves for what would unfold 12 months down the line, as City were crowned Champions of England after a 44 year hiatus.

Pep Guardiola’s City may have Jesus in their ranks in 2018, but Roberto Mancini’s City of 2012, resorted to a revival of biblical proportions, resurrecting their Premier League title bid when all seemed lost.

Far from rising from the dead on Easter Sunday, 2012, it appeared Arsenal had laid City’s Premier League ambitions to rest, as Mario Balotelli was sent off in a wretched 1-0 defeat at the Emirates.

Eight points adrift with just six games to play, Sir Alex Ferguson’s prophecy that City ‘would never finish above United in his lifetime’, sounded horribly true.

Coming soon – Injury ended Sergio’s season prematurely with him stuck on 199 career goals at City. How long will we have to wait for Aguero to hit his 200th City goal? Another Stiz and BlueRoom creation and one to be revisited when Sergio hits the goals landmark in 2018/19.

But City, far from being pumped with embalming fluid, took a giant swig of the elixir of Premier League life and proceeded to smash 12 goals, concede just the one and amass nine points from wins over WBA, Norwich City and Wolves.

United meanwhile, suffered an unlikely 1-0 defeat at Wigan, before somehow squandering lead upon lead against Everton, as the Scousers snatched a dramatic 4-4 draw at The Swamp.

The Last Rites, which had all but been delivered on Easter Sunday, were now null and void as City rejoiced in a five point and eight goal swing, with just 270 minutes of the season remaining

Sky Sports couldn’t believe their luck as a fixture, which had appeared a dead rubber just three weeks earlier, became the pivotal clash in a breathtaking Premier League season.

The scoreboard says it all! City smashed United 6-1 en-route to the title in 2012.

United travelled to City for a Monday Night Football feast with hundreds of millions of TV viewers, not forgetting the 47,259 fans inside an emotion-charged Etihad Stadium, ready to witness the most critical Manchester derby ever.

It was a night when a Glaswegian pensioner edged closer to meeting his maker. Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson was made to reflect on his infamous ‘not in my lifetime…’ retort.

Vincent Kompany’s headed goal ensured City took maximum points and drew level with United at the top of the table. A 2-0 away win at Newcastle meant all City had to do was beat struggling Queen’s Park Rangers at the Etihad, and they’d be Champions.

With literally five minutes remaining of the most pulsating Premier League season in history, Manchester City were on course for the ‘title’ – but not the one they craved after 44 barren years.

Historic achievement – Kompany and Mancini with the Premier League trophy on that wonderful day in May 2012.

The title ‘Typical City’ was set to stick forever, as football’s perennial under achievers seemed hell bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against an under siege, undermanned (Joey Barton had been sent off) QPR.

As the seconds ticked by the sheer horror of what would be the greatest anti-climax – even by City’s own extraordinarily bizarre standards – had enveloped every man, woman and child sporting sky blue.

Gut wrenching agony gripped the cursed City support, tears of anguish were already stinging reddened eyes as the Blue Moon prepared to plummet from its upward trajectory.

QPR were hanging on to the most unlikely 2-1 lead, and with it, their own Premier League survival. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It couldn’t end this way…could it?

When Edin Dzeko levelled the score at 2-2 three minutes into added time it seemed academic. City had to win to edge past Manchester United and grab the glory on goal difference.

Aguerrrrrroo!

The Cup for ‘Cock Ups’ – once so eloquently articulated by City legend Francis Lee –  was destined for the City trophy cabinet until the 94th minute. Sergio Aguero – thigh muscles pumping like pistons – fired a quick give and go to Balotelli, powered into the penalty area, eluded a desperate attempt to bring him down and unleashed the goal of goals to send City into frenzied delight, delirium and untamed bedlam.

Incredible, unbelievable, beyond the wildest imaginings – Manchester City had snatched the title in dramatic fashion beyond compare.

THE best single moment in Manchester City’s history – 93:20!

As Martin Tyler said: “I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again. So watch it, drink it in…” and boy oh boy did the City fans gulp, guzzle and quaff the night away!

Six years on it and it was was Gabriel Jesus scoring in the last minute of the season – ironically, the 94th – at Southampton, to secure the win, as City became the first team ever to achieve 100 Premier League points. Pep’s men were justly rewarded for fighting until the end in the bright sunshine at St. Mary’s. The Centurions created history.

Jesus! A 94th minute winner and 100 points!

The records smashed en-route to the title are well documented, but how can you ever tire of hearing them; 100 points, 32 wins, 16 away wins, 18 successive wins,106 goals scored,+79 goal difference and +19 points gap to 2nd place, most away points 50…and that’s before you drill down into rates of possession, pass attempts and pass completions.

With average home attendances running at 54,000+ in a 55,000 capacity stadium, the juvenile jibes about the so-called Emptihad, are like water off a duck’s back to City fans. With planning permission already obtained for a third tier on the North Stand, further boosting seating levels to 62,000+, the only question is why aren’t City pressing on with expansion plans? Those on the season ticket waiting list would soon gobble up the extra 7,000 seats.

Success breeds success and more and more fans are being drawn to City because of Pep Guardiola’s style of football.

Even more Blues would soak up the Etihad match day experience, if Government gave the green light for the creation of Safe Standing areas. Doubtless it would help pump up the volume from the ‘terraces’, providing an atmosphere befitting the stupendous on-field play.

Success breeds success. Inevitably a club that has won three Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup in the past eight years, is going to attract fans on a global scale, from a much wider and younger demographic.

Captain Vincent Kompany knows how to top City’s record-breaking season of 2017/18 – retain the Premier League! Graphic created by Stiz of The BlueRoom.

One can only hope that the new generation of supporters will be genuine. They’ll hold City dear to their hearts. They won’t melt away if, as and when adversity comes calling. For their sakes and ours, let’s hope they’ll never have to endure ‘character-building’ nights, born of away defeats at the likes of Lincoln, Wycombe and York.

Their support will be built on access to live and televised City games, social media outlets – not least City’s hugely impressive website – where they can see for themselves what Manchester City Football Club is all about.

It won’t be based on anything as flimsy as a lady from Cleethorpes who had a crush on Francis Lee, but if it’s as enduring, it bodes well.

 

By David Walker

Dedicated to the memory of Margaret Scott – Mrs Scott – the lady who was responsible for me becoming a Manchester City fan when I was just six years old. She passed away last week at the age of 90. I owe her a debt of gratitude and will cherish my childhood memories of a lovely lady and a family friend. RIP Mrs Scott.

Competition Time

You could win a superb hand-crafted Manchester City ‘Centurions’ T-Shirt, boasting all the vital statistics of City’s record breaking season, courtesy of InCrowd Apparel. All you have to do is answer one simple question – How many points did City gain both home and away in their record breaking haul of 100 Premier League points? 

Take a look at the InCrowd Apparel website for more great T-shirt designs at http://www.incrowdapparel.com/ follow them on Twitter @InCrowdApparel and catch up with them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/incrowdapparel/ 

Entry for the competition is via the Read But Never Red comments page, the Read But Never Red Facebook page or via Twitter @ReadButNeverRed BUT YOU MUST INCLUDE @InCrowdApparel on your answers and #Centurions. The winner will be drawn at random from across all social media platforms and notified accordingly. The competition closes on June 29th 2018.

You could win this superb City ‘Centurions’ T-shirt from InCrowd Apparel.

 

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

34 Comments

  1. June 18, 2018  11:01 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    What a wonderful piece of writing; a true memorial to somebody who has remained in your heart over nearly 50 years. My own "Why City?" story is so simpler. My dad was a Blue, and we lived in Whalley Range a mile away from Maine Road. I could see the floodlights from my bedroom window and if the wind was in the right direction, I could hear when City scored! Who else could I have supported?

    The answer to the @InCrowdApparel #Centurions t-shirt question is 50 - 50. By the way, there is one record missing from the shirt - the most records broken in a single season :-)

    • June 18, 2018  11:31 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks George. So the answer as to why you're a Blue is wind :-) Your answer as to the hone and away points is definitely not blowing in the wind! Spot on sir. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. June 18, 2018  12:13 pm by Paul Barber Reply

    @InCrowdApparel #Centurions A perfect symmetry of 50 home 50 away. My Dad spent the first 21 years of his life with a bedroom window that offered a view of 2/3 of the Maine Road pitch. Before he could afford entrance he would join his Dad and Uncle in the same spot in the Kippax at 3/4 time when the gates were opened. Later he would work on those gates himself and his sister would mind fans bikes in the backyard. I couldn’t see the pitch from Cheadle Hulme where I grew up but first me then my brother were carried through the turnstiles to sit on Dad’s knee on wooden benches in the Platt Lane or when a bit bigger passed to the front of the Kippax. Dad, Me, Brother, Wife, Sister-in-law and 2 grownup children all still have season tickets today.

    • June 18, 2018  1:35 pm by David Walker Reply

      Lovely anecdote Paul and a 50:50 chance of winning at the moment with you and George the first two competition entries. Thanks fella.

  3. June 18, 2018  1:36 pm by Allan Reply

    I grew up in strife torn Belfast. everybody and his dog supported the rags. my uncle follow Spurs because he had read a novel that said they were the greatest team in he world. In the season 68/69 Spurs drew Manchester City in the FA cup, my uncle said it was Spurs year. I was a nominal Spurs fan but I knew City were going to beat them, City were going to win the cup. What I'd seen of football on TV (Match of the Day and The Big Match - in black and white) this City team were something else. I realised they were my team. It was only later when a friend of mine also started following City and he said the derby was coming up that I realise who are biggest rivals were. I also remember thinking "if I was out playing football and someone told me there was football on TV, who would I stop playing to watch? City"
    My first live game was away to Linfield in the European Cup Winners Cup. I'll bet not many of your readers were at that game. I was in the Kop with home fans. That was all I could afford as a schoolboy travelling across Belfast. It cost one shilling! I got to Maine Road towards the end of the 75/76 season to see a 5-0 thrashing of Spurs. Not easy or cheap to get to Manchester in those days. I would manage the odd game at the start and end of seasons as I was playing in Northern Ireland and the season started a bit later and ended a bit earlier. I always planned my trips back to the UK to make sure could see as many City games as possible. I saw the first 2 games in division 3. Blackpool at home and then down to London away to Fulham and then on a flight off to "home".
    I have lived and worked all over the world. When people ask me who I support their heads would nod when I said Manchester and then their jaws would drop when I said City. I would usually be asked "Why City?" Even one drunken blue, on a bus, on the way to see City at Sheffield Wednesday who really couldn't work it out. He eventually asked me "don't people with your accent follow United?" So I told him "Some of us can think for ourselves". He gave me a big smile and shook my hand. A nice memory.
    The question has changed now and it is "How long?" I can regale them with tales of seeing Colin Bell, searching for the Huddersfield score on the edge of the Kalahari, seeing 10-1 and trying to work out the real score from this misprint (1-0, 1-1?) Doing a jigsaw with my 3 year old because City were 2-0 down and surely facing another season in the third division and a bleak future and then scaring the life out of her twice as I listened to the radio. Telling neighbours in Ghana I was hoping the big match was on TV City beat the rags 1-2 on the anniversary of Munich, They told me it was but they meant Ghana V. Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations. Going crazy in Bonny Island Nigeria every time another of the 6 goals went it. the Nigerians on Monday smiling at me and saying "we were thinking about you". In Lagos when we won the league and being disappointed with myself and giving up and not feeling entitled to celebrate.
    I still sometimes wonder why a lad from Belfast thought he had, or should have any affinity with Manchester but now ;let the good times roll, for as long as they last.

    The first love

    • June 18, 2018  3:03 pm by David Walker Reply

      Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant - I thoroughly enjoyed that Allan. Now, what about entering this here competition for this lovely #Centurions t-shirt?

      • June 18, 2018  7:15 pm by Allan Reply

        @InCrowdApparel #Centurians 50 & 50. By the way, good article as usual, I meant to say that.

      • June 18, 2018  7:17 pm by Allan Reply

        @InCrowdApparel #Centurions 50 & 50

  4. June 18, 2018  3:50 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    I may have been "down" the first game road on here before. However it was about 1950 when my father took me to Maine Road, City - v - Liverpool. I got "hooked" and I still can't work out whether that was the worst or best thing he did for me !!
    The secret of loyalty is to enjoy the day. Some of our best days home and away were with friends in the late 1990's - didn't matter if it was Chesterfield or Wycombe it was always "fun". Nowadays I think people can take it all too seriously as I always say "Never let a game of Football spoil a day out".
    It certainly has been a recent roller coaster and one I can't see changing soon. The faces may and will change but the ethic and culture that has been created will remain. Next season should be interesting. Can we retain the title - more than a fair chance I think.

    • June 18, 2018  4:30 pm by David Walker Reply

      It never does to be too optimistic does it RC, but I reckon you could be right. City could retain the Premier League title and, at the same time, make a much better fist of it in the Champions League, even if it means sticking a fist down the throat of any dodgy match officials. I think we're off the rollercoaster for now and on the up escalator!

  5. June 18, 2018  4:00 pm by Martin Goddard Reply

    I was born in Whalley Range, my Dad was a Blue and so was his father, so it was inevitable I would support City. In fact, In fact, I don't recall a time when I didn't. My first experience of Maine Road was on the 2nd October, 1954, when I was seven. (I researched the date online some time ago.) Dad placed me on a tunnel wall near the scoreboard end with his arm round me and I was rapt, captivated, mesmerised and scenes from that match are still with me nearly sixty four years later. The opposition was Everton and we won 1-0 with a goal by, I think, Roy Clarke.
    By the way, my father was in that record crowd at Maine Road of 84,000+ and I was among the 8,000 or so lowest League gate when we played, I believe, Swindon Town.
    "Pride In Battle," indeed.
    Keep up the good work, David.

    • June 18, 2018  4:32 pm by David Walker Reply

      Two badges of honour within the Goddard Family from opposite ends of the attendance spectrum. Thank you for those great memories and for your kind feedback.

  6. June 18, 2018  4:10 pm by Pete Thomas Reply

    the answer is 50 Home/50 away @InCrowdApparel #Centurions
    My city story is slightly different. my Biological father was a city fan, though until the age of 12 I had no contact with him, it was at this age i started getting into football, and so supporting city made me feel closer to him, when i was unable to see him r be with him. i Have been a loyal fan ever since. for your reference this was in the Kinkladze, Goater era, when we were playing 3rd tier football. In deed the first city game i went to was with my dad, it was a league game against Southend United. we could not get away tickets so we sat in the southend stand. Though we could not hide our delight when city scored, and got some very funny looks as we jumped and cheered. we were then ushered by stewards into a safer area. i was oblivious to all this, it was such a great day. I know am keeping the tradition going, funding and location means i strggle to get to see city play at home, but i take my boy to all the away cup games and a number of away london team matches. Keeping Blue blood in the family.

    • June 18, 2018  4:36 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Pete, here's hoping you can get to as many City games as possible and that each one is a winner. Southend United away eh? Oh, those dizzy highs and halcyon days!

  7. June 18, 2018  4:19 pm by Wilfie Boy Reply

    Born in Stockport but there was no family connections to the Mighty Blues. My grandad was a football fan and use to go to watch Stockport County.He asked my if I wanted to go and my reply was no City. He took me to County but I badgered him into taking me to City and he got a bollocking off my mum as I was 5 or 6. So the seed was sown and we are where we are today. Many have survived the period of depression but hopefully we will go and set record after record if there's any more we can break.

    The answer to the @InCrowdApparel #Centurions t-shirt question is 50 Home - 50 Away

    • June 18, 2018  4:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Wilfie Boy. 50:50 is bang on the money. Would you care to give @InCrowdApparel a follow and place an entry on Twitter including them and @ReadButNeverRed #Centurions and your answer. That way you're ticking every box of the competition details? Good choice - City over County ;-)

  8. June 18, 2018  6:00 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Brilliant bit of writing Dave, a brilliant read. My own story is a bit different, my Dad was a season ticket holder at Old Trafford & used to go to lots of there games. (yes I know i hang my head in shame) Then one day my brother in law who was a true blue said his mate couldn't go & would I fancy going with him. It was against Spurs when City walked all over them despite the snow. I was hooked & never looked back I shudder what might of happened if he hadn't taken me to Maine Road that day. Comp entry 50pts home & 50pts away.

    • June 18, 2018  8:22 pm by David Walker Reply

      You saw the light and crossed over from the dark side - what an enlightening experience for you Doug! Are you referring to the famous 'Ballet On Ice' when you mention City beating Spurs in the snow? If so, that's one hell of an introduction to MCFC. Glad you enjoyed the piece, it was motivated by the death of dear old Mrs Scott last week.

  9. June 18, 2018  9:50 pm by Tom Hunter Reply

    Your story could be my story but mine came earlier and from the Red rose county not the dark side.I came from St. Helen's a rugby league and at the time Everton town.I am a gloryhunter but only by name.I first decided that when Roy Paul said he would come back the next year and win it for the fans and kept his word , that that did it for me. Along with Bert coming back regularly to his first club and buying papers from my uncle I was consumed with all things City.I won't go on much longer only to say like most on here I really have seen it all including being puss wet through in Vienna when we won the Cupwinners then going to see the win against WBA 3 days after the horse had trampled the once hallowed turf .Been a development agent rep for over 30 years until moving to Spain for fourteen years ,back home now health getting worse just as team get better and better no justice.@InCrowdApparel #Centurions 50 home 50 away.

    • June 18, 2018  10:22 pm by David Walker Reply

      You're not 'going on' Tom, not at all. Great to hear your story. How does it feel to be one of the very few who were there when City lifted a European trophy? I think the Cup Winners Cup is a lovely looking trophy - the best of the three. They should bring that competition back. Sorry to hear of your health difficulties, I hope you can rally and stick around to see Pep bring home many more trophies. Thanks for reading and your feedback.

  10. June 19, 2018  9:07 am by Malcolm Reply

    Up to your usual, incredibly high standards of writing. Thank god for Mrs. Scott - I'd hate to think of your talents being squandered on a less deserving football team! Everyone remembers their first match - and mine was at The Swamp watching the scum play out a 0-0 bore draw with West Ham in December 1965. My uncle and his 3 sons were season ticket holders and lived next door to us, and I fantasise that my City-supporting father was waiting for the mighty Blues to ascend to the lofty heights of the First Division before taking me to a game at Maine Road (in actual fact he was almost always too busy to take me). That finally happened in 1967 when I witnessed Young, Bell, Summerbee and Stan Bowles (2) score in a thrilling 5-2 victory, and that was that. (The second match he took me to was at Wembley in 1969 by which time I was pestering him to take me every week. He finally put a stop to my mithering when he arranged for me to get a season ticket sitting with some friends in 1970). Today I'm so grateful that my initial foray into live matchdays was so dire and I was not lost to the red zombies.

    • June 19, 2018  10:09 am by David Walker Reply

      Many thanks for your gracious feedback. Yes, Mrs Scott was an absolute diamond, had it not been for her intervention God knows where I might have pledged my allegiance. A 0-0 bore draw at The Swamp, sounds familiar even with the passage of 53 years. As ever, thanks for reading and commenting and, if you fancied trying to win the Centurions t-shirt, you know what you have to do.

  11. June 19, 2018  9:10 am by Arpit Arpan Reply

    Hi David,
    Its Great to hear about story about an old city chap who had stayed with blue moon in odds as well.As much as we enjoy the current waves of excitement ,let me assure you that we will stay with Blue all of my Life.I am a IT professional starting my carrier in India but was a football fan from Ronaldo 's Brazil which tormented defences like anything.We generally never follow Club Football from Europe except for few BIG European teams.After Zizou's headbutt ,I was looking for more football excitement to follow.Someone from my Engineering group told me to watch Manchester .I am a great underdog fan.So instead of going for lavish ,fast football by Rooney ,I went for Ireland and Joey .I saw few matches as City were not so famous at that time.As a neutral ,I was just there to enjoy football.Next Season was a treat as city beat united and I was really happy about the results in the beginning of campaign.Due to final exams that summer ,I missed a lot of part of that season.The most painful part was when when we lost 8-1 but finishing 9th was not bad at all.Then came Sheikh news that an overtake is happening .Robinho was a famous name in world football and bringing him although not in footballing terms but it made a huge uproar even across Asia.My opinion actually turned by the run that caused the City needing a win at ethiad to match united in terms of points.People that had not seen that match wont realize that United were out classed in every department that day.I remember trolling united that they had no shot in first half.That run of matches actually turned everything in terms of confidence for city.It was difficult to see Joey on the other team as I felt that he was a real baller that couldn't reach his potential due to his attitude.Rest every thing is documented and known mostly by every one there on pitch or television set.It is a last longing memory when fergie has to eat his words.I understood the meaning of "Never say Never".I got a lot of battering for enjoying matches of city before and after that aguero moment(Often named Plastic) . I hope we see more lads to come through academy like Micah and not a very much fan of spending but it has what got us this far.Hopefully Journey will continue like this and will get a chance to see Silva play on ethiad pitch .

    • June 19, 2018  10:20 am by David Walker Reply

      Glad you're enjoying modern day City like the rest of us and were there before Sheikh Mansour arrived to transform our fortunes. I've no doubt City's Academy will provide a decent percentage of players for the future, but even those that don't break into the elite First XI, will enjoy fulsome careers with other clubs, while also generating vital transfer income for City. Inevitably City will spend to try and maintain their leading position in English football, it would be naïve to think otherwise, but the likes of Foden and Diaz demonstrate the kids can come through, make the grade and, in doing so, save City tens upon tens of millions in transfer fees. Thanks for your comments.

  12. June 20, 2018  11:03 pm by John Palmer Reply

    50/50 on the points
    Got my parents to thank for being a Blue, even though I was born & bred in Salford. Dad was from Withington and mum from fallowfield opposite Platt Fields. They met on the Kippax back in the 50’s so without City I wouldn’t exist!
    Mum took me when I was young, we used to call at my Nana’s and walk through Platt fields to the ground on a Saturday. Many years on Dad & I now both season ticket holders, mum doesn’t like going as she gets to nervous these days.
    Now have 4 children of my own, all blues, not that they had a choice, and I feel so privilidged watching City these days and the football we play and so thankful that the finger of fate put my mum and dad together on the Kippax all those years ago.

    • June 21, 2018  10:04 am by David Walker Reply

      Great parents and you're continuing the brilliant parenting classes with your children. Well done that man.

  13. June 25, 2018  4:34 pm by John Bampkin Reply

    David my reasons for being a Blue are very similar to yours - I am not from Manchester but from the Midlands so I have no Mancunian Blue blood but my Grandad was a massive Francis Lee fan and he let me watch the 1970 Cup Winners Cup match (It may have been just the highlights as I was only 5 years old at the time and cant recall the exact details but I can remember the black & white pictures and the team parading the cup around after the match). From that moment I was a City fan. So for 47 years I have endured and enjoyed that amazing rollercoaster - made worse that my 4 best friends are all United fans and have been singing songs to me that date back 3 decades.....until recently of course!
    I am sorry to hear about Mrs Scott - All I can do is imagine that she is now talking to my passed away Grandfather about the great Francis Lee!
    Another great post by the way!

    • June 27, 2018  11:49 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for sharing your City roots. Apologies for the lateness in my reply. Yes, that's a wonderful concept of Mrs Scott and your Grandfather in some sort of sky blue heaven and, if Pep can retain the title and win the Champions League next season, we'll have another derivation of heaven, only this time here on Earth.

  14. July 2, 2018  3:22 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    It was wonderful to read everybody's stories!

    @InCrowdApparel #Centurions - and the winner is??

  15. July 10, 2018  10:42 am by By Reply

    My best writer .how are you doing today. Where have you been ? I miss your words. Thank you for this beautiful piece. Am humble and proud to be a blue.ctid

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