On this day (April 27) 1974 Denis law played his last League game on a day that saw Manchester United relegated. Law was in his second spell at Manchester City and, over the years, many myths have developed about his final game and the weeks that followed.
United fans like to say that this game had no bearing on relegation (though pre match United were not relegated and still had a chance of survival) while City fans like to boast that Law’s goal relegated United (mathematically it did not). Many in the media claim Law’s goal was his last in first team football (it wasn’t) and that he retired immediately afterwards (he didn’t). There are other myths about the pitch invasions (there were two not one) and the actions of the ref, so here for the benefit of subscribers is the true story of that day, including quotes from interviews I have performed over the years. Those quoted are Dennis Tueart, Tommy Docherty, Denis law and Willie Donachie.
So get yourself a brew and enjoy this long read on that infamous day:
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I’m delighted to announce details of how to subscribe to the new authorised biography of Peter Barnes. Subscribers will receive signed copies (signed by both Peter Barnes and myself) of the book posted out before it appears in any shop AND will get their names printed in the special subscriber section of the book.
This is the only way to guarantee your copy of the book.
This long awaited authorised biography, written by Gary James with the memories and stories of Peter’s career throughout, tells the story of Peter’s life from his childhood in Manchester and Wrexham through to the modern day. With particular focus on his footballing career with Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Real Betis, Coventry City, Manchester United, Tampa Bay Rowdies and, of course, England.
There are quotes from people connected with Peter throughout his career plus archive material too.
Pre-publication you can order the 350+ page, colour paperback book for £16.95 (including UK postage) and have your name printed in it (or if being bought as a gift the name of another person). Those living in the European Union can now order the book for £28 including postage to an address within the EU and those in the USA for £40 including postage to the States. If you’re in Malaysia it’s £35. Sadly, we have no control over those additional postage costs (we have used the Royal Mail international standard rate).
Outside the UK, EU, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and USA please contact for confirmation of postage costs.
The ONLY way to order your copy and get your name printed in the book is from this site by using the order button below.
The book is expected to be published in June 2021 and all this subscriber offer will be available until May 15, 2021 (orders received after that date cannot be guaranteed to have names printed in the book, so order as early as possible).
Here’s the order button (before publication those who have subscribed to the book will be emailed to ask which name is to be printed in the book, so please make sure you include an email address, in addition to postage details, when asked at time of ordering):
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The ISBN is 978-1-9168852-0-2 and stocks should be available for book shops after it has been distributed to all subscribers. This is anticipated to be by the end of June 2021.
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of Manchester City’s FA Cup semi final victory over Manchester United at Wembley (April 16 2011) I’ve produced Restored 2011: The All-Manchester FA Cup Semi Final. This special 1 hour audio recording looks at the game and the years between the 1976 League Cup success and the FA Cup glory of 2011. The 2011 semi-final was a crucial step in City’s journey since the 2008 takeover and I felt it was vital to do a special marking this.
Following last night’s Champions League victory for City (May 4th – City beat PSG to reach the Champions League final) this will now be free to listen to until May 12th. After that date, as with audio recordings with John Bond, Malcolm Allison and George Graham (and hundreds of articles), it will only be available to subscribers to the site. So, if you don’t subscribe, have a listen now while you can.
So what’s in this special recording? Well, I’ve included exclusive material from interviews and recordings I’ve done over the years with Garry Cook, Brian Marwood, Roberto Mancini, Peter Barnes and Peter Swales. Why Swales? Well, have a listen and you’ll hear why. Basically though I’m trying to set the tone for why the 2011 FA Cup semi final victory and overcoming Manchester United was so significant.
On Mancini… I include a few words from him recorded in 2011 and at one point he talks about the view that was then being expressed that City were ‘trying’ to buy success (now they say City ‘have’ bought success!). His words are a reminder that City have been having that particular criticism thrown at them for over a decade! Oh well, I wonder how long those criticisms were laid at other clubs who had seen major investment which propelled them forward?
Anyway, get yourself a brew and be prepared to be transported back in time. Here’s the recording:
If you enjoy the recording then please let me know, comment or subscribe to the site. If it’s of interest then, over the coming months and years, I’ll produce others like this highlighting key points in Manchester City – and Manchester’s – footballing history. It costs £20 a year to subscribe (it works out £1.67 a month) or £3 if you’d like to sign up a month at a time to get full access for as long as you subscribe (you can always try it for a month). It’s worth bearing in mind that the 2010 Manchester A Football History cost £24.95 and all subscribers will be able to access all of that for as long as they are a subscriber (plus all the other stuff of course). You can subscribe below.
On this day (April 7) in 1992 a Keith Curle penalty, in front of an Old Trafford crowd of 46,781, helped Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in a controversial Manchester derby. The game was viewed as being highly significant in the title race as only four days earlier the Blues had beaten title-hopefuls Leeds 4-0 at Maine Road. Here’s the story of that game including quotes from an interview I performed with Neil Pointon, who gives his views on a controversial incident that was pivotal to this derby…
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Score United 1 City 3, Attendance 63,004 Old Trafford
Rather than settling a relegation issue, this match was perceived more as a title decider. Prior to the match United were 2 points clear of the Blues at the top of the table, and were favourites for the League title, but the City of Mercer & Allison wanted to challenge United’s stranglehold on local football. If the Blues were to make a name for themselves they had to beat the Reds. It was as simple as that. Here for subscribers is the story of that game…
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It was a typical season of highs and lows when City and United met in the first all-Manchester FA Cup semi-final, played on this date (27th March) in 1926. Here I’ve delved into the archives to see what happened at Bramall Lane in 1926.
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On this day (March 25) in 1939 Old Trafford attracted its highest ever attendance when 76,962 packed Manchester United’s ground to see Wolves defeat Grimsby 5-0 in the FA Cup semi-final.
At the time this was the third highest attendance ever attracted in Manchester (behind 84,569 MCFC v Stoke, 1934 & 79,491 MCFC v Arsenal, 1935; fourth highest was 76,166 MCFC v Cardiff, 1924) and today it is the eighth highest.
You can view film of the semi-final here. Well worth watching to see Old Trafford at that time. The Old Trafford scenes begin after about 48 seconds:
There were lots of crowd safety issues at this game – these were the days when fans were packed in without the authorities really considering the potential for disaster or injury (which happened frequently).
Incidentally, Dorsett (seen below after a collision) was related to two of Manchester City’s early heroes Joe and George Dorsett.
You can read about the 84,569 record attendance set in 1934 for Manchester here:
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I’d like to thank you for taking the time and trouble to visit my website. I’ve set up this website to help share my 32 years plus writing and research. The intention is to develop the archive and to provide access to as much of my material as possible over the coming weeks, months & years. Subscribers can already access over 280 articles/posts including the entire Manchester A Football History book and audio interviews with former City bosses Malcolm Allison and John Bond.
It costs £20 a year (it works out £1.67 a month) or £3 if you’d like to sign up a month at a time to get full access for as long as you subscribe (see below). Thanks for the support, Gary.
Here for subscribers are the match stats, background, match report, film and other details from that day.
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To access this please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 280+ articles and audio interviews posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.
The first Manchester derby at Manchester City’s new stadium (then called the City of Manchester Stadium, now the Etihad) occurred on this date (14th March) in 2004. For pride’s sake it was important Kevin Keegan’s side did not lose that fixture, but with United some 13 places above the Blues pre-match Ferguson’s side were clear favourites. It was time for City to upset the form book.
On a wonderful day, perhaps the best the stadium had enjoyed in its inaugural year, a terrific atmosphere helped Keegan’s side achieve a memorable victory. Fowler opened the scoring in the third minute and Macken made it 2-0 after 32 minutes. Scholes made it 2-1 three minutes later.
In the second half goals from Mancunian Trevor Sinclair (73) and Shaun Wright-Phillips made it 4-1 to the Blues. You can hear my interview with Trevor Sinclair about this game here:
Matt Dickinson (The Times): “Humiliated by Manchester City last season, Sir Alex Ferguson and his men used the pain to fuel their drive to the title. Humiliated again yesterday, they are condemned to live with the despair for months – perhaps even years.”
Keegan felt the win was thoroughly deserved: “We had played better against Chelsea and lost. But against United we got that important early goal which gave us something to hang on to. We had personnel problems because we had players doing jobs that don’t come naturally to them and also had to make two enforced changes at the interval.”
Chris Bailey explained the significance of the match in the Manchester Evening News: “Maine Road saw some pulsating derbies in its time but few could have matched this first-ever neighbourly spat at Eastlands. And how satisfying that Kevin Keegan’s side should choose this day of all days to win their first home game since October 18 and banish all thoughts of the drop.”
In 2012 Dennis Tueart, who was a director at the time of the stadium move, told me his memories of that derby match, believing it was an important moment in the stadium’s inaugural season: “When we moved to the stadium Kevin Keegan worried about whether the atmosphere would be the same and I told him that fans would take a bit of time getting used to it because they were no longer sat with the people they’d been with for years. The dynamics were different. He felt we should try and get fans in the ground earlier, but I said that performance on the pitch would be the most significant factor.
“When we beat United 4-1 in the first derby at the stadium the atmosphere was incredible. Kevin came to me afterwards and said ‘I see what you mean’. That then set the tone of the place. The place was rocking – people were singing as they walked down the spirals at the end of the match and the atmosphere was absolutely superb.”
If you would like to read about other Manchester derbies then check out this:
This was a brief taste of the material on http://www.GJFootballArchive.com If you would like to read all the in-depth articles (including the entire Manchester A Football History book and the audio interview with John Bond) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 270+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.
The first Manchester derby at Manchester City’s new stadium occurred on this date (14th March) in 2004. To mark this anniversary I’ve interviewed former City winger Trevor Sinclair. Trevor scored in that game, which the Blues won 4-1. Here he talks about being a City fan; signing for City; scoring the first competitive goal at the City Of Manchester Stadium (now Etihad); and the 4-1 derby. He also talks about the 3-1 victory over Manchester United in 2006 (again he scored); present day City and other memories.
Here’s the audio from our chat (it lasts about 26 minutes so get yourself a brew and settle down to listen):
While you’re here I’d like to thank you for taking the time and trouble to visit my website. I have been researching and writing about Manchester football for a long time (no wonder I’m going grey!) with my first book published in 1989. I am not employed by anyone and no one pays me to do research or interviews like the one posted here. I do not have sponsorship either. I’ve set up this website to help share my 32 years plus writing and research.
From Wednesday, for subscribers I’ll be posting the entire hour long plus interview I did with Malcolm Allison about his first period at Manchester City. Here’s a brief clip from the interview (he’s talking about his relationship with Joe Mercer):
The intention is to develop the archive and to provide access to as much of my material as possible over the coming weeks, months & years. Subscribers can already access over 280 articles/posts including the entire Manchester A Football History book and an audio interview with former City boss John Bond I performed in 1995. My interview with Allison will also be available from Wednesday.
If you’d like to support my research and writing while benefitting from accessing all the content on here then it costs £20 a year (it works out £1.67 a month) or £3 if you’d like to sign up a month at a time (you get full access for as long as you subscribe).
If you enjoyed the interview posted here then please subscribe (see below) to access all the content and, over time, I’ll add other interviews too. Thanks for the support and interest in my work, Gary.
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Each subscriber gets full access to the 280+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming months.