Climbing the Golden Stairs

I’ve always liked this cartoon since finding it during research back in 1989. It represents a game played on Boxing Day between Manchester City and Newton Heath (who later reformed as Manchester United in 1902). Manchester’s Blues won the match 4-0 and the cartoon was captioned ‘Climbing the Golden Stairs’. That caption referred to a promotion challenge.

At the season’s end City were promoted as Second Division champions, becoming the first Manchester side ever to gain promotion and the first to win a national competition of course. Newton Heath finished fourth in the Second Division while near neighbours Glossop were promoted in second place behind City.

Search the archive to read more about 1898-99 and about some classic derby matches too.

Manchester’s First National Success

On Saturday April 22 1899 the football season ended with Manchester City as comfortable champtions of the Second Division. They were the first side nationally to gain automatic promotion (a series of test matches, similar to play offs, had been utilised in previous seasons) and the first of the Manchester teams ever to earn promotion and win a national League competition. 

Subscribers can read about the final game and other information from that season below:

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