Saturday’s semi cup final against the old bitter rivals Man Untied was a day no city fan will forget any time soon. The build up around Wembley was electric. I found myself in the Green Man pub where they had a BBQ in full effect, the City faithful were singing their hearts out and we even had a good spell of the sun for a bit what more could you ask for ?
OK maybe shorter queues for the bar, but apart from that the place was hopping great atmosphere created by great fans. As the time drew near a mass exodus from the pub and headed towards the amazing Wembley stadium singing all the way. On arrival to the stadium the number of blue shirts swelled and became a sea of blue with the odd red one wandering through a looking as out of place as a McDonald’s burger on the menu in a Michelin star restaurant. Inside the gate and it’s wide open space bars and food well over priced food!! If you don’t like Carlsberg though there is not a lot more on offer. I headed in and took my seat everyone is looking around not knowing what to except. I was sat beside father and son duo Ian and Luke Jackson from Roachdale pictured on this piece. Ian took footie mad Luke down to London to watch what has to be the biggest game for any City fan in years. The look on his face as he watched on as his City heroes battled it out on the pitch with the old enemy Untied. I got chatting to Ian and he told me how Luke is football mad and plays for Pennine Juniors Black under 7. I want to say congratulations to him as he plays up front and scored a hat trick on Thursday night gone. Luke is also at the Bolton academy. The lad eats and sleeps football.
I could bang on about what happened in the 9th minute the Ginger getting sent off Toures goal, or the fact Ballotelli was near to starting a riot at the end of the game but this is all stuff you would have read or seen already by now. What got me was the emotion of the fans. The look on Luke’s face and his eyes as he watched on transfixed on the game. Every corner , shot, save, throw in, and of course that one goal that decided the outcome of the game.
The man sat on the other side , I’m sorry I didn’t get his name now, a total stranger just like Ian and Luke at kickoff but after going through 90 minutes like that with someone you’ve never met before changes that. They become someone you will always remember. Strangest thing to hug a total stranger in such joy and ecstasy that City can on their day provide to us mere morals. It really does make all the bad times City have put us long suffering fans through disappear in a flash. To see the look on Luke’s face at the end of the 90 mintues was as good for me as the goal and game itself. I hope for all the young and upcoming blues there are many more days like that one for the future. It’s all about the fans for me, in the long run City will win, City will lose, players, managers, owners will come and go but the fans will always be there generation after generation just like Ian and Luke and that’s what makes the club great.