“Why are they called the Citizens?” It’s a question that bubbles up every now and again in the banter-laden universe of football. It’s all about Manchester City, the beloved football team from Manchester, England, that has been kicking goals and breaking hearts since 1880. So, lace up your boots, buckle your shin guards, and join us in exploring the fascinating world of football aliases and the tale behind Manchester City’s nickname, ‘The Citizens’.
How the ‘City’ Gave Birth to ‘Citizens’
The nickname ‘The Citizens’ is a simple twist on the club’s name, Manchester City. However, it carries a deeper meaning, a nod to the local supporters who are, in essence, ‘citizens’ of Manchester. This moniker subtly draws a line in the sand, differentiating the local support base of Man City from the more global fanfare of their arch-rivals, Manchester United.
Beyond the confines of a football match, you might hear fans casually referred to as ‘Citizens’ or ‘Cityzens’, an evolution from the team name ‘City’. And if you are lucky enough to hold a Man City’s official free membership, you get to enjoy the proud title of a ‘Cityzen’. The club even extended this concept during the COVID-19 pandemic with ‘Cityzens At Home’, an online resource keeping fans connected and entertained during the global lockdown.
The Other Monikers of Manchester City
Nicknames are the spice of sports, adding a dash of character and fun to the mix. Besides ‘The Citizens’, Manchester City proudly sports a few other aliases. The straightforward ones include ‘City’ and the ‘Sky Blues’, the latter being a tribute to their primary color.
A Mancunian Twist: ‘Citeh’
Just as Bostonians have their unique accent, Mancunians too have a distinct way of pronouncing ‘City’ as ‘Citeh’. This phonetic twist is a fun, linguistic nod to the local dialect and culture. You may also hear Manchester United being called ‘Yanited’ or ‘Yernited’ in a similar vein.
The Banter of Nicknames: What United Fans Call City Fans
While City fans enjoy a few choice names for United supporters like ‘Rags’, ‘Plastics’, or ‘Glory Supporters’, United fans don’t hold back either. They often dub City’s stadium, the Etihad Stadium, ‘The Emptyhad,’ and refer to City fans as ‘Berties’.
The Tale Behind ‘Berties’
‘Berties’ traces its roots back to a popular Manchester United fanzine. The name derives from a character called ‘Bertie Magoo the Bitter Blue’ who was created to embody the perceived attitude of Manchester City fans. Bertie is usually depicted as middle-aged and bald, complete with a blue nose labeled ‘Loser’ and a T-shirt boldly claiming ‘Bell better than Best’ – a reference to City legend Colin Bell and United legend George Best.
Manchester City: A Brief Stroll Down Memory Lane
Founded in 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton), Manchester City officially adopted its current name in 1894. The club has had its fair share of ups and downs, but its resilience is commendable. They’ve won several top-flight titles, their first coming in 1937. The 21st century has been particularly fruitful for the Citizens, with five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and six EFL Cups, among other domestic and international honors.
The club experienced a significant transformation in 2008 when Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group purchased it. Since then, Manchester City has emerged as a football powerhouse, boasting a world-class squad and a state-of-the-art stadium.
The Stalwarts of The Citizens: 2010-2023
Manchester City’s recent success has been spearheaded by a host of world-class players. The dynamic Sergio Agüero, who set records tumbling with his goal-scoring prowess, will always be remembered for his last-minute strike that clinched the 2011-12 Premier League title. Belgian maestro Kevin De Bruyne has been a midfield marvel with his vision and technique, while Raheem Sterling’s pace and precision have tormented defenses. Not to forget the Brazilian wall, Ederson, whose goalkeeping acumen and ball distribution skills have added a new dimension to City’s gameplay. These players, among others, have etched their names in the annals of Manchester City’s history, leaving an indelible legacy for future Cityzens.
In Conclusion: The Cityzens’ Legacy
From the humble beginnings of St. Mark’s (West Gorton) to the global phenomenon of Manchester City, the club’s journey has been a rollercoaster ride. The nickname ‘The Citizens’ not only embodies the spirit of the local supporters but also serves as a reminder of the club’s deep-rooted connection to the city of Manchester.
As we’ve discovered, the world of football nicknames is as rich and colorful as the sport itself, and the tale of Manchester City’s nickname is a shining example. So, the next time you hear someone ask, “Why are Man City called ‘The Citizens’?”, you’ll know the answer – and the fascinating history behind it.