Manchester City’s 1980-81 Season

On a day when there’s a controversial refereeing decision in a Manchester Derby here’s a reminder that today is the anniversary (14 January 1981) of a notorious refereeing error in a Manchester City Liverpool League Cup semi-final. You can read about that elsewhere on the site. the anniversary though has given me the impetus to post this 9,000+ word article on the 1980-81 season. This was a remarkable season and you can read it below:

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This 9,000+ article is for subscribers only. You can subscribe at £20 a year (here) or £3 per month (below). Annual subscribers access everything posted since December 2020 and monthly subscribers access everything since 1 October 2022.

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This 9,000+ article is for subscribers only. You can subscribe at £20 a year (above) or £3 per month (here). Annual subscribers access everything posted since December 2020 and monthly subscribers access everything since 1 October 2022.

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.

Subscribe to get access

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.

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.” 

City’s First Shoot-Out

On this day (28 October) in 1981 Manchester City faced their first competitive penalty shoot-out.  The League Cup tie with Stoke ended 2-2 on aggregate but it took some considerable effort for either side to progress in the competition.  With the penalty shoot-out reaching 8-8 goalkeeper Joe Corrigan saved.  Norwegian Aage Hareide made it 9-8 for City and the Blues progressed.   You can read what John Bond thought about penalties below.

Milan 2 Manchester City 2

On this day (November 23) in 1978 Manchester City drew 2-2 with Milan at the San Siro. Here is a 1100 word piece plus rare colour photos from that highly significant UEFA Cup game (which should have been played a day earlier – details below).

The following piece is available to subscribers to this site. It costs £3 per month or £20 a year to subscribe. Subscribers get full access to all the material on the site. Have a search to see what’s available. Thanks.

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The 1981 FA Cup Final

On this day (May 9) in 1981 the 100th FA Cup Final took place between Manchester City and Tottenham.

Here for subscribers is a long read on the build up to that game, the final and the post-final scenes. It contains material from interviews I have performed over the years with Dennis Tueart, John Bond and Joe Corrigan. There are also a few quotes that may surprise readers of what discussions took place after the final.

Here goes….

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The Starting Eleven – Joe Corrigan

It’s the 40th anniversary of the 1981 FA Cup final on May 9 and ten years ago, as we looked forward to Manchester City appearing in the 2011 FA Cup final, I was asked by the Manchester Evening News to write profiles of the eleven players who started the 1981 final.

For the next eleven days I will post those profiles, one a day, free to read here. These will only be free to view until May 16, so please read them while you can. Thanks.

Here’s the first (appearing here as it was written in 2011)…

As we look forward to the 2011 FA Cup final, Gary James takes a look at the eleven players who made the starting line-up for City’s last FA Cup final in 1981.  Today, Joe Corrigan.

Heralded as the Man Of The Final for his performance over the two games, Joe Corrigan was one of the biggest Maine Road stars of the period.  The 32 year old England goalkeeper had already been a Wembley Cup Final winner twice with the Blues – the 1970 and 1976 League Cup final – and his appearances in the 1981 final; cemented his name and reputation as one of England’s best.  

During the final Corrigan played superbly, making several brilliant saves, most notably when Tottenham’s Roberts sent a downward header goal-bound and another time when he rushed from his line to check Crooks on the edge of the area. 

Ultimately, Corrigan was beaten but the goal was a freak own goal scored by Tommy Hutchison.  Despite his obvious disappointment one of the most memorable sights was when the City ‘keeper walked over to Hutchison, lifted him up and patted him on the back.  Corrigan:  “We’d been on top for most of the game.  I knew that what had happened to him could have happened to any one of us.  So I just told him to ‘get up, get on with it.  It’s only 1-1 and we are still going to win!’  He was devastated to be fair, but we did almost win it in the dying minutes.  Personally, I believe the game should have been played to a conclusion on that night.  The FA Cup is all about the Saturday and I know we would have won had it gone to a conclusion.  No question.”

With the final ending in a draw Corrigan missed an important opportunity.  England were playing Brazil the following Wednesday and it is widely accepted that the City ‘keeper was to appear.  With the FA Cup replay taking place the next night, Corrigan couldn’t play and the opportunity to gain the upper hand in the race to be England’s permanent ‘keeper went begging.

After the FA Cup final replay defeat Corrigan was presented with his Man Of The Final award by Spurs’ manager Keith Burkenshaw.  “It does mean a lot to me, but I’d rather have won the final” he later admitted.

Corrigan’s reputation as one of City’s greatest players developed with the final, and he remained a popular and significant member of John Bond’s side.  However, by the summer of 1982 the Club was changing.  Finance meant Bond’s squad building plans were brought to a swift end.  The signs were not good and players like Corrigan deserved better.

The ‘keeper realised City had changed:  “I think I should have left a little earlier.  I love City but it got to the stage where I knew I wasn’t really wanted here.  The fans were marvellous; the players were great; but maybe it wasn’t really my time any more.  When Seattle made their approach in 1983 I was told I could go.”

A spell at Brighton followed before Corrigan moved into coaching:  “Bert Trautmann and the other ‘keepers taught me more than other coaches could because they had been there.   I felt that I need to do the same.  I’ve coached all over the UK and, at one point, I was flying to Scotland, driving to Yorkshire and the north-east the next day… every day I was on the road.  Then I had ten very enjoyable years at Liverpool, and then Stockport and Chester as well.  It’s been great to put something back.”

In 2004 Corrigan was the first player inducted into the MEN sponsored Manchester City Hall Of Fame and his name will forever be bracketed with Swift & Trautmann as three of the game’s greatest goalkeepers.

My biography of Peter Barnes is now available to subscribe to. Order by May 15 and you will receive a copy signed by me & Peter, the book posted to your home address before it appears in any shop AND your name printed in the book. Order (and more details) here:

Liverpool 1 MCFC 3 – John Bond’s Views on Liverpool’s Reaction

Back in 1995 I interviewed former Manchester City boss John Bond at his home. The interview lasted about two hours and here’s a brief snippet from that interview where Bond talks about beating 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:

This is only a brief clip of my John Bond interview. The full interview is being uploaded here in stages for subscribers. More details here:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/12/the-john-bond-interview/

THE STARTING ELEVEN – Joe Corrigan

First published in the build up to the 2011 FA Cup final, Gary James takes a look at the eleven players who made the starting line-up for City’s FA Cup final in 1981.  Today, Joe Corrigan.

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