Tuesday, 26 June 2007

BERNARD MANNING - GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN



Today is the day of Bernard Manning's funeral. He will no doubt be given a great send off by the community which loved and understood him the most. In true City fan style his 'awkward-sod-ness' prevailed to the end - the more he was criticised, the more he stuck to his guns with his own unique non-comformist humour. No-one was safe from his wickedly outrageous wit, even himself.
He was also a notoriously kind, generous and loving man who did a tremendous amount of charity work, especially for his local community.


Tony Petrie wrires:-

It seems like only yesterday, me, mum and dad, sat around the old 24 inch black and white TV eagerly awaiting the weekly offering of the new programme that made us all laugh so much – The Comedians. It was half an hour of pure stand up comedy without a magician or singer in sight, just Shep’s Banjo Boys playing us in and out. I liked them all, Frank Carson (a bluff Ulsterman), Colin Crompton (a weedy northerner), Ken Goodwin (a stutterer), Charlie Williams (a black Yorkshireman), Tom O'Connor (the boy next door), Jim Bowen (a stone-faced ex-deputy headmaster), Lennie Bennett (a giggler) and Mike Reid (a cockney), but without a doubt, my favourite was Bernard Manning. Perhaps I was attracted to Manning’s familiar Manchester accent, perhaps it was the way he delivered his jokes, perhaps it was because he made jokes about Manchester United. I found out soon after that he was a big (in every sense of the word) City fan, which of course made him even easier to like. He has offended many and was labelled a racist more times than he had hot dinners, but it was a tag that he denied vociferously. In the early 70’s, every comedian sprinkled a few racist jokes into their act, none more so than Charlie Williams, but as time and society moved on, telling jokes about Scotsmen, Irishmen and Englishmen became racist, so what chance did Manning have telling jokes about Pakistanis? The accusations didn’t stop the public attending his shows at his Embassy Club though, although it’s fair to say, if you wanted to catch Manning’s act in the last fifteen years, it was about the only place you could see him. Back in the early eighties, when the new wave comedians were coming to the fore and the PC brigade began telling us what we could and couldn’t watch, read and listen to, Manning was invited onto some trendy discussion programme. It soon became apparent that the big man was there simply to be attacked by the interviewer and his fellow panellists. The programme may have even centred around Ben Elton’s declaration about Benny Hill being sexist as it was open season on 1970’s dinosaur comedians. Manning was outnumbered and in typical fashion made a comment saying something like “Ben Elton is about as funny as woodworm in a cripple’s crutch” His fellow guests immediately rounded on him, accusing him of making jokes at the expense of the disabled. But they missed the point. He didn’t say “Cripples are funny, aren’t they” he was saying, If you were crippled and relied on a crutch, woodworm would not be funny, exactly the point he was making about Ben Elton. He wasn’t given a chance to explain the joke. It was OK for the new left wing comedians to have a witch hunt against the older comedians, but they weren’t allowed to defend themselves. As one of only a handful of kids with a dark face at school in the late 60’s, you will have to take my word for the fact that I know what genuine racist comments are. I never found Bernard offensive, but then I used to like watching Mind Your Language too. I don’t wish to start a debate or argument as to whether Manning was or wasn’t racist/sexist/homophobic/stoutest/disableledist or any other ist as new ones are created every day, but if you are expected to either love or hate the guy, then without doubt I loved him. As a comedian, he made me laugh and no matter how big headed MUFC and their fans got in the 90’s, he was always on hand to slap them down with a good put down. It’s ironic that two of my favourite Bernard Manning jokes couldn’t be classed as offensive by any group except perhaps RAGS. The first is the one about three guys discussing how they wanted to die. The first says, "when I go, I want to die on the golf course, where I have had so many good times" The next one says, "I'd like to die making love to a beautiful woman" The third says, "When I die, I'd like to die peacefully, in my sleep, just like my dad. Not screaming and shouting, like his passengers" Then there’s the one about Paddy Crerand, if he’d had five shots at Kennedy, he’d still be alive today. (Bernard Manning 1930 – 2007, RIP)

Tony Petrie

The family have requested donations in lieu of flowers to NMGH Diabetes Centre. Further enquiries phone: Johnstone Brothers Funeral Services 0161 643 2690

Sunday, 24 June 2007

WHAT A WEEK!

The Thaksin takeover finally happens, rightly or wrongly (and subject to him being deemed 'a fit and proper person'). Sven’s his favourite, but not the out-going board’s, they still fancy Ramos or Hughes. Initial reaction at KK Towers to Thaksin was ‘a worry’ and to Sven ‘shock and horror’ then the text messages went something like this from some of the KK scribes and some media folk :



1) F***ing hope not! Can’t believe how many Blues have been backing him today! He’s absolutely s**t on so many levels. A typically disastrous choice both on and off the field! Just think back. Heskey picked as the left winger for 3 years, Beckham picked come what may (even at right back) SWP, Lennon, and Gerrard all forced to play on left to accommodate, taking two injured forwards and Walcott to World Cup, awful football in nearly every game, negative tactics, terrible substitutions, not forgetting the sneaky meetings with Chelsea, and the fact that he nearly bankrupted Lazio and wrecked their youth team. (Ed – to add, conned by Arab sheik, texting Ulrika instead of concentrating on the game, and coming over as a complete geek – for sure!) List is almost endless. PS : Saw the websites, bunch of know-nothing a***holes Dave, ignore them

2) Typical City – a fiasco.

3) He’s ok for me. He’s got a good track record at club level. And his record with England is good . So think if he can build his own team without being restricted to English players only, should be ok.

4) Hi Dave - I’m ok with it, seems like he wants the job, would prefer Ramos but Sven has a good club record and should be able to attract players, in saying that - I have been wrong before.

5) “He never did much for England, but succeeded at club level” says my mate.

6) Not for me but we’re stuck with it

7) Dirty old man

8) Rather have Sven than Hughes

9) Indifferent would sum it up. Not sure if he knows enough about English league players and his style of play a bit negative. He’d only be here for the money and we could probably forget any youth team players coming through cos he’d buy foreigners. Would be happier if we had an English /City bred number two or coach. If I had a choice it would be Hughes.

10) I’ll say yep to Sven – defo in favour of takeover, something had to be done and beggers can’t be choosers! C’mon City!

11) I’d like Sven because apparently wants Owen for £9M release clause and that’d piss Barton off!

12) Ignoring Lazio where he bought the league and bankrupted them, he’s still got a fantastic record. It’s going to make things interesting if not guarantee success.

13) He’s a class act at club level but comes with a tarnished reputation. He’ll need blinkers on if he’s gonna work with Thaksin’s daughter!

14) We don’t want Sven

15) No to Sven

And finally, from Mr and Mrs Ed – no, no, no, no to Sven.

So what do you make of that? Does the most powerful argument win? Or does the “best we’ll get” argument supercede.
Any more thoughts? Let us know.


Bobby Johnstone Competition
Answers to the Bobby Johnstone competition in KK 149 :
1) Bob’s remarkable feat was to score in successive cup finals – 1955 and 1956
2) Bob was born in Selkirk
3) Famous Hibs forward line was known as ‘the famous five’
4) Bob played for Oldham after leaving Hibs for the second time

Winners were Andy Spragg from Baguley, and Graham Nicholson from Maryport, who have both been sent John Leigh’s book. Thanks to everyone for entering, and we did have a great response.

Dave

KOTK editor was vilified on some websites for being quoted in the press. "He doesn't speak for me" being the gist of it amongst all the personal insults. He was contacted by reporters (he didn't volunteer) and asked HIS opinion re the takeover and possible appointment of Sven. The fact that the media portrayed him as 'speaking on behalf of the fans' was their slant on things, not his (although he does have a habit of talking in terms of 'we', but that comes from years of speaking on behalf of the fanzine and wanting to be inclusive of all who contribute to its success).
Today's Sunday Mirror runs an article in which Mike Doyle gives a similar point of view to Dave's, thus putting our Ed, and many other discerning City fans, in good company.

Congratulations to Ricky Hatton. Pity he was deemed to be a better fighter than footballer early on in his career, we could do with his good humour, professionalism, passion, dedication and winning mentality in the City dressing room. Doesn't he make you feel proud!

Sue

Saturday, 23 June 2007

HATE BOXING - LOVE RICKY HATTON

Very best wishes to Ricky Hatton tonight. I admire the man immensely. A great ambassador for his city and his country - and most of all for Manchester City FC.
The only shining light in what appears to be a gloomy, sleazy future.
MCFC is now owned by a man whose source of riches to me are repugnant, who thinks the previous chairman and continuing chief executive have done a great job (?!) , and who has given vital positions on the board to junior members of his family. 'Nuff said.
I'm used to the club making a fool of its fans, but I'm not used to feeling as embarrassed and ashamed as I do now.

Ricky Hatton is my one remainingly source of pride in being a City fan.

Blue Moon - Hatton is standing alone - keeping the dream in my heart - the only blue love I own.

C'mon Ricky!!!!!!!!!!

Sue

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Sven, Take Overs and Thai Guys

Watched "Bless this House - The Movie" on cable last night and I couldn't help thinking how similar the plot was to the current situation at MCFC. If the situation wasn't so serious, it would make a great farce. Our Ed was quoted as saying that there would be "Riots in the Streets" if Erickson was given the City job. Well, I have a friend who works at Express Dairies and a cousin that works at a petrol station, so I can get us a good supply of petrol and milk bottles. That will give you a good idea as to where I stand on the subject of the Swede managing us. With regards the Thai Guy takeover. I honestly believe that the guy is desperate to get rid of some of his cash. It could be tax dodging, or money laundering or simply that he doesn't want the military regime to get hold of any more of his assets, I am not yet sure. Of course, owning a premiership club will build up his image in Thailand. I can only assume that he has kept quiet to the Thai's as to which premiership club he is buying. If I hadn't already not renewed my season ticket, then I wouldn't renew as a protest.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

FOOTIE GEAR FOR SIERRA LEONE FOOTBALLERS

The Red, White and Sky Blues are the official USA supporters’ club of Manchester City FC. We are a branch of the team’s Centenary Supporters Association and we would sincerely appreciate your attention to the following matter....
The West African nation of Sierra Leone suffered through a civil war that lasted more than a decade and claimed at least 50,000 lives. The current life expectancy in the country is just 38 years for men and 43 years for women. Devastation, poverty and hunger have all reigned supreme in recent years. Through the game of football, however, one man is attempting to make a difference and it is our intention to help further his efforts.
Like all of us in the Red, White and Sky Blues, Armani Sheku Kamara is a fervent supporter of Manchester City FC. In his war-ravaged and impoverished homeland, Mr. Kamara has somehow organized both a supporters’ club and a squad of players that competes against similar teams from other villages. The dire circumstances of the recent past in Sierra Leone have made his accomplishments remarkable enough; now, our supporters’ club is getting involved to hopefully bolster the entire soccer community there. It is our sincere intention to assist Mr. Kamara and all of the soccer players of Sierra Leone through the collection of used equipment from the youth, high school, college and adult participants throughout Massachusetts. We need your help. We need you to encourage your players, coaches, parents, family members, administrators, fans and friends to donate their old soccer gear to the impoverished players of Sierra Leone. We need you to spread the word about this project to newspapers, magazines, radio stations and web sites. We need you to collect old kits, used balls and all other football-related materials so that we may ship the materials to players in West Africa. We need you, as members of the football community of the world, to get involved. In a recent email, Mr. Kamara sent us his request: “We need soccer equipment. Balls, shoes, socks, etc. We lack basic soccer equipment and it is very hard in the second poorest country in the world to set up a team. I have a budget of $2 for 24 players and that comes out of my own pocket.
“Please, I am ashamed to ask and I hesitate to ask but it is very, very hard in Sierra Leone as our country has gone over twelve years of rebel wars, the most brutal civil war in the world in which people’s limbs were amputated and many lost their loved ones. It is only through soccer that we have been able to move forward to try to forget about the past. Please, we will be very happy and grateful to receive soccer equipment and any financial help from you and we will be delighted to receive anything that you will be able to help us out with here. We look forward to hearing from you and this development is going to help the youth players, many who have great talent in my country. Thank you.” If you would like to help us, please respond at your earliest convenience. At the very least, we would sincerely appreciate it if you could forward this message out to your entire list of contacts. As well, please contact us with any suggestions or questions. We will be happy to meet with you to discuss this idea. Please visit our web site at the address listed below to see a few pictures of Mr. Kamara's players in Sierra Leone. Sincere regards, George Cuddy Chairman Red, White and Sky Blues Manchester City FC Centenary Supporters Association USA Branch Web site: www.myspace.com/mcfc_csa_usa Email: redwhiteandskyblues@yahoo.comPhone: 617.893.0292

[ We were privileged to meet young Mr Kamara when he was a guest at the annual 'shindig' of the MCFC supporters organisation. A slight but impressive man who made a gentle speech which left us all in tears. The Supporters Club had paid for his visit, given him a place to stay and 'booted and suited' him for the evening. He was easily the star guest - far above any of the City dignitaries. But what really touched our hearts were the gifts that he brought. All were made from materials scavanged from the waste tips. Beautiful bracelets made from the copper wiring found in discarded bits of electrical cable; exquisitely crafted wooden plaques of the MCFC crest, made from rough pieces of driftwood. To say we were humbled just didn't cover it. Amidst all this talk of takeovers and billionaires, of players on obscene salaries, of wags and weddings I keep one vision in my head - Amani Kamara dancing the night away with fellow City fans, in awe of his achievements. - Sue (Mrs KOTK editor)]

Monday, 18 June 2007

SUMMERTIME BLUES - no news is, er, no news....

Well Ramos has turned us down, if we even spoke to him, and Adrianse isn’t interested. Mark Hughes and Chris Coleman are now added to the list. Newcastle have upped their bid to £5.8M so the £300k Joey thought he was entitled to was obviously included. Nice work if you can get it. Was £5.5M too low anyway?
Wardle apparently DID turn up at the P and W meeting after all on Tuesday night, but sounds like it was the usual excuses -comparing us with the worst clubs and not even the average ones who get to semi-finals and finals. How much longer can these people be allowed to take the p*ss?
Fixtures are out and it’s a tough opening. All London away games before Christmas, ‘Boro away on New Years day, and unbelievably rags away on February 9th – and you know what that means. Friendlies still to be announced.
Otherwise nothing much happening. None of the managers' names are impressive now, though Hughes is a surprise, and Didier Deschampes is now added to the list, so it’s just a case of carrying on watching, waiting and hoping for the best. Manchester City, eh, “This is why we love ‘em”, they say, but sorry I don’t think so….

Monday, 11 June 2007

SUMMERTIME BLUES - latest lunacy - if it wasn't so serious it'd be funny.....



As May petered out we were informed that Ranieri would give his decision re the managerial vacancy by the end of the month. He was on the brink of accepting the City job, we were told, but there was no movement with the Thaksin takeover.
Meanwhile the squad is becoming even more depleted – Distin, Sinclair, Jordan, Beasley, Trabelsi, have already left, and Barton’s gone to Newcastle -but he’s asking City for £300k as he reckons he didn’t ask for a transfer! Good as! Chelsea are sniffing round Richards too.
Ray Ranson withdrew his consortium’s bid, City reportedly not even bothering to look at it, and fans are re-assured, not by our invisible Board though, that there are also two mystery American parties in negotiation.
Ranieri’s now gone to Juventus, and Seville’s Ramos is the new 'hot tip', though his club are likely to offer him a new deal after his success in UEFA and La Liga where they’re now in third place.
Pearce now admits the under 21 job should be full-time - well, well - as his boys beat Slovakia 5-0 with Hart playing the full game and Nedum in for the first half.
Sadly, Ricky Hatton has announced that Wayne Rooney, of all people, is to carry one of Ricky’s belts into the ring for the forthcoming fight with Castillo, and he’s disappointed with Blues fans’ reaction. Can we have nothing of our own without those tw*ts muscling in? What next – Ferdinand playing drums for Oasis? I happen to think that Ricky, Noel and Liam’s support for the Blues has helped our younger fans ‘Keep the Faith’ through these shit times on the basis of “If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us”. Whilst music and certain sports transcend tribal differences I think that this one is stretching it too far. Big mistake Ricky, have a rethink, please.
Apparently City are scouring the world for a striker.
Last week Thaksin was been given yet another deadline for his bid – Monday June 11th, today (a.m.) actually, but later denied by the club. What’s the betting that even if he does take over, and his own men form the new Board – having little or no knowledge of the Blue psyche – if they keep on certain members of the current regime, then we’re still in trouble.
Elsewhere other clubs are spending millions, signing players (Sibs has gone to Wigan, where at least he knows how to score!) and announcing pre-season friendlies. City have our friendlies lined up, usual suspects, but aren’t announcing them yet.
Again total contempt for the fans trying to arrange holidays..
John Wardle (he’s our Chairman, by the way) has pulled out of a meeting with the Prestwich and Whitefield branch at COMS tomorrow night on the grounds that his appearance could compromise the takeover. He is to be, it’s rumoured, by Tyrrell and Summerbee. There are many other issues the Chairman could address and re-assure the fans on. And, just as he tells us at AGM’s the board won’t answer questions on players contracts or wages, all he has to do in this instance is state that he won’t answer questions on the takeover. There are plenty of questions to ask. Simple stuff like why don't fans get replies to letters? Why didn't the club go for O'Neill last summer when it was already clear that Pearce wasn't up to it? Why do key personel go awol when City are in the headlines? Why have a Points of Blue group to address fans' issues and then ignore it and set up other 'focus groups'?........ etc, etc. Does he think that all City fans are completely stupid? (check out the front cover of KK 146).
Management by abdication is no longer an option, and whilst he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, bringing Bernstein back would be a sensible move, takeover or not. Swallow your pride and take ACTION.
Not sure what’s happening with The Fans' Trust at the moment but it’s awfully quiet…..we’re into the second week of June now, the fixtures will be out soon, and the same worries we had a month ago are still here, c’mon City….and now the hot news is that Thaksin’s assets are all being frozen worldwide, but the club still think the deal will go through…..
What do you think, fellow Blues, or have you given up completely and don't give a toss anymore?