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.
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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:
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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!):
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:
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 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.
I did an interview for the Blue Moon Podcast the day after Colin Bell MBE passed away. It was an emotional morning of course. The guys at the podcast have made the entire interview free to listen to here:
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:
I’m delighted that today it can be revealed that Sheikh Mansour has bought the oldest surviving FA Cup, ensuring it will stay in England – and importantly Manchester. This is absolutely brilliant news as there had been fears the trophy would leave the city and the country when it was put up for auction by its previous owner.
This trophy is the first major trophy won by either of today’s Manchester giants. When Manchester City won this in 1904 it set the tone for everything that has followed and helped transform Manchester from a rugby playing city to a football one.
The homecoming was remarkable and meant that, for the first time ever, football mattered to the wider population of the city.
I could go on but Earlier I posted articles on the significance of this trophy and Manchester’s first success on this website for subscribers. Take a look at:
When I interviewed Colin Bell a few years ago we talked about his many successes and triumphs as a player. He was as humble as ever. Then he told me something which surprised me a little and that was about Manchester City’s 1977-78 Central League title.
City’s reserve team played in the Central League back then and, due to his devastating injury, Colin played reserve games throughout that season as he pushed for full fitness. He started 22 of these games and scored five goals.
When I interviewed Colin he told me he was as pleased with this Central League success as he was with all his other medals. To him that season saw a return to competitive football and it was irrelevant whether it was a reserve league or the Football League. It mattered enormously.
Most obituaries and posts on Colin won’t talk about the 1977-78 Central League title but, as he was so keen to ensure he mentioned it to me all those years ago, I feel it’s appropriate to give it a little focus today.
His first Central League appearance of the 1977-78 season attracted almost 5,000 as many of us were determined to be there when he returned to action. For the record that game was v Huddersfield on 17th September 1977, attendance 4,921.
Colin was a wonderful player and man. Those of us who saw him play know what a great player he was; those of us who were privileged to meet him met a truly humble & wonderful human being. He was the King of our Kippax but was truly a legend of football at Bury, City and England. His name will always be remembered.
This image of my ledger for 1977-78 shows Colin in City’s Central League match records.