October 21st 2015 was celebrated as Back to the future day, the day that Marty McFly travelled to in the film. Looking back at how much the world has changed in thirty years should make me realise how impossible it is to predict what will happen in the future, which is no reason not to try.
Thirty years ago, Howard Kendall was manager of Everton. I never saw him play for Birmingham City as I was living on the other side of the world in the 1970s but, judging from our crowd’s reaction during the minute’s applause before the QPR game, many of our fans remember him with affection. David Squires, whose cartoons usually lampoon the worst aspects of sport, produced a tribute to him.
Looking forward, I predict that sometime in the next thirty years, the Chinese are going to dominate world football. If you follow today’s news, you will see that the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, is visiting Manchester City’s Academy and the National Football Museum. In an interview with Reuters, he said that in the next five years football training will be introduced to 20,000 Chinese schools. In England it doesn’t make much difference whether or not the Prime Minister is interested in football but in China, a President who likes football can make a great deal of difference.
Looking back over a smaller time span, it is a year since Gary Rowett’s first game as Birmingham City’s manager. Before that game I wrote on this blog, “We need a band of brothers tomorrow, a team working together and wanting to play.” And that’s the kind of team we saw earn a simply magnificent goalless draw at Molineux and that has been such a pleasure to watch for the last year.
FC United of Manchester rejected a proposal to move their game with Sporting Khalsa to fit in with a new format of television and said that “the easiest way for TV viewers to access the real fans’ experience is to go along to a match.” I agree. Any Blues fans that can possibly get to a game, should do so. It’s impossible to predict how long the good times will last so come and experience them while you can.