Manchester City in the Early 1990s

We hear so much about the Premier League era and how the game has changed, so for today’s feature I’ve decided to take a look at the early 1990s and the birth of the Premier League. It’s almost thirty years since the structure of league football changed forever and during that time some clubs have benefitted from the new structure and others have found life difficult. City have experienced both extremes of course.

The narrative that we often hear about the Blues’ journey over the last thirty years is that they’ve gone from a struggling club to a hugely successful one and, while it is true City are highly successful today and that the Blues entered their lowest ever point in the late 1990s, it is wrong to assume that the position the club found itself in by 1999 was typical of the club’s full history. 

So, here for subscribers, I’m taking a look back at the early 1990s and remind ourselves where the Blues were; who their rivals were; and the state of football at that time:

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Complaints About MCFC Kits!

If you think that it’s only in recent years that fans have been upset when their club has tinkered with their colours then think again. Back in November 1969, shortly after City had worn red and black stripes for the first time, City and local media outlets were inundated with fans complaining about the new shirts. Here’s just a taste of the complaints. These letters (apologies for the poor scanning on my part) were right to talk of City’s traditional away colours as being maroon of course, but it’s interesting how now, 52 years later, many fans believe red and black stripes are City’s traditional away colours.

For the record City have worn maroon more than any other main colour (other than blue & white of course).

The Smart Set – Club Colours 90 Years Ago

On this day (28th November) in 1931 the Liverpool Echo published this George Green cartoon of the kits worn by several leading clubs of the period. I thought I’d post it here to show how these things were often portrayed in the newspapers of the day. Thanks.

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 hundreds of articles/posts including the entire Manchester A Football History book and various audio interviews (including John Bond, Malcolm Allison & George Graham). 

It costs £20 a year (it works out £1.67 a month) or £3 if you’d like to sign up a month at a time to get full access for as long as you subscribe. Thanks for the support, Gary.

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Manchester City November 1914

This is a squad photo of Manchester City, who then led the League and Central League, from November 1914. There are many, many things to say about this image and the people featured but sadly I don’t have time today. A couple of brief points though – look out for Albert Alexander senior (City director) in bow tie crouching and Pat McGuire (3rd player from left on back row) who was sadly killed in WW1. There are a few men on here who were also significant at MUFC including Ernest Mangnall (manager) and Leslie Knighton (assistant manager).

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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The Birth Of Manchester City Women

On this day (25th November) in 1988 the South Manchester Reporter featured Manchester City’s new women’s team for the first time. Neil Mather had set up the team and staged some training/selection sessions and, when this news article appeared, the women were about to face Oldham Athletic in their first ever fixture.

You can read all about those early days and the history of the club in my book Manchester City Women: An Oral History. You can buy the book here:

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.

On This Day in 1913 – MCFC v MUFC

A ticket that may interest a few MCFC & MUFC collectors. This is for the Lancashire Cup semi final replay between City and United played at Hyde Road on this day (November 24) in 1913.  Both the initial semi final and the replay were played at Hyde Road with the first game ending in a 1-1 drawn before approximately 8,000. The replay was watched by 12,000 and ended in a United 2-0 win.

Milan 2 Manchester City 2

On this day (November 23) in 1978 Manchester City drew 2-2 with Milan at the San Siro. Here is a 1100 word piece plus rare colour photos from that highly significant UEFA Cup game (which should have been played a day earlier – details below).

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