Party Like It’s 1999

On this day (30 May) in 1999 Manchester City won the Second Division Play Off final at Wembley in a tense, dramatic day. Understandably, Paul Dickov’s goal in that Play Off final has often been described as the most important Manchester City goal of all time.  That goal does deserve significant recognition, however it is also important to remember the other contributing factors on that day all those years ago, including the opening City goal scored by Kevin Horlock.

The late 1990s had been a very difficult period for City and Horlock’s goal came at a moment when all hope that the Club could resurrect itself seemed to have vanished.   This goal was obviously important as it gave City hope and ultimately that transferred into achievement.

The following article, covering Horlock’s goal and the story of that day, is available for subscribers to the website. It costs £20 a year (it works out £1.67 per month) and you get full access to all articles posted, including PDFs of the out of print Manchester A Football History and my first ever book about Manchester City. There are also audio interviews & more. Do a few searches on past content to see what’s available.      

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Bad Memories!

Warning! The following 600 word article is the story of Manchester City’s final game of the 1997-98 season. It was against Stoke on 3 May and, well, let’s just say it was a 5-2 easy victory but the consequences were grave for the club. If you have no idea what I’m on about then have a read – or if you want to relive a painful memory then carry on. Fortunately, I’ve made this article available to subscribers only so people won’t just catch site of our misery just by passing! If you can then enjoy looking back and remembering those days!

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The 2000s: This Week 2000-01

Continuing the new weekly series on Manchester City’s seasons from 1999-2000 through to 2008-09. Each week I’ll be publishing here the story of a different season of that remarkable ten-year period. Today it’s an article on 2000-01 (below) which became a season of struggle.

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The 2000s: This Week 1999-2000

Starting today is a new weekly series on Manchester City’s seasons from 1999-2000 through to 2008-09. Each week I’ll be publishing here the story of a different season of that remarkable ten-year period. The series starts with an 8,800 word article on 1999-2000 (below) which was the first season after promotion (hence the Weaver image) from the third tier of English football. City’s manager was Joe Royle and the club was still based at Maine Road.

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This article is for subscribers to my website. It costs £20 a year to access everything on the site since creation in December 2020. That includes articles, history talks, videos, interviews & more. There’s also a monthly option below.

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Monthly subscription costs £3 per month to access everything on the site since 1 October 2022 (cancel anytime). All subscribers access all new material until their subscription ends. Why not give it a try for a month?

Happy Birthday Joe Royle

Future Oldham Athletic manager, Manchester City player and manager Joe Royle was born at Norris Green, Liverpool on this day (8 April) in 1949 .  During his City career Royle won the League Cup as a player and back to back promotions as a manager. There are quite a few Royle articles on this site such as:

Swindon Town 0 Manchester City 2

On this day (1 April) in 2000 Manchester City won 2-0 at Swindon Town. The game was watched by 12,397 and the goals came from the now dependable (there had been concern amongst fans earlier in his City career) Shaun Goater – his 27th of the campaign – and Mark Kennedy.

Manager Joe Royle was delighted, although concerned by City’s first half performance: ‘I am delighted with the victory and I thought we fully deserved the points. It wasn’t the best game in the first half, but Shaun Goater did well for the first goal, and we always looked comfortable after the half-time interval and more dangerous after we changed things around.’

The game had not been a good one for 25-year-old midfielder Tony Grant who had made his first start since January. He was replaced by Ian Bishop early in the second half and from that point on the game came alive. Despite the result the Swindon directors were pleased with the match. The Wiltshire club had allowed City fans to occupy both ends of their tiny ground, and it was reported that over half of the 12,397 crowd were supporting the Blues. At £17 per ticket it was calculated the additional gate money was worth over £100,000 to the relegation bound club.

In the table, City had a game in hand over most clubs, and now lay third on 72 points. The near invincible Charlton (87 points) still headed the League while Barnsley (74 points) were second. Ipswich were fourth – one point behind City after the same number of matches – while Birmingham were fifth on 69 points.

Bishop’s Back

On this day (25 March) in 1998 cult hero Ian Bishop returned to Maine Road for his second spell with Manchester City. At the time fans saw that as further evidence new manager Joe Royle understood the club and its fans.  Bishop was idolised in his previous spell almost nine years earlier, and his departure provoked demonstrations against then manager Howard Kendall. 

Bishop loved the support he got during his first brief spell: ‘I remember we were playing Norwich and the crowd sang my name.  I cannot describe how that felt.  I never wanted to leave but I knew that there was no future for me at City.  Ever since then I have hoped I would get another chance at the Club but you begin to wonder if it will ever happen.  Whenever I have returned to Maine Road with West Ham the reception has been amazing.

‘I feel I have at least three or four good years in me because my game has never been based on pace alone.  I want to make up for the time I lost because I have always regretted that my first spell here only lasted six months.  Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to end my career here, although I am not planning to hang up my boots for some time.’

History Talk – MCFC Away Days Now Live For Subscribers

On Wednesday 18 January I held a discussion about Manchester City FC away games. Subscribers can now listen to a recording of that talk here (it costs £20 a year to access everything on the site or £3 per month). The talk lasts about 1 hour so get yourself a brew and listen to the story of traveling away.

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 later today 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 is for subscribers only:

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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 was freely available until 31 January and now it is for subscribers only:

Subscribe to get access – Annual

If you would like to access it here and support my writing & research while also reading all the great content (including PDFs of Manchester A Football History and From Maine Men To Banana Citizens) then please subscribe. It costs £20 a year (access everything) or £3 per month (see below).

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Subscribe monthly here at £3 per month (cancel anytime) or annually at £20 above.

Royle Goal

On this day (11 January) in 1977 Joe Royle ensured Manchester City progressed to face Newcastle United in the FA Cup by scoring the only goal of the Third Round replay at West Bromwich Albion.  The first game had ended in a 1-1 draw at Maine Road. You can read more about the 1976-77 season here:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2022/12/25/manchester-citys-1976-77-season/

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?