City Blogger: Lorraine Berry
- 12 September 2013 14:22
- Posted by @BerryFLW
Following the recent announcement of the team of eight City Bloggers from around the world who will be writing for us this season, it's time for the next piece courtesy of Lorraine Berry - a Blue in Chicago born into a family of City fans...
The beginning of this City season has been a rough one. Not only for the Blues, who seem to be still struggling to hit their stride on the pitch, but also from a personal perspective.
I come by my Blues loyalty honestly. I was born into a household that supported Manchester City. Even though my parents had emigrated from England in 1965, my two-year old self in tow, my dad never lost contact with following City, even if, in those days, the news was a day or two late.
One of my earliest memories of living in Chicago is when City came to Chicago to play an exhibition game. This would have been 1966 or 1967 - I'm not sure of the year - but I do remember that on the day of the game, we left our apartment decked out in City bunting. We had made flowers to wear on our clothes. I remember that I was wearing a brown coat and a white hat, and, as usual, I had on a dress. My mum was in a dress, too. We didn't wear jeans back then—that wouldn't happen for years—but we got all dressed up for the game. We had banners and streamers—everything so that we were properly kitted out for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
It must have killed my father to move to America in 1965, only to have England win the World Cup in 1966, although I know that somehow he knew every detail of how we had beaten Germany in that final match. (And yes. Of course. It was a proper goal.)
As the years went by, it became easier to follow the Blues, and the advent of the Internet, with the English papers readily available online making it possible to cleave even closer to the team.
I must admit that there were times when the old man and I got along like chalk and cheese, and I must admit to my shame that I gave him a load of guff, because it was a way of getting to him, when City was relegated during those dark days when things were not going well. But never, not once, did my loyalties stray over to the Red side of town. I might have given my dad a hard time over City, but I would never challenge him by swearing an allegiance to a team that I always knew were not to be trusted.
My dad was only seventy-one when he got sick this spring. He was semi-conscious for the 0-1 result in the FA Cup. While he drifted in and out of consciousness, the season ended, Mancini was sacked, and we waited with bated breath to see what the team would do next.
We also waited with bated breath at my father's bedside. Dad died June 13. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to pick up the phone and discuss what's going on with the team with him. City was a link to my father for me for decades, and now, City prevails, while my dad is gone.
Part of my writing this blog this season will be to continue to talk with my old man about the team, to tell you stories about what it was like for my dad and his brothers growing up in a household where their father was a United supporter from long back, and what it is like to go through the season without my number-one person to discuss the games with.
I miss you, Dad.