Once in a Blue Moon: Life, Love and Manchester City
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voice, resembling that of an American movie preview announcer. At this point he’d wander around the dressing room unsettling the opposition as he commented on the size of their ‘todgers’. Out on the pitch, he’d never miss an opportunity to feign a throw back to our goalkeeper which would send an opposition player sprinting towards our penalty area, before quickly turning around and throwing it the other way while laughing. He also liked nothing better than to ‘nutmeg’ a player (putting the ball
celebrations just to rub it in. They took no time in turning towards our small party with clenched fists, mouthing the usual vitriol as is customary in such situations. By now it was all descending into anarchy and the stewards had positioned themselves around us in order to make sure it didn’t kick-off. Just before half time, Kevin Horlock equalised for City and once again our ties were swinging around our necks as we leapt around punching the air. The Coventry fans tried to get at us and we
ankles and outsized shoes in which he could have comfortably won the men’s downhill slalom at the Winter Olympics). Mr Tomlinson was probably only in his mid-twenties and, although he wasn’t one for shouting, he could be vicious. On this particular day he’d had enough of the diminutive Jock Mathieson’s raucous antics, which were disrupting the class. He literally picked up the young irritant by the hair and carried him out of the class. We all went very quiet, very quickly. Despite my dislike
at the Labour Club, plus the other distractions, took a detrimental effect on my college studies which – surprise, surprise – weren’t really coming along too well. My lack of discipline in attendance with no worry of recrimination or retribution meant that by the time the exams arrived, it was all starting to go in a familiar downward spiral. For the history exam, I should have been answering questions on Samuel Pepys and the Haddock Wars, together with the Staffordshire Lettuce Famine of 1568.
stopped and said, ‘I’ve had enough of this bollocks. What’s your name?’ He replied, ‘it’s Mark Bowden, or “Bibby” to my mates.’ ‘Bibby it is then. D’ya fancy a pint at lunchtime?’ It was the official beginning of another friendship which still lasts to this day. Other key moments in 1979 were undoubtedly seeing my heroes, The Stranglers, for the first time, (at the Apollo on Thursday 25 October). 1979 was also the year my sister Julie tied the knot at the tender age of nineteen, thus leaving