|

Wembley 99

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 For the first time in history in the third tier
Some misguided souls thought there’d be nothing to fear
As we sang to ourselves that we weren’t really here
Away trips to some truly grisly dives
Against opponents who came out to scrap for their lives
And after every defeat out came the knives
Losses at Lincoln, York and Wycombe
Teams with a mantra of “If they move, kick ‘em!”
Delusions of grandeur? We got told where to stick ‘em

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 A leader was needed and for that we can thank
A West-Country bruiser, built like a tank
Whose dressing room speeches were brutally frank
“Roll your sleeves up and scrap, or get out of my sight
If you lot wanna play, you gotta fight for the right
Only then will we get ourselves out of this plight”
Mid-table at Christmas, still way off the pace
But we edged slowly upwards, finished up in third place
With a spot in the playoffs, and a chance to save face

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 For typical City this was hardly a given
But the Goat’s last of the season was truly a big ‘un
As we nervously scraped past mighty Wigan
For a trip to Wembley, football home of the nation
Blues arrived part in hope, and part trepidation
Cos defeat there would mean absolute desolation

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 The Gills were roared on by thirty thousand from Kent
The first ever live game for fifty percent
Most with no real idea of how much this game meant
A game low on class but sky-high on tension
Buckets of sweat but so little invention
With barely a moment of quality to mention
Ten minutes from time, Asaba put them ahead
And when Big Fat Bob hit a second, we all thought we were dead
Blues flocked in droves to the exits, tearful eyes turning red
Then Super Kev slotted home, to keep slim hopes alive
The added time board showed a big bright five
Up went the roar from those who stayed behind

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Long ball lumped forward, flicked on to The Goat
In came the tackle, roars stuck in our throat
Ran loose in the box, to our fiery wee Scot
With just enough space to fire one last shot
The ball glanced off a shin as it sped through the rain
Flashed into the net, his best man clawed in vain
As the Gills in the posh seats choked on their champagne
Dickov fell to his knees and slid on the turf
Who could imagine how much that goal would be worth?

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Now the momentum was all on our side
As early leavers galore made their way back inside
But the extra half-hour was incident-free
We’d need spot-kicks to escape from Division Three
This was the time for our keeper to shine
Looking like a colossus as he stood on his line
Blocked their first kick to put us in the box seat
Their second flew wide, couldn’t cope with the heat
Edgy buried his shot, hit the roof of the net
Ran off kissing the badge, as Blue as you’ll get
(Something the boo-boys would quickly forget)
Their next man stepped forward, if he missed say goodnight
Struck the ball firm and true but Weaver guessed right
With a big gormless grin, lost his mind and took flight
Careered round the pitch like a man demented
His place in our history forever cemented

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 These last years had been too bad to be true
Without doubt the worst of times to be Blue
We’d just had to suffer them winning the treble
Every week they’d enjoyed the luck of the devil
But four days after the travesty of their European glory
We’d created our own miraculous story
They mocked us for toasting our triumph so small
To those arrogant bastards it hardly mattered at all
But what we’d seen on this on this magical May afternoon
Was the first waxing crescent of a brand new Blue Moon

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 At long last our fortunes had changed direction
Now we don’t look back in anger, more with affection
From this all-time low to Pep Guardiola
From Not Really Here to Glad All Over
For ten years now our great city’s been blue
With six Premier league titles and lots of cups too
SO WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?

16

Notes

Twenty-three years ago today, Manchester City played in the third tier playoff final at Wembley in a match which has come to be regarded as a turning point in the club’s history. Some City fans have romanticised this period in our history but my recollection is that it was absolutely horrible! Nevertheless, it was nice to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat rather than the other way round, which had become our trademark in the previous few years.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/wembley-99/