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For Dad, 1931-2022


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What you have said about your father is similar to my father's looking after me as a young boy and on through the First Division days until he left us in 1987. He started while Billy Wedlock was an England player.

You and I were provided with a lifetime of memories by our dads. How fortunate we were. Best wishes to you and family.

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A fabulous read. Thanks very much for posting your memories and sincere condolences to you and your family at this sad time. 
 

Like you, I have many memories of watching City from the time I was about 5 years old. I was lucky enough to see Atyeo play a few times and actually met the man himself in the early ‘60s when my mum took me to Lewis’s in the Horsefair where he was signing autographs. I had my photo taken with him for the Evening Post but never saw it published. 
 

Football plays a big part in defining us fans and it’s clear that it’s done so for you and given you lots of happy, shared memories of time spent with your dad which will give you comfort in the days ahead.  Now go read the final chapters  of the Atyeo book for him!

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Really nice post thanks for sharing! My Dad died a year ago and this weekend I'm going to my first game since then which will be great, but also reflective. 

Those relationships that are built often at a young age is what football is all about imo. 

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That's a great post, and would be enjoyed by football fans of any persuasion - you described your memories so vividly, took me right back to those days in the 1970's.

Condolences on the passing of your Dad, you obviously had a great relationship and those precious memories will live with you forever. x 

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What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing your memories. I lost my Dad just over a year ago. Like yours he was partially blind and deaf. Similar story. It brought a tear to my eye. Thoughts are with you during this tough time. ❤️

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4 hours ago, Open End Numb Legs said:

Hi everyone, a long time reader of this forum here, but my first post.

My reason for joining at this time is to report on the sad news of my Dad’s passing a week ago. I have read a few tributes for long time City supporters on here over the years so I hope you find this one interesting, particularly the older supporters.

Dad died aged 91 and had supported City since the early 1950s. Growing up and living in Wiltshire, Dad was a talented sportsman and had the fortune to play cricket for Wiltshire U19. In doing so he met a certain John Atyeo who was in the same team and they became friends.

Once John started playing at City, my Dad became hooked as a fan and started regularly riding his motorbike down to the Gate at a great era in City’s fortunes.

In the early 60’s Dad followed a job opportunity and we lived in Luton for a few years. In 1966, he was able to buy a book of tickets for the World Cup finals including the final itself. Some of my most treasured possessions are the ticket stub, the commemorative program and the London Evening Standard from that 1966 Final.

We moved back to Wiltshire soon after and in the 70s Dad started taking me and sometimes my sister, to home games. I was still very young so whilst he stood in the Open End, I needed to spend the match sitting on the stanchion bars in front of him so I could see over shoulders, getting numb legs every time (hence the user name).

I can remember some big games in those days. I was on that terrace to see the FA Cup run games v both Leeds and Liverpool plus was directly behind the net for the winning goal in the promotion game to Div.1. After that final whistle was the only time I got onto the pitch! We loved the big games and the packed crowds.

As City progressed, life in the Open End for children was changing for the worse so Dad decided the best place for us was the Enclosure. I usually stood right at the front hanging onto the railings toward the East end, Dad was further back. I was happy with the new view as it got me closer to the magic that was Geoff Merrick’s left foot.

 We had our other favourites of course – Trevor Tainton, Gary Collier, Gerry Gow, Clive Whitehead, Tom Ritchie, and Paul Cheesley. We knew the team sheet well. The additions of Joe Royle and Norman Hunter in later years brought some glamour, but the core of the team, the unsung heroes were his favourites I think. We went to most home games before and after the promotion season. We would drop off Mum at St Nicholas Market before the game to do some shopping and pick her up from outside Brentford Nylons on Fairfax St after the game. My regular treat before each match was half a shandy in the Try Again pub after parking on Leigh St. and a cheese roll whilst admiring Marina Dolman’s dark red Rolls Royce behind the main stand – I even recall Harry’s old private number plate too. I can almost smell the beer in the pub, the cigarette smoke on the terrace and the line of buses warming their engines on Ashton Road after the game.

I can remember the opening game in Division 1, a win away v Arsenal. In those days the ITV Sunday highlights always had a London club playing and everyone assumed (with London TV bias) it would be a walkover for Arsenal. It is those occasions (also beating Leeds and Liverpool away) you don’t forget.

There were other games that were memorable too, beating Man Utd 1-0 when they had dropped into Div.2. I think Emmanuel scored the goal, the away support was ugly - my sister and I counted 65 smashed windows when walking down Coronation Road afterwards. A cup game v Wrexham which finished 4-4, what a thriller that was.

Dad occasionally bumped into John Atyeo. When we were in Luton in the 60s, City played one night and John, now near the end of his career, spotted my Dad by the tunnel after the game and had a good chat. Dad last saw him a year or so before he died. He didn’t talk about it much but Dad was pleased to see the stand named after John, was very interested in the statue and recently, the blue plaque at the Atyeo family home.

Jumping forward many years, eventually we stopped going to games. As Dad’s health declined I needed to prompt him to watch the games on Sky, but if I gave him a call he would always watch the games and we would still compare notes on what happened. We booked a supporters VIP day for a home game a few years ago, meeting Paul Cheesely as one of the hosts - that was a big thrill to meet an old hero of ours.

For Christmas 2021, I bought Dad the John Atyeo biography. As he became more frail, I realised I needed to read the book to him. He was nearly blind and deaf towards the end, but when I started reading about Atyeo, his good ear would turn to me and he recalled many of the names from the 50s and 60s. Unfortunately I never got to finish the book with him. It remains with the bookmark at just over half way, but at least he got to recall the internationals and goals that were the highlight of the Atyeo career.

At some point I hope to make a return to Ashton Gate. I admire all of you who support in person, especially to away games and hope City can have a better season. Reading the OTIB forum has kept me, and therefore my Dad, in touch with events over the last few years.

For Dad, 1931-2022. Thank you for taking us to all those games and the lasting memories.

Sorry indeed for your loss....

Thank you for sharing your lovely memories....they will warm you for the remainder of your own life 

Very enjoyable to read.

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My condolences to you and your family. I lost my grandad a few years ago who was the same age as your dad, he had many stories about our team in the 50's infact he had some great memories until he died. The one thing I will say is your dad maybe not be here anymore but the memories you both had will never go. All the best to you and your family may your dad rip.

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Great memories and great words I spent most of my younger days on crackers corner 62 years ago I made my debut with my grandfather abd un le grandad went on during 91 season often look towards that corner of the atyeo picturing those days my uncle now 83 still goes and a member of senior reds the family tradition still goes on with my bruv and nephew from the Dolman May your Dad R.I.P mate .

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2 hours ago, Cityboy1954 said:

Great memories and great words I spent most of my younger days on crackers corner 62 years ago I made my debut with my grandfather and uncle grandad went on during 91 season often look towards that corner of the atyeo picturing those days my uncle now 83 still goes and a member of senior reds the family tradition still goes on with my bruv and nephew from the Dolman May your Dad R.I.P mate .

 

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Condolences to you & your family on your loss but I have to say what a wonderful & touching tribute. I hope it has brought you some sort of comfort to write it.

Reading it has brought back memories of my first game with my Dad & the many times we went together after that - as others have said it’s a ‘rites of passage’ tradition that continues on & on and creates similar memories for others. 

I hope those new memories for other people are as poignant & heartfelt as yours. 

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