The Great Billy Meredith

101 years ago today the great Billy Meredith returned to Manchester City from Manchester United. This was the third time the legendary Welsh player had joined the Blues – a club he continued to watch and support until his death in 1958. I discussed his life and career with his daughter Winifred (who was 98 at the time) and his grandson Ian Pringle many years ago and they both talked fondly and passionately about his Manchester City connections.

Here for subscribers is a detailed profile of Billy Meredith I wrote about 17 years ago. It appeared in my Hall Of Fame book. Enjoy….

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Coming Soon – Peter Barnes Biography

I’ve been working with Peter Barnes since 2019 on his biography. This will cover his life & career and will be illustrated throughout. Personal items, such as Peter’s own artwork from school lessons (and earliest attempts at writing his autograph!), will appear in the book.

Written to a similar standard as my biography of Joe Mercer (Football With A Smile, first published in 1993, reprinted in 1994 and updated in 2010), this includes quotes from Peter throughout, alongside the views of players and managers.

This will, hopefully, prove to be a must have book for fans of Manchester City & United, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Real Betis and the other clubs Peter played for.

Details will be revealed here later this year, but it is anticipated the book will be available before the end of the current football season (assuming Covid does not add any further delays). There will be the opportunity to subscribe to the book before publication (and get your name included in the subscriber section at the back of the book).

Watch this space!

On This Day 1953 and 1954…

On this day in 1953 Manchester City defeated Swindon Town 7-0 in the FA Cup third round at Maine Road.  The goalscorers were Hart (4), Broadis, Cunliffe, and Williamson.  

Exactly one year later future Manchester United and Manchester City full-back John Gidman was born in Garstang.  Gidman went on to make 123 first team appearances for United and 71 for City. He briefly became a cult hero at Maine Road by stating that City were the only side he would leave Old Trafford for at the time of his transfer in 1986.

John Picken

Scotsman ‘Jack’ Picken was an instant hit as he scored on his debut as the Reds defeated Bristol City 5-1 on the opening day of the 1905-06 Division Two season.  By the season’s end he had netted 20 goals in 33 games and helped the Reds to promotion in second place.  With fellow prolific goalscorer Peddie in the side, as well as Charlie Sagar who scored 16 goals in 20 appearances, United’s attack was impressive and there were a few high scoring games along the way (including a 6-0 win on the final day of the season when Picken scored twice).  Picken also netted a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory over Chesterfield in March 1906.

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William Grassam

After netting four for West Ham in their first Southern League fixture in 1900, Billy Grassam became recognised for his goalscoring exploits in several leading newspapers of the day.  He arrived at Bank Street in September 1903 after a brief spell with Celtic and made his debut replacing the popular Alf Schofield on 3rdOctober 1903 against Woolwich Arsenal.  Schofield returned for the following game but Grassam had done enough to retain a place in the side.

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John ‘Jack’ Peddie

‘Jack’ Peddie had developed a good goalscoring record while playing for Third Lanark in Scotland and for Newcastle during 1897-1902.  However, the press of the day had also been quite critical of his speed (while at Third Lanark) and his moods (at Newcastle).  United clearly ignored those aspects and focused on his goalscoring ability – everyone recognised he had an excellent and accurate shooting style.

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