Derby Draw

On this day (16 November) in 1991 the Manchester derby ended goalless at Maine Road but so many, many chances went City’s way! It was a frustrating draw for the Blues and came at a time when neither side had won the League since the 1960s (City in 1967-68 if you want to know). It was felt that momentum was building at Maine Road. This is one of those periods when football history could’ve gone in a different direction.

There was pressure on United boss Alex Ferguson. He had brought the ECWC and FA Cup to United by this time but it was the League that the club craved. City had ended 1990-91 in fifth place and United were 6th. Had City had a bit of fortune around this time they may well have found some success.

Arsenal had won the League in 1991 but no team dominated the League year after year. The birth of the Premier League was coming (1992) and the new riches that came with that meant that the teams that did find League success from then on could potentially dominate in a way no club had before. With United’s title success in 1992-93, United and Arsenal became the two clubs that benefited most from the riches of the Premier League. That created a gap that only strong investment could bridge.

Ah well! Money and football is nothing new. Anyway, here are a few highlights of the derby:

Colin Bell’s Injury

On this day (12th November) in 1975…

Attendance: 50,182; City 4 United 0 (League Cup 4th round)

A 35 second opener from Tueart and a world-class performance by Hartford give City total control of this tie.  However few at Maine Road are able to celebrate as a fifth minute tackle by Buchan on Bell causes the influential City star to be stretchered away.  City deserve the victory, but the cost is high.

I’ve written lots on Colin Bell over the years and I was fortunate to interview him a few times too. You can read some of the articles I’ve written here:

You can watch highlights of the game here:

Guest Blog – James Ernest Mangnall, The Architect of Manchester Football by Iain McCartney

The links between the blue and the red half of Manchester are many, although there are some who will quickly deny the others mere existence. Fortunately, there are others who will embrace those historic, and often welcome links between the two bitter rivals, history being more important than the colour of a football shirt.

The links, as I said, are many, but if only three were to be listed, it is arguable that these would be, in no particular order, Sir Matt Busby, Billy Meredith and Denis Law for self-explanatory reasons. There is, however, one man who should nudge all three of those legendary figures out of the way, a man from the distant past, but one whose place in the history of both City and United is assured, but sadly, often forgotten. His name? John Ernest Mangnall.

Born in Bolton in January 1866, Mangnall also stakes a claim in the history of his local club, and that of near neighbours Burnley, a proud Lancastrian, but it is in Cottonopolis that he comes to the fore and more so during his time with Manchester United.

But for the meantime, let’s push Ernest Mangnall’s footballing credentials to the side [his given first name being lost in the mists of time] and look at the man from a much different sporting angle.

It might be said that football, a game that he played with the same enthusiasm that he carried forward into his managerial positions, was not even his first love, as he was more than a keen cyclist, being a member of various clubs, entering races and most notably cycling between John O’Groats and Lands End, at a time when bicycles were certainly not built for comfort.

Having cut his managerial teeth with Burnley, although he had helped steer Bolton along the way from the boardroom, as a director, he found is way to the dull, dreary surroundings of Clayton in 1903, with many possibly correct in thinking he was a glutton for punishment, as United were little more than a struggling side and had been rescued from what could easily have been oblivion by J.H. Davies. They had also recently changed their name from Newton Heath to Manchester United.

Appointed in place of James West, who had resigned as secretary, Mangnall embraced the role of the man not simply answered the mail and carried out other menial tasks, but took on the running of the club as a whole. Purchasing postage stamps of players made little difference.

Slowly Mangnall began to blend a team together and following a handful of near but not quite near enough finishes, he guided United out of the Second Division and into the top flight at the end of the 1905-06 season where, thanks to his now neighbours City finding themselves in a spot of bother, he ‘stole’ Burgess, Meredith, Bannister and Sandy Turnbull from his rivals and with the likes of Charlie Roberts and Dick Duckworth already at United, he had a more than capable team at his finger tips, creating a team that gave Manchester United their first domestic trophies with the League championship in 1908 and the FA Cup in 1909. The former was also won in 1911, plus success in the FA Charity Shield in 1908 and 1911.

Not only was he instrumental in building a strong United team on the field, he was more than involved in dragging the club away from its slum like home at Clayton and moving to pastures new at Old Trafford.

But all good things come to an end at some point or other and having perhaps achieved as much as he could at Old Trafford, Mangnall made the surprise move across town and joined neighbours City in August 1912. What the club and manager hoped to achieve failed to materialise, but as he had done with United, he played a major part in City’s move to Maine Road.

So, that is the career of Ernest Mangnall in a nutshell, but if you want to learn more about that man then his biography is available now from Empire Publications, 229 Ayres Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0NL UK Tel: 0161 872 3319 or 1 Newton Street, Manchester M1 1HW – telephone 0161 872 3319.

As something of a postscript.

I created ‘The Manchester United Graves Society’ a couple of years or so back, whereby I am trying to locate the burial places [or cremation details] of as many former players and officials as possible and to date have found over 500. One of the early finds was John Ernest Mangnall, who died at Lytham St Annes in January 1932, and is buried in the Lytham Park Cemetery.

Upon obtaining a photograph of his grave, I was saddened to find that the headstone was broken and the grave in general was in need of some TLC. So, enquiries were made with the cemetery as regards to any red tape that would cause problems in restoring the grave to its former glory and thankfully there were none. To be honest, they were more than delighted that someone wanted to carry out restoration work on the grave.

Funds were raised, a stone mason contacted and the work was carried out. Photos of before and after are shown here.

Should anyone want to visit the grave, it can be found at – A – 512 C/E. Go in the main gate and head up to your right.

A Classic Derby

On this day (6th November) in 1971…

Attendance: 63,326; City 3 United 3

In one of the great derbies more than 63,000 fans thrill to an all-action display of attack that epitomises all that is good about Manchester football.  United take a two goal lead but the Blues keep fighting back.  In the final minute Summerbee makes it 3-3 to end a classic match.

The First Manchester Derby In The League – 1894

SEASON 1894-1895

DERBY: 1

DATE 3rd November 1894

DIVISION Two

VENUE Hyde Road

ATTENDANCE 14,000

MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Meredith 2)

NEWTON HEATH 5 (Smith 4, Clarkin)

Manchester City: George HUTCHINSON, Harry SMITH, John WALKER, George MANN, Joseph NASH, Fred DYER, Billy MEREDITH, Pat FINNERHAN, Sandy ROWAN, James SHARPLES, Bob MILARVIE. Manager: Joshua Parlby

Newton Heath: William DOUGLAS, John McCARTNEY, Fred ERENTZ, George PERRINS, James McNAUGHT, William DAVIDSON, John CLARKIN, Robert DONALDSON, James DOW, Richard SMITH, James PETERS. Manager: Alf Albut

BACKGROUND

Both sides had joined the Football League in 1892 when Ardwick (Manchester City) entered the newly formed Second Division and Newton Heath (Manchester United) joined the enlarged First Division. At the end of this first season Newton Heath finished bottom of the First Division and Ardwick in fifth place in Division Two. Newton Heath survived in the top flight by succeeding in the Test matches that were used to decide promotion and relegation in the early years of the League. The 1893-94 season saw Ardwick finish 13th out of 15 teams in the Second Division, whereas Newton Heath were again bottom of the First Division. This time the Heathens were unsuccessful in the Test matches and were relegated, joining Ardwick in Division Two. During the close season Ardwick had been reformed as Manchester City and were determined to make an impact. A number of new players had been signed by City secretary Joshua Parlby, including William ‘Billy’ Meredith. The derby was to be Meredith’s home debut. Prior to the derby, City had won only four games out of eleven in the League, although they had scored thirty goals including four in their previous game – a 5-4 defeat at Newcastle United! Newton Heath had lost only once in the League at Burton, and so entered the match as very much the team in form.

BEFORE THE GAME

            P          W         D          L           F          A          Pts

NH        7          3          3          1          17        11        9

CITY      11        4          1          6          30        30        9

MATCH VERDICT

This was the first ever League match between the Manchester clubs. It proved to be an exciting game of end to end attacking football leading to a conclusive victory for Newton Heath. Smith, Newton’s inside left was in irresistible form and set up derby history by scoring most goals in a single match. City were well beaten on the day, finding the Heathens’ defence and McNaught in particular, difficult to break down. Some consolation came from the goalscoring home debut of the legendary Billy Meredith, who was to give both clubs such wonderful service. For goal hero Smith this match marked the high point of a splendid first season for the club. His record four goals were part of 17 strikes in 29 games. During this season and the next, he remained a consistent marksman for the Heathens, but thereafter, lost form and his team place, before leaving the club in 1900. “The Umpire” sports newspaper of the day described the build-up to the first ever League derby and recorded the first derby goal as follows: “This League match was looked upon as the local Derby in Association football, and in spite of the dull and threatening weather the much-improved ground at Hyde Road presented an animated spectacle. When play started the weather was still dull, but the crowd rolled in fast, until probably over 10,000 were present. The City played towards the hotel end, and the sun coming out strongly was much against them early on. The excitement was intense as Meredith raced away and centred finely but the defence was equal to it and sternly repelled. At the other end the home side were not equally fortunate, as after Hutchinson had placed a beauty over the bar, Smith headed past him and opened the scoring for Newton after thirteen minutes play”.“The Umpire” then summarised the first ever League derby in the following terms: ”Although some allowance must be made on account of Smith (Harry) being hurt, it must be admitted that on the day the winners were the better team. Their combination was excellent and hardly a fault could be found with any of the players. Douglas made amends for his somewhat poor form of the previous week and, judging by the cheers with which he was greeted, he is still a great favourite on the Ardwick ground. All the backs played finely, but the highly finished display of McNaught is deserving of special mention. Dow played about his best game so far this season, one good feature being his unselfishness. Donaldson played as hard as ever, although he is not quite so unselfish as he might be. On the City side Hutchinson had little chance with any of the goals scored against him, albeit he gave one the appearance of being far from safe. Walker however, played very finely, but Dyer was by no means brilliant at half, in which position Mann was about the most conspicuous. The winning half-backs were clearly too good for the opposing forwards, but the play of the young Welsh player, Meredith and Finnerhan, was far superior to that of any other”.

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Only 13,646 at Old Trafford

On this day (30 October) in 1973 The second round League Cup tie between Manchester City and Walsall went to a second replay.  City won the game 4-0 with a hat-trick for Francis Lee, but a pitiful crowd of 13,646 witnessed the match at Old Trafford.  City fans didn’t mind playing a 2nd replay, but they did object to it being played at United’s ground.

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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.

The First Charity Shield Manchester Derby

On this day (24 October) in 1956…

Attendance: 30,495; City 0 United 1 (first Charity Shield match between the sides)

The Champions beat the Cup holders under floodlights with a goal from local lad Dennis Violet.  United are the better side while City seem a little pedestrian.  Charity is much in evidence, however, as the Reds are allowed to replace ‘keeper Wood with their reserve David Gaskell when injury strikes.

Alternative Sites of Sports History – Free Download October 2022

Recently an academic article of mine offering advice and examples to those researching sports history or working within the industry was published. Normally, it is behind an academic paywall but you can download it for free during October here (it’s free, you may as well have a look):

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17460263.2022.2117731?src=

The article has received publicity in publications/websites of football clubs including Middlesbrough and Manchester City. Here’s what City have said:

https://www.mancity.com/news/club/sport-in-history-academic-journal-manchester-city-63800643

A Manchester City Death in 2002

On this day (13 October) in 2002 Fifties goalscoring star Billy McAdams died. During his Manchester City career he made 134 first team appearances and scored 65 goals. He had joined City on 6 December 1953 and on 2 January 1954 McAdams, signed from Distillery, made his debut. It was a memorable one as he scored an equaliser in the 49th minute against Sunderland at Maine Road.  The game was played in poor, foggy conditions but City won.

A week after the Sunderland game, McAdams scored a hat-trick in City’s 5-2 Cup win at Bradford.  He followed that with an equaliser in the 56th League derby match at Old Trafford.  His arrival and goalscoring streak was viewed as refreshing that season..

I’ll be writing a little bit more on McAdams in my article in the Manchester City match programme v Brighton next week.

A Dominant Derby Performance

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:

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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.