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We live on a famous old Prem ground – fans flock to our homes but we love it



RESIDENTS living on the site of an old Premier League ground say fans flock to their homes – but they love it.

Almost 35,000 people packed the stands for the last time in 2003 and the ground was bulldozed.

Almost 35,000 people packed the stands of Maine Road for the last time in 2003
Many pose in front of street signs that include Blue Moon Way - a nod to the famous song chanted by supporters
City’s Shaun Goater (left) and Alf Inge Haaland (right) sandwich Derby County’s Seth Johnson (centre) at Maine Road

But that hasn’t stopped fans flocking to Maine Road, now a development of 474 homes, to get a sense of Manchester City’s history.

City moved to the City of Manchester Stadium, now known as the Etihad Stadium.

Many pose in front of street signs that include Blue Moon Way – a nod to the famous song chanted by supporters – and Kippax Street, which gave its name to Maine Road’s much-loved Kippax stand where fans including Noel Gallagher once stood.


A plaque commemorating the club’s ex-groundsman also sits where the centre circle used to be.

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City only won two top-tier titles while playing at Maine Road – compared to the six Premier League crowns at their new stadium – but it will always hold special memories for many supporters.

Blues fans Lisa Johnstone and Bruno Nunes say it was a ‘dream move’ relocating to the estate in 2015 and it retains the ‘community’ vibe fostered by club.

“We lived in Wythenshawe and wanted to find somewhere in south Manchester that was affordable,” said Lisa, 40.

“And the fact it used to be City’s old ground was obviously a big draw. There’s real sense of history living here.”

Lisa said the ‘strong sense of community among residents is nice because City used to be a community club’.

She had friends and family that lived in the area and recalls going to matches as a youngster and the club handing out tickets for matches to local schools.

City stars including Kevin De Bruyne have visited the nearby primary school, she said, and Noel Gallagher was also spotted there after filming in the area.

Manchester City moved to the City of Manchester Stadium, now known as the Etihad Stadium
The ground was bulldozed and is now a development of 474 homes
A plaque commemorating the club's ex-groundsman also sits where the centre circle used to be
View of the Kippax and North Stand at Maine Road

She added: “There’s a real mix of people living here, families, young professionals, people from different places and backgrounds.

“It’s a great location and I think it’s become a desirable place to live.

“It also feels very safe which is good because the area – Moss Side – got a bit of a negative image in the 1980s and 1990s due to all the gun crime, which led to Manchester being nicknamed ‘Gunchester’.”

Bruno, 39, originally from Portugal, praises the community facilities, especially for children, and also loves feeling part of City’s history, despite originally being a Benfica fan.

“I remember the old stadium and where we live now is round the corner from centre circle and near old Kippax stand,” he said.

“Other fans come to visit and I spoke to some from Ireland the other week as they walked around and took photos next to the street signs.”

Other residents, such as Arek Bartniczak, 40, were initially unaware of the City connection when they moved to the estate.


The father-of-two, originally from Poland, said: “I only found out when I was a setting up a bill payment over the phone and mentioned I was living on Blue Moon Way,” he said.

“‘Oh, you must be City fan,’ the person asked. But I like the area, everyone is friendly and my two children are both happy at school.”

He said the only downside was the complicated lease arrangement on properties, with a company sub-leasing from the council, leading to service charges and some residents having legal issues and problems with repairs.

Mother of-two Vanessa Saleh, 46, was a first-time buyer with her husband and moved to the estate after renting in nearby Whalley Range.

“It feels a happy and safe place to live,” she said. “We wanted to stay in the local area and these houses were more affordable.

“My children, who are six and seven, attend the nearby primary school which is great.”

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Plans to paint Blue Moon Way – the main road through the housing development – never materialised but fans can still feel nostalgic when they visit, even hopping on board the 111 bus that goes to and from the city centre or visiting a local chippy.

Maine Road may be gone, but it won’t be forgotten.


Source: The Sun

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