A small slice of the Big Apple was present at our 2-2 draw with Spurs, as the City Football Group’s global fan base came together to celebrate their love of all things sky blue.
Joined by the New York branch of the Official Supporters’ Club, as well as members of NYCFC’s Third Rail group, East Manchester received a double dose of New Yorker spirit on the weekend Pep Guardiola’s men faced Tottenham.
Football’s status as the global game means the Blues have quite the following in one of the most iconic cities in the world and thanks to the power of Skype, we were able to hear from our Stateside fans in City Square before kick off.
Speaking live from a Club supported event in the Mad Hatter Saloon – their delightfully named branch base – City’s New York followers played their part in the pre-match build up.
Proving the Blues are loved the world over, we spoke to the Mancunian responsible for setting up the branch, as well as a Hungarian who, so impressed with the Mad Hatter atmosphere, made an instant decision to pledge his allegiance to the blue half of Manchester.
With the Mad Hatter kitted out in a host of City memorabilia it was a special occasion for all as the branch were surprised to receive their commemorative plaque, in recognition of their 10-year anniversary.
Back in Manchester and the Third Rail Supporters’ Club were getting a taste of the beautiful game in England.
Twelve of the branch joined us for the weekend – just as the Reddish Blues had done in New York last year.
Kicking off their visit with a private Stadium and Club Tour, where they explored City’s history, they later took part in a Supporters’ Club tournament at the City Football Academy with the Reddish Blues and Cityzens Weekend champions, Chadderton.
Of course, Third Rail had tickets to watch Pep’s squad face off against high-flying Spurs and they too made a pre-match appearance in City Square to be introduced to their fellow sky blues.
As part of this collaborative weekend, the Club were proud to be able to support the New York branch’s fundraising efforts by providing two 2016/17 home shirts signed by Kevin De Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi.
Auctioned off at the event, the shirts raised $680, which saw the group’s fundraising exceed $10,000 for the year.
Branch secretary John Pepper was delighted to have the opportunity to link up with fans at the Etihad Stadium.
“Everyone had a great time. It would have been nice to get a win, but it was a grand day for all," he said.
“I’m pleased to report that we raised an additional $1,562 on the day for a season-to-date total of $10,496 – well on our way to beating our best ever fundraising year.
“We are extremely grateful to Manchester City for the donated shirts.”