A trip to your favourite boozer remains a matchday ritual for supporters up and down the country and for many Manchester City fans who come to the Etihad Stadium, the pub of choice is Mary D’s.
Unashamedly and ostentatiously Blue, it has become somewhat of a City institution since we left Maine Road and something which had to feature in our 125th anniversary series, City DNA.
Formerly Bradford Labour Club, Mary D’s Beamish Bar, to use its full name, describes itself as Manchester City’s ‘No.1 pub and sports bar’.
Located on Grey Mare Lane, just off Ashton New Road on which the Etihad lies, it is less than an Ederson goal kick away from the Club’s home.
Fans – both local and international - flock there in their hundreds on matchday to enjoy the lively pre-match atmosphere, complete with DJs, in a venue decorated in tribute to all things Manchester City.
It begins outside, with its white and sky-blue brickwork, matched by the adjoining Tony’s chippy, whose meals you can take inside to accompany your pre- or post-match pint.
‘Here’s to you’ is painted on the wall running alongside Howarth Close in tribute to the legendary Vincent Kompany, with a host of other players recognised once you step inside.
It begins in the bar, where the lyrics of Blue Moon are penned on a chalkboard and barrels acting as tables to accommodate standing fans are dressed with photos of the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Pep Guardiola wearing roman helmets to acknowledge our 2017/18 Centurions campaign.
Then there is the shrine-like dancefloor.
A City crest proudly adorns the floor, whilst this time the blue and white barrels-turned-tables bear the names of a host of legends including, Colin Bell, Tony Book and Paul Lake.
A floor to ceiling painting of our former home, Maine Road, graces one wall, whilst in a place where the spirit of the Kippax is well and truly alive, a hanging banner reads: ‘Call us what you want. We are the Kippax. The Kippax will never die.’
It continues outside on the patio, where City shirts hang from the covering roof.
Mary D’s is loud, and it is proud in its support and the same can be said of the fans who frequent there on matchdays.
It is quintessentially City, a place to belt out the full catalogue of terrace chants until your heart’s content and somewhere fans of all ages have no doubt enjoyed some memorable nights over the last decade.