1969 FA Cup Semi – Everton v Manchester City

On this day (22 March) 1969 Manchester City and Everton met in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. Here for subscribers is the story of that day, including material from interviews I have performed with some of the key people (such as Tommy Booth). Enjoy!

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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 since the 1980s. 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 PDFs of a couple of books and exclusive audio interviews, talks etc.

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. If you’d like to check whether it’s value for money, have a search through content before subscribing – or even subscribe for a month, access what you want and then cancel!

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David Johnson

After a glittering career with Preston, Everton and Liverpool, striker David Johnson joined Manchester City on this day (21 March) in 1984.  Johnson scored on his City debut – an 83rd minute equaliser v Cardiff in a game the Blues went on to win 2-1 (Image is of that goal). Unfortunately, despite a reputation as a lethal striker – and hard evidence of achievement – Johnson’s time at Maine Road was not particularly successful.  After one goal in four (plus two as substitute) games Johnson moved to play soccer in North America in May 1984.   

Johnson died in November 2022 and the following piece was written by Samuel Meade and published in the Mirror:


Celebrity Fans

I spotted this photo as part of my research earlier. It’s from 1997 and, amongst others, it shows musician Liam Gallagher and actor Kevin Kennedy sharing a box at Maine Road. It’s a combination most would be surprised at seeing and all came about because of their support of Manchester City.

Over the years there have been many celebrities who have been proclaimed as fans of particular clubs. Some of these are known to have attended games before they became famous, others perhaps were not so familiar with ‘their’ club before they made their names.  In 2009 I compiled a list of those widely accepted as celebrity Manchester City supporters at that time or before.

Occasionally, some of City’s celebrity fans have been incorrectly claimed as supporters of other clubs.  The most significant of these is the artist LS Lowry.  Lowry was without doubt a supporter of City, however because of his interest in painting Salford scenes it has occasionally been claimed that he was a Red.  Fortunately, artist Harold Riley (himself a Red) has made this abundantly clear whenever the error occurs.  Lowry was a Blue!

The following list is not meant to be comprehensive, however I am keen to develop this list and create a more definitive list covering every era of City’s existence over time. If you have evidence proving additional celebrity City fans then please contact me via this website.

Please note each celebrity listed below is highlighted for one main claim to fame however they may be famous for other activities as well.  This is most obvious with musicians and actors (they have all acted in other areas).  Obviously, some of the celebrities listed here have passed away.

Badly Drawn Boy (Damon Gough) – Musician

Amanda Barrie – Actor, Coronation Street

John Beavan – Political advisor to the Daily Mirror in 1970s

Susan Bookbinder – Broadcaster

Mark Burgess – Musician, The Chameleons

Craig Cash – Actor & writer, Royle Family & Early Doors

Michael Croft – 1970s Television producer

Ian Curtis – Musician, Joy Division

Timothy Dalton – Actor

Howard Davies – Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England

Lee Dixon – Former Arsenal footballer

Joe Donovan – Musician, Blossoms

Billy Duffy – Musician, The Cult

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff – Cricketer

Liam Gallagher – Musician, Oasis

Noel Gallagher – Musician, Oasis

You can listen to my interview with Noel here:

Jimi Goodwin – Musician, Doves

Will Greenwood – Member of the England Rugby World Cup winning side

Graham Haberfield – Actor, Coronation Street & The Dustbinmen

Ricky Hatton – Boxer

John Henshaw – Actor who appeared in Early Doors

Bruce Jones – Actor, Coronation Street

Mike Joyce – Musician, The Smiths (provided significant support to the MCFC museum music exhibition)

Archie Kelly – Actor, best known for Phoenix Nights

Ben Kelly – Artist (staged an exhibition of his work at the City museum in 2009)

Kevin Kennedy – Actor, Coronation Street

Eddie Large – Comedian (lived on Maine Road as a boy)

Clive Myrie – Broadcaster, BBC News & Mastermind

Nick Leeson – Trader, held responsible for the collapse of Barings Bank

Sally Lindsay – Actor, Coronation Street

LS Lowry – Artist

Jason Manford – Comedian (his brother Colin worked as a tour guide in the MCFC museum)

Bernard Manning – Comedian

Johnny Marr – Musician, The Smiths

Tom Ogden – Musician, Blossoms

Steve Penk – Broadcaster

Mike Pickering – Musician, M People and legendary DJ

Mark Radcliffe – Broadcaster

Reni – Musician, The Stone Roses (wrote a wonderful poem on being a ball boy which was displayed in the City museum during 2007)

Marc Riley – Broadcaster

George Robey – Music Hall comedian (organised charity game to commemorate City’s 1904 FA Cup final win). Robey is proclaimed as a fan of many, many clubs.

Frank Sidebottom – Broadcaster

Mark E Smith – Musician, The Fall

John Stapleton – Broadcaster

Ben Thompson – Actor, Coronation Street

David Threlfall – Actor, Shameless

Rick Wakeman – Musician (though usually acknowledged as a Brentford fan)

Jez Williams – Musician, Doves

Andy Williams – Musician, Doves

Bob Willis – Cricketer

Bernard Youens – Actor, Coronation Street (played Stan Ogden and, along with the character Annie Walker, was part of the cast who attended a City game filmed for an episode broadcast on 29/11/1967) 

As I mentioned at the start this list was compiled in 2009. Many more names need to be added to this list.

True Blues – Billy Meredith

Continuing the weekly series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on Billy Meredith who was the captain and goalscorer for Manchester’s first major trophy success. You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below:

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There will be another ‘True Blue’ featured next Monday. Use the tag ‘True Blues’ to find other profiles in this series.

Pearce’s Blues

On this day (19 March) in 2005 Stuart Pearce managed Manchester City for the first time following the resignation of Kevin Keegan.  The game with Spurs ended in a 2-1 defeat with Reyna scoring for City at White Hart Lane. Pearce’s side went unbeaten for the rest of the season after this match.

The 1933 FA Cup Semi Final – Manchester City v Derby County at Huddersfield

On this day (18 March) in 1933 Manchester City faced Derby County in the FA Cup semi-final at Leeds Road. Here for subscribers is the story of that day, including images, a match report and film of the game. Enjoy!

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To read this 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 (see below). Annual subscribers get full access to everything posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming year, including audio interviews, talks, articles and books.

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Manchester City v Kyiv

Despite beating Kyiv 1-0 thanks to a Kolarov goal at home Manchester City were knocked out of the UEFA Cup on this day (17 March) in 2011. The first leg had ended in a 2-0 defeat. You can watch highlights of the second leg here:


This season would of course end in success with City winning the FA Cup.

Finding 1904 Objects

As a trained historian I am always wary about saying that something is the first or that something’s an absolute fact unless I can properly prove it. It’s important to not jump to assumptions and to act responsibly. The quest to uncover football’s history and ensure the facts not the fiction are recorded drives me on. In addition, I am keen to locate items that can link us directly with a particular moment or achievement. So I’d just like to talk about a few items that I’ve been desperate to locate for several years…

There are many items from Manchester City’s long history that I have been searching for over many, many years. I could write a book about them but here’s the story of a few objects connected with the 1904 FA Cup final and one item I’m after tracking down survived for years and I’ve discovered that it was housed in Burnley for at least 40 years.

Many objects connected with Manchester’s first major trophy success still exist including the original-style FA Cup (housed at the National Football Museum – go and take a look when you can); a watch presented to manager Tom Maley (and some of the others presented to the players); a banner made by members of the Alexander Family (club officials and directors from 1894 through to the modern day; the flag is in City’s archive); players’ medals and various newspaper cuttings and photographs. However, there are three important items that I know existed that have vanished.

I am going to start with the 1904 FA Cup final ball, which was stored in Burnley into the 1950s.

Hillman’s Ball

At the end of the 1904 FA Cup final goalkeeper Jack Hillman charged past an opponent to pick up the ball and claim it as his own. The 1904 FA Cup final became the possession of City’s Hillman and he kept hold of it throughout his life. For many years he had it on display in his sweet shop on Thurston Street, Burnley and it is believed it was still in that building at the time of Hillman’s death in 1952.

According to reports the ball was painted in City’s colours – Cambridge Blue and White was worn for the 1904 final – and was inscribed as the 1904 English Cup winning ball. Back then the FA Cup was more commonly known as the English Cup.

Following Hillman’s death there is uncertainty over what happened to the ball. It seems it stayed in Burnley, so if there’s anyone reading with information please get in touch. If the ball managed to survive into the 1950s then it is possible it is still around somewhere.

I managed to get a Burnley newspaper to do a piece on this a few years back but sadly no one came forward with any information.

Film of the Final

The 1904 FA Cup final was filmed and shown in pubs and exhibition halls for at least a month after the final. Several copies of the film must have existed as it was shown in multiple locations at similar times but, to date, none of these copies have been found. Many photos from the 1904 final (including this one of Meredith scoring) are believed to have been taken from the original footage. In recent years older football films have been located in the north-west and I live in hope that one day a metal film cannister will be found with the words ‘1904 English final’ scrawled across will be identified.

The Players’ Shirts

Not one of the 1904 FA Cup final shirts has ever been found despite many of the players saving other equally important shirts. The 1904 shirt carried no badge and as City played a League game only 2 days after the final and travelled straight to Everton from London, it’s possible the same kit was worn again. Players such as Billy Meredith and Sandy Turnbull did save other important shirts and it’s possible the kits may have stayed within family circles but not recognised for their significance due to the lack of a badge. Frank Booth, a prominent member of the team, died in 1919 and is buried in Denton – maybe his family retained the shirt and it still resides in the region?

If you know of any of these items and can help locate them then please do. The film is probably the one that appeals most to me, but both the ball and a shirt would be great finds too.

You can find out more about 1904 here: