April 12th 1972

“Man Utd 1 Man City 3. YIPPEE. Francis gets 2, Rodney get other. City move up to 2nd”

I mention this otherwise mundane entry to goad United fans just as they deserve to have be goaded for the past several decades. (Regardless of my team affiliation, there’s always a certain sense of ‘football satisfaction’ when City beats United, as happened last week, here in 2008)

“Francis” refers to Francis ‘Franny’ Lee, who was pretty much my footballing hero in the early 70’s. A prolific goalscorer, his worst trait was “dramatically falling over” when merely nudged by a defender. This habit was a big part of his game several decades before it became a ‘trendy’ thing for European players to adopt.

Here he is not falling over. Pre-dating a cameo in “Life on Mars” perhaps?

In the 90’s, Franny became chairman of Manchester City, following entrepreneurial success in the ‘toilet paper business’. But it was a disastrous reign. Maybe he should have adopted the ‘fighting spirit’ he had when playing for Derby in 1974?

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