The Eagle has Flown
December 27, 2015


I remember the home kit City wore when I started following the club. It was the striped-collared Umbro with an opaque crest underneath the Brother logo. This was the Kinkladze era. Our badge was round. It was clean, it was easily identifiable, and it was in your face. I loved it.

This was in the early 90s and a few years later, towards the end of the millennium, I was sent to boarding school. Access to cable TV was scarce so my 'followership' of the club was also significantly dampened.

Not that it would have made any difference if I’d stayed at home. We were lingering in the 2nd and 3rd tier of English league football. No Southeast Asian cable TV would waste airing rights money on City playing Northampton Town away. They’d rather spend it on United v. Liverpool reserves; a sound business decision.

I remained undeterred. I would scour the English newspapers at the library on Mondays to check on results. Although this was no longer feasible when we dropped to Division 2. The page only had space for results up to Division 1.

For an entire season and a half, my access to City news was just through that medium, letters and numbers on the table. One school holiday at home, on 56kbps Internet, I was shocked to learn that the club had actually been using a new badge since the previous season.

I took an immediate dislike of the new badge. Historical reference aside, the eagle felt out of place, and the three stars seemed unnecessary. (We had won nothing anyway... I was already having a tough time at school.)

But it was something that you simply just had to live with. And lived with it I did. I got the blue/maroon away Kappa kit and wore it everywhere. Outings at boarding school, class presentations in college, an Oasis gig in Chicago, I wore that Eagle proudly throughout some of my life’s most memorable milestones.

The badge grew on me over time, and I began to come to terms with it. Kit and corporate sponsors (and owners) changed over the years but the Eagle stuck firmly on each player’s chest; for all of 17 years.

When the club announced a badge redesign earlier this year, together with a supporters survey to provide direction, I felt proud. Proud to have our voices heard, and proud to see the Eagle that has been with the club’s journey up and down the league finally retired for a long-needed rest.

When the new badge were revealed on huge banners across three ends at the Etihad yesterday, a sense of nostalgia crept over me. The Eagle badge has paved the way to the club to be where it is today, and attain further success with the new badge, a mirror of the one I fell in love with as a kid.

But first we need to beat Leicester next week.

Image: mcfc.co.uk



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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

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  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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