Remember When City Scored Ten!

On this day (7 November) in 1987 Manchester City defeated Huddersfield Town 10-1.  Paul Stewart, Tony Adcock, and David White each scored a hat-trick while the goal spree was started by Neil McNab. You can read the full story of the game; watch highlights and more here….

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Swindon 3 Manchester City 4

Goals from Imre Varadi and Paul Simpson, plus a couple from David White gave Manchester City a memorable 4-3 victory over Swindon Town on this day (31 October) in 1987. You can watch highlights here:

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If you’d like to support my research then why not subscribe? Every subscription directly helps support my research and provides annual subscribers with access to everything posted on this site, including the entire Manchester A Football History and From Maine Men To Banana Citizens books, plus interviews, articles and more. I am not employed by anyone and all my research is self funded or comes from subscriptions to this site.

Subscribe to get access

You can subscribe at either £20 per year (above) or at £3 per month here (cancel any time). For those subscribing £3 per month you will be able to access all content from October 2022 onwards for as long as you are a subscriber. Those subscribing £20 a year have access to everything posted since December 2020.

Perry Suckling

On this day (12 October) in 1965 1980s Manchester City ‘keeper Perry Suckling was born in Hackney. Here’s a brief profile of him:

Perry Suckling

Bought for £50,000 plus the popular David Phillips, England youth international Perry Suckling was anticipated to be City’s first choice for several years when he arrived from Coventry City in May 1986.  It didn’t work out that way however and by the end of December 1987 he was on loan at Chelsea.  A permanent move to Crystal Palace followed in January 1988 – City received £100,000 – and after 39 League appearances that was it.

Spells for West Ham, Brentford, Watford and Doncaster followed. 

Appearances:  League: 39 FAC: 1 League Cup: 3

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Enjoying this website? Fancy supporting my research into Manchester football history? Why not subscribe? Every subscription directly helps support my research and provides the subscriber with access to everything posted on this site, including the entire Manchester A Football History and From Maine Men To Banana Citizens books, plus interviews, articles and more. I am not employed by anyone and all my research is self funded or comes from subscriptions to this site.

Subscribe to get access

You can subscribe at either £20 per year (above) or at £3 per month here (cancel any time). For those subscribing £3 per month you will be able to access all content from October 2022 onwards for as long as you are a subscriber. Those subscribing £20 a year have access to everything posted since December 2020.

Away Run Ends: Wolves v City

On this day (6 October) in 1987 Manchester City defeated Wolves 2-0 away from home in the second leg of the second round League Cup tie. It was a weird period for City as the Blues had gone 37 games without an away win and the mood amongst fans was such that you simply had to be there when the win came. I travelled down with my future brother-in-law and father-in-law though at this time I still hadn’t met my future wife. I used to go to games with her brother and it was December 1987 before I actually met her. As for the football… the Blues had lost the first leg 2-1 but the scorelines for both games do not do this tie justice. Here’s a match report and key points from the day…

Wolves thought they had the tie sewn up after their 2-1 win at Maine Road but Andy Hinchcliffe netted after 11 minutes to make it 2-2. Wolves threw everything they had at City with a Midlands based reporter claiming that Wolves had: ‘City’s defence fumbling like geriatric slip fielders;. They hit the woodwork frequently and as fans stood on the away end we were convinced this would not be our day but, of course, City being City it was when you least expected something that it happened. Typical City used to work in positive ways as well as negative ones!

In the end John Gidman scored from a free kick in the 86th minute to guarantee a City victory on aggregate and end our winless away run. However, it was soon pointed out that we’d still not won away from home in the League for a ridiculously long time and so that became the next mission and, as fans, we kept travelling to those games waiting and hoping things would change.

Have a read of this report. There are some great lines in here comparing City to bunny rabbits and other stuff. I particularly like Mel Machin’s comment about the woodwork.

Bananas, Leicester and City

On this day (3 October) in 1987 Paul Stewart & Imre Varadi both scored twice as Manchester City beat Leicester City 4-2 at Maine Road. Games with Leicester were often newsworthy in the 1980s. Sadly, there was the match in March 1989 when Paul Lake swallowed his tongue and there was the FA Cup tie in January 1989 which saw the City players take to the field carrying large inflatable bananas which they then threw into the crowd.  This was not a regular occurrence! You can read more on the banana craze here:

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Bananarama – The Inflatables Craze

In the 1980s Manchester City fans demonstrated the positive side of football during a troubled decade for the sport. Despite being one of England’s top four clubs and the third best supported side in the League, the Blues suffered a shock relegation in 1983. Financial issues and an inability to invest meant the club relied on two of its greatest strengths – youth football and the loyalty of City’s fans.  Young players like Paul Simpson, Paul Moulden, Ian Brightwell, David White, Paul Lake and Andy Hinchcliffe, ensured the Blues had a chance of re-establishing themselves on the pitch, while off the pitch a dedicated following was the envy of the majority of clubs.

City fans not only turned out in their numbers – they were the sixth best supported side in 1983-84 and 1988-89 (second tier seasons) – but they also brought great humour to football.  The most newsworthy story involving fans during this period was the inflatable banana craze.  

Rather than spell out every moment from that era, here are a few snippets on how the craze started and how it progressed. 

– A dedicated City fan called Frank Newton took a 5ft 6in demonstration banana to City V Plymouth on 15 August 1987. It caused some amusement.

– Newton took the banana to away games, including the match against Oldham at Boundary Park. The fans were drenched; morale was low as Oldham equalised; and yet the banana continued to be waved throughout the game, bringing much needed humour to a depressing game.

– Other inflatables began appearing and by the end of the season a chant for striker Imre Varadi to the tune of the Israeli folk song Hava Nagila was adapted with the word banana replacing Varadi. The banana craze was not a tribute to Varadi (this has frequently been misreported in recent years due to an incorrect news report from the period that wrongly claimed the craze was a direct tribute to Varadi – it wasn’t), but chants utilising his name could easily be adapted to use banana instead of his surname.

– For the last game of the 1987-88 season the City fanzine Blue Print, edited by Mike Kelly, urged fans to take a blow up banana to Crystal Palace on the last day of the season.  Around 50 bananas made it on to the terraces that day and the scene was set for supporters to enlarge on this in 1988-89.

– By the time the new season began the inflatable bananas had grown in number but so too had the variety of inflatable – sharks, Frankensteins, crocodiles, dinosaurs plus many more.

– The craze grew throughout 1988-89 and then on Boxing Day an appeal by the fanzines led to over 12,000 City fans in fancy dress and carrying inflatables, descending on Stoke’s Victoria Ground.  The capacity was a little over 24,000 and Stoke handed over two full sides of the ground to City fans.  Even the players came on to the pitch with inflatables (which they also did v Leicester in January 1989).

– A company that made inflatable bananas increased production to help satisfy the craze, while Fyffes began to sponsor games at City. Thousands of inflatables appeared at some games.

– The craze was copied across English football but it was City fans that were heralded as the ones who had put the fun back into football.

During a decade of disaster, tragedy and much negativity within football City fans demonstrated there could be another way and fans became internationally renowned for their humour. The craze ultimately died out, although bananas continued to appear on occasion or in limited numbers over the years. 

In 2010-11 City’s FA Cup run brought the bananas back as a nostalgia craze and this has continued to some extent, though nowhere near in the numbers of the late 1980s.Maybe it’s time to bring back the inflatables in great numbers?

Manchester City Chants

Chanting at football games is rarely documented correctly with many myths, rumours and stories developing over the years. This feature is designed to give a potted overview of the development of singing at City.

I explained about some of the chants in this talk recently:

Now, for subscribers is an 1800 word article on the history and development of chants at Manchester City:

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