I Love City - My Story
We hear from many supporters who given us their feelings, vent their spleen or tell us their story. Today we heard from Simon Cooper rather than say anything else, please read what he has to say, he sums up the feelings of many supporters:-
"I like many other people of my generation came from a broken home. When I say broken, I use that in the phrase of “my mam and dad were divorced when I was very young”. At weekends from the age of 8 years old my father a Salford blue would have the weekend with me and my brother to spend time with us and take us here and there.
The main event would be a trip to Maine Rd to see our beloved Manchester City. My old fella was a bus driver and used to drive one of the match buses from Aytown Street to Lloyd Street every Saturday. He would put me and my brother on the nearest seat to the drivers cabin while city fans packed the bus to go to see the boys in blue. The bus drivers had there own seats at the very back of the Platt Lane, and my old fella would smuggle us both in, and we would get a birds eye view of the match.
When I first started going, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about until city would score. My old fella would lift me and our kid about shaking us like rag dolls, screaming and shouting for joy. If my old fella was happy, then we were happy.
That’s when city became a member of me and my dad and my brothers family. We built up a love for them over the years, and as we both got older we got more passionate.
My mam was from Wythenshawe and was a red, as were all her brothers (5). Seeing the joy on our faces when my dad would drop us off she was more than happy for us to be blues. Now I look back the gap that was formed when they both split up was filled with Manchester City F.C.
City was my family, and through out the years I became very protective of the club. Some times over protective, leading to fights in school to defend something that I loved and whose name I would not have dragged in the gutter by anyone. This was football, but to me is just wasn`t. This was my club, from my town, wearing my colours. It was my family, my dads family and my brothers family, and my other city mates family.
Over the years through the highs and lows, that love has grown and grown, as it does naturally with most of us. When it was announced we would be leaving Maine Rd, I was sad but excited at the chance of 48,000 people roaring our blues on to the max in a world class stadium.
Much to my dismay that vision did not bear fruit for the first part of the season and I along with other passionate blues tried to do something about it. We met with with the club's board to discuss why people could not be seated with their friends who were sat next to each other at Maine Road.
We opposed the heavy handed stewarding that was not used at Maine Rd, asking why were these new methods being installed? We asked the club to create singing areas to which nothing prevailed.
We opposed the membership card as a money making scam to blead fans,(it was £20). We asked the club to move the away fans and many other things to improve the atmosphere. We asked about putting tickets on open sale sooner?
Nothing happened. We gave up (cloth ears).
At the one of the last Fans Committee meetings I attended , I and 3 fans of the Points of Blue panel told the club if they did not address all of the above, attendences would drop. One of the board (who I wont name, but will if I have to) said the club could not forsee that occuring with a season ticket waiting list of 8,000. I just felt sick. We and others on that panel knew the danger signs were in place, but all the club could see were figures and not the complaints we were hearing at work and in the pubs.
The following year the signs were there, Olympiakos 18,000. A friendly you say…..ok. Not to me, it was a sign of things to come. The new £20 membership card we felt would just tell the fans “the clubs taking the piss, we're no mugs”
West Brom gate 42,000, (3,000 Baggies). FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON. Where`s the 6,000 season ticket waiting list??? That means the club have lost 14,000 fans somewhere?? Where have they gone?? This year gates are down to 34,000 as we predicted.
No one can prove where they have gone, I believe they’ve given up on watching football and are simply voting with their feet. "Johnny come latelys" you may say, we don’t think so. I think they're all blues who can see when they're having their pants pulled down and ripped off. The amazing thing is THIS IS HAPPENING AT EVERY PREMIERSHIP CLUB. City as a club are FORCED financially to compete.
Overpriced tickets! Give us your money ! Watch the match and shut up! Then go home and watch the same thing on T.V.,enjoy the Premiership in the millenium.
What we are saying is don’t give up on football, it has survived without money before and it will do it again. You’ve just got to find it. The fans are the club not the landlords.
I would like to you all to appreciate the fans committee (Points of Blue panel). Every one of them has the courage and love to speak their mind to the club and give their own time up to do that. By right all of the supporters club chairmen should be there…because surely they represent the fans?
City fans need to build a structure that protects the Heart and Soul of the club that is slowly dying. Boards come and go, fans don’t.
Atmosphere affects the players Keegan said it and now Pearce has said it. The place is like a morgue!. You know it, I know it but now one cares enough to do anything about it, until now.
But if 48,000 blues don’t speak as one, nobody hears them. WE NEED TO SPEAK AS ONE!
We need to join together for the first time under one flag, that flag I believe is the MCFC Supporters Trust. This is a club representing the City of Manchester, Yet no one on the current board has lived or been brought up in Manchester. Do they really understand what being a Manchester City fan is all about?
For this club to move forward, all of us as fans have to join together as one. We now have the chance for the first time in our history to make a difference. Myself and the members of Bluewatch will be backing the Trust 110%.
President of Bluewatchmcfc"
Send us your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish a selection. For those of you who have already sent us stories etc don't worry, we haven't forgotten you and plan publishing more like this regularly.