Welcome to the final weekly update of 2019 from the Manchester City Women Official Supporters’ Club.
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and are now looking forward with excitement towards the New Year.
Obviously, we have had no women’s games this week, although those of us who follow our men’s teams have had more than enough football to keep us going.
The OSC have had a quiet week but one Christmas tradition was upheld last weekend as we got together and celebrated our Chair Blandie’s birthday with a great curry night.
At this time of year, we tend to reflect on the past 12 months and as you will know if you saw last week’s column, I picked out some of our outstanding team moments as a City fan. Our OSC is about so much more than what happens on the pitch, we are extremely proud of the community we have created. This week, FA Women’s Super League Full-Time have asked me to pick out the highlights of our 2019 OSC moments away from the games and to come up with a top three. This has been a really difficult task but here we go.
The year 2019 has again been an amazing year for us as our membership and social media followers have grown. This something we are extremely proud of. We have also provided subsidised and free travel to our members and other City fans which is very important to us as we want as many fans as possible to attend our games and support the team. We have attended and been involved in many social events too and some of the ones that just missed out on our top three were talks at The Football Museum, watching City men’s games together at the Etihad Stadium from the luxurious surroundings of the Legends Lounge, attending the star-studded Manchester City FC Supporters Club 70th Anniversary Dinner with our own table and special guest (original City Ladies manager Neil Mather) and getting our OSC plaque presented to us at the Etihad Stadium FA Women’s Super League derby match.
Here are our top three moments of 2019:-
3) Manchester City Women end of season awards dinner
We had two tables full of our members in the exclusive Tunnel Club area at the Etihad Stadium for the awards dinner. It was a fantastic evening where we got to mix with the players and officials from City. It was a very special opportunity to be able to chat about the club and the season’s achievements to those actually involved and to take so many selfies with both the players and our two trophies.
Individual awards were presented to Steph Houghton as our Player of the Season and Goal of the Season and Megan Campbell for her outstanding community work. We even managed to win a silent auction bid for some of our members to experience a day with the players at the City Football Academy in the New Year. It was an evening when we all felt as one and together with the club we love so much.
2) Manchester Pride week
Manchester City Women OSC are always proud to take part in the Pride celebrations which the club organise each year. We joined club officials, past players, other OSC branches and representatives from Manchester City Council at the ceremonial raising of the Pride flag to mark the week at the Etihad Stadium.
On the day of the parade through the streets of our wonderful city, we joined many other branches and blues on the official bus which the club put on to take part in the parade while many others walked the route alongside.
Again the inclusivity of the city and the club were on show for all to see and it is something which we are all so proud of. For myself, it was the first time that I have ever been able to take part in the actual parade and I found it an emotional and unforgettable experience. I genuinely got to see the city I love and have lived in all my life from a brand new point of view and I loved it.
All of us here at the OSC would like to thank both the club and supporters club for providing us with such a special event.
1) Gary James book launch event
This year saw renowned City author Dr Gary James publish his landmark book on Manchester City Women. An Oral History covers every aspect of the club from it’s inception in 1988 to present day. Some of our members were interviewed by Gary for the project alongside many past players, officials and other people integral to the club. The OSC were so proud to even see a section dedicated to us in the book and also a page on Blandie’s drum which was a humbling experience.
The official launch evening saw the subscribers to the book invited to The Dancehouse Theatre in Manchester to attend a presentation by Gary. As you can imagine, this included a lot of our members. Gary covered aspects of the book in his usual amazing entertaining style as well as welcoming past players up on the stage for a series of interviews. The current team were represented by Karen Bardsley and Gavin Makel, our director of Women’s Football.
It was an informative and celebratory evening of all things City Women and again, one which we were extremely proud to have attended and to have played a small part in . This supporters club is special, it’s members are special and the community which we have within our club and the overall women’s football family is one we are proud of. We cherish what we have built and are always seeking to expand.
We have many more exciting plans for 2020 both at matches and away from game day and if you want to get involved we welcome you onboard.
My final note of 2019 is to say a big thank you to the many guests who we have welcomed to our branch meetings during the year including Dr Gary James, Roya Arabshahi, James McCarron, Janine Beckie, Gail Redston, Anita Clarke and Neil Mather.
Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful New Year and we will be back next week with an update from our first game of 2020 at Tottenham Hotspur.
Dave (Committee member – MCWFC OSC)