The origins of the “Best Team in the Land and all the World” chant

On this day (23 October) in 1976 Manchester City fans first did their ‘Viking Call’. The chant eventually evolved into ‘The best team in the land and all the world’ but for some time was basically City fans doing a C-iii-ttt-yy chant to the first part of the song. You can hear the song and find out its story in this talk I did earlier in 2022 (if you don’t want to watch the full talk, jump to about 23mins 40 seconds for the Viking Call story):

On This Day in 1976: Juventus

On this day (15 September) in 1976 Manchester City defeated Italian giants Juventus 1-0 at Maine Road in the UEFA Cup.  A crowd of 36,955 watched Brian Kidd net the only goal. You can read about the game and watch highlights here:

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The Peter Swales Video You’ve All Been Waiting For

Here it is online at last! On several occasions over the last decade myself & Will McTaggart have included a video profile of MCFC chairman Peter Swales in our Boys In Blue film show. each time those who missed it have asked if they could see a video of it. That’s never been possible until now! At long last you can now see the Swales profile here…

The BBC have included it in a series of films recently released. I would urge all MCFC fans and others to watch this in all its glory. Some of you may wish to jump to the David Brent-esque clip at 3 mins 20. Others may want to see the Ian Niven roof plan that was thwarted by signing Dave Watson at 1 min 45 secs. Then there’s the scene where Swales gives Watson financial advice (45 secs) and it ends with Swales telling us he was a bit like Kevin Keegan (4 mins).

This really is MCFC gold. Enjoy:

Re-Using Match Tickets

Today (26th February) reminds me of how football clubs would often do anything to save a few quid or to avoid spending money they didn’t need to. The reason? Because on this day in 1977 Manchester City’s League game with Sunderland was postponed.

The game was postponed because the Blues were drawn to face Leeds United in the fifth round of the FA Cup that day and so the original League fixture was rescheduled. Tickets had already been sold for the Sunderland League game and, rather than issue new tickets, the club simply announced the original tickets would be used for the new game. It made common sense and this was something that happened often when cup games meant League games had to be postponed. Now, in the days when entry for home fans is mostly by card (though some tickets are issued of course), it seems an unusual occurrence.

The re-arranged game saw City beat Sunderland 1-0 on 9th March with a goal from Dennis Tueart. As for the FA Cup tie – that ended in a 1-0 defeat before 47,731 at Elland Road.

In 2021 Noel Bayley wrote a guest blog on match tickets and their significance. It’s a free read here:

Kidd’s Double

On this day (April 8) in 1977 two goals from Brian Kidd gave Manchester City a 2-1 victory over Leeds at Maine Road.  A crowd of 47,727 witnessed the game as the Blues challenged for the League title. This result saw City move a point behind the League leaders Ipswich Town, managed by Bobby Robson.

It had not been a convincing City performance but there had been injury issues with Mike Doyle and Brian Kidd playing in an unorthodox midfield – my forthcoming biography of Peter Barnes goes in to a lot of detail about these easter 1977 games. Watch this space over the coming month to hear details of how you can subscribe to that book:

Leeds had taken the lead with Joe Jordan heading home after 17 minutes. Kidd equalised in the 38th minute after Joe Royle’s pass bounced off Leeds’ Trevor Cherry. Kidd’s second came when he flicked in the winner after Paul Madeley had seemingly headed clear a Peter Barnes corner in the 64th minute.

This is a small free taster of the material on this site. If you’d like to find out more about the site then have a read of:

Thanks for reading.

Can You Help Find These MCFC Fans?

“It was the way in which the football supporters of Manchester United and Manchester City used to dress and treat the whole match as if it were a carnival”
– Iain S. P. Reid

A book is to be produced on Iain SP Reid’s photographs of City and United fans at Maine Road and Old Trafford. Paul Sorene (one of the people behind the book) has asked me to help track down anyone who appeared in these photos.

Images, like the one above of the hot dog sellers and fans on Maine Road, will be reproduced in the book with, where possible, the stories of those featured in the photos. Maybe, if circumstances allow, they’ll recreate some of the scenes within the book too.

So if you appeared in that photo or in any of the others Iain took during this period then please get in touch.

You can make contact with Paul Sorene and all involved at or through the Facebook page for Iain’s work at:

These photos were taken circa 1977. Iain believed that photography could improve lives. His work is full of joy. Sadly he died in 2000, leaving his fabulous archive of photographs filed away in boxes unseen until his family rediscovered them.

The book will be crowdfunded and we’ll all be able to spread the word but, most importantly at the moment, the people behind the book really want to hear from those Iain captured in his work. The pictures alone would make a fantastic book, but including the stories of those capture will make it a truly brilliant project.

I’m always passionate about the capturing and preservation of footballing images and stories. For me football simply isn’t about the players on the pitch but the thousands who dedicate significant time – and money – to supporting their club. If you’re a Blue or a Red who attended games around 1976-77 then take a look at Iain’s collection at and see if you’re there – or if there’s someone you recognise. The more people can do this the better. Thanks