Since Manchester City last won the league title in 1968 the world has changed beyond all recognition. Wars have rendered old atlases redundant with entire countries born or ceasing to exist, the dawning of a technological age has brought the future to the present, while sociological advancements have altered every fabric of our lives largely for the better.
Meanwhile, on a much smaller everyday scale, people continued to go to the footy. Week-in week-out we’ve followed our team; with our dad, then our mates, then our children. It’s what we did and do, a reassuringly mad, unstable and exasperating constant that helped us make sense of the ever-evolving flux of progress and uncertainty around us. Swales was our Vietnam. Losing to Halifax was the click of Mark Chapman’s gun. Paulo Wanchope was akin to figuring out how the hell wireless connection worked.
But it is not just in the wider world that such seismic shifts have occurred. Since Tony Book last lifted aloft the trophy we too – each and every one of us – have experienced our own profound transformations. Births, deaths, marriages, promotions, redundancies, first loves, lost loves, all linked indelibly in the haze of our memories with the seasons of Manchester City.
The club itself may have undergone a change so radical in recent times that even now it’s hard to adjust to. But the narrative of the supporter that followed them from there to here runs far, far deeper than that.
With this in mind we asked the Blue Moon forum not what yesterday meant to them – because that is as obvious as it is indescribable – but who it was for….
That was for every child of the 80’s and 90’s who became a blue.
That was for every rag who took the piss out of my City bag as a kid.
That was for Mal, Mike and Nelly.
That was for Helen.
That was for the 8 point lead you muppets threw away.
That was for my mum who stood at the doorstep as me and my dad got home after being beaten 3-2 at home against Port Vale and said, “Are you sure its worth it? Why spoil your weekend?”
That was for my dad who died last week without having the chance to watch his beloved blues lift the title for only the third time in his 85 years.
This is for my son , surrounded by rags at primary school, at 7 years old watching the Dunny monster score an own goal v WBA… and throwing his hat on the deck in the North Stand crying “I hate this club!” An old boy came over and said “Now you’re a proper City fan, son!”
That’s for the City chaplain Tony Porter who once said “If I wasn’t praying for City, just think where we might be”.
That is for Weaver, when he ran around the pitch. It’s for Wembley last May, curing the 35 year itch.
That is for the Goat, who never stopped being fed. And for every “bought the title” article that we’ve ever read.
That was for the Govan p***pot. “Not in my lifetime”.
That was for Wayne Rooney the f***ing scouse scab for laughing at Yaya and Kolo after their ACON defeat.
That was for all the Blues who never, ever thought this would happen, who thought City would always be in United’s shadow, but who kept going, because that is what you have to do.
That was for all those who doubted and laughed in the playgrounds, who ridiculed in ignorance, who now should live in fear from this day onwards.
That was for…take that you bastards. You’ve had it coming.
That was for those who kept the faith, that kept believing, that endured, that never surrendered and turned despair into joy. That was for us!
That was for mum (RIP), although those tense finishes would have seen her down the bottom of the garden waiting for someone to tell her we’d won, nerves shattered, rather than actually watching. I miss you everyday.
That was for all those who can still remember exactly how it felt at 2-0 down to Gillingham. The space that felt completely empty is now bursting with pride
That was for the older blues that have truly suffered.
That was for my unborn child who already knows it will be a blue.
That was for Bobby for giving us this glorious feeling after years of so much hurt.
That was for Sheikh Mansour. Thank you seems so inadequate.
That was for stage 1. Now for 2 and 3.
That was for little Harvey and his “I’ll only cry if we win it” banner.
That was for my Grandad Teddy Hulme who took me to Maine Rd 48 yrs ago and told me that this club would give me joy and hurt but would never betray me. Thanks Grandad for making me a believer.
That was for loved ones gone now…Mum Dad uncle Ted. For all the days at school being laughed at and taunted. For all the miles travelled, all the pounds spent and all the tears shed.
That was for my brother who took a wide eyed 4yr old to Maine road and so started the (often painful) journey that leads us all to here.
That was for the person who has been right by my side throughout. That was for the person who imagined this could happen.
That was for the kid on TV crying when we went to Division Two.
That was for me and those like me. The harder it was, the more we suffered – the more we stayed faithful. Not a football supporter anywhere could begrudge us.
That was for ‘always look on the bright side of life’ being played after the League Cup semi.
That was for every blue that stayed true, from 1976 onwards, some of whom did not get to see yesterday.
That was for Jonty; 1974-2006 and anyone who lived, laughed, cried, shouted, sang but had to leave without ever seeing us touch the sky. Forever Blue.
That was for my dad who brought me up a blue. And that was for my mum, a blue who passed away too.
That’s for you all, those that made me smile, those that made me proud. That’s for those with the dignity and humour shown within a perfect storm of imbeciles, liars, arrogance and small minded vindictiveness. That’s for believing that sometimes, just sometimes, the good will prevail.
That was for… me. Fair enough I’m happy for everyone else but I’m f***ing ecstatic for me.
That was for 40 years of hurt, for every boy growing up in that time surrounded by gloating United fans, for the heroes of the past, and the legends of the present, for those blues no longer with us, especially for you Jack and Pete, my grandad and step-dad who will be cheering somewhere on high, but most of all, that was for you son, puff out your chest and declare loud and proud “City, City, the best team in the land and all the world”