Motivations & malice at Manchester City

It used to be that a good education was built on a foundation of ‘3 Rs’ – reading, writing and arithmetic.

Fast forward to the contemporary world of social media and the everyday lot of the football blogger and an intriguing trio of ‘Ms’  confront every aspiring scribe each time he – or she – addresses their keyboard.

Football writing used to be the exclusive domain of the sports journalist – officially accredited to some recognised bastion of the media – either on a staff or freelance basis. If you didn’t work for a newspaper, magazine, wire service, radio or television station you were a nomadic nobody whose ‘voice’ would simply wilt in the wilderness.

Without the internet there were no routes to market for the guy or girl who fancied their hand at expressing their views on the ‘beautiful game’ – the spectacle that provokes more passion, argument and debate than any other sport.

Seeking votes - if you want to vote for Read But Never Red in the Football Blogging Awards 2013 via Twitter please tweet: I am voting in @TheFBAs for Best #Male @djwskyblu

Seeking votes – if you want to vote for Read But Never Red in the Football Blogging Awards 2013 via Twitter please tweet:
I am voting in @TheFBAs for Best #Male @djwskyblu

Cyberspace transformed everything.

At a stroke Norman Nobody, Deluded Dave even the old favourite of Simple Simon (the alliterations are endless) were afforded a stage, a platform to enlighten a potentially global audience with their ‘take’ on their team, the opposition, the hot topics of the day or even something way out of left field.

The blog was born and, whether you had the ability to streamline sentences as smooth as silk or grunt your way through appallingly ungrammatical  garbage, the door was wide open for an outpouring of written words to swamp the world like never before.

That brings me back to the M&M&Ms that the bog standard blogger battles through each and every time they have the temerity to foist their thoughts and opinions on an audience, however big or small, engaged or disinterested.

Motivations, misperceptions and malice are the three which spring to my mind.

What motivates an individual to spend endless hours writing, not even knowing if an audience exists for their pearls of wisdom?

FANTASTIC FEELING - If you want Read But Never Red to be in good Kompany please vote for the blog in the FGootball Blogging Awards 2013

FANTASTIC FEELING – If you want Read But Never Red to be in good Kompany please vote for the blog in the Football Blogging Awards 2013

Is it an inherent belief that they simply have to be heard, that their views should be adhered to or that they run the risk of ‘exploding’ – metaphorically one would hope – if they don’t ‘let it all out’?

Or, could it be a nasty attack of self-importance, delusions of grandeur, the belief that they are the next Martin Samuel, Paul Hayward or Henry Winter and it’s only a matter of time before they’re discovered?

I can only speak for myself when I say I write about Manchester City – the team I’ve supported since the age of five – because I find it therapeutic to either exorcise the demons and injustices meted out by referees, Match of the Day pundits or the national football media, who I perceive as broadly anti-City, or to recognise the achievements or shortcomings of my beloved Sky Blues.

Blogging came to me somewhat late in life, especially when you consider I inadvertently had my own editorial column in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph at the age of 13…but I digress.

I stumbled onto the road that was to lead to writing my blog – READ BUT NEVER RED – when someone issued a plea for a match report on City’s 4-0 win over WBA in 2012, en-route to their first top flight title in 44 years. The regular writer had missed the game and they needed to plug a hole in their coverage.

Recognition - Read But Never Red has been nominated in the Best #Male category in the Football Blogging Awards 2013 - if you like RBNR please cast YOUR VOTE & make it a winner - THANKYOU!

Recognition – Read But Never Red has been nominated in the Best #Male category in the Football Blogging Awards 2013 – if you like RBNR please cast YOUR VOTE & make it a winner – THANKYOU!

To my pleasant surprise, the article was well received and I was asked to do more. Encouraged, I settled into a rhythm of pre-match and post-match articles before branching out into miscellaneous ‘City Chat’ pieces that cover a multitude of sins.

I took time out from my family life, juggled work schedules and did all I could to keep the words flowing. I enjoyed it.

I was buoyed by positive feedback and found a receptive audience in fellow City fans who had suffered through thin, thin and anorexic times as ‘Typical City’  had historically always managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

It would be a lie to say I didn’t get a buzz from favourable comments, even a giggle from outraged opposition fans – often from what I tongue-in-cheek refer to as The Dark Side  from The Swamp, fans of Manure – sorry Manchester United FC.

It was – in the main – good old fashioned banter, although not always.

This brings me to M&Ms two and three. Motivation is one thing, it comes from within and it will differ for every individual. The Misperceptions & Malice that follow, once the football blogger is up and running, are more commonly applied.

If a blog is poorly written, incorrect spellinks (!) and poorly structured it will, by and large, sink without trace or court either contempt or pity.

Not so, in the case of blogs that are original with quirky news ‘angles’, well executed and in tune with their chosen audience.

Congratulations & celebrations - will READ BUT NEVER RED be a winner at the Football Blogging Awards 2013?

Congratulations & celebrations – will READ BUT NEVER RED be a winner at the Football Blogging Awards 2013?

Notwithstanding the innocent motivations that originally led our blogger to want to express themself to a world, blissfully ignorant of their humble endeavours and aspirations, the individual can suddenly find themselves a figure of hate and ridicule.

Misperceptions are formulated on the premise of God knows what – jealousy, spite, ignorance, just a general sadistic streak to belittle the efforts of those who actually made the effort– who knows?

People who haven’t a clue about the blogger as a person, their values, beliefs or reasoning, are given to ‘attacks’ via that most convenient and anonymous of social media vehicles – Twitter.

It speaks volumes of their unfulfilled lives that they feel the need to resort to a faceless world where they can hide behind vague identities, spitting  out their bile, supported by simpleton disciples who hate anything that even remotely resembles something half decent.

But, in a society where we value freedom of speech, that is quite rightly their prerogative. It isn’t constructive and, in comedic vernacular, it’s neither big nor clever.

It is, however, a grim reality that a half decent football blogger is more than likely to encounter at some stage.

Similarly as the blogger strives for recognition, seeking as wide an audience as possible via social media, he or she is pilloried and castigated – the perception among detractors being  that the individual must ‘love themselves’  despite ‘spouting  shyte’.

Blogging is oh so very subjective.

Paradoxically, the very medium that seeks to recognise football blogging excellence i.e. The Football Blogging Awards @TheFBAs, can inadvertently bring out the less appealing traits of human nature.

City through & through - READ BUT NEVER RED is written by a true MCFC sky blue, David Walker

City through & through – READ BUT NEVER RED is written by a true MCFC sky blue, David Walker

Rather than simply accentuating the positives of their own blog or their favourite blogger, individuals resort to besmirching the reputation of other bloggers, denigrating their honest endeavours – after all, there could be votes to be had via character assassination.

Not very laudable, but nonetheless a sad reflection of the world in which we live. If it’s good enough for the politicians, those striving for occupancy of 10 Downing Street or The White House, then why should it be out of bounds for aspiring FBA winners?

If that’s the case then go ahead – each to their own if they are so desperate to take the laurels.

And the winner is...- Voting in the Football Blogging Awards close on 27th October. The winners are announced on 21st November

And the winner is…- Voting in the Football Blogging Awards close on 27th October. The winners are announced on 21st November

It all goes back to the original motivation.

In my case it was, and still is, an enjoyment born from writing about my team – even when they fail to turn up.

If – big word IF – if, I entertain some folk along the way, then all well and good. If my scribing is perceived as shallow, populist crap then so be it – I give not a jot.

Winning awards was not and will never be my motivation – a nice and unexpected bonus were it to happen, most definitely – but never ever the reason for doing what I do.


By David Walker @djwskyblu



Here’s how the Football Blogging Awards are running this story

If you would like to vote via twitter please tweet the following message:

I am voting in @TheFBAs for @djwskyblu as the Best #Male Football Blog

If not it is absolutely not a problem but thanks for reading all the same



  1. October 18, 2013  7:54 am by Eileen Fullen Reply

    Brilliant piece keep up the good work I for one am a believer

    • October 18, 2013  7:56 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for commenting Eileen - it's all been a bit messy recently, but never mind.

  2. October 18, 2013  8:06 am by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    Sorry David, I couldn't possibly comment as I never read your blog, and I definitely never comment on it!

    (Good to see you on NewsNow BTW, should get you the larger audience your writing deserves)

    • October 18, 2013  8:33 am by David Walker Reply

      Am I allowed to acknowledge you in daylight hours? I'm surprised you've managed to stumble across this exceedingly low profile and self-effacing blog - just your bad luck I suppose! ;-) CHEERS #MCFCBLUEBROS

  3. October 18, 2013  6:48 pm by Mole Rocks Reply

    I'm a fan of your work as you know, so I hope that's a teeny weeny bit motivational.

    Looking forward to the West Ham preview as I have thought up a killer teaser line which have them cringing to Hades and back :-)

    Keep up the great work sir!

    • October 18, 2013  7:14 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Carl - I wonder if we're allowed to be polite and cordial to one another on here without the pernicious adolescent pillocks trying to gatecrash with their lemonade and crayons...

      I'm doing a quick Hammers preview tonight...if only to see your killer teaser line ;-)

  4. October 18, 2013  7:28 pm by Mole Rocks Reply

    Polite and cordial is the only way I know unfortunately. Apologies :-)

    • October 18, 2013  8:02 pm by David Walker Reply

      It's the way it should be - but there again that assumes we're dealing with adults who know how to respect those around them, rather than behaving like playground cowards. We move on young Carlos...

  5. October 18, 2013  8:26 pm by Jim Land Reply

    I only found your blog earlier this week (via NewsNow) and am very impressed having read some of your archive pieces. Keep up the good work.

    • October 18, 2013  11:31 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thank you for such encouraging feedback.

  6. October 18, 2013  8:29 pm by DOUGLAS HENSHAW Reply

    Well written as alwayd Dave I just love read but never red pure poetry lol. I have even got some friends of mine that are not city fans reading it & they like it. So here's hoping you win the award you deserve it for the plesure you bring to us city fans & others. Hope we meet up one day at city so I can tell people I've met the famous David Walker.

    • October 18, 2013  11:41 pm by David Walker Reply

      You know Doug until what, two weeks ago, I had never heard of the Football Blogging Awards and that's not being disrespectful to the FBAs. I simply wrote RBNR. If - IF - I am in the finalists announced on October 28th it would be pleasing, no doubt. However it isn't why I write RBNR. I have won awards both in journalism and corporate communications during my career and it's nice to earn recognition. Such accolades were based on the quality of my work rather than a pure popular vote - as is the case with the FBAs. I have already achieved something by being honoured to be able to write as an official blogger at, along with seven others this season. It's great that true City fans like you hold me in a certain esteem - that means a lot. Contrary to what some would have you believe I am not actually 'up myself' - if it were anatomically possible, it would indeed be impressive! I'd be delighted to say hello as & when - please let me know when you'll be at a game and we'll try and make arrangements. Thanks again.

  7. October 18, 2013  9:52 pm by Etta Gregory Reply

    Excellent read Big Dave2, flamin keyboard warriors are parasites who feed off good honest folk!
    I, among so many look forward to your blog and they are bloody good reading. Sod the eejits who should really not walk amongst us! Keep on blogging!

    • October 18, 2013  11:46 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Etta - it's all getting a bit silly isn't it? We're all City fans - or so I'm led to believe - and yet this shit goes on. It's perverse that all the crap is coming from within, so to speak, and ironic that I have Manchester United fans actually voting for me in the FBAs. Maybe that's a damning indictment on my writing abilities! I enjoy doing it - although it does put a strain on social time - and I'm glad you and others enjoy reading it. There may well come a time when other priorities will far outweigh RBNR, at which point we can just pack up and close it down. In the meantime - THANKYOU!

  8. October 19, 2013  7:11 am by Mark Turner Reply

    Hopefully you know I am a fan and always find every article you write hugeley entertaining and insightful. Of course you're positive in your articulation about City, but to no greater degree than the bulk of the media possess a collective focus on spewing bile and half truths to support a story.
    I have naturally voted for you and sincerely hope you win, if you don't then much like my support of City, i'll still look forward to the next game/article.
    The future is sky blue and hopefully @djwskyblu.
    Please don't stop blogging.

  9. October 19, 2013  10:36 am by carol main Reply

    your match previews and reports are part of our footy days now Davy, there'll always be haters, dont let them win

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