Posted: 5/25/2017


           It was only a game.. but WHAT A GAME, for a club, and more importantly..for a city. and that city is MANCHESTER !!!

            I visit the city...they used to call in COTTONOPOLIS..the world's first city of the Industrial Revolution, at least once a month,  for football and other reasons, and to the international airport.. I have been to the world's first railway station, Liverpool Road,  opened on September 15 in 1830, the terminus of the Liverpool to Manchester Railway, now part of the Museum of Science and Industry of Manchester. I have had afternoon tea at the Midland Hotel in the room where Mr. Charles Rolls met Mr. Henry Royce in 1904, a year after it was opened to serve the Midland Railway from London. The former Midland Station is now the main convention centre next door.

            On 16 August 1819  cavalry charged 60,000 plus Mancunians who had gathered at St. Peters Fields to demand the reform of parliamentary representation after a period of famine and chronic unemployment after the introduction of The Corn Laws . Eleven were killed a maybe 700 injured. It became known as THE PETERLOO MASSACRE ..after the recent WATERLOO battle 4 years earlier.

             How about SPLITTING THE ATOM at what is now Manchester University in 1917 by Ernest Rutherford? . How about Emmeline Pankhurst from Moss Side, Manchester who was the leader of the British Suffragette Movement which won the rights of women to vote.?

            You can drive or take the bus down ALAN TURING WAY named after a former Manchester Victoria University student, scientist, mathematician, cryptanalyst  who was a famous codebraker at Hut 8 at Bletchley Park during World War ll that cracked The Enigma machine and helped win the war against the Nazis. A TRUE LOCAL HERO.

            Last night at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Manchester United won the only trophy that had eluded them, The UEFA Europa League trophy,  with a 2-0 victory over a very young and inexperienced Ajax of Amsterdam. As in their first European Cup triumph in 1968 at Wembley Stadium over Benfica, they wore blue jerseys. The victory gave them a place in the group stages of the 2017-1 Champions League,despite finishing 6th in the Premier League. They will also face the upcoming Champions League winner at the SUPER CUP in Skopje, Macedonia on August 8th.

           The terrible slaughter of the young and innocents at Manchester Arena on Monday evening by a British born Libyan has shocked the world and so the game in Stockholm was a subdued occasion. No pre game festivities, a minutes silence, black arm bands worn by both teams, and no street parade on the winners return to Manchester.

           FOUR DAYS PRIOR TO the atrocity I was in Manchester at the National Football Museum for a VIP opening of the PELE EXHIBITION. The NFM is across the road from Manchester Victoria Station where I had travelled from Leeds for the evening. Victoria is underneath the Manchester Arena. The day of my visit TAKE THAT,  a well known local pop group with Gary Barlow,  was playing the first of three nights at the 21,000 capacity arena.

           A few years ago I had been in that same arena as a guest of Lady Gaga on the first night of her World Tour and had climbed the stairs to the entrance, where the carnage occured on Monday evening. She returns to the arena on October 17th.

        Today it was announced that Manchester United and Manchester City had made a joint £1 million donation to help the families of the deceased and the injured. £4.1 million raised so far.

        At ST. ANN'S SQUARE the crowds meet, reflect and grow, the flowers and the balloons fill the place and this weekend we have a mini marathon and the with city centre activities  and huge crowds. MANCHESTER WILL LIVE !!!