The Main Stand RIP

Discussion in 'Bluemoon forum' started by Didsbury Dave, 24 Jul 2012.

  1. Didsbury Dave

    Didsbury Dave

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    At the end, no other part of Maine Road had anything like the history or significance of the Main Stand. I stood and sat in all parts of the ground but for the last ten years or so had a season ticket in block H. First H Right, then H Left.

    The Main Stand felt like the heart and soul of our club. It was a link with our past, glorious and not so glorious, and I absolutely loved the place. It wasn't the best stand in the world, having pillars and a fairly flat camber. But it more than made up for it in character. It housed the club's inner workings, the dressing rooms, the chairman's office, the manager's den, the boardroom. All those historic events which went on in it's bowels: the board meetings, the backstabbing, the transfers, the sackings, the cataclysmic decisions.

    In the various concourses it was a warren. It had scruffy little bars with old signs painted in the blue and claret colours of the early 70s. It had odd little rooms for the ball boys, the tea ladies, the press. It was dark and dank in the concourse and felt like you were inside City's wayward, unfaithful heart. There were even a set of stairs which led to nowhere, like in a haunted house.

    In the stand, you had the directors within earshot - and boy, they must have regretted that at times. Remember Swales sinking into his seat as Franny marched in to a hero's welcome? The press and commentators sat behind you in odd little blue boxes at the back. The manager sat in front of you. Some of the longest serving, and bitterest of all fans sat in the Main Stand. When things were going badly, as they usually were in my time, people shouted in the knowledge that their insults were not falling on deaf ears. "Swales, you've killed this club", "Franny, you let us down!", "Clark, you're the worst manager we;ve ever had" (the guy next to me shouted this half a dozen times a game for his entire tenure). The referee and players could be personally abused as they left the field. One ref was injured by a coin and substituted. Big Mal broke his leg jumping down the tunnel. The idiot. A Mirror journalist was beseiged by angry fans once in the press box.

    I've got some great memories there too - the bar behind H Left rocking in disbelief at half time in the 5-1. Pitch invasions - who took the chair on? Small crowds -sometimes big ones - at winter youth team games.

    You felt you were part of the workings of the club in the Main Stand. It symbolised the City of the 80s and 90s, with padded seats on crumbling concrete.
     
  2. stiniyamasena

    stiniyamasena

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    I loved reading that! I was a Kippax stander myself, from 1957 until the end of it in the nineties, when the seats were put in. I had to go in the main stand when a Japanese girl came to stay with my wife & I in the mid nineties, she was (still is ) City mad. In her stay with us, she learned many swear words at the matches, especially when we lost. I remember at Gillingham, when Kevin Keegan was the manager, Ali Benarbia back heeled the ball to "The Goat", he cracked it in the net & she shouted "The bastard's in". It still makes me laugh today
     
  3. Weaver99

    Weaver99

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    RIP indeed to The Main Stand.

    I remember a game against Chesterfield in Division 2 (we drew 1-1) and we had tickets right next to the directors. I was sat right next to David Bernstein, and he lifted me over the wall and let me sit with him in the directors box. Still got the signed programme at home I think!

    When we got our season tickets, we sat in the block to the left of the tunnel, and as a kid used to love going and collecting autographs from players as they came past.

    Great place, still miss it.
     
  4. Sheikh Rattle n Roll

    Sheikh Rattle n Roll

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  5. lancs blue

    lancs blue

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    It's barm so STFU.
    After being kicked out of the North Stand to make way for visiting supporters when the Platt Lane was rebuilt I spent 2 years in the horrible Umbro stand before relocating to H Block Centre. I may be judging the regular inhabitants unfairly but I have never heard so much fucking moaning and slagging off players in 46 years watching City. Admittedly the 4 seasons I spent there were 95/96 to 98/99 inclusive and that may have had something to do with it but even so at the end of the 3rd div. season 4 of us relocated to the Kippax Upper we were so sick of the "fans" in there.

    The incident with the unfortunate journo (he was a freelance, not the regular Mirror reporter) happened just behind where we sat, felt sorry for the poor sod as he wasn't responsible for the offending article.
     
  6. Didsbury Dave

    Didsbury Dave

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    Haha. The Main Stand Moaners were legendary in the 1970s when we had a good team never mind when you sat there. Many fans around the middle of the Main Stand had been going for 40 and 50 years and had earned the right to moan by the late 90s.

    Each to their own, I suppose. I never enjoyed the new Kippax at all. It felt isolated from the pitch somehow, and everyone stood up when we attacked. Sun was in your eyes and rain/wind in your face.

    AS an aside, it is a fact that all the old Main Stands around the country used to be built on the West Side of the stadium, for that reason. Even in the ETIHAD it's that way.
     
  7. seemedownkippaxstreet

    seemedownkippaxstreet

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    top read. you're an opinionated bugger but you're a great writer DD.
     
  8. Lavinda Past

    Lavinda Past

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    Great post DD - I was a Kippax regular for donkey's years but sat in the Main Stand for Mike Summerbee's testimonial (liked to think I was giving him a bit of extra cash...). Block H - Magic - A great view, a great laugh every game, and I'm sure that the pies were slightly bigger... I never sat anywhere else at Maine Road after that.

    There was one seemingly regular occurrence the dark days, when (usually direct from the kick-off) the ball would go out for an opposition throw-in. Cue groans around the ground.

    A guy sitting by the directors box to the left of Peter Swales, would calmly stand up, turn towards the directors, take a deep breath, and start shouting 'Swales out' on his own for about twenty / thirty seconds. Swales would sink lower and lower into his seat; Directors would try to avoid eye contact with anyone.

    The guy would then sit down very calmly as if nothing had happened and receive a small but warm round of applause. Everyone then just carried on as normal. I'd love to find out that you were that guy DD!

    Just one of the millions of reasons why I love City. I still miss the Main Stand.
     
  9. levets

    levets

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    Great read mate..
    Used to come in there, up the stairs... turn left, left again and my seat was on the right.

    Was in there from about 1988 - 1995 (when new Kippax opened)..

    The stairs to nowhere? What was that all about?

    Away lads thinking it was safe in the main stand.. how wrong :-)

    They used to sell badges.. Circular crest with 'A' Block on it...
     
  10. FletcherMoss

    FletcherMoss

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    You've captured the memories well there DD. Things that stick out for me were the blue tiles in the bogs (the ground was a dump but the mainstand bogs were posh), James H Reeves in the raised press box at the back, the sheep skin coats in the mid/late eighties (all the old guys semed to have one), how easy it was to get a drink at the HLeft bar compared to CB L3 now, the moaning bastards ("This is shit Bond.. McNeil.. Melchin.. Kendall.. Reid.. Horton.. Ball... Clarke.. Royal.. Keegan - after about 2 fcukin minutes every week without fail), the 5-1, 10-1, 3-3's (Bournmouth, Newcastle, United), Leicester in the cup and how rockin it was in the Keegan promotion season.

    Had a season ticket in H Left in from about 85 to 92 and and then from about 98 to the move.

    Nothing will ever compare.
     

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