Fifteen Points Clear

On this day (31 January) in 2018 Manchester City moved 15 points clear of their nearest rivals in the Premier League title race. You can watch highlights of the game with WBA (which City won 3-0) below:

https://www.mancity.com/citytv/match-highlights/2018/january/man-city-west-brom-video-highlights-extended

The scorers were Fernandinho, Aguero and De Bruyne. I was one of the 53,241 at the Etihad that day. Were you also at this match? If you were why not leave your memory as a comment or email it to me for possible future use on this website?

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True Blues – Lawrence Furniss

Lawrence Furniss was a key figure behind the development of Manchester City for 60 years and his achievements should never be forgotten.  His contribution to the City cause was total.  He was given (and thoroughly deserved) the accolade of being City’s first Life President. You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below (there’s also some film of him at Maine Road in the 1920s:

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A Strange FA Cup Defeat!

On 27 January 2008 Manchester City were knocked out of the FA Cup at Sheffield United in unusual circumstances. It was a difficult time for the Blues and you can read about the game here:

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Ipswich Town 1 Manchester City 4

On 27 January 2002 Manchester City’s fourth round FA Cup tie at Ipswich saw Kevin Keegan’s side thrill live on TV. City impressed the nation with their spectacular 4-1 fourth round cup demolition of Premier League side Ipswich Town. It is worth remembering that City were in the second tier at the time, hoping for promotion. Many of us felt that the Blues were not only good enough to find success in the League but also stood a genuine chance of FA Cup success (mind you, some of us felt that every season – nine years later it finally happened!).

The City scorers against Ipswich were Eyal Berkovic, Shaun Goater (2) and Darren Huckerby.

After the Ipswich match Keegan said: “Our fans know we can play but I think we showed the rest of the country that we are a good team. I believe the FA Cup needed a game like our tie with Ipswich where the atmosphere was tremendous and both sides picked their strongest available sides and really set out to win.” 

In the fifth round, Keegan’s Blues travelled to Newcastle for another thrilling performance against the manager’s old club. The media hype focused on Keegan, but the match ended with national recognition that the Blues were clearly a force. Although City lost the match 1-0 after Richard Dunne had been sent off, the general view was that ten-man City were more than a match for the Geordies. City impressed the nation once again.

The Newcastle tie, like the Ipswich game, came at a time when many were questioning the status of the FA Cup. City’s performance in both ties were seen as major boosts for the competition. According to Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph: “Keegan returned with his magnificent Manchester City side whose spirited, defiant football sent the heart rate soaring among Newcastle’s nervy support. Making light of Richard Dunne’s dismissal and Nolberto Solano’s goal, City scared the black-and-white life out of those who still cherish Keegan’s name. Shaun Wright-Phillips was marvellous, Eyal Berkovic and Kevin Horlock not far behind with outstanding displays as City narrowly lost a Cup-tie but won countless admirers. If they build on this, they will surely keep the Blue Moon rising and head back to the Premiership, where their noisy supporters belong.” 

Here are highlights of the Ipswich tie:

Manchester City’s owner Sheikh Mansour has bought the oldest surviving FA Cup trophy at auction. The trophy, which was the first major trophy won by Bury, City and United, will be on display at the National Football Museum. To understand more of that trophy’s significance to Manchester check out my earlier posts:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/11/fa-cup-success-football-infrastructure-and-the-establishment-of-manchesters-footballing-identity-free-download-for-limited-period/

And:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/08/manchesters-first-great-season/

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The 1932 FA Cup Semi-Final

In 1932 Manchester City and Arsenal faced each other in the FA Cup semi-final. It was the Blues’ third semi appearance in eight years and they would go on to better this stage in each of the following two seasons. This semi was controversial and it had major repercussions for City. You can read the full story (and watch highlights) below:

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City 6 Norwich 0

On this day (24 January) 1981 John Bond’s Manchester City defeated his former club Norwich 6-0 in the FA Cup fourth round tie. Subscribers can read a report and watch highlights here:

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6-1 Old Trafford Derby

On this day (23 January) in 1926 Manchester United were defeated 6-1 at Old Trafford by managerless Manchester City. This remains the record score in a Manchester derby match (equalled of course during Mancini’s time as manager of Manchester City).

More on the game for subscribers here:

Sadly, highlights of that game are not known to have survived, but here’s the first All-Manchester FA Cup semi-final played between the two teams that same season:

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/an-all-lancashire-cup-final/

I doubt there’s anyone alive who was at either of these Manchester derbies, though I am aware of fans who would have been young children at tbis time. If you were there please get in touch, or if you were why at the later 6-1 City victory at Old Trafford then why not leave your memory as a comment or email it to me for possible future use on this website?

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 will be freely available until 31 January and then it will be for subscribers only:

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Middlesbrough Lose to City Wearing Utd’s Shirts!

Here’s a story I’ve told often but I still see it incorrectly reported on occasion. It’s the tale of the 1980s game when Middlesbrough played Manchester City at Maine Road wearing Manchester United’s shirts. It’s the anniversary (17 January) of that game today, so here is the story, a match report and some video clips of that game…

It was January 1981 and Middlesbrough travelled to Maine Road for what was nothing more than a mid table top flight clash. John Bond’s City had faced Liverpool in a controversial League Cup semi final first leg 3 days earlier – don’t get me started on that one! You can read about and listen to John Bond comment on it (from my interview with him back in the 1990s) elsewhere on this site.

The City-Middlesbrough game wasn’t scheduled to be on TV or anything. Remember this was a time when games would only be filmed if they were to be shown as highlights on TV that night or the following day and the news of what games would be on the telly would often be kept secret until shortly before kick off, or sometimes announced at the end of one of the lunchtime football shows on BBC or ITV, depending on which channel had the TV rights for Saturday night games that year. In 1980-81 ITV had the rights to Saturday night football and in Granadaland our programme was called Match Night, presented by Elton Welsby.

That night Granada TV planned on showing the Bolton home game as their match but a waterlogged pitch at Burnden Park meant that game was called off, so a quick decision was made to move the Granada cameras to Maine Road and film the City game instead. I remember arriving at Maine Road with my Dad and being surprised at seeing the Granada TV trucks outside the Main Stand. In those days spotting the TV trucks outside the ground brought a bit of excitement because it also meant you’d have the unusual experience of seeing a game, or at least highlights of it, again. I was 13 at the time, and this was always a big bonus.

Of course, I wasn’t the only person surprised by the TV switch to Maine Road as Middlesbrough were also caught out by it. Back in 1980-81 shirt sponsorship was still a bit of a thorny issue in football and clubs were allowed to wear sponsors names on their shirts but not in games televised. Middlesbrough arrived at Maine Road with shirts wearing their sponsor’s name and this meant the filming of the game was now in jeopardy.

City hadn’t yet struck a deal for shirt sponsorship – that was to come later in the year when Saab became the club’s first sponsor – which meant the club did not need as many shirt variations as Middlesbrough. Whether this had any bearing on what happened next isn’t clear but, instead of wearing City’s second strip, Middlesbrough asked Manchester United if they could borrow their shirts instead. Someone sent for a full set of United home shirts from Old Trafford and Middlesbrough played in United’s unsponsored red instead of their own shirts.

The game was filmed and broadcast that night – Granadaland viewers had the choice of the game or the end of the Parkinson show/start of a Burt Reynolds film.

The game ended in a 3-2 City win with goals from Tommy Hutchison, Bobby McDonald and Kevin Reeves. Middlesbrough’s Hodgson became the first man to score wearing a United first team shirt at Maine Road that season. In fact, Hodgsonnand McAndrew were the ONLY men to score at Maine Road that season in a first team game wearing United’s colours!

Were you at this match? If you were why not leave your memory as a comment or email it to me for possible future use on this website?

You can read a report of the game here:

Here’s some film of the match too:

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Game of the Season 1956-1957: Manchester City V Newcastle United

On this day (9 January) in 1957 Manchester City and Newcastle United met in a game that was described as the game of the season and also Newcastle’s ‘most thrilling encounter.’ What was the game and why did they say this? Well here for subscribers is the story of that day and film of it too. Enjoy:

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I wasn’t born then so couldn’t be at the game but were you at this match? If you were why not leave your memory as a comment or email it to me for possible future use on this website?