Guest Blog: Steve Oliver
- 21 February 2013 14:51
- Posted by @dclayton_MCFC
Lifelong Blue Steve Oliver is co-Founder and CEO of musicMagpie.co.uk. Here, he recalls his first City memories...
My first strong memory – and game - was during the 1976/77 season and my dad used to take me in the North Stand just behind Big Helen and her bell.
The three players that stood out for me back then were the big lads – Joe Corrigan, Dave Watson and Brian Kidd. I recently sat next to Dave in the Director’s Box and told him that he was my first big City hero when I was a lad and he was an absolute gentleman, insisting that I passed on his best wishes to my old man!
The roar of the Kippax, the ringing of Big Helen’s bell, the walk back to the car afterwards through Moss Side and latterly the pint in the Parkside were all part of the experience!
The owners are doing a fantastic job of running our Club. Of course they arrived with huge ambitions but they quickly identified that with the FFP regulations pending they needed to accelerate their spending to get us to the top table quickly.
That having been done, and the success on the pitch being delivered ahead of schedule, they are clearly now intent on playing the long game in replicating something close to the Barcelona model of bringing talent through the Academy, which is the subject of phenomenally impressive investment in the building of the new 80-acre site – we look forward to our own Messi, Iniesta and Xavi coming through!
Steve (right), pictured with his nephew at the Etihad Stadium
And like Barcelona they appreciate that whilst the commercial development of the brand globally is fundamentally important, the true heart of a football club is in its heritage and local community and its fantastic to see them doing the ‘little things’ right with their emphasis on community projects and commitment to ex-player recognition.
As for City highs, right now I can’t imagine ever replicating that feeling of winning that first title of my spectating career ever again, especially with the nature of how it was achieved. We had a group outing to Porto in the February and spent the day analysing the remaining fixtures game by game in comparison to the Reds and the run in became obsessive and an incredibly stressful from that point forward.
Having followed City round the country and watched us through thin and thinner, in some ways May felt like the final page of the final chapter of the greatest book in the world and you wanted the summer to last forever
Retaining the title, or even winning another one in the next couple of years, would be very sweet, if only to stop one or two of our Red brethren from calling us the “new Blackburn”, but my goodness I can’t imagine ever topping ‘that’ moment again.
Steve Oliver is co-founder and CEO of musicMagpie.co.uk