Brian O’Connor and The Galway City Supporters Branch are looking forward to the Blues’ forthcoming participation in the Dublin Super Cup.
“Being a City fan in Ireland has always had a unique feel to it given that we were always outnumbered by fans of other clubs, though we are fiercely loyal,” he begins.
"Most of us became City fans because our fathers or older brothers were. This all happened in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s when City matched anyone on the parks of England.
“Many Irish people, especially on the east coast, were able to indulge themselves in a weekly football feed of ‘Match of the Day’ or ‘The Big Match’ and City fans reveled in the exploits of Bell, Summerbee, Lee, Doyle, Watson, Caton, Corrigan and so on.
“But on the west coast, it was a different story. Picture a 16-year-old City fan, in Tuam on the day of the 1981 FA Cup semi-final.
“The RTE Saturday Sport programme ended at 5pm with the words . . . .’And the other semi between Manchester City and Ipswich Town has gone to extra time - Good evening.’
The next sports news was on radio at 6.30pm! It was torture! We've come a long way since then and City have visited Ireland on several occasions since the early 1990s
“It was always an excuse to hire a bus, round up a motley crew of local City fans head off for the hotbeds of League of Ireland soccer like Athlone, Limerick and Cork which inevitably became Blue for one evening only and the locals were left in no doubt that City were in town but, of course, all done in the best possible taste!
“The internet fills the gossip void for us these days, but the be all and end all is to see the team that for more than three decades you have cried over, cursed, defended, cheered and above all - stood by - strut their stuff in your neck of the woods.
“There is a unique bond between City and their fans - we have been through a lot together - and like any relationship, it is a test of character and stamina.
“City visiting Ireland is manna from heaven. It’s the chance to meet up and renew old friendships, tell our war stories and look forward to the next chapter.
“All part of the evolution of being a City fan- and we promise a warm welcome for all our Mancunian cousins.”