Bill Taylor

On this day (30 November) in 1981 former Manchester City, Oldham & England coach Bill Taylor died at the age of 42. Taylor was a tremendous coach who joined City from Fulham in 1976 and also coached England. At the time goalkeeper Joe Corrigan commented:  “His coaching methods were an inspiration to so many players and he helped tremendously to improve many of them.  He was always a bright and breezy character and he had a terrific sense of humour.  I can never repay the debt I owe him for the help he gave me both with City and England.” 

Abandoned Game – MCFC V Brentford

On this day (November 28) in 1936 Manchester City’s game was abandoned due to fog. For today’s piece I’m taking a look back at the season of 1936-37and that game when City and Brentford were title rivals.

The early months of the season were difficult for City. Despite exciting victories over Leeds (4-0) and West Bromwich Albion (6-2), an opening day defeat at Middlesbrough and another at Old Trafford in the first derby since February 1931 caused a little concern. The United defeat was particularly upsetting as the Reds were a side clearly lacking and destined to return immediately to the Second Division. Further City failures occurred, including a 2-1 loss at Wolverhampton and a 4-2 Maine Road defeat to Sunderland.

Significant injuries to captain Sam Barkas, and attackers Alec Herd and Fred Tilson had hampered our progress during the opening months. All three absences affected the Blues considerably – Tilson missed twenty consecutive League games; Herd eight and Barkas missed seven of the opening nine matches.

These injuries meant it was difficult to find consistency and by November 28 City were twelfth. That day they were to face Brentford at Maine Road, who were already perceived as title challengers after defeating West Bromwich Albion 2-1 the previous week. That victory had meant that Brentford were third, only one point behind leaders Sunderland. If anyone had been asked to predict which of City and Brentford were more likely to end the season as champions at that time they would inevitably have answered Brentford. However, things were about to change for Manchester’s Blues.

Subscribers to my site can find out what happened next…

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Kinky Double and Neal’s First

On this day (27 November) in 1996 two penalties from Gio Kinkladze helped Manchester City defeat West Bromwich Albion 3-2.  Use Rosler netted the other City goal.  This was the first victory of caretaker manager Phil Neal’s reign at City and you can read more on that season here:

Trautmann’s Debut

On this day (November 26) in 1949 Bert Trautmann played his first Maine Road League game. Trautmann’s debut had come a week earlier at Bolton. Here’s a 1400 word article on Trautmann’s arrival, the proposed boycotts and the general situation at Maine Road that led to the gamble on playing the former Prisoner of War.

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Managerial Change at MCFC

On this day (November 25) in 1989 Brian Gayle played his last League match for City.  The game ended in a 1-1 draw (Clive Allen scored) and Chairman Peter Swales decided the time was right to dismiss manager Mel Machin.  Machin, who had guided the side to promotion the previous May, was dismissed that weekend and not replaced until 8th December.

You can read more about this era of Manchester City’s history here:

Petrov and Ireland

On this day (24 November) in 2007 Martin Petrov (11 mins) and Stephen Ireland gave Manchester City a 2-1 victory over Reading.  Ireland’s goal came in the last minute of the game. You can see highlights of the game here:

You can read other articles about this era and these players elsewhere on the site. Why not start with this:

Or this?

A ‘Keeper’s Debut

On this day (23 November) in 1957 Manchester City goalkeeper Steve Fleet made his debut in a 4-3 defeat by League leaders Wolves. I’ve met and interviewed Steve often over the years and here’s a 2,500 interview I did with him where he talks about the circumstances around his debut, the game (it was an extraordinary match) and the rest of his career. I’ve also included a match report. Enjoy!

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An Incident VAR Officials Would Have Loved!

On this day (22 November) in 1969 Manchester City and Arsenal drew 1-1 before a Highbury crowd of 42,923. The goals were scored by Ian Bowyer (City) and Terry Neill (penalty for Arsenal). However, there was major controversy when the referee appeared to book Arsenal’s much-loved Charlie George. Have a read of this article and see what you think. How would the modern day VAR world have coped with this?

You can read a 3,000 word interview I performed with Ian Bowyer here:

Trautmann Dispute: Police Intervene

An odd one this but that’s football… On this day (21 November) 1960 Portsmouth became the first side ever to beat Manchester City in the League Cup.  The round three tie ended 2-0 before a Fratton Park crowd of 10,386. Future City boss Ron Saunders scored both Portsmouth goals. Ah well! Here’s a contemporary report of the game (it seems Trautmann got into a bit of a dispute with the crowd and the police had to intervene!)

You can read about Ron Saunders’ time at City here: