Advent Calendar: 9th December – Manchester City 2-1 Swindon Town

To get in the festive spirit, Typical City will be hosting an advent calendar in the run up to Christmas. Every day in December up until Christmas Day, one of the Typical City team will be sharing their memories of Manchester City throughout the years. You can expect to see recollections of special games, beautiful goals, memorable players and managers, and moments that define what it means to support City.

In today’s edition, Rob Toole looks back to his first ever City game.

Manchester City 2-1 Swindon Town 1993/94

My first ever Manchester City game was against Swindon Town on 26th February 1994. Ever since that day I have been consumed by Manchester City for better or for worse.

As a six year old, I don’t remember an awful lot of the game itself but I vividly remember the experience. As clichéd as it sounds, it was that experience that got me hooked on football and City. My most poignant memory is from before the game when walking to the ground. My dad, brothers and sister and I were dropped off in Fallowfield and cut through Platt Fields Park into Moss Side before reaching Maine Road. I distinctly remember holding my dad’s hand and being amazed and rather intimidated by the swathes of people, the Police on horseback and the palpable sense of tension outside the ground. As a kid that grew up in the Leicestershire countryside I was well and truly out of my comfort zone. That said, there was something incredibly exciting about the whole atmosphere. I would later realise that those smells of burger vans wafting down the street, the cigarette smoke and the cold Manchester weather seemed to go hand-in-hand with going to watch City.

My research has taught me that City were embroiled in a relegation battle along with bottom placed Swindon Town. It was a game that City could ill afford to lose but thanks in part to the referee disallowing a Swindon goal, Brian Horton’s City managed to come from behind and win 2-1. An own goal from Swindon’s Kevin Horlock no less put City back on level terms before David Rocastle got the winner. Despite enduring a spell of sustained Swindon pressure towards the end City managed to hold on.

The great thing about being a kid is that you don’t really understand the stresses and tension of football. I didn’t have the faintest clue that City were in a relegation battle. I didn’t even know all the rules: why Swindon had a goal disallowed was a mystery to me, and  to many Swindon fans I suspect, but judging by the reaction of the City fans around me I knew it was a good thing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see for the pitch for most of the game because a rather large man who had perhaps indulged in a few too many pies and pints blocked my view.

Fortunately there is footage of the game online which I have embedded into this blog. As well as highlights it has an article beforehand which gives a real flavour of the football culture in 1994. First and foremost, Des Lynham’s moustache was in its prime. Secondly and perhaps slightly less fascinating is the fact that both Brian Horton and Swindon manager, John Gorman, are sat side by side being interviewed about the aforementioned game. Can you imagine that happening nowadays? If that hasn’t got your nostalgic juices flowing this was also the last season that the old Kippax stand stood before being demolished during the next season. Sit back and relax and enjoy looking back on the bad old times.

Written by Rob Toole who is on Twitter

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