Gaz started going regularly with his dad in the early 1970s, just in time to see the last days of our Georgie. He, too, was awestruck.
“We’d go down to The Cliff in the summer holidays and just stay there all day. So you’d see him. I actually met him once as a kid when he had a big beard. He scared me and I started crying!”
“There’d be a posse of little kids waiting outside his boutique to see him,” recalls Brown. “He’d come back with a big bag of Blackjack chews, hand ’em out and tell us all to run along.”
Around the same time, four-year-old Gary "Mani" Mounfield was taken by his dad to a reserve game against Ipswich Town in 1967. A veteration of relegation in 1974, and on through the dark days of the late 1970s and early 80s he was, aptly, given his band’s back catalogue, still around for the resurrection under Sir Alex.
Three-quarters of The Stone Roses were Reds (Reni was a former City ball-boy), and a year or two after the band split, John Squire told the NME what he missed most was “having someone to go to the match with.”
Part two to be published Friday 19 October.
Image © Kevin Cummins. Photo from Kevin Cummins' book, Manchester: Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain (Faber and Faber).