Manchester’s First Great Season

“Not a little of the success the City club has achieved is due to the indefatigable labours of the secretary, Mr T.E. Maley, who came to Manchester three years ago, when the City were in the Second Division.  He brought to his duties valuable experience gained with the famous Celtic club, and he has had the benefit of being a player, a club official, a legislator, and a selector.  His splendid services to the City are reflected in the position they at present occupy – the holders of the English Cup – the most coveted of football prizes, and one of the leading clubs in the League.”The Manchester Evening Chronicle, 12 November 1904

This season became Manchester’s first major trophy-winning season. It established the city’s trophy-winning heritage and it helped transform Manchester from a rugby playing city to a footballing one. Every Mancunian needs to know the story of this season. The following 10,000 word article tells the story of that season.

If you would like to read the full article and other pieces like this then please subscribe below. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the hundreds of articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming months.

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City Voices Project

Following on from the successful project capturing the stories of the women who played for and the people involved with Manchester City’s women’s team throughout its 30+ years of existence, a similar project has now been launched to capture the stories of Manchester City’s fans.

I will be capturing the stories of the club’s fans over the next few months and you can help contribute to this great project. I’m keen to hear from and interview fans to ensure their stories and experiences are captured and retained for ever.

If you would like to help the project and provide your stories then please complete the questionnaire below and send it to gary@GJFootballArchive.com as soon as you can. Unfortunately, due to time constraints at the moment I will not be able to reply to all emails. I will certainly be reading every questionnaire and those stories will be captured for posterity. 

In addition, I will be interviewing some fans over the coming months (sadly, this may have to be over a video service or telephone, although later in the year face-to-face interviews may follow). If you would like to be considered for interview then please complete the relevant section on the questionnaire.

Updates on the project will follow over the coming weeks and months, including details of how these stories will contribute to our knowledge and understanding of what it has been like to support Manchester City over the decades. 

One important point to note is that I am keen to hear from fans of all ages based in Manchester, the United Kingdom and around the world. The greater the number that respond the better the archive of fans stories will become.

Please help this project and ensure the memories, stories and lives of City fans are captured for posterity.

Here’s the questionnaire:

https://gjfootballarchive.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/city-voices-modelconsent.docx

Thanks,

Gary

Coming Soon – Peter Barnes Biography

I’ve been working with Peter Barnes since 2019 on his biography. This will cover his life & career and will be illustrated throughout. Personal items, such as Peter’s own artwork from school lessons (and earliest attempts at writing his autograph!), will appear in the book.

Written to a similar standard as my biography of Joe Mercer (Football With A Smile, first published in 1993, reprinted in 1994 and updated in 2010), this includes quotes from Peter throughout, alongside the views of players and managers.

This will, hopefully, prove to be a must have book for fans of Manchester City & United, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Real Betis and the other clubs Peter played for.

Details will be revealed here later this year, but it is anticipated the book will be available before the end of the current football season (assuming Covid does not add any further delays). There will be the opportunity to subscribe to the book before publication (and get your name included in the subscriber section at the back of the book).

Watch this space!

Imagine Scoring Four Goals For MCFC Against Liverpool On Your Debut!

On this day (18th January) in 1913 Manchester City’s Fred Howard scored four goals on his debut against Liverpool at Hyde Road.  I love the description of Howard in one report of this game: ‘Howard, a hefty individual who apparently does not believe in allowing the full backs free kicks, had pounced on the ball’. I think we’ve all seen a few ‘hefty individuals’ who did not ‘believe in allowing the full backs free kicks’ over the years!

A report also warns that Howard: ‘would do well to remember that he will not always be served as he was on this occasion. Nor will he have a much easier task’. I’m pretty sure Howard did not expect to score four goals in every game.

Howard, from Walkden, ended his City career after scoring 43 goals in 90 first team competitive games. Note in this article (below) the use of the nickname Citizens to describe the Blues. Maybe one day I’ll do a piece on club nicknames but I do know that many fans didn’t feel the word Citizens (or Cityzens as it is usually written these days at the club) had much to do with the club when City re-adopted it a few years back. It was certainly used a lot when talking of the club from 1894 through to perhaps the inter-war period.

Three of Howard’s goals came in a 13 minute spell as the Blues won 4-1. It was regarded as the greatest debut feat by any player at the time. Even now, over a century later, it’s hard to think of any player having a better debut.

Over the years plenty have talked of players scoring hat-tricks on debuts around the globe but how often do you hear of a player scoring four in the top flight of a major League against a team that is regarded as one of your main rivals? After this game Liverpool had dropped to 13th in the First Division, while City were fifth.

This was just a brief taster of the content in GJFootballArchive.com. If you would like to read the in-depth, longer articles (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe below. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 150+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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The ‘Flu Limits MCFC’s Selections But They Beat Liverpool 5-0 (Roberts 4 Goals)

On this day (17th January) in 1925 – Manchester City’s Frank Roberts scored four as Liverpool were defeated 5-0 in Division One.

Roberts’ feat was remarkable because he was playing as centre-forward, a position he seemingly was not keen on playing, due to regular centre-forward Tommy Browell being struck down with influenza.

He normally played as City’s inside-right, his preferred position.

It was Roberts’ first outing as centre-forward that season and incredibly he scored four goals against the Anfield club. It was the first time he’d ever scored four in a game and it made him the League’s top scorer with 24 goals so far.

City’s opening goal had been scored by legendary, amateur footballer Max Woosnam in the opening minute. Sadly, accurate time keeping was not a feature of football then (some would argue that some referees still don’t have accurate time keeping but that’s for another day) and so we don’t know how few seconds this was actually netted in. Some reports say straight from the kick-off.

The Liverpool Echo talked of the game starting in a gale which worked against the Liverpool club. The Athletic News makes no such comment preferring, instead, to talk of City’s ‘lightening like movements’ and their approach being ‘the way to win’.

This was just a taster of the content in GJFootballArchive.com. If you would like to read the in-depth, longer articles (including the entire Manchester A Football History book) then please subscribe below. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 150+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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On This Day – 1974 Manchester City’s Scintillating League Cup Quarter Final

On this day (16th January) in 1974 Denis Law scored again (after netting in the League game with Leicester four days earlier).

Law’s goal came as Manchester City defeated Coventry City 4-2 in the League Cup quarter-final replay.  That game was notable for lots of reasons, not least because it came in the middle of industrial action resulting in power cuts across the Country.  For this game to go ahead City had to bring in an Electricity generator, which was positioned outside the ground. I remember hearing a loud buzzing noise from the generator as I made my way towards the Platt Lane Stand with my dad and brother.

Like City’s 2-0 victory over Leicester in the League four days earlier, this was another scintillating display by Ron Saunders’ City team. 

Incredibly, City had been losing 2-1 as late as the 79th minute but then Francis Lee ‘exploded on to the scene with two goals in three minutes’ according to one report. One of Lee’s goals was a penalty awarded after a foul on Colin Bell by Willie Carr.

Watch highlights of the game here (watch the celebrations by Law & Lee after the last goal):

If you would like to read more pieces like this and the in-depth, longer articles on this site then please subscribe below. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 120+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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Manchester City, Liverpool and the 1981 League Cup Semi-Final!

The 1981 League Cup semi-final has gone down in history as one of the absolute grudge moments between Manchester’s Blues and Liverpool’s Reds. People often think the two clubs have only been rivals in recent years but throughout the late 60s, 70s and early 80s games between the two clubs were viewed as major events.

This tie in 1981 is one that still angers many associated with Manchester City, including former players and officials. If you would like to read the story of the tie and the reasons why, then please subscribe to this blog.

If you would like to read the in-depth articles on this site, plus content such as the entire Manchester A Football History book, then please subscribe below. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 120+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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On This Day – Denis Law and Rodney Marsh

On this day (12th January) in 1974 – Denis Law and Rodney Marsh provided the goals as Manchester City defeated Leicester City 2-0 in a thrilling game at Maine Road.  

City were in blistering form for this game and absolutely tore in to Leicester. Only the brilliance of England ‘keeper Peter Shilton kept the score down as the report shows.

Film of the game here:

If you would like to read the in-depth pieces in GJFootballArchive.com then please subscribe below. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 120+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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Read more of content like this when you subscribe today. Search through the categories below to see what has already been published, including several chapters of the groundbreaking Manchester A Football History

FA Cup success, football infrastructure and the establishment of Manchester’s footballing identity – FREE DOWNLOAD FOR LIMITED PERIOD

Great news! Following the recent purchase of the original design FA Cup by Sheikh Mansour and my appearance on Football Focus, my academic article on the significance of that success to Manchester has been made free to download for a limited period.

Please use this link to access the academic website and article:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14660970.2014.961378

The Manchester City video I contributed to can also be viewed here:

https://www.mancity.com/citytv/mens/manchesters-first-trophy-1904-fa-cup-documentary-63745781

More on 1903-04 for subscribers here:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/08/manchesters-first-great-season/

Manchester City’s “European Heritage” – Facts Not Fiction

Most City fans know that the Blues possess a great history but in recent years some of the club’s rivals have tended to play down City’s European heritage suggesting the Blues are relative newcomers to the continent’s biggest competitions, so in this article I thought I’d take the opportunity to spell out a few of City’s earliest connections with European competition:

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