True Blues – Lawrence Furniss

Lawrence Furniss was a key figure behind the development of Manchester City for 60 years and his achievements should never be forgotten.  His contribution to the City cause was total.  He was given (and thoroughly deserved) the accolade of being City’s first Life President. You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below (there’s also some film of him at Maine Road in the 1920s:

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John Bond Interview Part 7 (Final Part)

We’ve reached the final minutes of my interview with John Bond from November 1995. I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. As before, there’s a lot to interest and perhaps surprise in these frank views.

At the time this interview was performed I was researching my in-depth history of the club called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years). 

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was extremely frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. He was also happy for me to quote everything he said in the interview. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but, until now, none of the interview has ever been heard by the wider public. 

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If you would like to listen to the final part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles 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, here) or £3 a month (below) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Annual subscribers get full access to everything posted since December 2020.

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If you would like to listen to the final part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles 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, above) or £3 a month (here) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Monthly subscribers get full access to everything posted since 1 October 2022.

80 Years Ago Today Manchester City’s And Norwich’s John Benson Was Born

On this day (23 December) in 1942 future Manchester City player and manager John Benson born at Arbroath. He joined the Blues at the age of 15 in July 1958 and went on to make 52 League and Cup appearances before being transferred to Torquay in 1964.  Spells at Bournemouth, Exeter and Norwich followed, before John moved into coaching.  In 1980 he returned to Manchester as assistant to manager John Bond.  Here’s an interview I did with him during October 2004.

Sadly, John died on October 30 2010 at the age of 67.

Here for subscribers is the interview from 2004.

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John Bond Interview Part 6 (of 7)

We’ve entered the final thirty minutes of my 1995 interview with John Bond with these final minutes split into two sections. This section, part 6 of the full interview, sees Bond and I discuss City’s directors, lack of success and so on. For anyone wondering what the issues were with City in the 80s and 90s it’s well worth listening to this. He ends with his views on a game between City and Liverpool from Boxing Day 1981.

At the time of this interview in November 1995 I was researching my in-depth history of Manchester City called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years). 

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was extremely frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. He was also happy for me to quote everything he said in the interview. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but, until now, none of the interview has ever been heard by the wider public. 

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If you would like to listen to the sixth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles 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, here) or £3 a month (below) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Annual subscribers get full access to everything posted since December 2020.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to listen to the sixth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles 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, above) or £3 a month (here) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Monthly subscribers get full access to everything posted since 1 October 2022.

John Bond Interview – Part Four

Back in November 1995 I interviewed the former Manchester City manager John Bond. At the time I was researching my in-depth history of the club called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years). 

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was extremely frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. He was also happy for me to share everything he said in the interview recording. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but, until publication on my blog, none of the interview had ever been heard by the wider public. 

This is part four of the interview. It’s about twenty minutes long and this is perhaps the most frank section of the entire recording. At the time we recorded this he was still somewhat upset at the way he’d been treated by City fans at the Bradford promotion game in 1989. I was one of the fans there who had not been happy with what he’d said on TV the night before and I ask him about it a little on here. Whenever I do an interview I’m never looking for soundbites or people to tell me the stories that they think I want to hear. I want the truth and to hear about their feelings. I try to ask them about moments that I remember as a fan but also the things that matter to me. So I wanted to know how he felt about City’s fans.

It upset me hearing how much he had been upset by the treatment he had received and – as you can hear in this clip – he also talks about feeling unwelcome at Maine Road (for various reasons, not simply fans). In 2002-03 I helped City with some of their plans for the end of Maine Road and I made sure that John Bond was on the guest list. I know he was reluctant about attending and had to be persuaded. City had this plan to parade a few legends around the pitch and I felt it would do John Bond some good to hear what the majority of fans actually felt about him. That final day at Maine Road he was given a fantastic ovation.

In a later interview he told me: “I was gobsmacked by their reaction!  When I came out and heard the cheering I was delighted.  I loved that reaction.  Afterwards I rushed home and told my family about the reception and how delighted I was with it. There were times during my management when I received fantastic support from the fans, and at Maine Road’s final game I was delighted with the ovation. I truly enjoyed that feeling when I walked around the pitch.  I’d like to thank the supporters for that reaction.”

So, when you’re listening to this section of the interview it’s important to remember that what happened in 2003 had allowed resolution to occur. He no longer felt so negatively about fans. His views in 1995 though should still be heard.

In this piece he also talks about Peter Swales, the City directors, why he left and so on. Again, his views are frank. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he said but much of what he said about the directors during his time should be heard. It adds context to what many of us always felt. As we recorded this in 1995 it’s also worth pointing out that Bond could see what perhaps those of us who supported City could not see entirely – that was the downward path the Blues were following and why. This interview occurred while City were still a Premier League side but listening to this provides some good indications of why things got worse for City as the decade progressed. 

Of course as this interview was recorded on my old cassette recorder the quality isn’t the best.

So, here exclusive to subscribers is the fourth part of my interview:

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If you would like to listen to the fourth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles 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, here) or £3 a month (below) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Annual subscribers access everything since December 2020.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to listen to the fourth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles 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, above) or £3 a month (here) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Monthly subscribers access everything since 1 October 2022.

If you missed the other three parts then they can be accessed by selecting the John Bond tag below or by searching for his name.

John Bond Interview Part Two

There’s a lot to interest and perhaps surprise Manchester City fans here. This is the second part of my interview with John Bond from November 1995. When I interviewed him he was frank in his views and at times outspoken – and I loved every minute of our chat!

In this clip John talks about the controversial 1981 League Cup semi-final with Liverpool; the FA Cup final (first game) against Tottenham; the way City’s directors handled the draw with Spurs (this astounded me at the time of our interview); how certain directors treated him; and how he almost resigned in between the FA Cup final and its replay. 

As this was recorded in November 1995 it is important to remember that our comments about the ‘present day’ Manchester City refer to the club as it was at that time. Similarly, when we talk about the takeover we mean the 1993-94 takeover of the club. Listening again to this piece now I’m quite pleased that my own perception was fairly accurate.

There’s also some great comments about Norwich City which will please supporters of that club.

This is about 17 minutes long (the previous piece was a similar length too). So get yourself a brew, relax in your favourite chair and listen along.

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If you would like to listen to the second part of this frank interview and read all the in-depth articles 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, here) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (below). Annual subscribers access everything posted since December 2020.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to listen to the second part of this frank interview and read all the in-depth articles 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, above) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (here). Monthly subscribers access everything posted since 1 October 2022.

Part three tomorrow.

90 Years Ago Today – John Bond

On this day (17 December) in 1932 John Bond was born. Back in November 1995 I interviewed the former Manchester City manager. At the time I was researching my in-depth history of the club called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years).

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was quite frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. He was also happy for me to quote everything he said in the interview. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but none of the interview has ever been heard by the wider public.

Now, you can hear the opening 17 minutes of the interview (the rest will follow over the next few days). Here he talks about the steps taken by City to appoint him; the interview (and the directors involved in that notorious filmed interview for the City documentary in 1980-81); the signing of Tommy Hutchison, Bobby McDonald and Gerry Gow. As I said earlier, he is quite frank in his comments and that may surprise a few.

This audio recording of the first 17 minutes of the interview is available to subscribers of my blog whether annual or, for the first time, monthly. If you want to hear it then please subscribe below. If subscribers enjoy this piece then please let me know and I’ll post other audio recordings in the future.

Of course as this interview was recorded on my old cassette recorder the quality isn’t the best but I’m sure you’ll appreciate the exclusive nature of this.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to listen to this frank interview and read the in-depth articles 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; here) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (below). Annual subscribers access everything posted since December 2020.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to listen to this frank interview and read the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. An annual subscription (£20 per year; above) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (here). Monthly subscribers access everything posted since 1 October 2022.

The second part of the interview will be available tomorrow.

I’ve also posted an obituary I wrote to John here: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/12/johnny-bond-johnny-bond-johnny-bond/

Managerial Merry Go Round

On this day (7th October) in 1997 Steve Coppell became Manchester City’s manager. Here’s the story of that period with quotes from exclusive interviews I have performed with Coppell’s assistant Phil Neal.

This article is available for subscribers…

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On this day… Malcolm Allison joins Manchester City

On this day (July 20) in 1965 Malcolm Allison was formally interviewed by the Manchester City board to be manager Joe Mercer’s assistant. Mercer had wanted to bring Allison in since he took the job earlier in the month. Here is a feature I did on Allison back in January 2005.

I first interviewed Malcolm in 1991, and, using material from several conversations with him, and in 2005 I took the opportunity of a MCFC v Crystal Palace game to remind everyone of his significance. Today, for subscribers, I’m posting it here.

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IN SEARCH OF THE BLUES – Johnny Hart (interviewed December 2004)

Johnny Hart joined City at the age of 16 in December 1944 and went on to make a total of 177 League and Cup appearances, scoring 73 goals.  A skilful inside-right, Hart later had a highly successful coaching career with the Blues, and a spell as manager in 1973.  Here’s an interview I did with him at City’s stadium shortly before Christmas 2004

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