No history? 1880. 1894. 1904. 1934. 1937. 1956. 1968. 1969. Continental and domestic in 1970. 1976. Every year in between glued together with people, vibes, life and community. Deep shades of sky blue and glorious ambition, turmoil, truths, trouble, love and hope. This City has history as deep wider than the Manchester Ship Canal and deeper than the soils that Manchester sits on.
1981: a replay on a Thursday. I wasn’t born. I heard something happened. I kept hearing it again and again and again.
Growing up on European night stories and tales. The folklore. The tales. The late nights turned tables. Not going, not knowing and City not showing. Different times, fine lines.
Railway specials, walks from The Clarence, Kippax gone, homeless and nomadic, back to the new Kippax. Relax. Imre ‘Banana’ and blowing up as City implode and reload.
“Swales out!” “Lee out!” Ball in. Ball out. Coppell copped out. Frank Clark went to the park. Asa Hartford changing seats like underwear. Brian Horton left via Gorton. Book, Reid, Neal and Machin. Howard Kendall, any good? The managerial machine doesn’t need oiling – it needs scrapping!
Uwe! Uwe! Uwe!
Wondering how much sunblock Lomas applied as Kinky cried? Seeing torment arrive on a tide.
5-1 in our cup final, and Fergie’s baptism, and then schism after schism in stands of scaffolding. Walking back along the A56 year after year, without cheer.
Being unable to get to York away, unlike the other ten million Blues, because that day, work meant I couldn’t see us lose. The Blues. The blues. Boos. Chews and choose.
Lincoln, Halifax, Shrewsbury, Bury and Stockport, where are you now? We were with you and now we’re not. We’re not really here. Thanks for keeping us company. No hard feelings, we’re just like you, but we’re not. You know what we mean. Macclesfield, cheers.
Listening on the wireless to the boom of Fred Eyre, on Piccadilly Gold. Not always because sometimes City were shoved aside for that Red lot over in Trafford. We couldn’t always go. Tickets away not available on the day.
Get that Dickov! Feed the Goat. Oooohhh it’s Nicky Weaver… Andy, Andy Mor-ri-son… Super Kevin Horlock. Edghill edged and Pollock pledged. Terry Cooke, he’s not red! Surely not! Jobson, Howey, Wiekens, Whitley brothers,
Wembley! Wembley! Wembley! Nineteen ninety nine was ever so fine. The divine stood in line and created a path headed towards a goldmine. The crocus. Dickov! Slide, slide, slide away… Tears! Tears of relief! Tears of joy! A dream reborn! CITY ARE GOING UP!
Ipswich Town in the rain? What a pain! Do it all again? Why not! Give it our best shot! Gene Kelly? Inside stand toilets? SMELLY.
Ewood Park without dark, what an hark and a lark as City are back, with some clack.
Bernarbia and Berkovic! Is this as good as it gets?
Gary Neville is a blue! The Goat? Feasted. Fed. Full.
Watching Viduka, Owen, Fowler, and every Tom, Dick and Harry pick their spots and find it. Again and again.
Seeing Keane being mean, standing over Haaland imposing his ridiculous square bean.
Keegan attacked and attacked and then got got side tracked.
Pearce’s lofted penalty hit a carcass of the Sputnik or some such other floating tin.
Goodbye Maine Road. Fireworks and sounds faded. A new concrete bowl provided.
Welcome Barcelona and Total Network Solutions… Is this the promised land?
Pearce off. How many goals in one season at home?! A ‘keeper up front?! Don’t pull that stunt! Wonky toes and European woes.
‘The Moston Menace’, SWP, BWP, tiny, tiny Willow Flood was good, and Ireland is Superman. Nedum can head ’em. Michael Johnson was on some. The golden generation we were told. Same old, same old?
Things good shook up. New owners. New investment. New opportunity. New ambitions. WE’VE GOT ROBINHO! WE’VE GOT ROBINHO! WE’VE GOT ROBINHO!
And then 2011 arrived. Things changed. But still they laughed. Still, we held our pride. Welcome to Manchester F.A. Cup. It wasn’t long before a young man name Sergio arrived… And an academy beyond our wildest imagination… and ever-growing ambitions…
But, now we’re here, watching super City from Maine Road, in Shenzhen on a television screen bigger than the North Stand at Maine Road. In China, fans are growing. Porto game showing. The Champions League Final. Whatever the weather, we’re not fair-weather. We’re not really here.