Why the Ginger Wig?
Many of you will follow me on Twitter @TheGingerWig and many will have seen me wearing the Ginger Wig to matches over the last 20 years. It’s been worn at Maine Road, the Etihad and Wembley, as well as a few away grounds.
But Why The Ginger Wig?
It’s a question I’ve been asked many times!
Is it because I’m Scottish? Nope born in Greater Manchester
Is it because my family are Scottish? Nope, they’re all from Greater Manchester or Derbyshire
The lack of a Scottish accent surprises a few! Even this month I spoke to a new artist for the 1st time having been friends on Facebook for years. He couldn’t get over the fact that I didn’t have a Scottish accent.
The Ginger Wig’s 1st game
On August 8th 1998, City were about to enter a whole new world, little did I know that 20 years later the Ginger Wig would be running Mancitygifts.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 19, 2013
Never before had the club been in the third tier of English football, a team that had won every cup in English football and a European trophy was playing in the same division as Macclesfield and Wycombe. Surely this team with a ground holding more than triple many others in the division would storm the league.
Well it certainly started off well in a game that was to see the debut of the Ginger Wig
Goals from Goater (24), Bradbury (62), Tskhadadze (80) sealed a 3-0 win
Thanks to them I’m still wearing the same Ginger Wig 20 years on!
On this day 2013 #MCFC lost the FA Cup final to Wigan
The only bright side was meeting my hero – Feed the Goat! pic.twitter.com/LJSsDwhj33
— Thegingerwigmcfc (@thegingerwig) May 11, 2016
Why still wearing the Ginger Wig?
Having worn the Ginger Wig to the first game of the season and winning (we didn’t win often back then!), all the other season ticket holders around me said “You’ll have to wear it again, it’s good luck!”.
So I have!
It’s had the odd wash since and it’s not like Trigger’s broom, it’s the same hat and wig as when I 1st bought it (admittedly the hair is thinning – just like it’s owners!). It has lost it’s bobble along the way thanks to a vicious attack on it (you know who you are!).
Since then it’s seen us promoted three times, win the FA Cup, League Cup (3 times) and Premier League (3 times). Admittedly there was one relegation in there as well.
People often asked when I’d stop wearing it.
In the early days, I did say I’d throw it on the pitch when we won a cup, but when we won the FA Cup I’d been wearing it over a decade so chickened out.
I then said I’d do it when we won the league and the next season was Agueroooooooooooooooooo
I chickened out again!
Currently I’m saying when we win the Champions League – over to you Pep.
But why the Ginger Wig?
It’s a simple story of friendship
Back in the summer of 1998, the family holiday was to Scotland and a lovely stay just outside Edinburgh.
Towards the end of the holiday we went into Edinburgh to buy some gifts to remember the holiday. At the back of one of the souvenir shops was a large selection of wigs and hats. After some tomfoolery trying on various ones I decided I’d buy the Ginger Wig.
With a tartan tam o’ shanter, blue bobble and ginger wig it was destined to join the other novelty hats in a box in the loft.
On the eve of the 1st game of the 1998-99 season, which was to end so memorably at Wembley, the ginger wig was still on my bedroom desk.
Back then I sat in block BB lower in the Kippax with my two mates. My mischievous side kicked in and I decided to wear it to embarrass them.
So having got there ridiculously early due to my dad’s fear of being late, I took my seat in the Kippax and donned the ginger wig for the 1st time awaiting their arrival.
I still remember the look on their faces as they walked down the steps to our seats.
And the shaking of their heads!
I’ve worn it ever since, even trying to embarrass them further on the last games of the season at Maine Road by wearing a kilt and going full brave heart
But there is one thing I’d like to clear up.
Many times on Twitter and Facebook, people have tagged me into a video of the play off semi final home leg against Wigan in 1999. On that great day as the Goat bundled the ball into the net meaning Dickov to could that goal at Wembley, I was there at Maine Road.
I was wearing the ginger wig
But I didn’t go onto the pitch that night. I was at Uni at the time and had to dash to the train station to get the last train back to my Uni digs. So the gentleman who was wearing a (much redder tartan than mine) tam o’shanter in the video is NOT me. He’s probably older then than I am now yet people still think it’s me!
I can categorically say that it isn’t me kissing Gerard Weikens!
Here’s to the next 20 years of the Ginger Wig and winning trophies.
If you’d like to see the next phase of the journey follow @thegingerwig on Twitter here
Or join the Mancitygifts Facebook group here