SportsJuana is your ultimate home for the latest news, in-depth analysis with an abundant variety that leaves you hungry for interesting and path-breaking content.

Chetan Gowda has been a die-hard supporter of Manchester City since the last 13 years.
English Premier League Football Latest Opinion

Breathing The Blues: Reliving a Manchester City aficionado’s glorious journey

Chetan Gowda has been a die-hard supporter of Manchester City since the last 13 years.
Chetan Gowda has been a die-hard supporter of Manchester City since the last 13 years.

Premier League defending champions Manchester City are one of the most popular teams in India currently. Fans take to the streets in celebration after a triumph, with the passion reflecting in every move. However, the same was certainly not the case back in 2008, when City were slowly and steadily growing in popularity and supremacy. While the Manchester-based club certainly enjoyed a fanbase, it was certainly small in comparison to other major clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

However, the ‘Sky Blues’ as they are popularly known certainly had a distinct charm, with emphasis on attacking football and intent at every stage. These aspects proved irresistible for Chetan Gowda, who signed on for a journey of a lifetime having never watched any significant amount of football before turning 10. And what a journey it has been as Chetan reminisces over a delightful interaction.

“While I played football at school, cricket and tennis were sports I watched more often. Matches in case of the former were fairly late and being brought up in a strict Indian family saw me go to sleep by 10. Many of my friends who supported clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United actually mocked me, having not started supporting a club. The fact that I was a state-level athlete, dug in the fact that I was missing out on something significant. That triggered the decision to start watching football even further,” he shares in an exclusive chat with Sportsjuana.

“Initially, it was quite random with Premier League matches preferred because of convenient timings. However, the desire to start supporting a club kicked in soon after. It wasn’t going to be Chelsea as many of my friends were already supporters. A club donning a red jersey was out of consideration, as Blue is my favourite colour. The only things which mattered were passion and a desire to make a difference. However, I soon found all those prized qualities in September 2009, as Manchester City took on Arsenal. The former recorded a 4-2 triumph, with Emmanuel Adebayor running down the pitch in celebration. The Cityzens had captured my heart, and I was proud to share the same with my friends, who mocked me a lot.”

However, the 25-year-old was forced to come to terms with the heartbreak that fans of an emerging club are forced to endure soon after, with the Cityzens suffering a tragic defeat against arch-rivals Manchester United.

“I was well aware of the significance of a Manchester Derby encounter. A win could not be compromised upon at any cost. The clash seemed to be heading on to a 3-3 draw, which was acceptable if not the best result. However, to my supreme horror, Michael Owen came charging down with the ball in the last minute of extra time, scoring the winner. I could not control my emotions and burst into tears. It was a strange feeling, having never cried even after a defeat for the Indian cricket team. However, I knew where I belonged. The never say die attitude and glorious mentality of the players was all that mattered. Results would certainly be recorded soon enough if the right intent was there.”

Chetan was certainly proved right in the coming years, as success and silverware came pouring in.

“The next season was truly special with the FA Cup triumph and Aguero’s winner to lead Manchester City on to a Premier League win. While the tears came pouring out even at this stage, this instance witnessed an outpour of positive emotions. Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment witnessed some of the best attacking football I have ever seen. While some focus more upon Steven Gerrard’s mistake, we were deserving champions. Pep Guardiola’s arrival has definitely been a major highlight, with some of the greatest records shattered. I truly believe Manchester City could well go on to emulate the ‘Invincibles’. Considering the presence of a ‘midfield maestro’ in Kevin de Bruyne, the sky is the limit for our glorious club.”

Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Joe Hart, and Pablo Zabaleta are some of Chetan’s favourite players. He is currently the General Secretary of Bengaluru Cityzens, a role which the 25-year-old believes is very close to his heart.

“I am one of the founding members as well as the General Secretary of Bengaluru Cityzens, the official City fan club in Bengaluru. The club was established after I found a few Bangalore-based supporters on Facebook. It has been a joy ride since then. While only 5-6 people used to come for screenings initially, the pub where the matches are screened struggles to fit in people currently. Manchester City have not lost a game in screenings attended by me. That gives extra motivation to make it. The only desire left is an opportunity to witness a game live at the Etihad Stadium,” says Chetan with a twinkle in his eye.

The 25-year-old considers Aguero’s screamer as the proudest moment of his journey so far, with the 4-3 derby defeat against Manchester United being the most disappointing one. On a concluding note, Chetan has a message in store for fellow football fans who support other clubs.

“Please give Manchester City the respect it deserves. The club is on the path to becoming the strongest side in English football. All the oil money jibes need to be cut down completely, as they are baseless. Come hail or storm, our resolve will stand strong,” states the 25-year-old.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *