Manchester City fan and former chairman of the Prestwich and Whitefield Supporters Club Don Price has written several books over the years and we caught up with him to find out more.
His first book “A Football Fans Story” detailing his adventures from serving in the Royal Navy whilst supporting the best team in the land and all the World! After leaving the Navy, Don went on to become the Chairman of the Prestwich and Whitefield Supporters Club, one of the biggest Supporters Clubs in English football.
Why did you decide to write the book?
Over the years I read many books about football, City and the Royal Navy. Some have been great, some I’ve enjoyed, some I haven’t! Sometimes I have thought to myself “I could do a better job”.
As I have never even written a letter or postcard for thirty odd years. Plus the fact I can’t spell, useless with grammar and find it a chore just to switch a computer on it, it was always only a pipe dream.
Then last year I thought sod it, I’d give it a go and as I have never seen a book incorporating the Royal Navy & football. I thought the subject would be unique and something different.
You were in the Navy in the late 60’s when City enjoyed great success under Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison. Did you manage to keep in touch with how City were getting on?
It was not easy following and supporting City in my first year in the Navy as access to the wireless and TV was infrequent. The Football pink was a life safer even though it was usually a week out of date by the time I got it.
While serving in the Navy I was able to go and watch various games all over the country. It was dirt cheap in those days plus you didn’t need a ticket as you could just turn up and pay to get in.
You ran the Prestwich and Whitefield supporters club and ran many a successful night. How did you get involved and which was your favourite celebrity guest?
I got involved with the then Independent Supporters Association during the unrest over the way the late Peter Swales (City Chairman 1973-1993) was running the Club.
At the time we were running more and more away trips, so we thought we would try our hand at organising ourselves a bit better and affiliated ourselves to the Breakaway Supporters Group which later became the Centenary Supporters Association. Besides organising away trips, we had family fun days, gentlemen’s mornings, inter branch football matches.
We organised trips to watch the players train, held sportsmens dinners and raised thousands of pounds for charities and good causes. There was so much going on it was well worth people joining a Supporters Club. Now a days it would be impossible to achieve half the stuff that we did.
Meeting Gio Kinkladze in Amsterdam was a once in a lifetime event, although we had met him a few times. It was a bit ambitious of us to think he would meet us in a bar in Amsterdam for a bit of a party, but he did and he loved it. Seventy five of us went over, watched him train in the morning and partied with him at night. He was signing everything from passports to body parts, clogs etc, it was an amazing evening.
There was so many fantastic guests at the events it would be very difficult to single out one person, but the meeting which Nick Leeson attended went down in branch folklore. The fanzine King of the Kippax was in touch with Nick when he was in prison in Singapore and it was through our association with the fanzine that we contacted Nick. He remained a good friend of the branch for many years.
He attended many events including a race night plus he played for the P&W football team. He went to a couple of away games with us including Swindon away. Nick was great with all the City fans and when we used to have a drink before the games, he used to get mobbed for autographs and photos.
Kevin Keegan attended once out of the blue to the surprise of everyone including me.
On another evening all the first team attended after they had been to an awards ceremony and ex goalie Eric Nixon who was with them just started blasting out Elvis songs.
Where’s your favourite away ground?
I loved watching City away especially at places where there would be thousands of City supporters. One of my favourite all time grounds has to be Norwich.
It was always a great atmosphere, we usually got a result and loads of Blues would be there.
Who’s your favourite ever City player?
There has been so many brilliant players over the years. Gerry Gow might not have played many games for City but like Andy Morrison his impact was enormous.
While Colin Bell might have been the best player I have seen at City, my favourite is Tommy Booth. His commitment and service to the Club was second to none and he still attends meetings and events whenever he can. He also meets and greets fans on match days, he is a terrific bloke
Don Price was born in Manchester in 1954 and was brought up on a council estate with his older brother. His only interests were playing and watching football. With no qualifications, Don quit school at fifteen and embarked on life in the Royal Navy as a chef. He stayed in the navy for nearly eight years, travelling all over the world and visiting some fantastic countries.
After leaving the Royal Navy, he worked for the National Health Service for thirty years. When he was made redundant, he became a driving instructor until he retired.
Don Price now spends his time living in Manchester, England, and visiting his holiday home in Turkey. He is married to Cath, and they have two sons, Steven and Sean.
Don’s recent books are available online including the most recent ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ co-written with Sean Riley.
As the famous Manchester City fanzine King of the Kippax says ‘this book is by the fans, for the fans and most importantly it is about the fans’.
The ever popular ‘We never win at home‘ is also available and focuses on the stories on fans as well as some stories of players, managers and owners.