The Final Whistle – MCFC v QPR, 13 May 2012

On this day (13 May) in 2012…

I’m sure it gets boring to some but for those of us there that day the drama and the emotion can never be forgotten. Here’s my own personal film of the moment the final whistle went on that incredible day when MCFC won the Premier League title in 2012.

I know the camera’s all over the place (I was jumping up and down like everybody else) and the sound isn’t great but I hope it helps to show what it was like to all those who couldn’t be there that day.

https://gjfootballarchive.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/2012-aguerooooooooo-sd-480p.mov

You can also read this 3,400 article about the day:

Subscribe to get access to the entire site

If you would like to view the other in-depth articles on this site then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the hundreds of articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

69,463 watch MCFC and Burnley in Division Two

On this day (May 10) in 1947 a solitary goal from Alec Herd against Burnley was enough to give Manchester City promotion.  The attendance for this Second Division game was recorded by the media at the time as 67,672 but official records reviewed almost sixty years later showed that City actually recorded the attendance as 69,463.

Typically, the attendance figures City used to give the media for League games through to the 1960s tended to exclude season tickets. So the Blues’ management would give the figure of tickets or pay on the gate admission for the game but exclude season ticket holders. Back in 1946-47 City had around 1,800 season ticket holders and almost every League attendance back then is understated by that amount.

FA Cup games were the actual attendances as these were always sold game by game.

As this practice of excluding all season ticket holders continued for many, many decades at Maine Road attendance figures for League games are usually understated (they were often understated in the 1970s & 1980s as well but for different reasons and back then Peter Swales, Bernard Halford and the others involved in calculating attendances would deny any discrepancy despite many fans, fanzines and others challenging them often).

For comparison purposes it’s worth looking at the attendances of the Division One champions in 1947 to see how the Blues compared. This attendance against Burnley was almost 17,000 higher than Division One champions Liverpool’s highest crowd that season (52,512 v Wolves in December) and the Merseyside Reds nearest home game to City’s Burnley match was watched by 48,800 and that was Liverpool v Manchester United (May 3). Liverpool did average 45,732 that season, whereas City averaged 39,283 but they were a Second Division club.

The City-Burnley crowd was the Second Division’s record at the time and it was higher than every First Division crowd since the 1937-38 season (The Second Division record is now held by Tottenham v Southampton which had 70,302 in 1949-50).

Film of City v Burnley does exist but it’s in a most unlikely place. It was actually filmed as part of a Mancunian Films drama called Cup Tie Honeymoon. The company was run by a Manchester City fan who made this film, which starred Sandy Powell and Pat Phoenix (under her original name of Pilkington). A football game is crucial to the plot and scenes were filmed at Maine Road and interspersed with real action from the City-Burnley game to add credibility.

Myself and Will McTaggart have shown these scenes in our Boys In Blue film shows which have been staged at the Dancehouse and Cornerhouse in Manchester over the last decade. Maybe I’ll explain more about the film and those talks another day.

Subscribe to get access

You can access all of the content on this site, including the in-depth articles, audio recordings/interviews and entire content of my Manchester A Football History book by subscribing. It costs £20 a year (about £1.67 a month) and you have full access throughout your subscription. You can also give it a try by signing up for £3 a month (again full access throughout your membership). Thanks Gary.

Don’t forget you can order Peter Barnes’ biography now (before May 20th) and get your name printed in it (and a copy signed by both Peter and myself). Details here:

A Million on the Streets of Manchester

On this day (May 1st) in 1934 Manchester City, who had won the FA Cup for the second time in their history, took part in an incredible home coming parade.

Deservedly Manchester took time out to celebrate and what seemed like the whole of Manchester lined the city’s streets.  The authoritative Pathe News claimed there were over a million on the streets.  The film company was not known for exaggeration and if that figure is accurate – and their footage suggests it is – then this remains the largest homecoming in Mancunian football history (It was claimed in 1999 that 700,000 people had welcomed Manchester United’s treble winning team through the streets).  

Various speeches were made into a microphone set up on the Town Hall steps (the BBC were broadcasting this live on radio), and the players and officials were given a civic reception. Mancunians enjoyed the success and wanted more.  

In Albert Square Mancunians sang their celebratory songs including “Who Said City Couldn’t Play” – the earliest known recording of a City specific song:

Who Said City Couldn’t Play,

City Couldn’t Play, City Couldn’t Play,

Who Said City Couldn’t Play,

City Couldn’t Play football?

You can hear a recording of the song and read more about it here:

Who Said City Couldn’t Play?

The 1933-4 League programme still had two games left for the Blues.  On 2nd May – the day after the parade – City suffered a 3-2 defeat at Liverpool, and then on 5th May City demolished Wolves 4-0 at Maine Road. Before the game City staff, assisted by a couple of police officers, carried the trophy around the ground on some kind of wooden board.  The fans were delighted.

During a week of FA Cup celebrations an illuminated bus journeyed around the city covered in City’s colours.  On the front above the bus number, ‘City 2 1’, was the Manchester coat of arms.  On the side the message ‘Welcome to the victors’ proudly illuminated next to a picture of the FA Cup and a drawing of Sam Cowan.  

You can see film of this illuminated ‘Victory Bus’, preserved by the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, here (the bus can be seen after 5 mins 38 seconds but other scenes connected with the homecoming can be viewed after about 3 minutes):

https://www.nwfa.mmu.ac.uk/viewVideo.php?token=2495agw5666w7h114804aP5nxZYm4638b49Hq2dw

You can view Pathe’s coverage of the homecoming here (the commentary is a bit cringeworthy but listen out for comment about a million people on the streets; the scenes certainly suggest there was too):

This has been a taster of the material on this site. Subscribers have access to over 500 articles and posts, with many more scheduled over the coming weeks. Posted already for subscribers are exclusive audio interviews I have performed with Malcolm Allison, John Bond and George Graham (more to follow); the entire Manchester A Football History book (now out of print) and various other long read articles. It costs £20 a year (that’s about £1.67 a month) or £3 per month if you want to sign up a month at a time. Whichever subscription is taken out subscribers get full access to everything posted for as long as they are subscribers. You can subscriber here:

Subscribe to get access

Subscriptions cost £20 a year or £3 a month

The 2021 League Cup Final

On this day (25 April) in 2021 Manchester City defeated Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 thanks to a Laporte goal in the League Cup final at Wembley. The game was played in front of a Covid restricted crowd of 7,773.

Here are highlights of that game:

https://www.mancity.com/citytv/mens/city-1-0-spurs-carabao-cup-extended-highlights-63754978

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

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

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)

Women Footballers

I’m delighted to say that I’m working on a new project capturing the stories of women who played football. The project is part of a wider project connected with the Women’s Euros to be staged this summer (See below for details). If you are a woman who has played football then 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 programme 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