Goalden Moulden

On this day (19 November) in 1988 Paul ‘Goalden’ Moulden scored the only goal of Manchester City’s win at Bournemouth in Division Two. Subscribers can read an interview I performed with Paul here:

A Complete PDF Of My 1st Book To Download

Back in 1989 my first book was published and subscribers to this site (both annual and monthly) can now download a PDF of that entire book. The original book cost £6.95 when it came out; you can subscribe at £3 per month and get the PDF free here then cancel the subscription if you like). Ignoring yearbooks, this was only the 6th book (and two of those were more like pamphlets published in the 1930s & 40s) ever published specifically on Manchester City Football Club.

Subscribe to get access – Annual

To access the book and everything else on my website please take out an annual subscription here or, alternatively, scroll a little further and take out a monthly subscription. It’s £20 a year (about £1.67 per month) or £3 a month (cancel anytime).

Subscribe to get access – Monthly

To access the book and everything published since 1st October 2022 take out a monthly subscription here. It’s £3 a month (cancel anytime).

The book was published in April 1989 and I talk a little bit about it here:

The 200th Post – Joe Mercer

and here:

A Writing Flashback!

I do not have the original layouts and so I’ve scanned my only surviving copy of the book and put the pages together on a PDF. The pages appear in the order they did in the original but, obviously, as I’ve just placed images of the pages on a word document it’s not as it all appeared. Nevertheless, for those who have never seen it you can now.

There were all sorts of issues with the original publication. My co-author had died and the book was delayed by a year. It was originally due out when I was 20 in 1988. As Keith, my co-author, had died mistakes were made. Keith was also a key figure at the publisher and, without his expertise, the quality of the images and other areas was not as great as it should have been. Even the title was incorrectly published (I’d agreed a different title). Ah well… I got enough of a bug to have started writing my second book within about a month of this coming out.

If you’d like to download the book then you do need to be a subscriber to this site. Subscribers pay £20 a year (works out about £1.67 a month) or £3 a month at a time (cancel anytime). For that annual subscribers now get the entire From Maine Men To Banana Citizens plus my 2010 edition of Manchester A Football History AND all articles/interviews posted so far. These include audio interviews I did with John Bond, Malcolm Allison and George Graham in the 1990s. Monthly subscribers get all content posted since 1st October 2022. All subscribers get access to all new material posted during their subscription too.

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?

A Complete PDF Of My 1st Book To Download

Subscribers to my site can download a PDF of my entire first book. It was published back in 1989. Here are more details:

The book was published in April 1989 and I talk a little bit about it here:

The 200th Post – Joe Mercer

and here:

A Writing Flashback!

Manchester City Ladies – The Earliest Film

On this day in 1989 Manchester City Ladies (now Manchester City Women) played their third friendly after formation in 1988. Here for subscribers to my blog is exclusive film of the women lining up for their team photo at Burnley. This is the earliest known surviving footage of the team.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to see this footage then 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. Each subscriber gets full access to the 160+ articles posted so far, plus the daily serialisation of Manchester A Football History, and the hundreds of articles scheduled to be posted in the coming months (for as long as you subscribe).

The Birth Of Manchester City Women

On this day (25th November) in 1988 the South Manchester Reporter featured Manchester City’s new women’s team for the first time. Neil Mather had set up the team and staged some training/selection sessions and, when this news article appeared, the women were about to face Oldham Athletic in their first ever fixture.

You can read all about those early days and the history of the club in my book Manchester City Women: An Oral History. You can buy the book here:

Coming Tuesday: A Complete PDF Of My 1st Book To Download

From tomorrow (Tuesday June 22 2021) subscribers to my site will be able to download a PDF of my entire first book. It was published back in 1989 and, Ignoring yearbooks, this was only the 6th book (and two of those were more like pamphlets published in the 1930s & 40s) ever published specifically on Manchester City.

Watch this space tomorrow for more details.

The book was published in April 1989 and I talk a little bit about it here:

The 200th Post – Joe Mercer

and here:

A Writing Flashback!