History Talk – MCFC Away Days Now Live For Subscribers

On Wednesday 18 January I held a discussion about Manchester City FC away games. Subscribers can now listen to a recording of that talk here (it costs £20 a year to access everything on the site or £3 per month). The talk lasts about 1 hour so get yourself a brew and listen to the story of traveling away.

We talk about the train specials that the City Supporters Travel Club used to organise and their coaches too (remember number one coach with Helen ‘the Bell’ Turner?). Amongst the moments/subjects discussed were the history of travelling to away games; Trevor Francis’ debut; railway & coach specials; the experience of being an away fan; games at Notts County, Barnsley, Stoke, Bradford, Oldham, QPR, Leeds & more.  Thanks to all who participated in this for your efforts, especially Graham Ward, Roger Reade and the guys from the Lad & Dad Away Days podcast who all brought up their own memories of games.

The next History Talk will take place later today 1/2/23 at 6pm-7pm UK time. This will be more of a presentation and will be about the origins of Manchester City. You can register for that and find out more here:

Here’s the recording of the MCFC Away Days talk. This is for subscribers only:

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If you would like to access it here and support my writing & research while also reading all the great content (including PDFs of Manchester A Football History and From Maine Men To Banana Citizens) then please subscribe. It costs £20 a year (access everything) or £3 per month (see below).

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New Monthly Football Column – Manchester Confidential

I’ve got some good news to report. From today Manchester Confidential will be publishing my new monthly column on football in Greater Manchester. Each month I’ll be focusing on a different club from the region and will write a piece combining the team’s modern day situation with a historical angle. My first feature is about Manchester United and next month’s piece will be about Manchester City. Follow the link below for this month’s first article:

https://confidentials.com/manchester/manchester-united-looking-backward-to-push-forward?id=63c9274f540ba

I do intend covering the League clubs of Greater Manchester, plus some of our other prominent sides, over the coming months. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks.

History Talk – MCFC Away Days Now Live

On Wednesday 18 January I held a discussion about Manchester City FC away games. You can now listen to a recording of that talk here. It lasts about 1 hour so get yourself a brew and listen to the story of traveling away.

There’s a link further down this page to the recording. We talk about the train specials that the City Supporters Travel Club used to organise and their coaches too (remember number one coach with Helen ‘the Bell’ Turner?). Amongst the moments/subjects discussed were the history of travelling to away games; Trevor Francis’ debut; railway & coach specials; the experience of being an away fan; games at Notts County, Barnsley, Stoke, Bradford, Oldham, QPR, Leeds & more.  Thanks to all who participated in this for your efforts, especially Graham Ward, Roger Reade and the guys from the Lad & Dad Away Days podcast who all brought up their own memories of games.

The next History Talk will take place on 1/2/23 at 6pm-7pm UK time. This will be more of a presentation and will be about the origins of Manchester City. You can register for that and find out more here:

Here’s the recording of the MCFC Away Days talk. This was freely available until 31 January and now it is for subscribers only:

Subscribe to get access – Annual

If you would like to access it here and support my writing & research while also reading all the great content (including PDFs of Manchester A Football History and From Maine Men To Banana Citizens) then please subscribe. It costs £20 a year (access everything) or £3 per month (see below).

Subscribe to get access – Monthly

Subscribe monthly here at £3 per month (cancel anytime) or annually at £20 above.

Dowd Joins Oldham

On this day (1 December) in 1970 Manchester City’s 1969 FA Cup winning ‘keeper Harry Dowd joined Oldham Athletic. Dowd had achieved a great deal at City over the years, including scoring a goal. You can read about that goal here:

Bill Taylor

On this day (30 November) in 1981 former Manchester City, Oldham & England coach Bill Taylor died at the age of 42. Taylor was a tremendous coach who joined City from Fulham in 1976 and also coached England. At the time goalkeeper Joe Corrigan commented:  “His coaching methods were an inspiration to so many players and he helped tremendously to improve many of them.  He was always a bright and breezy character and he had a terrific sense of humour.  I can never repay the debt I owe him for the help he gave me both with City and England.” 

A WW1 Death

On this day (17 November) in 1915 former Manchester City, Oldham Athletic and Hyde forward Frank Hesham was killed in action in Belgium (often reported as northern France at the time of his death). The Gorton born player was on City’s books for 5 years during the late 1890s. Here’s a profile of his life and career:

Frank Hesham began his football career at St Francis (the well-known Catholic monastery and related school in Gorton) before joining City in November 1896. He made his debut at Newcastle United in February 1897. Sadly, the game ended in a 3-0 defeat and Hesham was unable to establish himself in the team. 

In total he only made three first team appearances for the Blues and one reserve game over a period of about five years.

Brief spells at Crewe and Accrington followed before he signed for Stoke in May 1904. 17 Stoke appearances followed before he moved to Leyton Orient, returning north to join Oldham in August 1907.

He made his Oldham debut in a 3-0 victory over Hull City on 28 September 1907 and it finally looked as if he’d found the right club. He stayed at Boundary Park for a couple of years, playing 29 first team games before joining Preston North End in 1909.

The move to Preston was not a success and two months later he joined Croydon Common in the Southern League where he scored 27 in 55 appearances. Another return north came – he clearly had reasons for wanting to alternate between southern and northern clubs so frequently which have yet to be identified – and he joined Hyde.

Hesham also played for Newton Heath Albion but was working as a clerk in Manchester when war broke out. 

The following details of his military service and death are from the website: https://www.footballandthefirstworldwar.org

First World War Service

Gunner 53546 Hesham, who had pre-war service with the 4th Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment (time-served), enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) on 18 November 1914 and was subsequently sent for basic training. After leaving Number 2 Depot, Gosport, Gnr Hesham was posted to 21 Siege Battery RGA and landed in the French port of Boulogne on 25 May 1915. On 29 September 1915, Hesham was granted short leave before returning to his unit on 3 October 1915 – just two weeks before the Second Battle of Ypres. On 17 November 1915, Gnr Hesham was killed in action and subsequently buried at La Clytte Military Cemetery, located 8km south-west of Ypres. He left a widow and a 14 year-old son who lived in Longsight, Manchester.

Historic Name That Ground – Week 33 Answer

Well, did you recognise this ground? On Monday I asked: ‘Can you name the ground featured in the image above? This is a 1950s photo of this ground during a pitch invasion (bonus point for anyone who knows what this game was and why there was a pitch invasion). The ground remains a major sporting venue today and I’m sure many subscribers to my site will recognise it.’

The answer is Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park and the game/pitch invasion? Those on the pitch were apparently Everton supporters celebrating promotion in 1954.

While you’re here why not subscribe to my site and you can then access every article, interview, audio recording etc. already posted and those that will be posted during your subscription. It costs £20 per year (about £1.67 a month) or you can sign up on a monthly basis at £3 per month (you can cancel at any time, so you could sign sign up for a month, access everything you want and then cancel). You can subscribe below:

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Video Talk on History of Football in Manchester

I didn’t realise this was available but here’s film of a talk plus Q&A I did about the early history of football in Manchester. It’s of interest to anyone keen on the origins of football or any of the Manchester clubs… Indeed the social history of Manchester. It lasts about 55 minutes and was part of the promotional work connected with my book ‘The Emergence of Footballing Cultures: Manchester 1840-1919’, published by Manchester University Press.

Here’s the recording:

If you are interested in the book then that can be bought direct from Manchester University Press or via usual retailers, such as Amazon:

You can find a list of my other books here:

The Smart Set – Club Colours 90 Years Ago

On this day (28th November) in 1931 the Liverpool Echo published this George Green cartoon of the kits worn by several leading clubs of the period. I thought I’d post it here to show how these things were often portrayed in the newspapers of the day. Thanks.

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 I do not have sponsorship either and so 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 hundreds of articles/posts including the entire Manchester A Football History book and various audio interviews (including John Bond, Malcolm Allison & George Graham). 

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. Thanks for the support, Gary.

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