On this day (4 October) in 1930 the Manchester derby ended City 4 United 1. It was the Reds’ ninth straight defeat of the season and they were relegated at the end of it. The Athletic News claimed: “City obviously grew sympathetic and declined to rub it in.” That’s the kind of wording they could have used again to describe the October 2022 derby when City were leading 6-1! Here’s the detailed story of that day:
Subscribe to get access
Read more of this content when you subscribe today. £20 per year to subscribe and for that you get access to all the interviews, articles and books already posted. Those subscribing £20 a year have access to everything posted since December 2020.
Read more of this content when you subscribe today. 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.
As we build up to the Manchester derby this weekend the usual questions of who represents Manchester best crops up, as does the ‘you’re not from Manchester’ argument. People also talk about Manchester history and so on, so I thought I’d write a few thoughts here to hopefully help anyone with their Manchester geography, history etc. Some fans will love this; some may hate it, but either way it’s all factual. Here goes….
On the question of history: The earliest recorded game for Manchester United (as Newton Heath) is in November 1880 (against Bolton Wanderer’s 2nd team) while the earliest recorded game for Manchester City (as St Mark’s West Gorton) was one week earlier than United’s game. Much is made of the 1878 formation date but that’s a bit of a red herring. There is no evidence of football participation by the Heathens until November 1880. From 1878 Newton Heath did play cricket and perform athletics. Similarly, St Mark’s are known to have played cricket from the 1860s but this does not mean the club should trace its history of football activity to 1867 (or any other date prior to 1880). I go into a lot more detail on all of this in The Emergence of Footballing Cultures: Manchester 1840-1919 but subscribers can also read the evidence & more via the following link:
Of course City was the first of the two clubs to take on the Manchester name, doing so in 1894. That year Newton Heath also tried to reform as Manchester but were prevented from doing so as there was already a Manchester FC in existence (the rugby club). Again you can read the evidence and facts in the Emergence of Footballing Cultures:
Also on the question of history… Manchester City were the first to find national success when they won the Second Division title in 1899 (also becoming the first Manchester side to earn promotion). City were also the first Manchester team to win a major trophy when they won the FA Cup in 1904. United were the first team to win the League with their first national success coming in 1908. United were the first to win a European trophy, winning the European Cup at Wembley in 1968, while City’s first European trophy (the European Cup Winners’ Cup) came in 1970 at Vienna. Both successes of course predate the first UEFA-tournament successes of Liverpool, Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea, Juventus and so many other perceived European giants (note: The Fairs Cup was not a UEFA tournament).
On representing the city of Manchester the point is often made, usually by City fans, that United ‘don’t come from Manchester’, so here’s a bit about geography: It is true that Old Trafford is not in the city of Manchester and that it’s in the borough of Trafford (not Salford as some say). United have been based there since 1910. Of course Trafford is within Greater Manchester, just as Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside and the city of Salford are. Prior to 1910 United played in Clayton and Newton Heath. At the time of their formation Newton Heath was not a part of Manchester. It was added to the city in 1890.
Similarly, West Gorton, where Manchester City was first founded as St Mark’s (West Gorton) was not part of the city of Manchester until 1890. Neither club was based in the city of Manchester at time of formation. City’s roots included various moves and name changes, with them settling in Ardwick in 1887. Ardwick had been incorporated into Manchester in 1838, meaning that from 1887 the Blues were based within the city of Manchester. The club moved to Maine Road in 1923 and their current home in 2003, both of which were within the city of Manchester by the time of the club’s move. Whichever way you look at it City have been based in the city of Manchester since 1887 while Newton Heath/United were based in the city of Manchester from 1890 to 1910. So for those who would like the maths that’s 135 years v 20 years.
In terms of first blood in the Manchester derby… Newton Heath beat Ardwick in the first derby in a first team competition that still counts today. That was the FA Cup in 1890-91 and you can read about that here:
Ultimately, all of these are merely bragging rights for particular views but I thought I’d post the facts because, all too often the facts get misreported and myths profligate.
Over the years there has been a lot of discussion on Denis Law and his backheeled goal for Manchester City v Manchester United at Old Trafford in April 1974. If you’re a Blue you tend to say it relegated United; if you’re a Red you tend to say ‘absolutely not! It made no difference.’ So, for this feature I decided to focus on the facts, emotion and mood of the era to paint an accurate picture of that day and the significance or not of that goal. Hopefully, Blues & Reds alike will gain a good understanding of it all. I include quotes from some of the interviews I’ve performed in the past. This article will be free to read until 27th September then it’s available to subscribers only. Here goes…
Subscribe to get access
If you have read this and enjoyed it then please subscribe and access more content like this. No one pays for my research and so please support my writing if you can. Subscribers get access to everything on here, including the entire Manchester A Football History book and my first book. It costs £20 a year (works out £1.67 per month).
Prior to this weekend’s meeting between the men’s teams of Manchester City and United there have been 187 derbies. This weekend’s will be the 188th (people often miss the first derby!) Here’s the breakdown of those games and links to articles:
Played 187 City Won: 57 United Won: 77 Drawn: 53
The first derby was a FA Cup tie in 1891-92. This is often overlooked these days but was a full-bloodied competitive FA Cup tie so always has to be included in records etc. The details of that game can be read here:
My website carries a lot of content about derby games, as well as plenty on City and United, so have a look and see whether there’s anything of interest. This link is a search of Manchester derby content:
On 17th of this month I posted the first part of a two part feature on the royal family and Manchester City. Now, as promised, here’s the second part focusing on visits to Manchester City by the UK monarchs over the decades plus a few other snippets. Enjoy this free to read article…
Before I start with part two here’s a link to the first part of the feature:
Over the years Manchester City has proved to be a very popular club for visits by significant members of the British Royal family and of other nations’ royalty. Whether this has anything to do with the club’s success, the stadium’s importance, or the role of Manchester in terms of industry and commercial activity is unclear (probably a bit of all of that!). There have been two major royal visits to Maine Road and there has been a significant visit to the club’s former ground at Hyde Road (though some people incorrectly think there have been two!). In addition, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh plus other senior royals visited the City of Manchester Stadium (now Etihad) twice for the Commonwealth Games. Prince Philip was creating history by becoming the first senior member of the Royal family to visit two of City’s venues.
The first Royal visit to Maine Road was on 20 October 1934 when the Duke of York (future King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II’s father) watched City’s 1-0 defeat by Derby County. Prior to the match the Duke was introduced to both sides and then he took his seat at the front of the Directors’ Box. The previous year he had witnessed City’s FA Cup final defeat to Everton at Wembley.
The next major Royal visit came on Thursday 7 May 1964 when Prince Philip witnessed a City-United derby match. The game had been organised by the Variety Club of Great Britain as a charity fund raiser for underprivileged children, and it had been hoped a capacity crowd of over sixty thousand would be present, however appalling weather limited the attendance to approximately 36,000. Philip, as with the Duke of York thirty years earlier, sat in the Directors’ Box, although this time, according to newspaper reports the box had been decked out with flowers and was christened the Royal Box for the evening.
The game ended with Philip presenting the Duke of Edinburgh Cup to United’s captain Denis Law on the pitch in the pouring rain. Thousands of children, according to local reports, swarmed on to the pitch, as the Duke became drenched. Interestingly, Philip’s visit to the Commonwealth Games in 2002 also saw him suffer with the rain. Perhaps he remembered his 1964 visit as he waited for the 2002 Games to end!
City’s current stadium has welcomed a variety of international royal guests, including the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, who attended City v Liverpool in March 2017, while Maine Road saw several visits by middle eastern princes and others over the years.
The most significant Royal visit of all to a City venue has to be the 1920 appearance of King George V at Hyde Road. This was the first visit to a provincial ground by a reigning monarch and as such is of immense importance. A month or so earlier the King had gone to watch a FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Leicester.
Subscribers can read more on that visit here:
It has been suggested that twenty years earlier, however, Queen Victoria’s son, the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII), attended Hyde Road. This is a myth – please don’t believe it! I’m always keen on finding evidence and the author who propagated this story actually mistook City director Joshua Parlby for the future King on a photograph!
I’ve performed extensive research on this so-called visit and have revealed in earlier books (most notably Farewell To Maine Road in 2003) that the visit did not occur. As with all myths I try to work backwards to understand how these things take hold and why some become convinced (don’t get me started on the myth about Anna Connell!). I find it helps to get to the source because that way it becomes clear why someone who hasn’t performed detailed research becomes convinced. So, here’s the story of how some authors have incorrectly claimed a royal visit in 1900…
Back in 1930 City’s first true history, Manchester City Football Club Souvenir History by Fred Johnson, stated: ‘The Hyde Road ground was honoured with the presence of His Majesty the King on March 27th 1900 when Liverpool were opposed.’ This is clearly a typographical error as the incident it refers to is the visit of King George on 27 March 1920 (Liverpool were the visitors).
This explains the birth of the error but a photograph has also been produced by one author ‘showing’ the King at Hyde Road. It shows nothing of the sort and the photo (below) is clearly a red herring. It is Hyde Road (the stand in the background is the Stone Yard Stand) but the two gentlemen wearing top hats have been claimed to be leading royals with the one closest to the camera supposedly future King Edward. However, he is not. I’ve compared these photos to others in my collection and published in the early 1900s. These images are actually from the visit of future Prime Minister Arthur Balfour in September 1900.
Balfour was the only significant visitor that day and his head actually appears on the image (between the ladies and the top-hatted men). One of the women is described as Balfour’s daughter on another photo from this day. The top-hatted gent at the back is City director W. Richmond (director between 1896 and 1902), while the other top-hatted man looks an awful lot like Joshua Parlby (the club’s former manager and a director in 1900).
Regardless of this myth, it is amazing that three successive monarchs had attended City’s grounds, albeit in George VI’s case he was still Duke of York when he attended Maine Road in 1934.
Subscribe to get access
While you’re here why not subscribe to my website. It costs £20 per year (works out about £1.67 a month) and for that every subscriber gets access to a PDF of both Manchester A Football History and From Maine Men to Banana Citizens (both out of print) plus the hundreds of articles, interviews and videos already posted and a guaranteed 4 new exclusive articles per month (usually a lot more than that!). I am not employed to do any research and so subscribers help fund detailed research into football’s history. Thanks for supporting my work if you do already subscribe or buy my books.
Ferguson’s £9m side are destroyed in the most one-sided Manchester derby in years by Machin’s bargain basement Blues. By the 36thminute City race to a remarkable three goal lead and, despite a magnificent goal from Hughes, they are rampant. “Fergie Out” cry the United fans as the fifth enters the net.
On this day (20 September) in 1947 a crowd of approximately 78,000 witnessed the first post-war Manchester derby. A tense match ended goalless before the derby’s record crowd on a club ground. This attendance remained the highest for a Manchester derby until the 2011 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium. The return fixture, also played at Maine Road, was watched by 71,690. Subscribers can read the story of the 1947 game (background, match report, statistics etc.) below:
Subscribe to get access
You can read this detailed article when you subscriber (plus all other material on the site). It costs £20 a year (£1.67 per month) to subscribe
I was recently asked by Brendan Gahan if I ‘had any details of a Central League derby at Maine Rd that finished 6-5 to City. I think it was either 66/67 or 67/ 68, there was a decent crowd of around 20,000.’ We’ll, I do. The answer is…
The game was played on 15 April 1968 and was watched by 2,503 (not quite the 20,000 remembered). City’s scorers were Mundy, Clay, Jones (2), Cunliffe and Bingham. The City starting 11 included Ricky Hatton’s father Ray: Dowd, Hutton, Woods, Jeffries, Booth, Mundy, Glennon, Clay, Jones, Cunliffe & Bingham.According to the programme (provided by Dave Masey) the half time score had been 5-4 to City and the United scorers were Herd 3 and Gowling 2.
I have statistics for most Manchester City Central League games (and first team of course) into the 2000s. If you’re a subscriber to my site and have a query get in touch and I’ll see if I can answer your query. Thanks.
Subscribe to get access
Read more of this website when you subscribe today. £20 a year (about £1.67 per month) gets you access to all the articles, interviews, books & more already published on this site and those published over the next year. You’ll also be supporting my research and writing. I am not employed by anyone to do this research, so your subscriptions help enormously.
Here’s an interesting clip from this day (9 September) in 1977 featuring two Manchester football fans. This was shown on the BBC north west regional news programme on the eve of the Manchester Derby and originally would’ve included a voiceover which, sadly, has not survived.
The BBC’s David Davies talks with Nellie Walker, a supporter of Manchester City since the mid 1920s and Charlie Swinchatt, who had supported Manchester United since that time too.
The derby the following day ended in a 3-1 City win with Brian Kidd netting a couple. You can view highlights here: