Howard kindly joined us for a quick interview and tells us more about some of his favourite City moments.
Firstly why did you choose to support City?
My first two answers may disappoint you. That’s because I can’t really give an answer. My Dad was (and is) a United fan, but he did not push his beliefs onto me. He is a casual fan at heart, and there was much less tribalism in the old days. Growing up in North Manchester, he would take me to Bury, City and United. And for some reason I cannot recall, I chose City. Perhaps I liked the colour blue – but essentially it’s just a feeling really. City felt right, the other two didn’t. A big team with potential, but without the arrogance as there was always a bump or two guaranteed along the way. City felt like home.
What was your first game?
No idea. I keep meaning to ask my Dad this question, and I keep forgetting to do so. And anyone who can remember their first game as a toddler I treat with suspicion. All I do know, as referenced in my previous answer, is that it may not have been City. But it would have been in the late 1970s.
Who is your City idol?
Honest answer is Ido not have one stand out idol. Growing up, I always had a soft spot for Paul Lake, because he was a class above, and I felt the regret of injuries preventing a more stellar career. I’ve had many more cult idols along the way, and Uwe Rosler stands out, but if there is one player that does rise to the very top in the modern era, just, then it is David Silva. There’s something about him that is more than football. He’s just a perfect human being, basically.
What is your favourite City book (other than your own!)
Sorry, but I have to mention two. Paul Lake’s autobiography (I’m Not Really Here) is of course one choice. Without bias, one of the best autobiographies I have read, Paul’s honesty shining through. And then there is Gary James “Manchester The City Years 1857-2012”. The go-to bible for any fan wishing to learn about City’s long and eventful history.
What is your most treasured City related gift?
People don’t tend to buy me City stuff, probably because they assume i already own everything! So the best gift was something I bought myself almost 20 years ago. It is an oil painting of Maine Road on match day, by local artist Bernard McMullen. It’s still on my wall to this day. I knew City were leaving their ground of 80 years, so it was my memento of everything I had experienced up to that point.
When, why and how did you start writing about City?
I liked writing, and I liked football, so I guess it just felt like a natural step to try to write about my football club. Like many, my first step, and many steps thereafter, was to write for King of The Kippax. There was an amazing sense of excitement as I picked up a copy before a match and saw my words in print for the first time. Eventually I moved across to online content, because it allowed instant access for readers, but I do miss the feeling of seeing my work in a physical context, which I guess is part the reason I started writing books.
What City things have you done because of your writing/podcasting that you wouldn’t have done?
The obvious stand out thing was getting to go on the second trophy parade bus after the league title win of 2014. I almost didn’t go as I thought it was a wind up email and I had a stonking hangover. But it was an astonishing experience. There have been other events the Club has kindly invited me too also, including a Legends lunch with Tommy Booth, kit launches and the like. All great experiences, and an honour to be a part of as a fan.
You can also follow Howard on Twitter and buy a couple of his recent books “The Bought Supremacy? Manchester City 2020/21 Season Review” and The Twelfth Man. Both books are signed by Howard himself.