Shar­ing my mem­o­ries of a truly great Blue

Manchester Evening News - - LETTERS, COMMENTS AND EMAILS -

A NIGHT to re­mem­ber for Bernard Hal­ford, Mr Man City, who passed away on March 26.

City vets made it a night to cher­ish.

Bernard and I go back a long way.

Two years younger than Bernard, I joined him at St Gre­gory’s High School, Ard­wick Green.

Shar­ing the same bus from New Mos­ton and Chad­der­ton, we be­came life-long friends.

Bernard was a keen rugby fan and I re­mem­ber trips to Water­shed­dings to watch his team.

Years later he be­came Old­ham Ath­letic’s youngest ever sec­re­tary.

In 1957, I had my 15 min­utes of fame.

Real Madrid were in Manch­ester to play United in the Euro­pean Cup.

Out­side the Mid­land Ho­tel, I asked star-man Al­fredo Di Ste­fano to sign my au­to­graph book. Al­fredo, fed up with not only me, but with other fans, threw my book on the floor.

The press were there and made a big story of it.

Al­fredo made a pub­lic apol­ogy to yours truly, which in­cluded a trip to the Palace Theatre and Old Traf­ford for the game.

School friend, Bernard, re­mem­bered it well, from Ard­wick Green to his time at Bound­ary Park, Old­ham, Maine Road and his beloved Blues, onto the Eti­had.

In 2013, City were drawn to play Real Madrid.

For my 70th birth­day I re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion to come with my part­ner, Carol, to the Eti­had to watch City v Real Madrid. Bernard’s idea was to re­unite me with the great man, Al­fredo Di Ste­fano.

What a lovely ges­ture. Un­for­tu­nately, Al­fredo was too ill to travel, but it summed up Bernard the man.

Fri­day, De­cem­ber 13, brought all those great times, from 1954 to 2019, to mind.

You couldn’t make it up. John Dono­hue, Stock­port

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