Published on August 10th, 2015 | by Ian Cheeseman0
“Glad to be back!” | Ian Cheeseman
For the last 40 years my life has centred around two things – my family and watching Manchester City, in fact it’s more that that, it’s attending Manchester City games. I started going home and away in 1977, and have not missed a competitive game, through choice, since then. The few I missed were when I was told I couldn’t go by my employer.
I didn’t join the BBC until 1994, and I became the City reporter in 2001, so as you can see, the majority of the games I’ve attended during the last 45 years have been as a supporter.
As the 2015/16 season starts I am as excited as ever, and as I pull on my “lucky” match day shirt and head to West Brom for the opening day fixture I have the added thrill of being able to commentate on my beloved Blues for City fans who can’t be at the game.
Millwall away, when the travelling fans were banned (we’re not really here) and last season at CSKA Moscow when all fans were banned, were particularly poignant, when I felt I was representing those who’d been excluded by the authorities. I felt the pain of committed supporters I know like Sean Riley and Darren Page, I’m sure there are many others too.
There are many supporters who just can’t afford to go to all the games, and there are other reasons they can’t be there too, so it is my honour to try to describe the action with words, to try to capture the excitement and passion that I see in the stadium and feel in my heart.
The game at the Hawthorns is my 1916th competitive first team City game – it’s 18 seasons since I missed one.
I’ve loved EVERY game I’ve been lucky enough to attend, from Anfield to Highbury, from the Moss Rose to Sincil Bank – even the bad days were great days, being part of the City family.
So here we go again, my life is back in order after three months of a certain amount of aimlessness!
If you’re not lucky enough to get to all the games I’d be honoured if you listened. You’ll find my commentary on 95.1FM or DAB in the Greater Manchester area on BBC Radio Manchester and if you’re further afield then via mcfc.co.uk and follow the match day centre
Up the Blues!
– Ian Cheeseman