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A Manchester Benobo

Submitted by on April 16, 2010 – 8:42 am2 Comments

A lot has happened since the first AFLM:SPG came out in August 2008.
Manchester City have become a world football force and look set to confirm this by beating Stretford United 10-0 tomorrow, according to experts everywhere. MUST took a step towards world peace and helped get the first black president elected in America. All through the revolutionary free distribution of scarves scheme.

The next print version of AFLM:SPG (issue 3) will be out next week (details of when and where will follow). So while we’re looking forward, let’s have a look back. Here is the editorial from issue 1, dated August 2008…

Be unstill my beating hearth…
Oh how we ribbed and emasculated the FC United of Manchester board member who said that this new publication needed some sort of ‘mission statement’. Invariably men who say those two words have committed, want to commit or intend to commit to dressing up in Rocky Horror Show outfits. Concentrating on the stockings and suspenders aspect whilst at all times stressing their reluctance and how they didn’t really want to be doing it. However, if we replace those two ‘oh, hi guys’ words with part knowing what we’ve got, part knowing where we want to plod to and part knowing how the big red bus will get us there, then it becomes more acceptably of our city.

I’m the one who told you, I will love you dear forever, and I will…
A missionary position statement: a straightforward whip it in, whip it out and wipe it Manchester writers’ not-for-profit co-operative. Every single one pence made by this new publication you are reading will go back to the Development Fund for the building of that ground in Manchester. All the receipts from the printers will be given to the club counter-upperer-fella who can do with them what he likes. They will be there for a record of accountability. Our existence as a publication might resemble, in brevity of time, the adverts in the Channel Four news at seven advert breaks. We can’t see us doing more than two or three issues a season, and really we won’t even get around to that.

In that relaxed respect we’ll be the same as Under the Boardwalk. Wolfie and Boardy from Under the Boardwalk are two of the nicest lads you’ll ever meet. Alright, Boardy looks as if he could do with a bit more of a wash now and then and Wolfie’s trenchcoat is borderline Bunnymen, but they are gentle, gentlemen and an absolute pleasure to be around. Pots for rags in the daftest pots for rags way. They’ve bashed their fanzine out right from the start and they are a credit with crunchie. We’re coming three years later. We’ve been tending to other matters. We got there though. We’re big enough for two. We’re all Reds and we all know that.

If there is someone else, some other place, that holds your heart, tell me now, truthfully, before we start. If you love me, really love me, as I love you, it’s the answer to everything if you do…
So here it is:  we want to be a specific part of the Development Fund. A specific part for a specific reason. Going to Northwich Victoria’s ground in the first season gave us an insight. They built the ground before the clubhouse. Whereas at AFLM:SPG we, as everyone does, want to see our clubhouse go up at the same time as the ground. However, we also want that clubhouse to have a real coal fire. A warm, unstill, beating hearth that says “Aww, come in, you’re home now. We got the fire going with the shovel with the burnty brown newspaper in front of it that’s giving off that burning burnty brown burned newspaper smell. And it’s all yours.”

We want to be a fundraiser within the DF specifically for that chimneystack that’ll give us that fire. Around town you see new builds going up where they construct the concrete lift shafts before the rest of the building. Ours will have the chimney stuck up first. When we get our home, which can only come with the help of other authorities, the chimney will always be ours. It wouldn’t cost the club anything as our fund will pay for the raw materials and we could build it ourselves. The central core of all our loving football community. And any time we have a game or have a meeting we’ll light a bonfire of inspiration. Not in August though, as that’s just Alexander Graham Bellendy.

Funky monkey, give me a chocolate bar that’s chunky, oi, boy, losing weight I can enjoy. If you work on a pear farm you never notice if things are going pear shaped. Except when you do…
We don’t want to be Les Kellet’s PR man. All the other wrestlers had good public relations. Haystacks had a fur-trimmed waistcoat that had no buttons, so it was always open. Impractical but clever. Kendo had a paper plate. Daddy had knobless trunks. The Royles were brothers. Even Mick McManus had alliteration. Les Kellet’s PR man, although you can admire the ‘in-the-background’ approach to PR’ing actually did nothing and just left Les there being Les. So who are we without being too www.guvnor.com?

Many of the writers have written for the established United fanzines dating back to the days of the seventeenth century when incorporating shafts of light into dark oil paintings was prevalent. Charlton Heston had a very old body but very young teeth when he died. The writers’ ages reflect that paradox. We are honoured to have some writers for AFLM:SPG who were at the birth, but were also part of the conception, of FC United of Manchester. All of our writers have been involved in the ongoing upkeep of Malcomses, seeing the importance of transferring another small part of Manchester to the wrong end of the tram tracks, integrating special food and beer and music and art and literature and performance with our special, special football club. They see there is no cultural divide. The theory of everything. We can write that a billion times bigger when we’re back within the boundaries of our birthplace.

B of the banter…
But back to the chimleybreast fund. It makes a little part of the DF seem that tidgey bit more attainable. We could price it and have the funds ready and waiting by the end of this season. We have enough skills to build it ourselves as stated. In fact with an electrician on the board at FC United of Manchester we could wire it up so that we have the only talking chimleybreast in the world. There might be another talking chimleybreast but we doubt it. I’ve told others many times that I never wanted to drive because motorcar horns are quite ignorant. You might be slightly bibbing your horn to tell someone something politely but it just sounds aggressive. Until they invent nice polite horns that say “Good morning” or “You’re looking nice today” or “Your bumper sticker is not on your bumper. I realise that that is now acceptable” then I’m not going to drive.

You can’t polish a Kurd. For a start it’s probably racist…
But our talking chimleybreast – lifts do it so don’t get get’ish on us – could be wired up to say all sorts of lovely things such as ‘Not many bigguns can pull off the flowery frock look from Big Scene in Stevie Square but somehow you don’t look a titular head of state when you do it” or “You have an overriding tang of pulled-out-inner–bum-hair but somehow manage to carry it off” or ”May your life be full of the sugar from the coating of Rinstead Pastilles”. It can also be practical by saying things like “Hey, you with ‘G Star Raw’ written in four inch high letters across your T shirt. Fuck off out, you’re not welcome.” And everybody loves a warm breast. In fact as we know, it was the Romans who called us ‘Mamucium’ – A breast shaped hill. And to this day Manchester is full of right tits. Also chimley is a nice Manchester word. We could do hot buttered crumpets on wire coat hanger forks to further fund raise. And we can test out the theory of whether putting potato peelings on the fire last thing at night will keep it ember’ing until the morning. It will be a special, loving place. That brings you changing fire.

We were born on a Woolworth’s fire hurricane. We were drowned in Manchester’s driving rain. We do alright now, it’s Wonderfuel gas. We do alright, it’s wonderfuel gas, know your class, class past. It’s Wonderfuel gas, know your class, class past…
So there we are, that’s what, who and why we are. It would be lovely to think that you’ll enjoy the publication and write for the publication as we will always try to take it above the ‘magnolia walls, white ceiling’. Try. Not necessarily succeed. We’ll write it in the United way. There could be no other way.

Spirit, patience, gentleness’ly yours
AFLM:SPG

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