MCFC 20TH CENTURY CHRONICLE SEASON 1998-99

The Matches

It’s fitting we end this chronicle of the 20th century with last season.  With typical City style, the Blues waited until the last year of the century to feature in one of the most dramatic and eventful seasons in the club’s history.  Life in Division 2 was totally alien to the Blues, and understandably the media rated them as clear favourites for the Division 2 title.  Supporters were uneasy, however.  Promotion may have been a formality as far as the media were concerned but for City fans it was hoped for – even demanded – but not expected.  Not by all at least.  Nevertheless, there was a perverse excitement about the new season.  

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Andy Morrison – On This Day

A flash back to this date in 1998 and the debut of an influential figure in MCFC history…

Manchester City’s first ever third tier season had been one of struggle so far prompting manager Joe Royle to search for changes. He brought in loan signings Michael Branch and Andy Morrison and they made impressive debuts at home to Colchester. The game had been goalless at half time – and City had been booed off! – but substitute Ian Bishop brought some drive to the team in the second half. In the 49th minute Horlock netted a penalty and four minutes later his corner was headed home by Morrison for a debut day goal. Colchester scored a consolation via Jason Dozzell but it was Morrison who ended the day the happiest. Royle: “Morrison was strong-willed and proved a good passer. And at least we have someone who talks at the back!”  A week later the Blues made Morrison’s move a permanent one, signing him for £80,000.

Morrison continued to impress in the next game, a 3-0 victory over near neighbours Oldham. Kevin Horlock was actually the star man, scoring twice in the first half, with Morrison netting a volley for the third. Royle was happy with the win but not the specifics of the match: “We were nowhere near our best but we scored three terrific goals, had one disallowed, hit the bar and didn’t get a blatant penalty so I can’t be disappointed.”

The Blues were now up to fifth and there was a feeling that a corner had been turned – but the season had many twists to come yet!

Match stats: 31 Oct 1998 Colchester United (H) W 2-1 Horlock (pen), Morrison   Attendance 24,820

99 Dreams

Here for subscribers is a flashback piece to the 1998-99 season and, in particular, the games with Wigan Athletic which included the last competitive match at Springfield Park. Enjoy!

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Talking City: Ian Bishop

On this day (25th March) in 1998 Manchester City cult hero Ian Bishop returned to the club. Here subscribers can read an interview I did with the former Bournemouth, West Ham and City player in 2015. 

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You can also read about the 1989-90 season and Ian’s first spell with the club on this earlier post:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/12/manchester-city-season-1989-90/

Manchester City – Highest Average Attendances in the League

In recent years fans of rival clubs have taunted Manchester City with jibes like ‘Empyhad’ yet evidence shows that, unlike most other clubs, City has been a major crowd-pulling club since first entering the League in the 1890s. Over time I’ll be posting lots of attendance related data on gjfootballarchve.com and I start here with a piece listing every occurrence of City topping the League or their division’s attendance charts.

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Manchester City – Season 1998-99

One of the most dramatic seasons in the history of Manchester City. It was a point when the club could either fail and, perhaps fade away for good, or succeed and hope for a brighter day.

Subscribe to this site to find out more (it costs £20 a year – about £1.67 a month – or £3 a month if subscribing a month at a time. For that you get full access to everything posted on this site and all new posts until your subscription ends. You’ll also be supporting my writing and research – Thanks. It is appreciated).

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