Manchester City’s Record League Crowd

On this day in 1935 Manchester City established a new Football League record crowd. For subscribers to http://www.GJFootballArchive.com here’s the story and cuttings of that day:

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Manchester City’s Support: The Facts

Over the last few years there’s been a growing tendency by rival fans to mock the support of Manchester City. It’s an extremely odd thing to do, especially as for most of the period between 1981 and 2011 they talked of the loyalty of City fans. It seems, once the Blues started winning trophies again, rival supporters had to find something else to focus on. 

Recently, this myth about City’s support has been used by some in extremely strange ways, for example following the Blues 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool at Anfield (see: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/07/the-last-time-mcfc-scored-4-or-more-at-anfield/ ) some Liverpool fans (and even some journalists!) started to make the point that City’s recent form is down to the fact that ‘they’re used to playing in front of no fans’ with the suggestion being that if Anfield had had fans present then City wouldn’t have won. They go on and suggest that Liverpool would have gained more wins in general and that City would not be top of the League and that Liverpool would be. 

This is an extremely strange view, especially as the 2019-20 season (which included some games without fans of course) was the only time Liverpool have won the Premier League since its formation in 1992. In each of those seasons prior to LFC’s first Premier League title crowds were allowed at Anfield. During that same time City have won the League on four occasions. It’s a preposterous idea that ignores the facts.

So for this article I’ve decided to produce evidence of City support in recent decades along with a few comparisons with other leading sides. It makes interesting reading and may embarrass the supporters of certain clubs who constantly ridicule City’s fanbase, despite the evidence. The following in-depth piece can be accessed by subscribing to this blog below.

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If you would like to read this in-depth article and all the others on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) 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 220+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

Can You Help Find These MCFC Fans?

“It was the way in which the football supporters of Manchester United and Manchester City used to dress and treat the whole match as if it were a carnival”
– Iain S. P. Reid

A book is to be produced on Iain SP Reid’s photographs of City and United fans at Maine Road and Old Trafford. Paul Sorene (one of the people behind the book) has asked me to help track down anyone who appeared in these photos.

Images, like the one above of the hot dog sellers and fans on Maine Road, will be reproduced in the book with, where possible, the stories of those featured in the photos. Maybe, if circumstances allow, they’ll recreate some of the scenes within the book too.

So if you appeared in that photo or in any of the others Iain took during this period then please get in touch.

You can make contact with Paul Sorene and all involved at info@flashbak.com or through the Facebook page for Iain’s work at:

These photos were taken circa 1977. Iain believed that photography could improve lives. His work is full of joy. Sadly he died in 2000, leaving his fabulous archive of photographs filed away in boxes unseen until his family rediscovered them.

The book will be crowdfunded and we’ll all be able to spread the word but, most importantly at the moment, the people behind the book really want to hear from those Iain captured in his work. The pictures alone would make a fantastic book, but including the stories of those capture will make it a truly brilliant project.

I’m always passionate about the capturing and preservation of footballing images and stories. For me football simply isn’t about the players on the pitch but the thousands who dedicate significant time – and money – to supporting their club. If you’re a Blue or a Red who attended games around 1976-77 then take a look at Iain’s collection at https://www.facebook.com/IainSPReid and see if you’re there – or if there’s someone you recognise. The more people can do this the better. Thanks

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

Manchester City Season – 1994-95

Busy Close Season

Following the takeover by Francis Lee, Lee & the Managing Director Colin Barlow, another former player, uncovered some serious issues within the Club.  City’s financial arrangements seemed complex and there had been underinvestment for a number of years in many areas of the Club.  One of the biggest issues was the state of Maine Road itself.  The Kippax Stand had to be demolished and a new all-seater stand developed, but the existing plans were far from suitable.  Lee & Barlow spent considerable time creating new plans with an ultimate aim to redevelop the entire stadium into a 50,000 capacity venue.  The new Kippax Stand was the first stage of this plan and built at a rapid pace throughout the 1994-95 season.

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Manchester City Season – 1996-97

Previous Season

The Blues were relegated from the Premier League at the end of 1995-96.

Manager

The season started with Alan Ball as manager, but ended with Frank Clark.   In between Steve Coppell had been appointed (7 October) but resigned (8 November) while Asa Hartford and Phil Neal both had long spells – or at least longer than Coppell’s permanent period – as caretaker managers.

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Maine Road Name

Where did the name Maine Road come from? For years I’ve been researching the site and what’s published here is the latest material I have on the ground. I’ve now found mention of ‘Maine Road’ in the 1890s. Subscribe to this site to find out more (it costs £20 a year – about £1.67 a month – or £3 a month if subscribing a month at a time. For that you get full access to everything posted on this site and all new posts until your subscription ends. You’ll also be supporting my writing and research – Thanks. It is appreciated).

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“Stanley’s Match” – England 8 Scotland 0 16th October 1943

“When I heard the team I said two prayers.  One of thanks to the Scots for leaving me out, and one on behalf of Adam Little who had taken my place.  I knew then we’d do well to get away with less than five goals against.”  So said Bill Shankly referring to the selection of the England team to face Scotland at Maine Road in October 1943.

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