City 6 Norwich 0

On this day (24 January) 1981 John Bond’s Manchester City defeated his former club Norwich 6-0 in the FA Cup fourth round tie. Subscribers can read a report and watch highlights here:

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Middlesbrough Lose to City Wearing Utd’s Shirts!

Here’s a story I’ve told often but I still see it incorrectly reported on occasion. It’s the tale of the 1980s game when Middlesbrough played Manchester City at Maine Road wearing Manchester United’s shirts. It’s the anniversary (17 January) of that game today, so here is the story, a match report and some video clips of that game…

It was January 1981 and Middlesbrough travelled to Maine Road for what was nothing more than a mid table top flight clash. John Bond’s City had faced Liverpool in a controversial League Cup semi final first leg 3 days earlier – don’t get me started on that one! You can read about and listen to John Bond comment on it (from my interview with him back in the 1990s) elsewhere on this site.

The City-Middlesbrough game wasn’t scheduled to be on TV or anything. Remember this was a time when games would only be filmed if they were to be shown as highlights on TV that night or the following day and the news of what games would be on the telly would often be kept secret until shortly before kick off, or sometimes announced at the end of one of the lunchtime football shows on BBC or ITV, depending on which channel had the TV rights for Saturday night games that year. In 1980-81 ITV had the rights to Saturday night football and in Granadaland our programme was called Match Night, presented by Elton Welsby.

That night Granada TV planned on showing the Bolton home game as their match but a waterlogged pitch at Burnden Park meant that game was called off, so a quick decision was made to move the Granada cameras to Maine Road and film the City game instead. I remember arriving at Maine Road with my Dad and being surprised at seeing the Granada TV trucks outside the Main Stand. In those days spotting the TV trucks outside the ground brought a bit of excitement because it also meant you’d have the unusual experience of seeing a game, or at least highlights of it, again. I was 13 at the time, and this was always a big bonus.

Of course, I wasn’t the only person surprised by the TV switch to Maine Road as Middlesbrough were also caught out by it. Back in 1980-81 shirt sponsorship was still a bit of a thorny issue in football and clubs were allowed to wear sponsors names on their shirts but not in games televised. Middlesbrough arrived at Maine Road with shirts wearing their sponsor’s name and this meant the filming of the game was now in jeopardy.

City hadn’t yet struck a deal for shirt sponsorship – that was to come later in the year when Saab became the club’s first sponsor – which meant the club did not need as many shirt variations as Middlesbrough. Whether this had any bearing on what happened next isn’t clear but, instead of wearing City’s second strip, Middlesbrough asked Manchester United if they could borrow their shirts instead. Someone sent for a full set of United home shirts from Old Trafford and Middlesbrough played in United’s unsponsored red instead of their own shirts.

The game was filmed and broadcast that night – Granadaland viewers had the choice of the game or the end of the Parkinson show/start of a Burt Reynolds film.

The game ended in a 3-2 City win with goals from Tommy Hutchison, Bobby McDonald and Kevin Reeves. Middlesbrough’s Hodgson became the first man to score wearing a United first team shirt at Maine Road that season. In fact, Hodgsonnand McAndrew were the ONLY men to score at Maine Road that season in a first team game wearing United’s colours!

Were you at this match? If you were why not leave your memory as a comment or email it to me for possible future use on this website?

You can read a report of the game here:

Here’s some film of the match too:

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Manchester City’s 1980-81 Season

On a day when there’s a controversial refereeing decision in a Manchester Derby here’s a reminder that today is the anniversary (14 January 1981) of a notorious refereeing error in a Manchester City Liverpool League Cup semi-final. You can read about that elsewhere on the site. the anniversary though has given me the impetus to post this 9,000+ word article on the 1980-81 season. This was a remarkable season and you can read it below:

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John Bond Interview Part 7 (Final Part)

We’ve reached the final minutes of my interview with John Bond from November 1995. I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. As before, there’s a lot to interest and perhaps surprise in these frank views.

At the time this interview was performed I was researching my in-depth history of the club called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years). 

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was extremely frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. He was also happy for me to quote everything he said in the interview. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but, until now, none of the interview has ever been heard by the wider public. 

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If you would like to listen to the final part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, above) or £3 a month (here) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Monthly subscribers get full access to everything posted since 1 October 2022.

80 Years Ago Today Manchester City’s And Norwich’s John Benson Was Born

On this day (23 December) in 1942 future Manchester City player and manager John Benson born at Arbroath. He joined the Blues at the age of 15 in July 1958 and went on to make 52 League and Cup appearances before being transferred to Torquay in 1964.  Spells at Bournemouth, Exeter and Norwich followed, before John moved into coaching.  In 1980 he returned to Manchester as assistant to manager John Bond.  Here’s an interview I did with him during October 2004.

Sadly, John died on October 30 2010 at the age of 67.

Here for subscribers is the interview from 2004.

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John Bond Interview Part Two

There’s a lot to interest and perhaps surprise Manchester City fans here. This is the second part of my interview with John Bond from November 1995. When I interviewed him he was frank in his views and at times outspoken – and I loved every minute of our chat!

In this clip John talks about the controversial 1981 League Cup semi-final with Liverpool; the FA Cup final (first game) against Tottenham; the way City’s directors handled the draw with Spurs (this astounded me at the time of our interview); how certain directors treated him; and how he almost resigned in between the FA Cup final and its replay. 

As this was recorded in November 1995 it is important to remember that our comments about the ‘present day’ Manchester City refer to the club as it was at that time. Similarly, when we talk about the takeover we mean the 1993-94 takeover of the club. Listening again to this piece now I’m quite pleased that my own perception was fairly accurate.

There’s also some great comments about Norwich City which will please supporters of that club.

This is about 17 minutes long (the previous piece was a similar length too). So get yourself a brew, relax in your favourite chair and listen along.

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If you would like to listen to the second part of this frank interview and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, above) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (here). Monthly subscribers access everything posted since 1 October 2022.

Part three tomorrow.

90 Years Ago Today – John Bond

On this day (17 December) in 1932 John Bond was born. Back in November 1995 I interviewed the former Manchester City manager. At the time I was researching my in-depth history of the club called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years).

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was quite frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. He was also happy for me to quote everything he said in the interview. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but none of the interview has ever been heard by the wider public.

Now, you can hear the opening 17 minutes of the interview (the rest will follow over the next few days). Here he talks about the steps taken by City to appoint him; the interview (and the directors involved in that notorious filmed interview for the City documentary in 1980-81); the signing of Tommy Hutchison, Bobby McDonald and Gerry Gow. As I said earlier, he is quite frank in his comments and that may surprise a few.

This audio recording of the first 17 minutes of the interview is available to subscribers of my blog whether annual or, for the first time, monthly. If you want to hear it then please subscribe below. If subscribers enjoy this piece then please let me know and I’ll post other audio recordings in the future.

Of course as this interview was recorded on my old cassette recorder the quality isn’t the best but I’m sure you’ll appreciate the exclusive nature of this.

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If you would like to listen to this frank interview and read the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year; here) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (below). Annual subscribers access everything posted since December 2020.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to listen to this frank interview and read the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. An annual subscription (£20 per year; above) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (here). Monthly subscribers access everything posted since 1 October 2022.

The second part of the interview will be available tomorrow.

I’ve also posted an obituary I wrote to John here: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/12/johnny-bond-johnny-bond-johnny-bond/

Bond’s First; Tueart Scores 4

New Manchester City manager John Bond’s first cup game was the fourth round tie against Second Division promotion hopefuls Notts County at Maine Road, played on this day (29 October) in 1980  The game had the potential to end in defeat, especially as Bond would be unable to play any of his new signings (remember the struggles pre-Bond’s arrival earlier in the month and the impact he and his new arrivals Now, Hutchison and McDonald had?), nor would the expensive Steve Daley be able to play due to injury. 

The match actually ended 5-1 to the Blues with Dave Bennett opening the scoring after 16 minutes.  Dennis Tueart was in inspiring form that night scoring the other four City goals, but the result was prof that Bond’s whole approach had lifted the Club.  Basically, Bond had taken Allison’s team and given them belief and confidence.  Some of the younger players, like Bennett and Caton, may have been given their chance under Allison, but it was under Bond that they started to achieve their potential.

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Semi-Final Memories

A few years back I caught up with the goalscorers – Tommy Booth (1969) and Paul Power (1981) – of the last couple of FA Cup semi finals involving Manchester City prior to their 2011 FA Cup triumph v Stoke. Here, for subscribers, is a piece I wrote based on that interview with Booth and Power.

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MCFC Managers – MALCOLM ALLISON

Malcolm Allison gave Manchester City confidence and a will to win that few have ever equalled.  He was an exceptionally brilliant and confident coach – some would say the greatest the world has ever seen (probably Allison himself would say this!) – and working with Joe Mercer he helped the Blues achieve incredible success.

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