“Stanley’s Match” – England 8 Scotland 0 16th October 1943

“When I heard the team I said two prayers.  One of thanks to the Scots for leaving me out, and one on behalf of Adam Little who had taken my place.  I knew then we’d do well to get away with less than five goals against.”  So said Bill Shankly referring to the selection of the England team to face Scotland at Maine Road in October 1943. You can read the story of this incredible game here:

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Read more of this content when you subscribe today. You can subscribe at either £20 per year (above) or at £3 per month here (cancel any time). For those subscribing £3 per month you will be able to access all content from October 2022 onwards for as long as you are a subscriber. Those subscribing £20 a year have access to everything posted since December 2020.

A Complete PDF Of My 1st Book To Download

Back in 1989 my first book was published and subscribers to this site (both annual and monthly) can now download a PDF of that entire book. The original book cost £6.95 when it came out; you can subscribe at £3 per month and get the PDF free here then cancel the subscription if you like). Ignoring yearbooks, this was only the 6th book (and two of those were more like pamphlets published in the 1930s & 40s) ever published specifically on Manchester City Football Club.

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To access the book and everything published since 1st October 2022 take out a monthly subscription here. It’s £3 a month (cancel anytime).

The book was published in April 1989 and I talk a little bit about it here:

The 200th Post – Joe Mercer

and here:

A Writing Flashback!

I do not have the original layouts and so I’ve scanned my only surviving copy of the book and put the pages together on a PDF. The pages appear in the order they did in the original but, obviously, as I’ve just placed images of the pages on a word document it’s not as it all appeared. Nevertheless, for those who have never seen it you can now.

There were all sorts of issues with the original publication. My co-author had died and the book was delayed by a year. It was originally due out when I was 20 in 1988. As Keith, my co-author, had died mistakes were made. Keith was also a key figure at the publisher and, without his expertise, the quality of the images and other areas was not as great as it should have been. Even the title was incorrectly published (I’d agreed a different title). Ah well… I got enough of a bug to have started writing my second book within about a month of this coming out.

If you’d like to download the book then you do need to be a subscriber to this site. Subscribers pay £20 a year (works out about £1.67 a month) or £3 a month at a time (cancel anytime). For that annual subscribers now get the entire From Maine Men To Banana Citizens plus my 2010 edition of Manchester A Football History AND all articles/interviews posted so far. These include audio interviews I did with John Bond, Malcolm Allison and George Graham in the 1990s. Monthly subscribers get all content posted since 1st October 2022. All subscribers get access to all new material posted during their subscription too.

Allison’s Red and Black

On this day in 1968 Manchester City wore Red & Black stripes for the first time. Malcolm Allison had suggested adopting AC Milan’s colours and City first wore them for their meeting at Everton on October 5th 1968. Sadly, City were defeated 2-0 at Goodison and the colour change wasn’t popular with fans at first. However, due to a colour clash with Leicester, the new colours were worn in the 1969 FA Cup final. The club won that trophy and the kit soon entered City folklore as an important kit.

City chose to wear the new style for all the successful major finals that followed during Joe Mercer & Malcolm Allison’s time, including the club’s first European trophy in 1970.  At one point Allison suggested making red and black the first choice kit.

There were however plenty of complaints about City adopting the colours. Take a look at an earlier post I made on those complaints here:

IN SEARCH OF THE BLUES – Roy Cheetham (interviewed December 2004)

Manchester born Roy Cheetham joined the Blues from school in 1956 and went on to become a loyal clubman over a 12 year City career. In total he made 138 (plus five as sub) League and cup appearances, but he also made a staggering 218 Reserves games for the Blues.  Sadly, Roy has now passed away but I met up with him at City’s stadium shortly before Christmas 2004 for an interview. Here for subscribers is that interview:

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On this day… Malcolm Allison joins Manchester City

On this day (July 20) in 1965 Malcolm Allison was formally interviewed by the Manchester City board to be manager Joe Mercer’s assistant. Mercer had wanted to bring Allison in since he took the job earlier in the month. Here is a feature I did on Allison back in January 2005.

I first interviewed Malcolm in 1991, and, using material from several conversations with him, and in 2005 I took the opportunity of a MCFC v Crystal Palace game to remind everyone of his significance. Today, for subscribers, I’m posting it here.

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A Complete PDF Of My 1st Book To Download

Subscribers to my site can download a PDF of my entire first book. It was published back in 1989. Here are more details:

The book was published in April 1989 and I talk a little bit about it here:

The 200th Post – Joe Mercer

and here:

A Writing Flashback!

Manchester City Chants

Chanting at football games is rarely documented correctly with many myths, rumours and stories developing over the years. This feature is designed to give a potted overview of the development of singing at City.

I explained about some of the chants in this talk recently:

Now, for subscribers is an 1800 word article on the history and development of chants at Manchester City:

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The 1969 FA Cup Final

On April 26 1969 Manchester City defeated Leicester City in the FA Cup final. It is worth pausing to consider how the Blues compared to football’s other successful sides in the competition at this point.  City’s four FA Cup successes placed them behind Aston Villa (7), Blackburn Rovers (6), Newcastle United (6), Tottenham Hotspur (5), The Wanderers (5) and West Bromwich Albion (5).  Bolton, Sheffield United and Wolves had, like City, each won four FA Cups, while Manchester United had only won three, Liverpool one and Chelsea had not yet won the trophy.  In fact Chelsea had only won one major trophy (the League Championship) at this point in their history.  

Here for subscribers is a long read on that final and the events surrounding it:

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MCFC Managers – MALCOLM ALLISON

Malcolm Allison gave Manchester City confidence and a will to win that few have ever equalled.  He was an exceptionally brilliant and confident coach – some would say the greatest the world has ever seen (probably Allison himself would say this!) – and working with Joe Mercer he helped the Blues achieve incredible success.

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MCFC 20TH CENTURY CHRONICLE SEASON 1968-69

The League Matches

As League champions, the Blues were expected to coast through the 1968-9 season, particularly as the Charity Shield match against Cup winners West Bromwich Albion ended in a comfortable 6-1 City victory.  Unfortunately life is rarely that easy and only one of the first nine games ended in victory – a 3-2 win over Wolves.  The Blues simply could not get into the rhythm they had enjoyed the previous season.  One of the reasons for this was that they had embarked on a rather disastrous tour of America during the summer which, amongst other problems resulted in an injury to captain Tony Book  He was kept out of action until January.

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