Manchester City v Newcastle United 1984

The 18th February 1984 saw Manchester City attract a crowd of 41,767 in the Second Division for the visit of Newcastle United. The attendance was the biggest of the day (see image above to compare with Arsenal for example). It was also City’s and the division’s second biggest crowd of the season (the division’s highest was 41,862 for City v Sheffield Wednesday). It’s worth stating that the highest average League crowd of the season was 42,534 (Manchester United) and the next best was Liverpool with 31,974. 

City’s average was the sixth highest in the entire League at 25,604 while fellow Second Division side Newcastle were the third best supported team that season with 29,811.

The Blues had been relegated the previous May (it was a shock relegation!) but with three automatic promotion places available City felt certain they could achieve an immediate return. Unfortunately, they did not account for the role Kevin Keegan would play in Newcastle’s fortunes.  Newcastle had been struggling to make an impact since relegation in 1978, but then Keegan returned as a player and the whole place seemed revitalised (part of the reason Newcastle’s crowds were their best for six seasons), indeed he had helped the Geordies achieve a 5-0 thrashing of City in October. 

City boss Billy McNeill later admitted:  “There are few players that I have greater respect for than Keegan and this time, I’m referring only to his ability on the pitch, he was the heart and soul of Newcastle.  It’s a terrible thing to admit, but every time I read that Kevin had an injury I hoped it would keep him out of the Newcastle side for a game or two.  Usually it didn’t and I was glad in the end because I have such a high regard for him.  He was certainly the difference between City and Newcastle.  They had Keegan’s inspirational qualities and we didn’t.”

By 11th February City and Newcastle were level on points with the Blues in third place, and Newcastle fourth with a game in hand.  Above them lay Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday.  The four sides were termed the ‘Big Four’ by the media who regularly chose to feature games from the Second above those in the First.  As always Liverpool seemed destined to win the Championship and so much attention turned to the glamour clubs of the Second, especially Newcastle with the charismatic Keegan.  

On 18th February came the vital Maine Road clash between the ‘Jocks’ and the Geordies.  A win would put City six points ahead of Newcastle, yet defeat would put the two sides level with Keegan’s men also having a game in hand. The crowd saw Steve Kinsey score but fine goals from Beardsley and Keegan gave Newcastle a 2-1 victory.  It also gave the Geordies the advantage.        

Here’s film of the game (poor quality but well worth watching for Steve Kinsey’s lobbed City goal):

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An Interview About Joe Mercer

I was interviewed on 17th February 2021 about the great Joe Mercer for the ‘esk podcast’ – an Everton podcast. I talk about meeting Joe; about writing his biography; about Joe’s time at Everton, Arsenal, Manchester City and so on. I also tell the story of Norah Mercer insisting that Bobby Charlton phones me to apologize (it was somewhat of a shock at the time)! We also discussed Everton and City in preparation for their game that night (17th February 2021). No matter who you support it’s well worth listening to.

The podcast can be accessed here:

While you’re here why not see what else has been posted on City and Everton: https://gjfootballarchive.com/tag/everton/

You can access other esk podcasts here: https://shows.acast.com/the-esk-podcasts

You can also check out the new guest blog by Noel Bayley on ticket collecting here:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/category/guest-blog/

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If you would like to read all the in-depth articles (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) 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 230+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

Hillsborough’s Record Crowd: SWFC v MCFC

On 17th February 1934 a remarkable crowd, with thousands travelling from Manchester, watched a thrilling FA Cup tie between Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City. Subscribers to this blog can read the story of that game, including photographs.

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If you would like to read this piece and all the other in-depth articles (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) 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 200+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

Guest Blog – Noel Bayley: To Be Retained

For my first guest blog I’m delighted to say that a writer I’ve admired for years has agreed to contribute. Noel Bayley, the editor of the Manchester City fanzine Bert Trautmann’s Helmet, tells us about the role Covid has played in him sharing the stories of his match tickets. Noel writes…

High up on a shelf in the spare room there is a shoe box. To be honest it’s a trainers’ box but that doesn’t sound quite right. Although, if I’m being pedantic, it’s a blue and white adidas Samba trainers’ box (reduced to £42.49) that has been there for the 17 years I’ve lived in this house. It came with me from the last house so it’s probably more like 20 years old. Maybe older.

The trainers are long gone (lifespan six to 12 months in my hands… or on my feet since we’re being pedantic!) but the very thing that you’re supposed to throw away – the box – lives on. Inside are match tickets. I just throw them in there whenever I get one. But since I haven’t had one for a while (Aston Villa at Wembley on 1 March last year, since you asked) the box should have just sat there quietly doing nothing throughout lockdown.

But then I had an idea. Who hasn’t during lockdown? I’d get them all out, put them in order and, scan them. I’d had an idea to put them on my FaceBook page but as I had a City fanzine FB page, that was the obvious place to put them.  So I started doing that at the start of the season. It started off slowly and picked up momentum. Nostalgia’s big business on the internet… “Remember when…” And what might have been a meaningless game to you might have great meaning for someone else. Many of us measure out births, deaths and marriages in football matches; the ticket is the proof positive of the day when all the other details have melted away.

I’m not a ticket collector, you understand. Collectors eschew shoeboxes in favour of A4 folders with transparent pockets and dividers, all neatly arranged. Many years ago at Maine Road, a ticket collector turned up at ‘Fanzine Corner’ happy to show anyone who was even mildly interested his fantastic collection of tickets, going back years – as neat as a new pin. 

He was proudly showing someone a ticket from a pre-season friendly in Italy in 1992. “I’ve got that one too,” I told him, “only I went to the match.” That was an understatement. My mate and I had spent a week hitch-hiking to Italy only to find that this very match against Cremonese on a mountain top in the Dolomites had kicked off half an hour early. We got to see an hour of the game anyway! My mate died in the intervening years, but I still have some great memories and a tiny slip of a ticket to mark the highwater mark (literally!) of our great adventure almost three decades ago.

And that’s the thing about tickets and programmes and much of the – mainly paper – ephemera that people collect: it tells a story, and if it’s going to tell a story it might as well be your story! Not that I’m a ticket collector, you understand.  

There were several hundred tickets in the box. Easily enough for one every day of a nine/ten-month season, I thought naively. As I painstakingly scanned them I realised that there were some dates when I was spoilt for choice (Boxing Day, for example, and early January when the FA Cup Third Round kicks in) and some days when there were none at all. Not that City hadn’t played, but I’ve had a season ticket for 40 years and for many years all-ticket games were something of a rarity; pay on the gate, no questions asked. Now, of course, every game is all-ticket.  

I roped my mate Josh in for a few more – not that he’s a collector either; more of a curator – but there are still gaps. Even so, most days I can put a match ticket on FB with a story to go under it. Remember when indeed! Derby matches, important matches and games that had memorable incidents like last-gasp goals are the most popular ones I have found: Ian Brightwell’s Derby Day equaliser, York away, Blackpool away in the Cup in 1988…

The author Hunter Davies said: ““There is the serious collector, who goes out of their way and actively searches for items. Then there is the accumulator, a much more passive beast. He or she accumulates by never knowingly throwing things away.”

Davies is, without question, a serious collector. I’m more of an “accumulator.” I’m certainly not a ticket collector. No way, not me. They can be found on trains. 

Which reminds me: I’ll have to tell you about the model train collection I’ve accumulated over the years when I’ve got more time…

To see Noel’s, err um, collection (not that he’s a collector!) have a look at https://www.facebook.com/leonyelyab It’s updated every day and provides a great ephemeral record of a football goer’s life. Every ticket tells a story.

Watch this space for other guest blogs soon.

Everton V Manchester City – The History

To mark this week’s Premier League meeting between Manchester City and Everton (17th February 2021) here are a few historical facts, memories and video highlights of games between the clubs.

Feature Match

The December 1989 meeting between the two sides was memorable because of events off the field rather than on it.  The match ended goalless but the attention the game received from the national media was incredible, and it was all because 20th placed City had appointed the former Evertonian Howard Kendall as manager.

Earlier that season Peter Swales had dismissed the rather quiet, unassuming Mel Machin despite him guiding City to promotion and a memorable 5-1 victory over United.  He publicly approached Joe Royle, who turned the club down, and then turned to Kendall.  

Almost immediately the ex-Evertonian stamped his authority on the side and quickly brought in Peter Reid and Alan Harper to make their debuts at Goodison.  Disappointingly, the highly popular Ian Bishop was named as a substitute.  Kendall:  “It was not a popular move.  I walked out at 2.55pm to hear my supporters chanting, ‘There’s only one Ian Bishop’.  Nice welcome that was.  The Bishop situation developed into a saga, the like of which I have never experienced in football before.”

It wasn’t long before the long-haired Bishop was sold to West Ham.  Earlier in his career Kendall had transferred him out of Everton.

Kendall’s new look City managed to keep ninth placed Everton at bay in a rather dour televised match to earn only their second point in six games.  City ended the season in 14th place while Everton finished 6th.

Film of the game here:

Stats:  Division One 17th December 1989

Everton 0 City 0

Everton: Southall, Atteveld, McDonald, Ratcliffe, Watson, Ebbrell (Newell), Beagrie, McCall, Sharp, Cottee, Sheedy, 

City:  Dibble, Harper, Hinchcliffe, Reid, Hendry, Redmond, White, Morley (Oldfield), Allen (Bishop), Megson, Brightwell

Attendance: 21,737 

Game One

The first League game between the two sides was a 2-1 Everton win on 23rd December 1899 in Division One.  The match was played at Hyde Road with Billy Meredith scoring for the newly promoted City, while Jimmy Settle and R Gray netted for the Toffees.  City ended their first season in the top division in 7th place while Everton finished 11th.

Television

The first meeting of the two clubs to be televised on BBC’s Match Of The Day was the 1-1 draw on 23rd August 1969. Film here:

The first ‘live’ televised meeting was the famous Howard Kendall match played on 17th December 1989 (see above).  The game was shown on ITV. 

Highest Attendance

The highest crowd for a game between the two clubs is 92,950 for the 1933 Cup Final. An in-depth piece on that game can be read here: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/14/the-day-manchester-city-chose-to-wear-scarlet/

The next highest is 76,129 for the 3rd March 1956 FA Cup meeting at Maine Road.  City won 2-1 with goals from Joe Hayes and Bobby Johnstone.  The Everton scorer was Jimmy Harris. It’s well worth watching this footage: https://www.britishpathe.com/video/manchester-city-v-everton-1/query/manchester+city

Did You Know?

When Everton appeared in their first FA Cup final it was played at Fallowfield, Manchester.  The 1893 final against Wolves was the first, other than the 1886 replay, to be played outside London.  Wolves won the match 1-0 and a row of houses in Wolverhampton were given the name Fallowfield Terrace in celebration.

The Fallowfield site now forms part of Manchester University’s student campus.

Well I Never!

City fans demonstrated against the transfer of their hero, Tommy Johnson, to Everton in March 1930 for £6,000.  At City Johnson entered the record books by scoring most goals in a season – he netted an incredible 38 in 39 League games during the 1928-9 season.  He was a popular player and lived amongst the fans in Gorton.  He was often seen drinking draught Bass at The Plough on Hyde Road, and was something of a trend-setter in the area.  As soon as he was spotted wearing a wide brimmed trilby hat it quickly became the fashion all young men wanted to follow!

His greatest individual game for City must have been the 6-2 defeat of reigning champions Everton in September 1928, when he scored five goals.  Eric Brook scored the other while Dunn and Weldon netted for the Toffees.

In the 1960s Tommy was a regular attender at Maine Road where he and Billy ‘Dixie’ Dean would watch Joe Mercer’s City side.  On 28thJanuary 1973 Tommy died at Monsall hospital aged 71.

Record defeat

Everton beat City 9-1 on 3rd September 1906 to record their record victory and City’s record defeat.  This was only City’s second match following the findings of the FA investigation into illegal payments which resulted in the suspension of 17 players, the manager Tom Maley, the chairman, and two other directors.  The entire summer had been spent finding a new manager and new players – any would do – to fill the void.  City’s consolation goal was scored by debutant A.Fisher.  The great Sandy Young had netted 4 of Everton’s 9 that day.

Two days before this game, the Blues had been defeated 4-1 by Arsenal in an incredible match that saw City leave the field with only six men.  The rest were mainly suffering from heat exhaustion – it was 90 degrees in the shade!

The Young Royle

When Joe Royle made his debut in January 1966 against Blackpool he became the youngest player to appear for Everton in the League.  He was 16 years and 282 days.  His first game against City was the on 29th April the following year – only his 6th League appearance.

Joe Mercer

Obviously I’m biased but I’d urge everyone reading this article to also read:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/01/the-200th-post-joe-mercer/

A Few Memorable Moments From the 90s to 2010s…

1992 – Premiership first

The first Premier League meeting between these sides ends in a comfortable City win before 20,242 at Goodison Park.  Two goals from Sheron and one from David White gave the Blues a 3-0 lead before an own goal from Brightwell made it 3-1 on Halloween.

1993 – Last Day

On the last day of the season Everton win 5-2 in a frustrating match for City fans.  Goalscorers for Everton included future Blues Beagrie (2 goals) and Beardsley.  White and Curle (penalty) scored for the home side.

1993 – Rideout Goal

The first away match of the season ends in a 1-0 City defeat.  Rideout scored for the Toffeemen on 17th August before 26,025.

1994 – Double Double

Two goals each from Rosler and Walsh give City a 4-0 home win on 27th August.  The Maine Road sell out crowd of 19,867 is City’s 3rdlowest crowd in the Premiership.  The Kippax Stand was in construction and the capacity was severely restricted as a result.

1996 – Former Blue Scores

Former City hero Andy Hinchcliffe scores a 47th minute penalty to ensure a 2-0 Everton win in February 1996.

2000 – Five Stars

Wanchope (14), Howey (23), Goater (42), Dickov (54), and Naysmith (own goal in 67th minute) give City a thrilling 5-0 victory over Everton at Maine Road in December.

2002 – Anelka hat-trick?

City fans celebrate an Anelka hat-trick but his 14th minute opener is later ruled an own goal, scored by Everton’s Radzinski.  In addition, Wright-Phillips is controversially sent off in the 28th minute but this is later downgraded to a yellow card.  Despite the controversy and confusion City win the match 3-1 on 31st August.

2003 – New Year’s Day

Over 300 million fans watch this 2-2 draw on Chinese television.  Everton took the lead in the 6th minute, City made it 2-1 in the 82ndbefore Everton equalised 2 minutes into injury time on January 1st.

2004 – Keegan’s Disappointment

On the season’s final day, City beat Everton 5-1 with goals from Wanchope (16 & 30), Anelka (41), Sibierski (89) & Wright-Phillips (90).  The victory caused the two sides to swap League places.  The Blues ended the campaign on 41 points, eight more than relegated Leicester, Leeds and Wolves.  A decent enough margin in the end, but that did not change the way most felt about the season.  

Prior to that final match Keegan explained truthfully how he felt:  “We are just about at the end of the most disappointing season of my managerial career.  I haven’t enjoyed it and I am sure the same goes for everyone connected with Manchester City.”

2005 – Early Morning Blues

Everton, so often a bogey team during the previous decade or so, were defeated 2-0 on 2nd October.  This was the first Sunday morning kick off in the Premier League and the match commenced at 11.15 with some fans making a point of the early start by wearing pyjamas.  It was also Stephen Ireland’s first full Premiership game.  Before the match he admitted to being “very nervous” and post-match he commented that the rest of the team had supported him:  “That helped me ease my nerves and settle in as one of them.” 

2006 – Richards the Hero

One player, who would help City win the FA Cup and Premier League a few years later, was beginning to be seen as one of the club’s most positive assets this season – Micah Richards.  He performed to a consistent standard and, on 30th September, he actually netted an equaliser for the club in the dying seconds against Everton to ensure an away point.  The 18 year old Richards made his first full international appearance a few weeks later when he played for England against Holland on 15th November.  Henry Winter, writing for the Telegraph, claimed:  “England may well have discovered Gary Neville’s long term successor.”  By this stage in his career Richards had only made 23 Premier League starts.

At Everton Richards’ goal was very important but City’s dominance during the final minutes of the match should have seen the Blues snatch a winner according to goalkeeper Nicky Weaver:  “The last five minutes we absolutely battered them and every time the ball went in the box we looked as though we were going to score.  Then when [Samaras] hit the post, you’re thinking ‘is it not going to be our day?’  But we kept going and deep, deep into injury time, we got something out of the game.”

Everton’s captain Phil Neville admitted:  “It feels like a defeat… we should have got the second goal and killed off the game.”

2011 – Super Mario

In September City defeated Everton 2-0 with goals from substitute Mario Balotelli and James Milner.  It was an important victory over a team that continued to be a bit of a bogey side in recent seasons, and ensured the Blues were now back on equal points with Ferguson’s Manchester United, who had drawn 1-1 at Stoke despite leading at half time.

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If you would like to read all the in-depth articles and watch all the videos/sound recordings etc. 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 230+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

The Day Manchester City Chose To Wear Scarlet!

With City playing Everton this week (17th February 2021) here for subscribers is an in-depth piece on the time the Blues chose to wear scarlet in a crucial match with the Toffees.

Here is the story of the game:

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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 230+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

Ray Goble: Manchester City Statistician

In September 2019 I was informed of the death of Ray Goble, one of the most significant researchers into Manchester City’s history (and on West Indies cricket too). Ray’s widow Joyce informed me of the news.

Subscribers to this blog can read below the obituary I wrote on Ray at the time and understand why he was such an important figure in Manchester City’s history.

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Kaziu Deyna

Back in 2003 I wrote this profile of former Manchester City player and Polish World Cup star Kazimierz Deyna. Deyna was such an important and unusual signing at the time he joined City in November 1978 that I feel this article is still appropriate and of interest to subscribers to my blog today.

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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.

Johnny Bond, Johnny Bond, Johnny Bond

On September 25 2012 former City manager and West Ham FA Cup winner John Bond died at the age of 79. Bond followed Malcolm Allison as manager of the Blues in October 1980 and within his first seven months he turned a struggling side into one that reached the FA Cup final and the League Cup semi-final. I wrote an obituary to John in the days that followed.

Here, for the benefit of subscribers to my blog, is that obituary.

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If you would like to listen to read this and the other 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) 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.

I’ve also posted an audio interview I performed with John back in 1995. For details see: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/12/the-john-bond-interview/

The John Bond Interview

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 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, until now, none of the interview has ever been heard by the wider public.

Now, for the first time ever you can hear the opening 17 minutes of the interview. 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 until 19th February 2021. If you want to hear it then please subscribe below. If subscribers enjoy this piece then please let me know and, if you do, I will release other sections of the interview over the coming weeks.

Of course as this interview was recorded on my old cassette recorder the quality isn’t the best but I’m working on improving that for future pieces.

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) 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.

The second part of the interview is now available here: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/22/john-bond-interview-part-two/

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