Imagine Scoring Four Goals For MCFC Against Liverpool On Your Debut!

On this day (18th January) in 1913 Manchester City’s Fred Howard scored four goals on his debut against Liverpool at Hyde Road.  I love the description of Howard in one report of this game: ‘Howard, a hefty individual who apparently does not believe in allowing the full backs free kicks, had pounced on the ball’. I think we’ve all seen a few ‘hefty individuals’ who did not ‘believe in allowing the full backs free kicks’ over the years!

A report also warns that Howard: ‘would do well to remember that he will not always be served as he was on this occasion. Nor will he have a much easier task’. I’m pretty sure Howard did not expect to score four goals in every game.

Howard, from Walkden, ended his City career after scoring 43 goals in 90 first team competitive games. Note in this article (below) the use of the nickname Citizens to describe the Blues. Maybe one day I’ll do a piece on club nicknames but I do know that many fans didn’t feel the word Citizens (or Cityzens as it is usually written these days at the club) had much to do with the club when City re-adopted it a few years back. It was certainly used a lot when talking of the club from 1894 through to perhaps the inter-war period.

Three of Howard’s goals came in a 13 minute spell as the Blues won 4-1. It was regarded as the greatest debut feat by any player at the time. Even now, over a century later, it’s hard to think of any player having a better debut.

Over the years plenty have talked of players scoring hat-tricks on debuts around the globe but how often do you hear of a player scoring four in the top flight of a major League against a team that is regarded as one of your main rivals? After this game Liverpool had dropped to 13th in the First Division, while City were fifth.

This was just a brief taster of the content in GJFootballArchive.com. If you would like to read the in-depth, longer 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 500+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

Subscribe to get access

Sign up today to ensure you can access all the content on GJFootballArchive.com

Memorial Cards: Sledging Rivals in 1912

It is believed the memorial card seen here was printed to mark Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City on December 28 1912. Cards like these were popular at most high profile games and in Manchester there was a significant industry behind football funeral cards.

They seem a bit macabre today in our half-half friendship version of professional football but back then cards were used to highlight games frequently. I’ve written and talked a lot on this over the years.

Here for subscribers I’d like to provide an overview of the industry, how it existed, what activities were carried out and provide a potted history of the funeral card business. This is about 3,500 words, so get yourself a brew and settle down to read…

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this and everything else on the site when you subscribe. It costs £20 a year or £3 a month to subscribe and you can access exclusive interviews, articles and more.