Horton’s Blues At QPR

On this day (25 October) in 1994 Manchester City faced QPR in the League Cup in what was an incredible game that kept fans on the edge of their seats. The Blues had already disposed of Barnet 5-2 on aggregate in the second round and clearly expected to put in a good performance at Loftus Road. Sadly, within a minute they conceded a goal just as they had in the earlier League Cup match at Barnet and Brian Horton’s side suffered for a while. By the 37th minute they managed to get their act together a little and Summerbee equalised with a 20 yard volley. A minute later Rangers took the lead again. 

Fortunately, in the 46th minute Keith Curle netted a penalty to bring City level once again, followed eight minutes later by a magnificent Beagrie volley which made it 3-2 and brought a series of somersaults from the popular ex-Evertonian. Five minutes later, the same player headed through to Lomas who made it 4-2. 

In the 87th minute Rangers pulled a goal back to keep City on their toes, but the referee’s whistle signalled the start of a party for the fans while their QPR equivalents began to demonstrate against their chairman.  Apparently, some unhappy QPR fans were keen to listen to the advice of a few experienced Mancunian demonstrators! 

You can watch highlights of the game here:

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A City-Spurs Classic

Today (22 October) in 1994 Brian Horton’s Manchester City defeated Ossie Ardiles’ Spurs 5-2, with goals from Walsh (2), Quinn, Flitcroft, and Lomas.  This was a very memorable and popular match and when it was shown on Match of the Day that evening the BBC also chose to re-screen highlights from the December 1967 ‘Ballet on Ice’ meeting between the sides.  The game was later described by BBC commentator John Motson as one of his all-time top three classic Maine Road matches. Subscribers can read more on the 1994 classic below:

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A Worrying Dismissal

Despite a goal from Niall Quinn and a penalty from Keith Curle Manchester City were defeated 3-2 by QPR on the final day of the 1994-5 season (May 14).  City ended the season 17th in the Premier League and Brian Horton was dismissed.  The Blues had to wait until 2003 before they finished higher than this.

Here for subscribers is the story of Horton’s dismissal and what followed with quotes from Colin Barlow, Brian Horton (from an interview I did with him in 2004)…

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Cheltenham V MCFC: The Story So Far

I’ve seen it mentioned often in the build up to today’s FA Cup tie between Manchester City and Cheltenham Town that the two clubs have never met before. Well, that may be true for competitive fixtures but there has been a previous meeting.

On August 2nd 1994 the two teams met in a testimonial for Cheltenham midfielder Steve Brooks. City classed the game as a reserve team friendly and my own records show the following details:

I have the attendance as an estimated 300 but Cheltenham sources say 816 which has to be more like it (I’ll correct my records now!).

The City team was: Margetson, Kerr, Beech, Simpson, Foster (Smith 66), Harkin, Finney, Groenendijk, Mike (Brown 75), Griffiths (Thomas 46), Whitley (Sharpe 46). Unused sub: Nurse.

The goals were scored by Carl Griffiths (2) and Michael Brown for City; Jimmy Smith and Simon Cooper for Cheltenham.

Thanks to Martin Wilson for reminding me of this game.

Manchester City Season – 1994-95

Busy Close Season

Following the takeover by Francis Lee, Lee & the Managing Director Colin Barlow, another former player, uncovered some serious issues within the Club.  City’s financial arrangements seemed complex and there had been underinvestment for a number of years in many areas of the Club.  One of the biggest issues was the state of Maine Road itself.  The Kippax Stand had to be demolished and a new all-seater stand developed, but the existing plans were far from suitable.  Lee & Barlow spent considerable time creating new plans with an ultimate aim to redevelop the entire stadium into a 50,000 capacity venue.  The new Kippax Stand was the first stage of this plan and built at a rapid pace throughout the 1994-95 season.

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