Joe Mercer Plaque Unveiling – 18 November 1.30pm

Great news for those who, like me, like to see Joe Mercer recognised for his enormous contribution. There will be a blue plaque unveiled for Joe at Ellesmere Port (a town that meant so much to him throughout his life). I’ll be talking as will Susan Lea (Joe’s granddaughter), Graeme Sharp, Mike Summerbee and others. Peter Reid will do the formal unveiling. Further details below…

The unveiling will take place at 1.30pm on Thursday 18th November at Ellesmere Port Civic Centre, Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0AZ. It will be great to see as many people there as possible. Please come along and help celebrate this wonderful player and manager.

Ellesmere Port was such an important place for Joe. He was born there; went to school there and continued to live there for years, even when he was a professional footballer and England international. He spent most of his life living on The Wirral and continued to visit the schools, clubs, and people of Ellesmere Port throughout. He even took the FA Cup back there when he won it at Arsenal and at Manchester City AND the European Cup Winners’ Cup when he managed to City to that success in 1970.

This unveiling deserves to be well attended because Joe achieved so much for the teams he was involved with. Ellesmere Port mattered to him and he mattered to us, so let’s celebrate his life.

Foreword to my first book. Thanks Joe for all you’ve done.

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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Subscriber Post – Manchester City’s Oldest

Recently, I covered the youngest, now it is the turn of the oldest. Today I’m taking a look at some of Manchester City’s landmark oldest record holders.

This post is available to subscribers of my site. If you would like to subscribe and read this and all my other content posted to this site (over 370 articles/sound recordings/interviews including the entire Manchester A Football History & From Maine Men To Banana Citizens books) then please use the button below. It costs £20 a year (that’s about £1.67 a month) and you have access to everything for as long as you are a subscriber (you can even subscribe for a month at a time at £3, access everything and then cancel your subscription if you like!).

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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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Subscriber Post – Manchester City’s Youngest

Manchester City fans are extremely proud of the development of young players. Throughout the years City’s Academy has developed some extraordinarily talented players. Today I’m taking a look at some of the club’s landmark youngest record holders.

This post is available to subscribers of my site. If you would like to subscribe and read this and all my other content posted to this site (over 370 articles/sound recordings/interviews including the entire Manchester A Football History & From Maine Men To Banana Citizens books) then please use the button below. It costs £20 a year (that’s about £1.67 a month) and you have access to everything for as long as you are a subscriber (you can even subscribe for a month at a time at £3, access everything and then cancel your subscription if you like!).

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Opening Winning Sequences

Pep Guardiola officially became Manchester City manager on July 1 2016 (five years ago today). When he arrived his opening run of competitive games prompted much discussion on the opening achievements of his predecessors. I ended up trawling through the opening months of every City manager to establish whether Pep’s opening results (ten successive wins!) were the best achieved by any Blues’ boss.

Here for subscribers is the result of that trawl…

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Pep Guardiola wins LMA Manager of the Year award

Latest press release from Manchester City…

Pep Guardiola wins LMA Manager of the Year award
• Pep Guardiola has been named LMA Manager of the Year for the second time in four seasons
• Guardiola’s team has already completed a League and Cup double and now have their sights set on Saturday’s Champions League final
• The Catalan manager acknowledged the importance of sharing his award with the players and staff who have guided City to success this season
Pep Guardiola has been named Manager of the Year by the League Manager’s Association.


Adapting to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Guardiola guided Manchester City to a third Premier League title in four seasons and a fourth consecutive League Cup.


On Saturday, Guardiola and his players will compete in a first Champions League final in the Club’s history.


Voted for by fellow managers, it is the second time the City boss has been awarded the prize, having previously done so in recognition of the 2017/18 Centurions season.


Pep Guardiola: “I am delighted to win this award for the second time, but an award like this is only possible if a manager is surrounded by top professionals.


“My players have been fantastic – their dedication and professionalism never waver, even in a season that has been the most challenging we have ever faced.


“And my staff are also deserving of the highest praise. I am so lucky to have a team of people who give everything they have every single day to make sure Manchester City are the best we can be.


“This award is dedicated to and shared with them.”


Director of Football Txiki Begiristain added: “Pep deserves this award, absolutely. To win the Premier League and Carabao Cup, as well as reach the final Champions League final, in the most trying season we’ve ever seen, says everything about his quality as a manager.


“He has shown an outstanding ability to constantly innovate. With the challenges presented by COVID-19, he’s had to adapt to a new way of working. He’s done it brilliantly and our results say everything you need to know.

A Worrying Dismissal

Despite a goal from Niall Quinn and a penalty from Keith Curle Manchester City were defeated 3-2 by QPR on the final day of the 1994-5 season (May 14).  City ended the season 17th in the Premier League and Brian Horton was dismissed.  The Blues had to wait until 2003 before they finished higher than this.

Here for subscribers is the story of Horton’s dismissal and what followed with quotes from Colin Barlow, Brian Horton (from an interview I did with him in 2004)…

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The Sacking of Ron Saunders

On this day (April 11) in 1974, despite bold statements from new Manchester City Chairman Peter Swales at the time of his appointment, manager Ron Saunders was dismissed after less than five months in the role.  In March Saunders’ City had been defeated 2-1 in the League Cup final against Wolves. 

Here for subscribers are Peter Swales’ comments (from an interview I did with him shortly before he died) on the dismissal:

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Malcolm Allison Audio Interview Part Five

It’s the final part of my 1991 interview with Malcolm Allison today. Thirty years ago, while researching for my biography of Joe Mercer, I interviewed Malcolm in his flat at Yarm. This has now been serialised over five days for subscribers (take a look back at previous posts or use the Malcolm Allison tab below for the other sections).

I’ve often talked at supporters’ meetings and other events about this first time I met Malcolm. There are several funny aspects to it and I may post the story of the interview at some point.

In the full interview Malcolm talks about his meeting Joe Mercer for the first time; joining Manchester City; the relationship with Joe; the signing the players; the major successes; the set-up of Manchester City at the time and much more.

The quality of recording at the start of this section is quite poor – sadly this part of the cassette was damaged and I’ve lost about 15 minutes of the tape. What I’ve included here is all that’s been salvaged from that final 30 minutes or so of the interview.

Obviously, this was recorded on an old cassette recorder so, at times, the quality is not the best, plus every so often you can hear Malcolm’s young (I think she was two) daughter in the background. Despite the background noise I’m sure you’ll agree that this exclusive interview is worth listening to.

Each section lasts between ten and twenty minutes so get yourself a brew and have a listen.

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To listen 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 280+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this serialisation. I’m planning on posting other audio interviews over time, with one I did with George Graham (who was the Arsenal boss at the time) appearing at the end of March 2021) and others with Peter Swales, Tom Finney and many others.

While you’re here I’d like to thank you for taking the time and trouble to visit my website. I have been researching and writing about Manchester football for a long time (no wonder I’m going grey!) with my first book published in 1989. I am not employed by anyone and I do not have sponsorship either and so I’ve set up this website to help share my 32 years plus writing and research.

The intention is to develop the archive and to provide access to as much of my material as possible over the coming weeks, months & years. Subscribers can already access over 280 articles/posts including the entire Manchester A Football History book and an audio interview with former City boss John Bond I performed in 1995.