DON’T mention it to Man City fans, but football songwriter Kevin Phoenix (Ed: Jamie Phoenix's uncle) is singing the ‘blues’ for the team in red.
The 38-year-old singer doesn’t know whether he’s in the blue or the red corner of Manchester’s famous footballing divide but he’s penned songs about City’s sworn enemy and posted them on his website.
The site has proved a huge success with soccer fans and has had more than 7,000 hits.
One of the songs exalts United’s famous treble-winning season of 1999.
Kevin says most of the comments left on his website have been complementary but admits some fans – mainly Blues supporters – have been rather more scathing about his love of both Manchester teams.
Kevin, who once performed a City tribute song in front of 30,000 Blues fans, said: "I know for some supporters it’s seen as sacrilege to like both teams – and some have made this quite plain on my website – but I really do like both teams.
"If you’re a Blues fan you don’t really want to hear about United, and many people probably think I’m sitting on the fence. To tell you the truth I’m not really a mad football fan but I grew up in a football family and my dad was a lifelong United fan.
"The treble was something that will stick in the minds of every Red in the country for the rest of their lives and it deserved being put to music."
He added: "At the end of the day I’m a Manchester lad and I like both teams, but I love music more than I love football."
Ironically, Kevin dedicated the City song to his late father Lawrence when he was seriously ill with dementia. Sadly his dad died four years ago, just before the song was completed.
The City/United dichotomy in the Phoenix family has been passed down the generations by Kevin’ s nephew Jamie, who played for Man City’s youth team but now plays for FC United – the North West Counties team who were set up by demoralised United supporters after American tycoon Malcolm Glazer took over the Old Trafford club.
Kevin, a former busker who now works for the Northenden-based Manchester branch of the National Autistic Society (NAS), creates his songs with the help of his brother Patrick at their self-made studio in Wythenshawe.
The father-of-two, who is a friend of Take That star Jason Orange, also produced the soundtrack for an Eric Cantona documentary on the club’s MUTV station.
He is currently working with people suffering from autism on a single called Promised Land. Kevin is hoping to find a top producer to help him record the single, profits from which will go towards relieving world poverty.
All Kevin’s songs can be downloaded from his website: www.kevinphoenix.com.
First published by the South Manchester Reporter