There are certain dates in the history of Manchester City which seem to have a certain resonance. The 13th of May is one of those most special dates in my time as a supporter.
I have been a supporter of Manchester City as long as I can remember. During these many years I have had the pleasure of witnessing many lows and also many highs – relegations, promotions and trophies! Somehow three things of particular importance in my career as a fan have all happened onj the same date, ensuring it is forever etched upon my memory.
13 May 1989
Watching the 1988/89 campaign was one of my happiest moments as a fan. During the season City had been chasing promotion and at various points it appeared as though it would be wrapped up. We played an at times, an ambitious and attacking based game of football which had delighted the supporters. The team was a group of various seasoned professionals greatly supplemented by talented local youngsters who throughout the season gradually became increasingly important to the team.
Results had demonstrated what Joe Royle later christened “Cityitis” had set in. The chance to secure promotion now suddenly depended upon winning at least a point away at Bradford on the last day of the season.
In typical City fashion we conceded an early goal and the thousands of City fans who packed into the Bradford stands were left frustrated as we struggled to create a chance. All that changed in the 86th minute as Trevor Morley scored a header and pandemonium ensued. City were going up! But our history of making things difficult for ourselves and leaving it till the last moment was clearly established!
13 May 2012
I have had the pleasure of watching some crazy games of football over the years but this was perhaps the strangest. City approached the last game of the season knowing a win some goal difference was required to seal the title against relegation bound QPR. City somehow turned their packed crowd of supporters into nervous wrecks as they conspired to turn their superiority into the verge of calamity.
Going into stoppage time at the end of the game City were in fact still 2:1 behind and some supporters even started to leave the Etihad Stadium! Edin Dzeko somehow equalised in the 92nd minute and from kick off everyone was thrown forward in the hope of securing the goal which was necessary.
This became a fairytale as Aguero scored the winner in the 93rd minute and all of a sudden the game evaporated into a communal outpouring of joy. City had won the title! Being in the ground that day was stunning, but now 7 years on the thing I remember most is probably the silence between the moment kicked the ball and the crowd erupting in jubilation.
13 May 2018
City had already the secured the title during a record breaking 2017/18 campaign but were stuck on a record 97 points going into the final game at Southampton. There was much talk of trying to achieve an impossible sounding 100 points and in the run up to the game everyone talked the achievement down.
In the sunshine though, the game proved somewhat laborious and City struggled to exert any authority upon the proceedings. Southampton were in fact seeking the point they believed necessary to avoid relegation. As it turned out, results elsewhere meant that Southampton were safe.
As is becoming a habit, City left it until late. In the 94th minute the ball came to Gabriel Jesus and he chipped the keeper to score a delightful goal which prompted wild celebrations as City became the first side ever to win the top flight with 100 points!
So as you can see the 13th May has been full of great moments as a City fan – 30 years ago, 7 years ago and 1 year ago. Here is to many more great memories to come!