On This Day: Manchester’s First Major Trophy Success

On this day in 1904 (23 April) Manchester found its first major trophy success. The captain and goalscorer was the great Billy Meredith. Last year, following the purchase of the oldest surviving FA Cup by Sheikh Mansour (to loan to the National Football Museum) I helped Manchester City with the story of the cup and its significance to Manchester. They’ve produced a video telling the story and it can be viewed here:

https://www.mancity.com/citytv/mens/manchesters-first-trophy-1904-fa-cup-documentary-63745781

For more on the significance of this FA Cup trophy check out the category 1903-04 in the drop down list below.

Trafford Women’s Euros Project

Did you play football for a women’s team in the Trafford area or are you a female footballer from Trafford? If so, I’m keen to interview you for a new Heritage Lottery Funded project seeking to capture the stories of women footballers who came from the Trafford borough. Already I’ve heard from players connected with Manchester United’s original women’s team; FC Redstar; Trafford Ladies, Manchester Corinthians and more BUT I’m keen to capture as many stories as possible over the coming weeks. The project is part of a wider project connected with the Women’s Euros to be staged this summer (See below for details).

There are some excellent people in Trafford involved with the project and in the wider national project too. I’m delighted to be working with them. The interviews from this last week or so the first interviews with former footballers connected with Trafford occurred and the stories they have told will help the project enormously. We need more though and, not only that, but fans can contribute too.

Maybe you can help the project? We’re keen to capture your stories and memories. The details are:

In preparation for the Women’s Euros which will open at Old Trafford at the start of July Trafford Local Studies are keen to interview women who have played football. We are particularly keen on hearing the stories of women footballers from the borough or from women who played for teams within Trafford. 

For those uncertain the Trafford borough covers a number of towns and areas including Altrincham, Bowden, Flixton, Irlam, Old Trafford, Sale, Stretford, Timperley, Trafford Park and Urmston. If you are a woman from the area and played football then please get in touch. Also, if you played either for or against a team from the Trafford area then we also want to hear your memories of that game.

The Trafford area has incredibly strong links to the history of women’s football. In 1921 a game between Dick, Kerr Ladies and Bath Ladies at Old Trafford was watched by over 30,000 and over the following century significant games were staged at White City, Stretford, Timperley and other venues in our borough.

Over the last fifty years or so many prominent local teams have developed and played in the area such as Sale Hotel, Trafford, Redstar, Urmston and many others, while women from Trafford have played for prominent teams outside of the borough. 

We are keen to hear the memories of women who have contributed to this rich history of women’s football in the area. If you are from Trafford or played for a team based in our borough then please get in touch. Your memories will help to develop our archive and ensure future generations are aware of the experiences of women footballers. 

In addition, we are keen to locate objects, match programmes and memorabilia associated with women’s football, so if you have an item that you feel may help please get in touch. If you’ve got objects/images/programmes but don’t want to be interviewed please get in touch anyway – your collection will help us develop a wider understanding of women’s football in the area and the aim is to record as much about our teams as possible over the next few weeks.

If you would like to help then please email me via gary@GJFootballArchive.com

This project is part of a National Lottery Heritage funded progamme which seeks to bring this history into the light through a number of physical and virtual exhibitions, and to create a documentary record of the game at this moment, through oral history interviews with local players and fans and a contemporary collecting programme. 

Here’s some background from earlier this year:

https://www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/news/articles/2022/20220114-History-of-women%27s-football-to-be-revealed-and-celebrated-by-UEFA-Women%27s-EURO-2022-Heritage-Programme.aspx

MCFC Managers – MALCOLM ALLISON

Malcolm Allison gave Manchester City confidence and a will to win that few have ever equalled.  He was an exceptionally brilliant and confident coach – some would say the greatest the world has ever seen (probably Allison himself would say this!) – and working with Joe Mercer he helped the Blues achieve incredible success.

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MCFC 20TH CENTURY CHRONICLE SEASON 1968-69

The League Matches

As League champions, the Blues were expected to coast through the 1968-9 season, particularly as the Charity Shield match against Cup winners West Bromwich Albion ended in a comfortable 6-1 City victory.  Unfortunately life is rarely that easy and only one of the first nine games ended in victory – a 3-2 win over Wolves.  The Blues simply could not get into the rhythm they had enjoyed the previous season.  One of the reasons for this was that they had embarked on a rather disastrous tour of America during the summer which, amongst other problems resulted in an injury to captain Tony Book  He was kept out of action until January.

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Women’s Football Project

A week or so ago I announced that I’m working on a new Heritage Lottery Funded project seeking to capture the stories of women footballers who came from the Trafford borough or who women who played football at sites within Trafford. There are some excellent people in Trafford involved with the project and I’m delighted to be working with them. The project is part of a wider project connected with the Women’s Euros to be staged this summer (See below for details). This week the first interviews with former footballers connected with Trafford occurred and the stories they have told will help the project enormously. We need more though and, not only that, but fans can contribute too.

The above image provides details of an event at the National Football Museum which seeks to create a Women’s Euros footballing anthem for the Manchester region and the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra are keen to have input from fans, players and anyone with a strong interest in women’s football within the region. I know part of the event clashes with a MCFC men’s game but I’ve been assured that attendees can pop in for a time and won’t need to be there for the entire session. I’m not involved with the organisation or the main aspects of the day but I do intend popping in during the late morning if I can.

Alongside this, the call out to woman who have played football still stands and I’m keen to hear from Trafford women or women who played games in Trafford. Maybe you can help the project? We’re keen to capture your stories and memories. The details are:

In preparation for the Women’s Euros which will open at Old Trafford at the start of July Trafford Local Studies are keen to interview women who have played football. We are particularly keen on hearing the stories of women footballers from the borough or from women who played for teams within Trafford. 

For those uncertain the Trafford borough covers a number of towns and areas including Altrincham, Bowden, Flixton, Irlam, Old Trafford, Sale, Stretford, Timperley, Trafford Park and Urmston. If you are a woman from the area and played football then please get in touch. Also, if you played either for or against a team from the Trafford area then we also want to hear your memories of that game.

The Trafford area has incredibly strong links to the history of women’s football. In 1921 a game between Dick, Kerr Ladies and Bath Ladies at Old Trafford was watched by over 30,000 and over the following century significant games were staged at White City, Stretford, Timperley and other venues in our borough. In fact on this day (7 April) in 1968 the renowned Manchester Corinthians played Kippax Ladies (from Yorkshire not Maine Road!) at the White City Stadium (see image above).

Over the last fifty years or so many prominent local teams have developed and played in the area such as Sale Hotel, Trafford, Redstar, Urmston and many others, while women from Trafford have played for prominent teams outside of the borough. 

We are keen to hear the memories of women who have contributed to this rich history of women’s football in the area. If you are from Trafford or played for a team based in our borough then please get in touch. Your memories will help to develop our archive and ensure future generations are aware of the experiences of women footballers. 

In addition, we are keen to locate objects, match programmes and memorabilia associated with women’s football, so if you have an item that you feel may help please get in touch. 

If you would like to help then please email me via gary@GJFootballArchive.com

This project is part of a National Lottery Heritage funded progamme which seeks to bring this history into the light through a number of physical and virtual exhibitions, and to create a documentary record of the game at this moment, through oral history interviews with local players and fans and a contemporary collecting programme. 

Here’s some background from earlier this year:

https://www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/news/articles/2022/20220114-History-of-women%27s-football-to-be-revealed-and-celebrated-by-UEFA-Women%27s-EURO-2022-Heritage-Programme.aspx

Manchester City’s First European Quarter-final

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, despite major success in England, reaching a European quarter-final was a bit of a rarity. So,I’ve decided to take a look back at Manchester City’s first ever European quarter-final, I’ve written this feature looking at the first time the Blues reached a UEFA organised tournament’s quarter-final. That was in 1969-70.

This article is available to subscribers below (you can subscribe now and access this and all the other content on my site):

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Manchester City V Ipswich Town FA Cup semi-final

On this day (April 11) in 1981 John Bond’s Manchester City faced Bobby Robson’s Ipswich in the FA Cup semi-final. Here’s a piece I wrote for the Times a few years back on the significance of the game for both teams.

Subscribers can view the article and all others on here (including the entire Manchester A Football History and a PDF of my first book). It costs £20 a year (works out about £1.67 a month) or join up a month at a time for £3 and you can sign up below. Thanks.

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Musampa’s Strike V Liverpool

On this day (April 9) in 2005 a 90th minute volley from Kiki Musampa – his first for the Blues – at the northern end of the stadium gave Manchester City a 1-0 home victory over eventual European Champions Liverpool.  This was Stuart Pearce’s first league victory as City manager.

The Musampa goal was described at the time as a ‘spectacular volley’ – You can judge for yourself here:

Former City and England captain Pearce guided the Blues through the final nine games of 2004-05 after the departure of Kevin Keegan.  Apart from a 2-1 defeat in his first game, the Blues were unbeaten until the end of the season.  This run included the victory over Liverpool and wins over Birmingham (3-0), Portsmouth (2-0) and Aston Villa (2-1).       

As a result Pearce was named the Barclays Premiership Manager of the Month for April. 

Manchester v Liverpool

This weekend marks the latest in the series of games between one of the Manchester clubs and a Liverpool team. Today (9 April 2022) relegation worried Everton face United and tomorrow League Champions and leaders City take on second placed Liverpool at the Etihad. Much will be made of the Manchester-Liverpool rivalry and it is true that the two cities have been rivals for over 150 years (it certainly predates the building of the Ship Canal!) BUT the football clubs have not always been rivals. In fact Utd and Liverpool have been close over the decades at times while the on-the-pitch rivalry between City and Liverpool was extremely strong in the late 60s and 70s.

The strength of the two conurbations’ footballing rivalries came during the late 1960s but intensified in the late 70s. Prior to this one-off seasons may have seen grudge matches or significant games between clubs from the cities but nothing more than that. In fact for many, many years Manchester United and Liverpool, for example, were extremely close. They once put forward a suggestion to the Football League that all home teams should wear red and away teams white – the rest of football soon got wise to the plan!

There was also the time when United and Liverpool ‘fixed’ a game of football. It’s a long story (amazingly United’s solicitor was part of the ‘neutral’ investigating committee!) and can be read here:

Match Fixing – Manchester United v Liverpool: A Long Read

The rivalry between the footballing clubs developed in the 60s and there were many significant games between all the clubs in the two cities with several prominent matches (there were significant grudge matches between Everton and City for example in the 60s and at one point Liverpool’s Bill Shankly told the media that City were Liverpool’s biggest rival!).

Back in 1995 I interviewed former Manchester City boss John Bond at his home. The interview lasted about two hours and here’s a brief snippet from that interview where Bond talks about beating Liverpool on Boxing Day 1981.

The Blues won 3-1 (Bond, Hartford & Reeves) then two days later (Bond says it’s the next day in this clip but it was 28th December) City defeated Wolves 2-1 at Maine Rd. John discusses a brilliant goal from Trevor Francis. City went top of the League after the Wolves victory.

Stick with the clip because it ends with Bond’s views on how Liverpool used to react to wins and defeats. I’d best not comment – have a listen:

I’ve covered one particularly bitter moment in the City-Liverpool rivalry from the 80s that concerns John Bond here:

40 Years Ago Today (Yes, 40!) – ‘Illegal Jumping’, Alf Grey and Manchester City (Sorry!)

I hope this weekend’s games between go well and it’d be great if one of Manchester’s Blues could score four goals as Fred Howard did on his debut against Liverpool – see:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/18/imagine-scoring-four-goals-for-mcfc-against-liverpool-on-your-debut/

and Frank Roberts did:

The ‘Flu Limits MCFC’s Selections But They Beat Liverpool 5-0 (Roberts 4 Goals)

IN SEARCH OF THE BLUES – Bobby Kennedy (Interviewed in April 2005)

Defender Bobby Kennedy proved to be a popular player after joining the Blues in 1961.  He went on to make 251 (plus 3 as sub) appearances for City over a seven year period and was a key member of City’s mid sixties side.  In April 2005 Gary James caught up with him at the stadium.

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