Vinnie Jones 5 Second Yellow!

On this day (19 January) in 1991 Mark Ward scored twice as Howard Kendall’s Manchester City defeated Sheffield United 2-0 before 25,741 at Maine Road. However, the game opened with the visitors’ Vinnie Jones getting booked after just 5 seconds play! He was later sent off too. You can see highlights (and Jones’ tackle) here:

I was sat in the Main Stand that day. Were you also 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?

The 1st and Latest Women’s Manchester Derby in the League

Tomorrow is the latest Manchester derby in the Women’s Super League. There’s a long history of competition between teams representing the women of Manchester City and Manchester United. City’s team has been in existence continually since November 1988 when Donna Haynes and Heidi Ward both scored two goals in their first game (v Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park).

I was at the City Ladies (as they were then known) first game and I was also at their first league derby in September 1990 when City defeated United 4-3. It was a fantastic day, watched by around 150 people.

City’s goals came from Rhoda Taylor (8 min), Rachel O’Shaughnessy (43 mins), Jenny Newton (50 mins) and Lesley Peters. City’s manager Neil Mather told me as part of my research for the Manchester City Women book: ‘United were the top side, you know, and beating them was so good for morale. The men’s team were a good side in the early 90s when City Ladies carried on developing, you know. This was the Howard Kendall era, and City had top five finishes. City were one of the top five or six teams in the country at the time, so it was fabulous for women’s football to have Man City, you know.’

Helen Hempenstall played for City that day and she described her memory of the day for my book: I remember when we played United (30/9/90) and Neil (Helen’s boyfriend, now husband) and all his mates came to watch us. There were a lot of people there that day. United had a decent team then. It was always a difficult game against United. They had a right-winger… We never got on. Every time we played each other we were at each other all the way through the game. Me and Carol Woodall were having a go at her. The referee told Lesley Wright “Tell both your full backs to shut their mouths otherwise they’ll both be off!” We just didn’t get along and before every game I thought I’ll get in their first. ‘I’m having her.’ Neil Mather still talks about it.

‘I think Lesley Wright kept the team together. She kept it all tight at the back. I played at the back with her and I learnt a lot from her. Because I was next to her I knew how important she was. If I missed something she always got it. She always encouraged me and kept shouting ‘different class, different class’. You learn from the people around you and I listened to her. Before every game she came to speak to me. She’d put her arm around me and reassure me. She’d tell me not to worry about anything. Most of the time travelling to away games I’d go with Lesley in the car. We used to have a laugh. I remember one day we were travelling to an away game some distance away and we stopped for petrol and all got out. I lit up a fag and everyone else jumped back in the car screaming! I didn’t even think! When we got to the ground they all told Neil Mather and I think he worried that he could’ve lost half his team. At another game I was sat in the middle and as we got out the person before me slammed the door back. It hit my head and I had a big lump for the game.’

The story of that game and of the first 30 years or so of City Women’s existence can be read in my book on the club. It’s called Manchester City Women: An Oral History and is basically the women telling their stories of playing for the club and how they got into football, plus statistics covering the journey from friendlies in 1988-89 through to competition and the modern day successes.

You can buy the book via this link (every copy is signed by me):

Coventry Defeated

On this day (6 October) in 1966 Niall Quinn was born and on this day in 1990 he scored for Manchester City in a 2-0 win against Coventry. Alan Harper scored the other goal. You can watch them both here:

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Manchester City in the Early 1990s

We hear so much about the Premier League era and how the game has changed, so for today’s feature I’ve decided to take a look at the early 1990s and the birth of the Premier League. It’s almost thirty years since the structure of league football changed forever and during that time some clubs have benefitted from the new structure and others have found life difficult. City have experienced both extremes of course.

The narrative that we often hear about the Blues’ journey over the last thirty years is that they’ve gone from a struggling club to a hugely successful one and, while it is true City are highly successful today and that the Blues entered their lowest ever point in the late 1990s, it is wrong to assume that the position the club found itself in by 1999 was typical of the club’s full history. 

So, here for subscribers, I’m taking a look back at the early 1990s and remind ourselves where the Blues were; who their rivals were; and the state of football at that time:

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IN SEARCH OF THE BLUES – Neil Pointon (interviewed in April 2005)

On this day (July 11) in 1990 Howard Kendall signed Neil Pointon for Manchester City from Everton. He went on to make a total of 86 appearances over a two year spell with the Blues.  Here’s an interview I did with Neil in April 2005. I met him at his home to talk about his career and life, including that Manchester derby and his tackle on Ryan Giggs.

This interview is available to subscribers to this website below. If you are interested in subscribing: It costs £20 per year (works out about £1.67 a month) or you can pay a month at a time (£3 per month) and still access everything for as long as you are a member. The archive now contains around 400 articles/posts including the entire contents of 2 of my books: you can download PDFs of the 2010 edition of Manchester A Football History and my very first book From Maine Men To Banana Citizens. There are also archive audio interviews with John Bond, Malcolm Allison and George Graham.

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