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

On this day (17th January) in 1925 – Manchester City’s Frank Roberts scored four as Liverpool were defeated 5-0 in Division One.

Roberts’ feat was remarkable because he was playing as centre-forward, a position he seemingly was not keen on playing, due to regular centre-forward Tommy Browell being struck down with influenza.

He normally played as City’s inside-right, his preferred position.

It was Roberts’ first outing as centre-forward that season and incredibly he scored four goals against the Anfield club. It was the first time he’d ever scored four in a game and it made him the League’s top scorer with 24 goals so far.

City’s opening goal had been scored by legendary, amateur footballer Max Woosnam in the opening minute. Sadly, accurate time keeping was not a feature of football then (some would argue that some referees still don’t have accurate time keeping but that’s for another day) and so we don’t know how few seconds this was actually netted in. Some reports say straight from the kick-off.

The Liverpool Echo talked of the game starting in a gale which worked against the Liverpool club. The Athletic News makes no such comment preferring, instead, to talk of City’s ‘lightening like movements’ and their approach being ‘the way to win’.

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On This Day – 1974 Manchester City’s Scintillating League Cup Quarter Final

On this day (16th January) in 1974 Denis Law scored again (after netting in the League game with Leicester four days earlier).

Law’s goal came as Manchester City defeated Coventry City 4-2 in the League Cup quarter-final replay.  That game was notable for lots of reasons, not least because it came in the middle of industrial action resulting in power cuts across the Country.  For this game to go ahead City had to bring in an Electricity generator, which was positioned outside the ground. I remember hearing a loud buzzing noise from the generator as I made my way towards the Platt Lane Stand with my dad and brother.

Like City’s 2-0 victory over Leicester in the League four days earlier, this was another scintillating display by Ron Saunders’ City team. 

Incredibly, City had been losing 2-1 as late as the 79th minute but then Francis Lee ‘exploded on to the scene with two goals in three minutes’ according to one report. One of Lee’s goals was a penalty awarded after a foul on Colin Bell by Willie Carr.

Watch highlights of the game here (watch the celebrations by Law & Lee after the last goal):

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On This Day – Shauny Wright, Wright Wright

On this day (15th January) in 2005 – Two goals from Shaun Wright-Phillips helped Manchester City defeat Crystal Palace 3-1 before a 44,010 crowd at the City of Manchester Stadium (now the Etihad of course).  

According to one report it wasn’t just SWP’s goals: ‘which caught the eye; more the sheer panic his appearance on the ball instilled in the Palace defence.

The other City scorer was Robbie Fowler and it was the former Liverpool man who got most of the headlines, though SWP was definitely the star as far as most Blues were concerned. Fowler’s goal came just over two minutes after Shaun’s first.

This was just a taster of the content in GJFootballArchive.com. If you would like to read the in-depth, longer articles then please subscribe below. 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 120+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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

On this day (14th January) in 1981 Kevin Reeves had a goal disallowed for ‘illegal jumping’, according to referee Alf Grey, in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Maine Road.  

Afterwards manager John Bond claimed the referee would “never make a worse decision for as long as he lives.”  

When I interviewed Bond two decades later he was still fuming about the decision.

Even the Liverpool players, such as Souness. Phil Thompson and Alan Kennedy, believed it was a valid goal. This is even more significant as Kennedy was the player Reeves is supposed to have impeded when he jumped up to the ball!

Subscribers to http://www.GJFootballArchive.com can read an in-depth piece, with quotes from some of my interviews with those involved that night, such as John Bond, Kevin Reeves and the late Eddie Large talks about his post match discussion with Bill Shankly:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/13/manchester-city-liverpool-and-the-1981-league-cup-semi-final/

If you would like to read more pieces like this and the in-depth, longer articles on this site then please subscribe below. 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 120+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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On This Day – Outfield Player In Nets But MCFC Still Beat Leeds

On this day (14th January) in 1928 Manchester City faced Leeds United in a FA Cup tie. Although the result went City’s way, the game was to affect the Blues for several weeks afterwards.

The reason is that the ‘Citizens’, as they were occasionally called in the press, lost the services of Bert Gray for part of January and February following this third round cup tie with Leeds.  Gray had broken a cheek bone after about thirty minutes and was replaced by winger Billy Austin, who managed to keep Leeds from scoring on a few occasions, as the Blues won 1-0. The City ‘scorer was Tommy Johnson (pictured above).

There’s film of the game here which is well worth watching for the mud. It’s difficult to tell if any of this footage shows Austin in nets (I think it does but am still studying it!): 

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/manchester-city-defeat-united/query/manchester+city

FA Cup success, football infrastructure and the establishment of Manchester’s footballing identity – FREE DOWNLOAD FOR LIMITED PERIOD

Great news! Following the recent purchase of the original design FA Cup by Sheikh Mansour and my appearance on Football Focus, my academic article on the significance of that success to Manchester has been made free to download for a limited period.

Please use this link to access the academic website and article:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14660970.2014.961378

The Manchester City video I contributed to can also be viewed here:

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

More on 1903-04 for subscribers here:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/08/manchesters-first-great-season/

On This Day 1977 – Manchester City and Joe Royle

On this day (11th January) in 1977 Joe Royle ensured Manchester City, wearing their famous red & black striped kit, progressed to face Newcastle United in the FA Cup by scoring the only goal of the Third Round replay at West Bromwich Albion.  The first game had ended in a 1-1 draw at Maine Road.

Royle’s goal came in the 19th minute on the snow at the Hawthorns in a game that many people felt should never have started, though City were not going to complain about that once they had control of the match. According to some reports Albion didn’t have a single shot in the match.

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On This Day 1953 and 1954…

On this day in 1953 Manchester City defeated Swindon Town 7-0 in the FA Cup third round at Maine Road.  The goalscorers were Hart (4), Broadis, Cunliffe, and Williamson.  

Exactly one year later future Manchester United and Manchester City full-back John Gidman was born in Garstang.  Gidman went on to make 123 first team appearances for United and 71 for City. He briefly became a cult hero at Maine Road by stating that City were the only side he would leave Old Trafford for at the time of his transfer in 1986.

Manchester’s First Major Trophy Success – The Video

Following the purchase of the oldest surviving FA Cup by Sheikh Mansour 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.