Tommy Wright

Here’s a profile of goalkeeper Tommy Wright who made his Manchester City debut on this day (18 January) in 1997. Enjoy….

Northern Ireland international Tommy Wright joined City from Nottingham Forest on loan in January 1997 and despite being cup-tied and missing out on his new club’s 1997 FA Cup run (City reached the fifth round, losing controversially to Middlesbrough), Tommy made a terrific impression on the fans at Maine Road and finally signed a permanent deal in March 1997.  The Blues had endured a managerial merry-go-round during the early part of the season with four men taking charge of first team games before the arrival of Frank Clark as manager on 30th December 1996.  With injury to Immel both Andy Dibble and Martyn Margetson had played but Clark felt he needed to bring in more experience, especially as naming a goalkeeper as substitute meant that a bigger pool of players was needed than a decade earlier.

Wright made his debut on 18 January 1997 as City drew 1-1 with Huddersfield in Division One and made a total of 13 League games that season.  It would have been more but a leg injury caused him to miss the final six games of the campaign and the start of the 1997-98 season – he suffered a torn quadriceps muscle during the club’s close-season tour to Scotland.  Nevertheless, when fitness returned Clark made sure Wright knew that he was the manager’s first choice and the ‘keeper made 18 appearances in 1997-98.  Clark was dismissed in February and less than a month after the arrival of Joe Royle the new manager replaced Wright with Margetson.

The following season Nicky Weaver became City’s first choice with Wright helping the young ‘keeper develop.  Wright went on loan to Newcastle and Wrexham, making a total of 19 appearances, in 1999 and then in January 2001 he went to Bolton where he made four League appearances.

Appearances:  League: 33 FAC: 2 League Cup: 1

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Weaver

On this day (8 August) in 1998 Nicky Weaver made his Manchester City debut at home to Blackpool.  City won their first match in the third tier of English football 3-0.  The attendance was 32,134. Here for subscribers is a profile of Weaver:

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How Low Can You Go?

On this day (8 August) in 1998 Manchester City began their season at the lowest level (3rd tier) they had ever played in. If you fancy remembering those dark days here’s a clip of the opening League fixture V Blackpool. The Blues won the match 3-0 in front of a capacity crowd – we thought it would all be okay but the following months it all started to… well, you know the rest! Here’s the clip:

MCFC 20TH CENTURY CHRONICLE SEASON 1998-99

The Matches

It’s fitting we end this chronicle of the 20th century with last season.  With typical City style, the Blues waited until the last year of the century to feature in one of the most dramatic and eventful seasons in the club’s history.  Life in Division 2 was totally alien to the Blues, and understandably the media rated them as clear favourites for the Division 2 title.  Supporters were uneasy, however.  Promotion may have been a formality as far as the media were concerned but for City fans it was hoped for – even demanded – but not expected.  Not by all at least.  Nevertheless, there was a perverse excitement about the new season.  

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