Sunday, 30 December 2007

Latest Issue

The latest issue of KOTK - No. 156 - is now on sale. Available outside the ground on match days, or from Needbest - ie. the news kiosk opposite Boots and M&S, Cross St., Manchester; or from the URBIS shop - take a look in there also for the KOTK book CENTURY CITY, plus other unusual gifts and books with a Mancunian bias.

CENTURY CITY is now on sale in the CITY SUPERSTORE at Eastlands.

IT'S A FIX - Liverpool


Moved forward from Saturday and K.O. at 4pm

Formed in 1892 when Everton vacated Anfield. Ups and downs until back to div 1904/05, where they stayed until dropping into the 2nd Div in 1954, for an incredible 8 seasons, returning under Shanks in ’62, and the rest is history.
They’ve won 18 league titles (from 1901 to 1990); 5 times Euro Cup winners; 7 times FA Cup winners (65 to 06); 3 times UEFA/Fairs Cup winners; once Euro Super Cup winners (77/78); 7 times League Cup winners (‘81 to ’03).
Some names/connections : Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Keegan,Toshack, Souness, Grobelaar, Rush, Dalglish, Barnes, Anelka… Beatles, Cilla Black, Elvis Costello, Echo and the Bunnymen, Pete Wylie,
Matt Busby, George Livingstone (our first Scottish international, I presume!), Steve McMahon, Paul Stewart, Mike Robinson, Mark Seagraves, Joe Fagan, Mark Kennedy, Paul Walsh, Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Keegan, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Didi Hamann.

Rafael Benitez squad includes : Reina, Carragher, Hypia, Finnan, Gerrard, Riise, Mascherano, Pennant, Babel, Kuyt, Torres, Agger (dooo doo doo), Sissoko, Alonso, Crouch, Kewell, Itandje, Voronin, Arbeloa, Lucas, Benayoun, Hobbs, Aurelio,

Last season ; At Anfield in November it was a narrow 1-0 defeat for us, Gerrard scoring for them in the 62nd minute whilst we never looked remotely like scoring. 44,081 (2, 953 Blues)
They lost in the final of the champs league, and finished 3rd.

This season so far : Out went Bellamy, Pongolle, Cisse, Garcia, Fowler, Hammill, Dudek, Peltier, for £21M
In came Torres, Benayoun, Leiva, Mihaylov, Kacaniklic, Nemeth, Simon, Pacheco, Amoo, Purie, San Jose, Veronin for £40m
Currently they’re in 4th place with 36 points from 18 games and 6 wins 2 draws 1 loss away from home. In the Carling they went out at Chelsea.In the Champs league they’ve recovered with good performances and are through to the next stages. In the F.A.Cup they’re away at Luton (again) .

Our form in Manc v Liverpool : Last season we managed a 0-0 draw.making it 3 wins 6 draws 2 losses in the last eleven.
Post war attendances ranged from 17,975 in 70/71 to 70, 640 in the F.A, Cup 5th round in 55/56.
Best win 6-0 in 1936. worst defeat 5-0 in 81/82 .

Other moments: Biggest games were the League cup semis of ’81, when we were robbed 1-0 at M/Rd (Alf Grey) and murdered ‘em 1-1 at Anfield

Comment : Still not the really scary Liverpool we once knew, but they have enough quality in their squad to cause us problems. Our recent record isn’t too bad though so you never know….

STATS: 64 pre-war and 78 post-war make it our 143rd league meeting and here p/w it’s:
Played: 39 Won 10 Drawn 12 Lost 17.
Last Pot: Euro Champs Cup 05.
Last Att: 44,081 (2,953 L’pool)
Wwtwtwshite : Av’d 22,742 in 31/32
Their current home average attendance : 43,880

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Pre-Match Post-Match Match Report

As a journalism student, one thing I have been taught is that you have to meet your deadlines. I don't want to shatter anyone's illusions about the news and match reports, but most of it is already written before it's happened.

Each match report has three introductions written - one for a home win, one for a draw and one for an away win. The details - goalscorers, events, etc - are added after the game, but are generally lifted from a bank of statements, where only the player names, teams and times change.

Post match manager quotes are then added to reach the word count required for the newspaper's print deadline, or to pad out online reports which will be on the internet as soon as possible after the final whistle.

The story of the game must be told within the first four paragraphs, too, just so that they can be lifted from the report and be placed onto Teletext and Ceefax.

To prove this to you, I'm going to write a match report for the game against Aston Villa. Before kick off.

Introduction One
Manchester City have ended their sequence of draws and defeats away from home, with a [SCORE] victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Introduction Two
Manchester City have (remained in fourth place/slipped to [POSITION]) after a [SCORE] draw with Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Introduction Three
Manchester City have (remained in fourth place/slipped to [POSITION]) after their [SCORE] defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Middle One
A single goal from [SCORER] secured the win after [TIME] minutes. [SCORER] [METHOD OF FINISH] past goalkeeper Scott Carson/Joe Hart from a [ASSISTER] [METHOD OF PASS].

Middle Two
Goals from [SCORERS] secured the blues' first victory on the road since August and continuing Villa's poor home form (could be switched to "Villa's first home victory" and "continuing City's poor away form").

Middle Three
Goals from [SCORERS] ensured Villa's first home points since the beginning of November and condemning City to another away defeat/draw.

Game Review
In this bit, you'd see many paragraphs chronologically running through the game's events, probably along the lines of:

[PLAYER] came close on [TIME], after he knocked a [PLAYER] (cross/through ball/shot/pass) (over the bar/just wide/onto the post/into the keeper's hands).

However, it was the home/away side who looked the more threatening, as [PLAYER] [ACTION] and [ANOTHER PLAYER] [ANOTHER ACTION].

This bit will be written during the game - the first half's events will go down on paper at half time, while the second half's get recorded during stopages, breaks in play or during boring midfield spells. With the benefits of replays in the press box, a journalist doesn't need to see an event immediately.

If the game review doesn't fill sufficient words - maybe it was an awful game - then manager quotes from the press conference afterwards are added. It's seen as a necessity, so there will always be some, but it does depend on what has gone before it in the report.

Using this principle, I could have a match report finished for the Villa game (without the managerial quotes, since I won't be at the press conference) by 5.00pm.

David Mooney

Gary Neville

Is it just me that thinks Gary Neville looks like an orc?

David Mooney

Friday, 21 December 2007

IT'S A FIX - Villa

Our first return game. Wow, a scheduled game, a Saturday, and a 3pm kick off, only one thing could mess that up, don’t even think about it!

Formed in 1874, dominated in the 1890’s, always a first division club pre-war, apart from two seasons in the thirties, post war ups and downs to the third and back, established in the first/Prem since 1988.
Honours ; 7 times div 1 champs (last in 1981), 7 times F.A. Cup winners (last in 1957, beat united 2-1), 5 times league cup winners, Euro Cup winners once, Euro Super cup winners once.
Some names/connections ; Nigel Kennedy, Simon Inglis,…Joe Mercer, Frank Carrodus, Adrian Heath, Stan Horne, Ken McNaught, Ron Saunders, Billy McNeill, Barry Stobart, Darius Vassell, Tord Grip.

Martin O’Neill’s squad : Carson, Knght, Laursen, Mellberg, Roe-Coker, Barry, Bouma, Gardnere, Young, Maloney, Agbonlahor, Taylor, Sorensen, Harewood, Osborne, Davies, Petrov (there’s only one), Moore, Carew, Berger

This season so far: We did the business at COMS again in September, Michael Johnson scoring a beauty to clinch the 1-0 win. 38,363 (2,148 Villa, who sang some very entertaining songs to no avail)
Currently they’re in 8th place with 28 points from 17 games with 5 wins 0 draws and 4 defeats at home. In the F.A. Cup they’ve got united at home.

Our Form at Villa : Last season it was a very welcome 3-1 win, Vassell, Barton and Distin in the 18th, 32nd and 75th minute respectively, with McCann replying in the 66th minute for Villa. This continued our run of only one defeat in the last 11 League and Cup visits (1-0 in 02/03)
Best win : 5-1 in 90/91 and the 6-1 semi in 1934 at Huddersfield
Worst defeat was in 1901, 7-1.
Post war attendances have ranged from 10,593 (56/57) to 50,614 (47/48)
Semi-finals – we’ve won all four, 1-0 v Sunderland in 1955, Spurs in 1956, Everton in 1969 and Ipswich in 1981.

Groundwise : No change to Villa Park except we’ll be down the side in the Doug Ellis stand as opposed to being behind the goal at the Witton End. They must have thought it gave the opposition teams an advantage.
Tickets are £30
Not sure if the programme shop will still be there, and it’s the West Midlands police plus over efficious stewards, so be careful out there..

Comment ; Surely we can’t keep winning at Villa Park? Why not? Dunno. Law of averages I suppose.

Stats : 58 pre-war and 79 post make it our 138th league meeting and down there it’s :
Played 39 won 17 drawn 12 lost 10
Last Pot : League cup in 1996
Last att : 30,14 (1,355 Blues, only)
Their current home average: 30,774
WWTWTWShite? Averaged 15, 237 in 85/86

Away day Zines ; Heroes and Villains

Steve P’s Routemaster : M6 to jn 6, take A38(M) towards Birmingham. First exit (Park Circus roundabout), first exit (Waterworks Boulevard B4132) and left at roundabout (Lichfield Road A5127) , next left into Church Road, continuing
into Church Lane, left at end into Queens Road , back under the motorway, and the ground is on Witton Lane, just beyond.
Parking on industrial premises off A4040 Aston Lane (or on side streets) to north west of ground, then return via A38 to M6 jn 7
Pubs : The yew Tree, The Cap and Gown on Witton island, The Harriers on Broadway, Barton Arms, High Street Aston.


Wednesday, 19 December 2007

City 0 Tottenham 2

Having recently returned from The Middle East, my cousin came across an ancient parchment in a curiosity shop. Part of the inscription may explain why we lost to the Spurs - again. It said - As God surveyed his kingdom he announced "What wondrous things have I created. From the smallest creature to the largest mammal, from the deepest ocean to the highest mountain all is good in the world. Now I shall create man (and woman) to share my creation" -and he did. And as the trees, plants and grass populated the earth, all Gods creatures knew their place. But God was still not satisfied, for he knew that his children would require recreation for when their work was done. "I know, said God, I shall create football teams, to entertain my children every week with a games of football". So this God did, he created some teams that played in red, some in white, some in blue and some in yellow. But one he decreed shall play in sky blue and white and they shall be called Manchester City. This was God's favourite team and he watched as they grew from their humble beginnings. The devil looked up from his pit of hell and was envious of what God had created, so he created a football team of his own and called them the Red Devil's or Manchester United and they shall play in shirts as red as the fires of hell itself. One day during a game between God's own team and the spawn of Satan, a saint called Dennis scored a goal of devilish trickery and sent the Devil's children down to the place from whence few ever return, which did not please the Devil. So he cursed Manchester City and vowed "Whenever God's team shall play those that is called Tottenham in any game that is important, they shall lose. This shall be your punishment" And this the Devil did and to this day whenever the two shall meet, it is written that Tottenham will always win - And they did, The Bastards!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Xpert Eleven Recruiting

Just to let you all know from my previous post on this subject, we're now accepting applications for the International League once again:

If you'd like to join, all you have to do is sign up to: and search for the league with the ID 126114.

The only requirement for joining the league is that your team name is International (for example, England or Italy). It also makes sense to set your players' nationality to the same country, but this isn't necessary, since transfers can take place!

Any questions will be answered in comments (if I spot them!!).

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


THE 'CENTURY CITY' BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE AT A.C.E. BOOKS, ELLIOT STREET, TYLDESLEY, MANCHESTER. So useful for any City fans in the 'Leyth, Bent and Bongs' area.
Tel: 01942 895555 e-mail:


We are also hoping to have it on sale at the City Superstore at Eastlands very soon.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


Thanks to TONY PETRIE for the following review (we didn't twist his arm - honest!)

Century City – Manchester City Football Club 1957/58
104 goals for – 100 goals against
One of the great things about supporting Manchester City is that we have a varied and colourful history to say the least. We had the first football superstar in Billy Meredith, we were the first Manchester team to win a major trophy, the first goalkeeper to captain England played for us, we welcomed a German prisoner of war as our new goalkeeper, when feelings against German’s were still high. We adapted the continental system of playing a deep lying centre forward and introduced it to the English League, we were featured in the first televised match in the premier league, and our game against Chelsea was the first second division game to be televised live on terrestrial TV. We were the first reigning league champions to be relegated, the first club to appear in an FA Cup final and be relegated in the same season and the list goes on. Unlike a certain other North West club that has Manchester in its name; our history began long before 1958. It’s ironic that we produced another “first” in 1958 by scoring and conceding 100 league goals in the first division in the same year of the Munich air crash. Century City, by our own Dave Wallace is a must have for any supporter who was fortunate enough to have witnessed that era. The book is full of facts and figures, photographs, memorabilia and some favourite memories of some people that you might recognise. The book comprehensively covers each game and includes a brief resume of our opponents, ground details, statistics of previous meetings to date, a full report of the game taken from an original news report of the time, attendances, team line ups and the league table following each game. Before and after each game, Dave recalls events and shares his own memories of the time. Also included is a copy of the front page of the programme from the day’s game and sketches of our opponent’s grounds as they looked in 1957/58. That sounds great, I hear you saying, but what’s in it for those of us who weren’t around at that time. Well, quite a bit actually. I was only two years old when that season ended, but there was still enough in the book to keep my interest. Some of the match reports couldn’t help but fascinate me, even if I wasn’t old enough to remember. To me, it doesn’t matter if a derby match is played in 1958 or 1908, I am still curious to know what happened. I enjoyed Dave’s recollections, particularly the one on how he was making his way home following the City – Portsmouth match through Swinton, when he picked up a newspaper and discovered that United had been trounced 4-0 at Bolton. Wearing his City scarf and bob hat and a huge grin, he continued on his way home. At a junction, he noticed that the coach that had pulled up along side him at the traffic lights was the Manchester United team bus, bringing the team home. He looked up and saw Matt Busby in the front seat with a miserable look on his face. Dave waved but not surprisingly, got no response. I had fun guessing the identities of the “anonymous” supporters whose memories are sprinkled throughout the book, particularly the celebrity ones, such as Eddie from Bristol who is described as being a lifelong blue and a first class entertainer, until I realised that they were named in the contents page, (Doh!). I loved the programme covers from each game, some of them masterpieces in design and it was just a shame that they weren’t reproduced in colour. I have always been a big fan of those little sketches that Sue produces in the King of the Kippax, and the drawings (by Dave) of our opponent’s grounds on each section are little gems in themselves. The season is comprehensively covered to the degree that after each report, even the result of the reserves’ game is given. As to are friendiles, testimonial games, international games and even the end of season tour to the United States is itemised The World Cup from that year is also covered (it was the first time that all four home nations qualified) There is a section with full playing career details on all the players who took part during that record breaking season with, once again some fantastic sketches provided by Mrs Ed. There are ongoing references as to how our neighbours were doing and as the Munich disaster occurred in the February of 1958, it’s well chronicled in the book as the tragedy affected not just Manchester United, but all Manchester people and English football in general. Unlike most Manchester United fans, who rarely have anything decent to say about City, Dave’s coverage of the crash is fair, unbiased and sympathetic. But I had never before read that as early as March 1958, the Manchester Evening News reporter John Kay wrote “the agony is being prolonged beyond the bounds of genuine sorrow and sympathy.“ He was apparently told to “go and jump in the lake” by many writers to the letters page. What would that reporter say about the subsequent marketing of the tragedy by the club? A look at the final league table shows that City weren’t alone in scoring over 100 goals, champions Wolves managed 103 and runners up Preston, 100. Even bottom placed Sheffield Wednesday scored sixty nine and it emphasises what an attack minded and entertaining period it must have been to watch football in. Priced at £14.95, “Century City” comes in a glossy hardback cover and would make a great Christmas present for Blues of all ages.
Tony Petrie




IT'S A FIX - Spurs


Moved to Sunday with a 3pm K.O.
Formed 1882, joined league in 1908/09, various promotions/relegations but ever present in the top flight since 1950 except for one season in 1977/78.
Twice division 1 champs, 8 times F.A. Cup winners, doing the double in ’61, 3 times league cup winners, Euro C W Cup winners 1963, UEFA cup winners (’72,’84)
Some names/connections : Chas’n’Dave, Dixon of Dock Green, Peter Cook, Warren Mitchell….Chris Jones, Bert Sproston, Paul Walsh, Michael Brown…
Juande Ramos’s Squad includes: Robinson, Dawson, Kaboul, Chimbonda, Jenas, Zokora, Bale, Lennon, Berbatov, Keane, Cerny, Assou-Ehotto, Huddlestone, Malbranque, Bent, Lee, Taarabt, Defoe, Gardner, Stalteri, Jenas, Lennnon, King.
Last season : It was a 2-1 December defeat at COMS, Davenport and Huddlestone notching for them and Barton for us as we rallied a bit in the second half, but not much. 39,825 (2,292 Spuds).
At the Lane on the last day of the season we put up a spirited display, going 2-0 down to goals from Keane (who else?) in the 10th minute and Berbatov, inevitably in the 32nd minute with Mpenza reducing the arrears in the 40th minute. That’s how it stayed as Isaksson saved . a late penalty.
They lost to Arsenal in the semi of the Carliing, and in the 6th round of the cup to Chelsea when a couple of their fans ran on and had a go (what if they’d had a knife?), and The Mirror pointed out, “what is soccer coming too when hoolies are now called Timothy?!” They went out of the UEFA to Seville, after a good run.
In the Prem they finished 5th for the second season running.
This season so far : Out went Lee, Yeates, Ziegler, Burch, Hallfredsson, Mido, for approx £10M. in came Bale, Berchiche, Bent, Taarabt, Kaboul, Rose, Kevibn-Price Boating for approx £31M
Currently they’re in 14th place with 11 points from 13 games, after a dreadful start and 2 wins 1 draw 3 losses at home. Nice guy Martin Jol finally went and Ramos came in after a City-esque situation ..
Big ones : Winning ’56 SF 1-0 at Villa Park (69,788) and losing the ’81 FAC final replay to that goal.
Wind Ups : 3-0 up and you f**ked it up …but they still go on about that bloody Ricky Villa goal, 25 years ago, give it a rest. Now it’s “you won 4-3 and won eff-all” – as much as they have in the last 8 seasons.- so the response is “and so have you”
Our Form at Spurs: It used to be one of our favourite away trips, but after our 1-0 win in 91/92 we went 5 games without a win until the 2-0 in ’03. Since then we’ve had a draw and three 2-1 defeats, a league cup loss and an F.A.Cup win (4-3!!).

Groundwise: Record attendance was 75,038 v Sunderland in the FA Cup 6 in 1938. No change to the Lane since our last visit. It’s been developed impressively, though the capacity’s only 36,000, but generates a great atmosphere. We’ll be in our usual corner. Apparently there’s a plan to redevelop the East Stand (?) to increase the capacity to 50,000 but if the roads around the Lane aren’t improved they may move to the new Wembley stadium.
Comment ; A testing time for their new manager, but they’ve got a strong squad and luckily Keane who always causes us out. Again, time for a decent performance and a point or three to set us up for the Cup tie, and improve our away record and league position. ..
STATS: 28 pre-war and 88 post-war make it our 117th league meeting and at the Lane post-war it’s:-
Played 44 Won 12 Drawn 12 and lost 20.
Last Pot: League Cup in 1999.
Last Att: 35,426
Where were they when they were shite? Averaged 20,859 in 85/86, so not bad.
Their current home average: 35, 905
Away Day Zines: My Eyes Have Seen The Glory, One Flew over Seaman’s Head.(?)
The Steve Parish Routemaster: M6, M1, M25 to jn 25, A10 toward London, cross A110, road bends right twice then to left. Turn left at lights, B154 Church Street, to Edmonton Green, turn right into A1010 Fore Street, and continue into High Road to ground on left (behind Paxton Road). Expensive but nearby parking at school on right, otherwise pot luck on side streets.
Pubs/ Parking: The Antwerp in Church road, The Park by the station, The Three Compasses in Queen Street.