Published on July 14th, 2015 | by Ian Cheeseman0
“Following the Blues over Land and Sea” – Ian Cheeseman
Ian Cheeseman talks about his recent trip to the island of Jersey to meet fellow Blues
“Very soon the football season will be back, and I can’t wait. Watching Manchester City games has been my life’s passion. I’ve never regretted my obsession with watching every Blues game, in person. At one time I was using all my holidays and cash, and now and again I’d miss significant life occasions (like my mate’s wedding) but even in the lean times, I loved it!
That obsession drove me into a media career, still centering around City, but not exclusively. I might have been able to further my career for fame and fortune, but I had no such desire, I had what I’d dreamed of and so my City passion continues.
That’s my story, in brief, but all Blues (indeed all football fans) have their own, very different story, of sacrifice and passion. I’ve met City fans all over the North West of England, visiting Supporters groups everywhere and in further flung places like Germany, Romania, Las Vegas and New York and it’s always a pleasure to share stories of fandom in football.
One such experience took me to Jersey recently. I’d been invited to talk to the City fans at the aptly named “Up and Down” pub in St. Hellier and since I was on leave from my job at BBC Radio Manchester, I accepted the invitation and ventured to the Channel Islands; my first visit there.
I was met at the airport by Pete, who showed me a little of the beautiful island, and later shared a few of my stories of over forty years of following City over Land and Sea, with the Supporters Club branch. What was very obvious during the time I spent with this group, was how similar all City fans are. The sense of humour, generosity and passion was exactly the same as I’ve found from Reddish to Toronto.
The “Jersey Boys” (& Girls 😉 ) watch all the games on TV, and try to visit the Etihad two or three times a season, and when they do come to Manchester, for most a return to their roots, it’s a special occasion that often means a special treat in the Corporate facilities (who can blame them for making every costly trip as special as possible).
Despite the distance between their home and the Etihad Stadium, they listen to Blue Tuesday (I’m happy to report) but most important of all they’re part of the City family. Within our late evening debate there were differing opinions of the pros and cons of signing Raheem Sterling, just as there has been from all Blues via social media, as the saga has progressed, but everyone had City in their hearts, from John, who runs the Jersey branch to the lad (who’s name escapes me) who spent two days painting the room our meeting was in, Sky Blue, because it had been red, and that simply wouldn’t do would it?
I was honoured to be invited to Jersey and meet the City fans there, and I’d recommend the island and the people to anyone, and was proud to (in some small way) spread to word and share the passion with fellow Blues.“
– Ian Cheeseman