City Blogger: Terrace heroes
- 26 November 2013 09:42
- Posted by @BlueWolf1894
Like City, every club has its fair share of celebrity fans, however, Manchester City can go one better than this, for we have ordinary fans who have become celebrity fans in their own right. Here’s four of them; and one of them wasn’t even human...
Helen “The Bell” Turner
Sadly, Helen left us in 2005, but for over thirty years she showed her fanatical support with the sounding of her infamous bell. It wasn’t just the home support that loved her, for she was a firm favourite with many of the players; Gary Owen recalls her being there from his very first day at the club, and even Joe Corrigan would chat with her during matches, after she had given him a sprig of heather for good luck. I suspect that after some matches she had wondered if an entire bush of heather should have been given instead. Yes, I am looking at you 4-0 winners, Sunderland in 1980.
Her best day? Being invited onto the hallowed turf at Maine Road to do a lap of honour with the team after winning the 1976 League Cup. At City’s final home match at Maine Road, she was given a minutes standing ovation by the Blues as her bell rang out around the stadium, and, befittingly, received a minutes silence of respect after her passing.
For younger fans of City, they must often wonder about inflatable bananas (the City club shop sells them). The reason is Frank, and the date was the 15th of August 1987.
It was the first game of the 1987-88 season when City found themselves in Division 2 after being relegated the previous season. The opener was against Plymouth Argyle, and whilst we won 2-1, it was what Frank did that was important.
For whatever reason, Frank brought along an inflatable banana dressed in his City shirt, and throughout the match he waved and bounced it around. As the season wore on, Frank and his banana were seen at every game and, even though no one else joined in, he was unrepentant. What was needed was an extra ingredient: enter stage-right Imre Viradi during the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in November of that year.
For some reason (divine intervention?), the away support began to chant “Imre Banana”; the perfect storm was born. From that game on, inflatable bananas and a cornucopia of other objects began to appear in the terraces and has continued ever since.
Mavis “Poznan Gran” Goddard
On the 5th February 2011, City were hosting West Bromwich Albion, and early on in the game, the face of elderly Mavis Goddard, who was in the East Stand, flashed up on the big screens; her face was a mix of shock and horror. Instantly, the entire stadium – both sets of fans – began to chant for her to do the Poznan, because, well, why wouldn’t you want to see a 76 year old woman jumping up and down?
As soon as Carlos Tevez scored his hat-trick, ‘Grandma’ happily obliged, and instantly became ‘Poznan Gran’, much to the delight of the fans, although probably not the Baggies so much, as the match was only thirty-nine minutes old and they were already 3-0 down.
Sadly, Mavis died in December of 2011, mere months after becoming a terrace legend.
Frankie The Chicken
Now whilst one could suggest that the name of chef, Neil Riley, should be mentioned, the glory really goes to who he brought along with him: Frankie. Who was a chicken. And a dead one at that. And a massive Uwe Rösler fan. Apparently.
It was the 1994-95 season, and Frankie started making his appearance at every home game, and would dance and clap his hands wings with every goal. Frankie was enthusiastic, and a big hit with the home support. That is except one person.
It is said that a vegetarian complained about Frankie, and immediately he received a lifetime ban from Maine Road. Shame on you, Mr or Mrs lentil-eater.
Now then, who’s ready to step up and be the next celebrity?