About me…

(1970-something to present day)


I’ve been a Manchester City fan all my life; heavily influenced by my dad.

My first recollection of players and a squad that I began to follow - and soon idolise - was with the likes of [in order of playing position] Joe Corrigan, Alex Williams, Bobby McDonald, Willie Donachie, Dave Watson, Kenny Clements, Paul Power, Gary Owen, Asa Hartford, Peter Barnes, Mike Channon and Dennis Tueart. I caught the back-end of Mike Doyle, Tommy Booth and the great Colin Bell in his brief, “return” period but we were moving on to the likes of (previously mentioned) Tueart & Channon and “ooo”-Roger Palmer by then.

My idol was (big) Dave Watson.

My dad took me to a few home games over the years; my first was in the late 70s at Maine Road against Tottenham Hotspur. I think we won 3-1.

An absolute defining moment for me was when we were beaten 3-2 in the F.A. Cup Final replay against, again, ffffff…flippin’ Tottenham Hotspur. I was just approaching my 10th birthday and as the final whistle sounded; I recall not wanting my dad to see the tears.

I walked quietly into the garden and tried to swallow the hard lump that had developed in my throat. Once I’d ‘chocked it back’ it was like an epiphany - even at the age of just 9 I knew that if defeat hurt the heart THIS much then I must be in love with them; I must stick with and follow this football club come what may.

A few years later and a friend of my mum; her husband took me to two very crucial games against Oldham Athletic (0-0) and Charlton Athletic right at the end of the 1984/1985 season. We beat Charlton 5-1 on the last game of the season and gained promotion to the-then 1st division.

Promoted and playing our football in the top league; for some reason I didn’t go to a single match! I was only 13 but looking back, I just can’t think why I didn’t go to any games. We finished that season 15th - we had survived!

Then, at the age of 14 and in true-suffering, Manchester City supporter style; I took the plunge during a dreadful second season in the ‘top flight’. I began to take myself off to home games on my own; paying less than, or about, £5 on the turnstile. Dipping my toe in the waters of being a supporter of a major – but often struggling - football team; this was for me!


I was a Kippax Stand lad and loved every minute of it. I used to stand quite low down at the front and toward the right-hand-side; progressed higher up and towards the back and, as the seasons passed, eventually shimmied over to the more-noisy left side near to where the away supporters were penned. I sit in a similar position now at the Etihad Stadium.

Back to the season of 1986/1987; I went to 13 games, including a 3-2 home defeat to Ipswich Town in the Full Members’ Cup on Saturday 31st January 1987, 3:00pm KO. The reduced-sized, fold-out, 7-page (including front and back covers) “Match Magazine” was just 20p!

Of the matches I attended we won 5, drew 3 and lost 5. We were relegated; having finished second-bottom to bottom side Aston Villa.

With a sense of resolve I was completely hooked and purchased my first ever season ticket. At still – and just about – 15 years of age; it was a junior season book and cost just £45!

Since then - and over 32+ seasons later - I can probably count the amount of home, league games that I’ve missed on my fingers & toes and from the 1987/1988 season to around the mid-90s, I went to a good-number of away games; from as far-North as Sunderland to many in the London area (and lots in-between).

When I moved away from home and into the housing market I stopped the hard slog of mostly-negative away results but, for the most part, I VERY much enjoyed my ‘away trips’. Great days in fact! Sadly, paying bills then took president over funding away games.

But I’ve carried on the season ticket and, when possible, home-cup-games ritual; purchasing my [consecutive] 31st season ticket (now card) for the 2016 / 2017 season. Shouldn't they be free after you reach your 30th?

I don’t stand up now, of course, but I like to think that I still have that old spirit of vocally driving-on my team. I more-often-than-not come home with a hoarse throat…


As we moved from Maine Road and into the Etihad Stadium I joined with a couple of friends in writing for a new fanzine that one of them had created called, ‘A Million Miles Away’.

Taken from one of the lines in the Club’s anthem, ‘The Boys in Blue


…it ran for 10 issues and spanned 4 season. It was great fun, a little hard work [getting the time] at times but very rewarding indeed. After years of ‘not writing’ my wife was urging me to ‘take up the pen’ once again; sighting a ‘Blog’ as one possibility. She was right - I was missing it and on 28th April 2013Blue chews-daze’ was born!

Meet the family
So having just missed out on the highly successful late 60s and early 70s; I’ve seen the barren times, the really barren times and the really, REALLY barren times. So much so, in fact, that I’m still catching my breath from the EF5 tornado that has swept through our wonderful football club from 2008 to current day. More to follow I hope…

So that’s me. As always, thanks for ‘taking the time’.

2 comments:

  1. Nice story!
    I started following City because of a girl. It seems that so many stories start that way. I live in the United States and had a girlfriend from Manchester. She eventually moved back to England and I went over to visit her back in 1987.

    When she was busy, I hung out with a guy across the street. Now this street just happened to be behind Old Trafford. I was familiar with Man Utd, but to me, they are like the New York Yankees. People who do not even like the sport are 'fans' of theirs just because of their championships. Well, being that I hated the Yankees, I had the same feelings for United...so, I needed to find out more about City.

    The internet was around back then, but not in its current form...and finding out about Manchester City wasn't that easy. Following them was even harder. I could find tables periodically online. But when relegated, my searching intensified. When relegated AGAIN ... my team had disappeared off the face of the earth!

    I followed them as best I could into the 2000's ... and then that EF5 tornado (as you described) hit. What has transpired since then has been phenomenal. Here in the U.S., soccer is becoming more and more popular. 6 or 7 years ago, some cable channels would televise some matches here and there. Then Fox Sports started showing 2 to 3 games per weekend. Then NBC bought the U.S. TV rights and now all matches are available either on TV or online.
    I hope to come over and watch a game in person one day...I hope soon.

    Thanks for your BLOG!
    Gary Beesley
    gary1212@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gary.

      Great to get a message posting from you and a really good story to read. Not knowing the NY Yankees at all I was interested in hearing your comparison and even more interested in hearing why you steered clear of Manyoo for that reason; chose City instead - despite staying just over the road from 'the enemy' - AND at a time where City were doing so very badly in comparison!

      Although the internet was around then, as you say, I didn't have home access to it and neither did I bother trying too hard to find access around the time you mention. But I can imagine that as we slid and 'slid' it would have been hard to find stuff about City - national English newspaper at the time often did likewise by burying a small article somewhere pages-in from 'the back page'.

      Hope you get the chance to come over and watch City in person one day; I really appreciate you finding, reading and then commenting on my blog and very pleased also that you like it. I try to keep it light-hearted and slightly different to what's 'out there' already and I get most of my early posting 'hits' from the USA, which is always pleasing to see.

      Cheers Gary!
      Steve.

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