One day, when I was about 7 years old, I went round to my best friend's house to see her new pet rabbit. The girl in question was not in the back yard playing with the rabbit, and her weary mother directed me upstairs to her bedroom. There she sat on the floor with a pair of scissors and a face like thunder. She was surrounded by magazine cuttings and posters from the wall. One particular gentleman was being removed from all the posters. Like Stalin removing Trotsky, there she sat, determined to write her version of history. The man in question had a green jersey on, all the rest in her numerous posters and photographs were wearing red. I wondered if the wearing of the green was in some way a good reason to obliterate all memory of this poor unfortunate. She sat there muttering his name, "Paddy Roach, Paddy Roach, Paddy Roach". The green made sense now, of course, he was Irish. I made some innocent inquiry as to why Irish persons were no longer popular on her posters. Apparently his Irishness or otherwise had nothing to do with it. This was all to do with an unforgivable crime he had just committed. She blamed him for making the men in the red jerseys look like idiots. Apparently, he was responsible for humiliating them at the hands of the enemy; Manchester City.
I didn't come from a football following family and this was the first time I had heard those magic words; Manchester City. I decided there and then that any unassuming bunch of people who could be the cause of such irrational sulkyness in my best friend, had to be worth investigating. I've been a fan ever since.
They are pretty rubbish at football. They never win much. They make shocking appointments and their supporters are among the most deluded in the world of football (soccer). Next year we will be great, the next manager will be the best, next year we will be solvent, next year we will learn how to pass the ball, next year we will score lots of goals. Every year takes on tragicomic overtones and ends in disappointment and annoyance.
The City fan is a loaner. I've noticed this travelling on the motorways at weekends. The football fan on his own travelling in what looks to be a reps car is always a City fan. Everyone else travels to games in fun filled cars laden with smiley, happy people (especially Evertonians); but look there is the City fan, on his own, Billy-no-mates.
Yup, folks it's tough being a City fan. The news from the club today seems pretty gloomy.....but that's life, I'll still always support them. We do occasionally beat Manchester United and that makes everything else worthwhile.
ps: Today I write my letter of resignation to my boss. As tempted as I am to say "May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits". A short, polite letter will suffice and I look forward to being able to shake the dust from my shoes on my last exit from that most peculiar establishment sometime in July.