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?

Corrigan Bottled as Liverpool Lose 3-1 to MCFC

On this day (26 December) in 1981 Manchester City defeated Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield but it was a day marred when City keeper Joe Corrigan was felled by a bottle thrown at him. Here’s highlights of the game plus a brief audio clip of John Bond talking about the LFC reaction that day.

In 1995 I interviewed former City boss John Bond at his home. The interview lasted about two hours and here’s a brief snippet from that interview where he talks about that win over Liverpool on Boxing Day 1981.

The Blues won 3-1 (Bond, Hartford & Reeves) then two days later (Bond says it’s the next day in this clip but it was 28th December) City defeated Wolves 2-1 at Maine Rd. John discusses a brilliant goal from Trevor Francis. City went top of the League after the Wolves victory.

Stick with the clip because it ends with Bond’s views on how Liverpool used to react to wins and defeats. I’d best not comment – have a listen:

Here are a couple of cuttings from the day.

John Bond Interview – Part 5

Here’s the fifth part of the 1995 interview I performed with former Norwich City, Manchester City and Burnley boss John Bond. In this section, exclusive to subscribers, Bond talks about the great players he had at City. Most notably he talks about Dennis Tueart, Kevin Reeves, Joe Corrigan, Paul Power and Tommy Caton.

He was extremely frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. It’s well worth listening to. At the time we did this I was researching my in-depth history of the club called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years). 

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was also happy for me to quote everything he said in the interview. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but, until now, none of the interview has ever been heard by the wider public.

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If you would like to listen to the fifth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, here) or £3 a month (below) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Annual subscribers gets full access to everything posted since December 2020.

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If you would like to listen to the fifth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, above) or £3 a month (here) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Monthly subscribers gets full access to everything posted since 1 October 2022.

John Bond Interview – Part Four

Back in November 1995 I interviewed the former Manchester City manager John Bond. At the time I was researching my in-depth history of the club called Manchester The Greatest City (later updated as Manchester The City Years). 

I met John at his home and spent a good few hours with him chatting about the Blues and his career. I loved doing this interview and was always grateful for the time he gave me. He was extremely frank, open and honest – which delighted me because he was a great talker. He was also happy for me to share everything he said in the interview recording. I did end up quoting him extensively in the book (and in others I’ve produced) but, until publication on my blog, none of the interview had ever been heard by the wider public. 

This is part four of the interview. It’s about twenty minutes long and this is perhaps the most frank section of the entire recording. At the time we recorded this he was still somewhat upset at the way he’d been treated by City fans at the Bradford promotion game in 1989. I was one of the fans there who had not been happy with what he’d said on TV the night before and I ask him about it a little on here. Whenever I do an interview I’m never looking for soundbites or people to tell me the stories that they think I want to hear. I want the truth and to hear about their feelings. I try to ask them about moments that I remember as a fan but also the things that matter to me. So I wanted to know how he felt about City’s fans.

It upset me hearing how much he had been upset by the treatment he had received and – as you can hear in this clip – he also talks about feeling unwelcome at Maine Road (for various reasons, not simply fans). In 2002-03 I helped City with some of their plans for the end of Maine Road and I made sure that John Bond was on the guest list. I know he was reluctant about attending and had to be persuaded. City had this plan to parade a few legends around the pitch and I felt it would do John Bond some good to hear what the majority of fans actually felt about him. That final day at Maine Road he was given a fantastic ovation.

In a later interview he told me: “I was gobsmacked by their reaction!  When I came out and heard the cheering I was delighted.  I loved that reaction.  Afterwards I rushed home and told my family about the reception and how delighted I was with it. There were times during my management when I received fantastic support from the fans, and at Maine Road’s final game I was delighted with the ovation. I truly enjoyed that feeling when I walked around the pitch.  I’d like to thank the supporters for that reaction.”

So, when you’re listening to this section of the interview it’s important to remember that what happened in 2003 had allowed resolution to occur. He no longer felt so negatively about fans. His views in 1995 though should still be heard.

In this piece he also talks about Peter Swales, the City directors, why he left and so on. Again, his views are frank. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he said but much of what he said about the directors during his time should be heard. It adds context to what many of us always felt. As we recorded this in 1995 it’s also worth pointing out that Bond could see what perhaps those of us who supported City could not see entirely – that was the downward path the Blues were following and why. This interview occurred while City were still a Premier League side but listening to this provides some good indications of why things got worse for City as the decade progressed. 

Of course as this interview was recorded on my old cassette recorder the quality isn’t the best.

So, here exclusive to subscribers is the fourth part of my interview:

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If you would like to listen to the fourth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, here) or £3 a month (below) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Annual subscribers access everything since December 2020.

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If you would like to listen to the fourth part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, above) or £3 a month (here) if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Monthly subscribers access everything since 1 October 2022.

If you missed the other three parts then they can be accessed by selecting the John Bond tag below or by searching for his name.

John Bond Interview – Part Three

As before, there’s a lot to interest and perhaps surprise here. This is the third part of my interview with John Bond from November 1995. I loved every minute of our chat but some of the things that were said stunned me at the time.

In this clip John talks about the aftermath of the 1981 FA Cup final with Tottenham; the way he thought City would challenge and the transfer of Trevor Francis. Within this section came the first time ever that I’d been asked to turn off the cassette recorder while the person I was interviewing explained something to me. We agreed that everything on the tape could be quoted – hence the reason I’m happy to play this now – but anything off tape would have to be checked. All these years later I still respect John’s wishes of course.

When you listen to the recording you’ll recognise the point where the tape is switched off and some related comments have been edited out. I have to stress that John’s comments seem a little out of sync because of that and it is worth explaining that his comments were not about anybody alive today. They merely explained something that had happened that he did not like or agree with but these comments were not about a footballer from the time or anyone alive today (2021).

So, here exclusive to subscribers is the third part of my interview (like the other parts it lasts about 17 minutes):

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If you would like to listen to the third part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, here) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (below). Annual subscribers have access to everything posted since December 2020.

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If you would like to listen to the third part of this frank interview (and the other parts) and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, above) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (here). Monthly subscribers have access to everything posted since 1 October 2022.

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 4

On this day last year (Sunday 19 December 2021) Manchester City (the Premier League leaders) defeated Newcastle 4-0 at St James’ Park. City were on a run of seven consecutive league wins but this was not the easy, walkover the score suggests.

Ruben Dias scored an early goal with the second coming from Joao Cancelo – an incredible strike. In the second-half, a Riyad Mahrez volley made it 3-0 and the fourth came from Raheem Sterling.

Here are the highlights:

https://www.mancity.com/citytv/mens/newcastle-united-0-4-manchester-city-extended-highlights-63775519

John Bond Interview Part Two

There’s a lot to interest and perhaps surprise Manchester City fans here. This is the second part of my interview with John Bond from November 1995. When I interviewed him he was frank in his views and at times outspoken – and I loved every minute of our chat!

In this clip John talks about the controversial 1981 League Cup semi-final with Liverpool; the FA Cup final (first game) against Tottenham; the way City’s directors handled the draw with Spurs (this astounded me at the time of our interview); how certain directors treated him; and how he almost resigned in between the FA Cup final and its replay. 

As this was recorded in November 1995 it is important to remember that our comments about the ‘present day’ Manchester City refer to the club as it was at that time. Similarly, when we talk about the takeover we mean the 1993-94 takeover of the club. Listening again to this piece now I’m quite pleased that my own perception was fairly accurate.

There’s also some great comments about Norwich City which will please supporters of that club.

This is about 17 minutes long (the previous piece was a similar length too). So get yourself a brew, relax in your favourite chair and listen along.

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If you would like to listen to the second part of this frank interview and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, here) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (below). Annual subscribers access everything posted since December 2020.

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If you would like to listen to the second part of this frank interview and read all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year, above) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time (here). Monthly subscribers access everything posted since 1 October 2022.

Part three tomorrow.