Starting Monday: True Blues

Starting Monday and running each Monday for nine weeks I’m doing a new weekly series of profile articles on some of the earliest figures behind the development of Manchester City. Some of these will be players or managers, while others will be directors, chairmen or other figures associated with the club in some way. Some of them will be fairly unknown while others may still be recognisable names today. All deserve to be remembered.

The people featured are:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of them – you soon will. I’ve been obsessed with the origins of football in Manchester for decades now. In the 1980s I first started researching the early years of City and spent many, many hours every week in libraries and other locations trying to piece together the club’s story, particularly its formative years in West Gorton, Gorton and Ardwick. I also contacted various churches, local history groups and more in the desperate hope they had something – anything – of interest. From a St Mark’s perspective this included contact with Emmanuel Church in West Gorton (who took over from St Mark’s as the local church when St Mark’s was demolished; sadly in the early 1990s they told me all St Mark’s records had either been destroyed or had been passed on to Manchester Cathedral) and later with Manchester Cathedral.

In the early 1990s I also tracked down the son of the 1950s editor of the St Mark’s parish magazine as in a feature the former editor had written he discussed the original parish magazine, published in the 1880s, and explained that he had copies of every issue in front of him. I was convinced these would hold clues as to the development of the football club. Sadly, despite considerable effort on his part his son came back to me with the news that the magazine had been disposed of when his father either moved or died. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens a lot.

Anyway, these True Blue profiles are only one small glimpse into those early years. If you’d like to read more then please let me know and I’ll try and share as much as I can from my archive of material, researched continuously since the mid-1980s.

So, watch this space! These ‘True Blue’ profiles will be available to subscribers. See below for details of how to subscribe either monthly (cancel anytime) or annually.

Subscribe to get access – Annual

Annual subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since December 2020 for an annual subscription of £20 (works out about £1.67 per month).

Subscribe to get access – Monthly

Monthly subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since 1 October 2022 for a monthly subscription of £3 (cancel any time).

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s