Remember the old Spot The Ball competition?

Here’s one (above) I’ve spotted from the 1930s at Old Trafford. Can you work out where the ball should be? The winner wasn’t the person who accurately identified where the ball was, instead it was the person who accurately identified where football experts, employed by the newspaper or pools company, said the ball would be.

So where do you think the ball was? Is it in the goal; has it been saved and at the feet of a striker; could it have been curled around the post; maybe it’s flying high over that Trafford Park chimney?

See below for the answer…

Sadly, I don’t know which game this was (and they never said at the time) but it is Old Trafford and it appeared in the Athletic News in January 1931.

The experts identified that the ball would be here:

I can’t make out if that’s in the back of the net (possible – these were bad days for United and the club was relegated this season) or if it’s been curled around the post.

Wolves have completed the signing of England youth goalkeeper Louie Moulden

Louie Moulden, 19, has agreed a two-year deal at Molineux, and will become a Wolves player on July 1 after his contract at Manchester City expires next week.

Louie is the son of former City striker Paul Moulden whose goalscoring exploits earned him a place in the Guinness Book Of Records.

Goalkepper Louie has a wealth of international experience, having played at every age group for England up to under-19s, including appearances between at the European under-17 championships in 2019.

After progressing through the Academy systems at both Liverpool and City, featuring for the under-18 and under-23 sides at the reigning Premier League champions, Moulden secured his move to the West Midlands after a successful trial at Wolves earlier this year.

Moulden saw game time for James Collins’ under-23s in their clash with Premier League 2 Division 2 title winners Leeds United at Aggborough Stadium, in February. 

If you want to find out more about Paul Moulden, here’s an interview I did with him a few years back:

Subscriber Post – A Complete PDF Of My 1st Book To Download

Back in 1989 my first book was published and now I’ve decided to add that entire book to this website for download. Ignoring yearbooks, this was only the 6th book (and two of those were more like pamphlets published in the 1930s & 40s) ever published specifically on Manchester City.

The book was published in April 1989 and I talk a little bit about it here:

The 200th Post – Joe Mercer

and here:

A Writing Flashback!

I do not have the original layouts and so I’ve scanned my only surviving copy of the book and put the pages together on a PDF. The pages appear in the order they did in the original but, obviously, as I’ve just placed images of the pages on a word document it’s not as it all appeared. Nevertheless, for those who have never seen it you can now.

There were all sorts of issues with the original publication. My co-author had died and the book was delayed by a year. It was originally due out when I was 20 in 1988. As Keith, my co-author, had died mistakes were made. Keith was also a key figure at the publisher and, without his expertise, the quality of the images and other areas was not as great as it should have been. Even the title was incorrectly published (I’d agreed a different title). Ah well… I got enough of a bug to have started writing my second book within about a month of this coming out.

If you’d like to download the book then you do need to be a subscriber to this site. Subscribers pay £20 a year (works out about £1.67 a month) or £3 a month at a time (cancel anytime). For that subscribers now get the entire From Maine Men To Banana Citizens plus my 2010 edition of Manchester A Football History AND all 380+ articles/interviews posted so far. These include audio interviews I did with John Bond, Malcolm Allison and George Graham in the 1990s.

Subscribe to get access

To access the book and everything else please subscribe here.

Coming Tuesday: A Complete PDF Of My 1st Book To Download

From tomorrow (Tuesday June 22 2021) subscribers to my site will be able to download a PDF of my entire first book. It was published back in 1989 and, Ignoring yearbooks, this was only the 6th book (and two of those were more like pamphlets published in the 1930s & 40s) ever published specifically on Manchester City.

Watch this space tomorrow for more details.

The book was published in April 1989 and I talk a little bit about it here:

The 200th Post – Joe Mercer

and here:

A Writing Flashback!

Historic Name That Ground – Week 1

For a few years now I’ve been posting a ‘name that ground’ quiz during the close season, but instead of focusing on modern images, perhaps at an unusual angle, I’ve been posting images from the past. Typically, my images of grounds have been from the 1920s to 1950s.

Now, for the first time on www.GJFootballArchive.com I’m posting them here. Each week for the next few weeks I’ll post an image of a football ground taken in the past and you can see if you can recognise the ground. Some will be easy (believe it or not there are some grounds that have not changed much in all those decades!), others not so. You’ll be able to post your view in comments at the bottom of each page.

The following Friday I’ll post the answer. So here goes….

Can you name the ground featured in the image above?

It’s a nice easy one to start with. Bonus points (though I’m not really keeping score!) for anyone who can tell me what the specific event was. Leave your comments below.

One-nil in your semi-final

From World War Two up to and including 2011 Manchester City won every FA Cup semi-final they played with a 1-0 scoreline.  That’s five games.  In 2013 I caught up with two of the goalscorers – Tommy Booth (1969) and Paul Power (1981) – to discuss their memories of those games. Here for subscribers is what they said:

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this and all the other content when you subscribe today. £20 a year works out about £1.67 a month and you get access to the 360+ articles posted here, including exclusive audio interviews and other archive material.

Historic Name That Ground – Today’s Answer

Earlier today I asked ‘Can you name the ground featured in the image above?’ Well, the answer is…

Manchester City’s Maine Rd stadium being built in 1922. This end was the Scoreboard End/later North Stand original terracing being constructed, looking towards Maine Road itself. Note the church in the top right corner – that was replaced by the MCFC Social club and shop in 1966.

Starting Monday for the next few weeks I’ll be posting one image of a football ground taken in the past each week. Some will be easy (believe it or not there are some grounds that have not changed much in all those decades!), others not so. You’ll be able to post your view in comments at the bottom of each page.

The following Friday I’ll post the answer.

While you’re here why not subscribe to my site and you can then access every article, interview, audio recording etc. already posted and those that will be posted during your subscription. It costs £20 per year (about £1.67 a month) or you can sign up on a monthly basis at £3 per month (you can cancel at any time, so you could sign sign up for a month, access everything you want and then cancel). You can subscribe below:

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Historic Name That Ground – Easy One To Start!

Starting Monday for the next few weeks I’ll be posting an image of a football ground taken in the past and you can see if you can recognise the ground. Some will be easy (believe it or not there are some grounds that have not changed much in all those decades!), others not so. You’ll be able to post your view in comments at the bottom of each page.

The following Friday I’ll post the answer. So as a bit of a preview…

Can you name the ground featured in the image above?

I think it’s a nice easy one to start with. Leave your comments below.

I’ll post the answer tonight a few minutes before the England-Scotland game.

While you’re here why not subscribe to my site and you can then access every article, interview, audio recording etc. already posted and those that will be posted during your subscription. It costs £20 per year (about £1.67 a month) or you can sign up on a monthly basis at £3 per month (you can cancel at any time, so you could sign sign up for a month, access everything you want and then cancel). You can subscribe below:

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

Manchester City 5-1 Newport County

On this day (June 16) in 1947 the Western Mail carried this match report of Manchester City’s 5-0 victory over Newport County, which was played on June 14. The game was remarkable for a number of reasons:

  • Prior to the 2019-20 Covid affected season this was the club’s latest finish to a season. 2019-20 ended in August (Champions League) with the League campaign ending on July 26 2020. The 1946-47 season had been affected by snow and frozen pitches, causing many games to be postponed.
  • City played with only ten men for much of the second half due to an injury to Billy Walsh
  • The Blues won 5-1 with George Smith scoring all five goals. No player has ever scored more goals for the Blues in a League game (Sergio Aguero of course also scored 5 v Newcastle in October 2015). Denis Law did score 6 goals in a FA Cup tie v Luton but this was abandoned and wiped from the records.
  • Roy Clarke made his City debut and, as City were promoted, he became the first man to play 3 successive league games in 3 different divisions when he appeared in his next City game. He’d joined from Cardiff (Division 3); made his City debut in Division 2 then played in Division 1. Subscribers can read more about Roy Clarke here:
  • City had achieved promotion over a month earlier (May 10) when they defeated Burnley 1-0 in front of a Maine Road crowd of 69,463. You can read about that game here:
  • City were promoted as champions.

25 Years Ago – The 1996 Manchester Bomb

25 years ago today (June 15 1996) I was in Manchester Central Library doing some research for my book Manchester The Greatest City when a terrorist bomb went off close to M&S and the Arndale Centre. The explosion was felt across the city and in the library flecks of white paint floated down moments later, creating a surreal site. It looked like it was snowing.

I’ve written about the day before and maybe, when the time feels right, I’ll post more about it here but for the time being it’s worth pointing out that though no one died hundreds were injured. Many of these were seriously injured and it has affected them since.

In addition some lost there homes – there were houses on top of the Arndale centre back then – and businesses suffered too. Many closed down for good (a major loss was the old Corn Exchange – the building survived and was ‘gentrified’ but the small businesses that had operated in there mostly disappeared for ever).

I know we all talk positively of the changes to the city since the bomb but we should also remember those who suffered and the trauma faced.

More here on the day:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-36474535