Yesterday on Vital Manchester City we asked fellow Blues to send us your Manchester derby memories.
In response VMC member, Jeremy Poynton kindly sent us his story dating back from 27th March 1968.
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My father’s 49th birthday. The match of the season. Bless him, his mate, Arrighi Bianchi, a United season ticket holder, and a fellow Macc businessman, got me a ticket in the main Grandstand for the game. Dad went in the Stretford End – an interesting experienced for a rugby man, who wouldn’t let me go to watch City until England won the World Cup and I finally convinced him to take me to Maine Road. I was then just 15. Football, he declared, was for girls and the working class. With a twinkle in his eye.
Bert Trautmann and our Sky Blue brought me to City. Grandpa was a United fan from their Newton Heath days. I always did what wasn’t expected of me. I loved Maine Road, and Dad did, soon relenting and letting me join the mayhem in the Kippax, where I used to stand on the inner corner of the tunnel at the North end of the stand. Me, Les Jones, and Fat Pat the Postie.
The tension before this game was palpable. Both teams in the bag for the league, United looking favourites, and all the more so when Best scored, more or less from the kick-off. As all around me went nuts, I could barely conceal my disappointment. That wasn’t to last long – after 15 minutes, King Colin, already looking to run the game, equalised with a belter past Stepney, that he had helped to set up.
1-1 at half-time, but City clearly bossing the game, and some 12 or so minutes into the second half, a Coleman cross was headed in by that most occasional goal scorer, George Heslop, and we were on the way, finishing them off when Bell was brought down in the box, and you know who scored the third.
There are few things to beat a night game. Over 63,000 there, and this 16 year old, looked on kindly, bless them, by the United supporters around him, could barely keep in his seat. This was a dream – we had gone into the Lion’s den, pulled his teeth and kicked him in the balls. Hard.
The rest is history. We won the League, and had our all too brief glory days. But glorious they were. Thanks lads, thanks Joe, thanks Big Mal. I will never forget that night.