Strengthening Player – The Photographer Natalie Curtis

Natalie Curtis the photographer and daughter of Ian Curtis (Joy Division) talking about how she stopped denying her love to Man City and explains about the family fever to Manchester City by revealing: " Ian the man was a City supporter". In Strengthening player I'm presenting a questionnaire with 12 questions to artists, musicians, writers  about their favorite team.

Rob Gretton told me: "Your great-grandad supported City, your grandad supported City, your dad supported City, I support City and you support City"

1. What you do in these days

" Photographer "

2. Who is your favorite team around the globe?

" Manchester City "

3. How the love story with your team began?

" As a child I used to spend Saturdays with my paternal grandparents. When I was aged about 4 or 5, every week my grandfather would ask, “Who do we support?” Eventually I decided to support my mother’s team: Everton. My grandfather was disappointed that I didn’t choose City, and also pleased that I didn’t choose Manchester United. However, the Everton thing was not meant to be, I never even made it to Goodison.

Because I’m from Macclesfield I did go and watch Macclesfield Town a couple of times, but felt no affinity whatsoever. I had much more fun when my friend Chris and his brothers invited me to watch televised City matches with them. I remember the eldest brother John explaining that since my father grew up in the Hurdsfield area of Macclesfield, he must have supported City; therefore I could be an honorary City fan. Not long after that Rob Gretton (Joy Division and New Order manager) told me “Your great-grandad supported City, your grandad supported City, your dad supported City, I support City and you support City”. I teased him because at that point City were playing in the third tier, the same division as Macclesfield! Tony Wilson (Factory Records boss) suggested that I support Utd. I said that would never happen and that I hate Utd. Rob smiled and said, “See, you’re a Blue”. Yet I remained in denial, I think I just didn’t like being told what to do.

Luckily a few years later, when I was photography student, I introduced myself to photographer Kevin Cummins after a talk he did at an art gallery. He chatted about how he was documenting City’s final season at Maine Road and mentioned that he was looking for an assistant. The last time I saw Rob Gretton he told me to “Go to Maine Road”. So I took the job with Kevin and the rest is history. Once I got there it was clear that I really am a City fan. "

4. What is the peak moment with your team?

" Winning the Premier League last season. "

5. Who is your favorite player (doesn’t have to be from your team)? Why?

" Vincent Kompany. Aside from the fact that he’s an amazing player, he seems like a good guy, in Belgium they call him the “the gentleman of the pitch”. Off the pitch he comes across as being very intelligent and as though he has really embraced Manchester. Plus he would be great to photograph – he looks cheeky! I also have soft spots for David Silva and Edin Dzeko. "

6. What is the low moment with your team?

" 2006-7 My friend Stella and I went to a lot of games that season. Stuart Pearce was manager. My main memory is sitting in the freezing cold and everyone singing “Psycho psycho sort it out, psycho sort it out!” "

7. Which player you want to see playing in your team?

" Hmm, Mesut Ozil maybe, he impressed me during the last World Cup and Euro 2012. I have a massive crush on his Real Madrid teammate Iker Cassillas, but I wouldn’t want him to play for City, I love Joe Hart too much. "

8. Who you like to beat the most and why?

" Manchester Utd. Because they are Manchester Utd. "

9. If you were a player in a professional team what kind of player you might be?

" Goalkeeper. As a photographer I like the idea of being able to see the whole pitch and of following the action and being ready at exactly the right moment. "

10. Do you have any superstitions before games? Which?

" No, I don’t. Though I have food related traditions. If I’m with my friend Marc we go to a curry canteen pre-match. If I’m with Stella we eat cake. "

11. What are the shortcomings in supporting your team?

" I don’t think there are any. "

12 Which curse you use the most while watching a game?

" S**t or f**k. Though I said something much worse when Ronaldo scored in our Champions League match the other week. "

About Ian Curtis and Man City:

" Sadly the only photograph of my father in a football shirt is one of him as a little boy wearing a United top. For years I assumed that it was an England shirt.

But I have been told that it is actually a United shirt. I assume that as a child he was undecided. My paternal grandmother’s family support United, I imagine that his grandparents bought him the United shirt. But at some point he chose his father’s team because Ian the man was a City supporter. I know that my grandad took my father to matches. Even though she supports Everton, my mum secretly loves City (unless they are playing Everton) after being married to my dad. My favourite thing she has told me is that my father’s ambtion was to live within walking distance of Maine Road. He couldn’t drive but instead of learning to drive he wanted a house near the football ground! "

Ian with United shirt on the right and his friend Tony Nuttall, August 66'

Natalie Curits is a photographer based in Manchester.  you can Check her portfolio in her site

Some of her works:

Sam Riley, Samantha Morton & Hayley Kennet


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