The origins of the “Best Team in the Land and all the World” chant

On this day (23 October) in 1976 Manchester City fans first did their ‘Viking Call’. The chant eventually evolved into ‘The best team in the land and all the world’ but for some time was basically City fans doing a C-iii-ttt-yy chant to the first part of the song. You can hear the song and find out its story in this talk I did earlier in 2022 (if you don’t want to watch the full talk, jump to about 23mins 40 seconds for the Viking Call story):

https://wordpress.com/post/gjfootballarchive.com/5329

Nigel Clough’s Last

On this day (19 October) in 1996 goals from Paul Dickov and Nigel Clough helped Manchester City to a 2-1 win over Norwich City.  Clough’s was the last of 4 League goals he scored for the Blues. This image is of Dickov and Clough celebrating Clough’s goal.

Denis Law and United’s Relegation

Over the years there has been a lot of discussion on Denis Law and his backheeled goal for Manchester City v Manchester United at Old Trafford in April 1974. If you’re a Blue you tend to say it relegated United; if you’re a Red you tend to say ‘absolutely not! It made no difference.’ So, for this feature I decided to focus on the facts, emotion and mood of the era to paint an accurate picture of that day and the significance or not of that goal. Hopefully, Blues & Reds alike will gain a good understanding of it all. I include quotes from some of the interviews I’ve performed in the past. This article will be free to read until 27th September then it’s available to subscribers only. Here goes…

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Delia’s Day

On this day (28th February) in 2005 goals from Robbie Fowler (2) and Antoine Sibierski gave Manchester City a 3-2 victory at Norwich City, but the most newsworthy part of the night came when Norwich’s Delia Smith went on to the pitch at half time to encourage the home fans to make a bit of noise.  

She memorably called out: “A message for the best football supporters in the world: We need a twelfth man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be having you! Come on!”

A lot of people in the media both then and in the years that have followed, criticised Delia but the truth is that she was exhibiting the type of passion and fervour for her club that many of us want to see. Maybe the manner was a bit too much but how great would it be if those in charge of our clubs could demonstrate similar passion?

On this day… John Benson & Manchester City

Sixty years ago today (February 21 1962) John Benson made his Manchester City League debut. He had joined the Blues at the age of 15 in July 1958 and went on to make 52 League and Cup appearances before being transferred to Torquay in 1964.  Spells at Bournemouth, Exeter and Norwich followed, before John moved into coaching.  In 1980 he returned to Manchester as assistant to manager John Bond.  Here’s an interview I did with him during October 2004.

Sadly, John died on October 30 2010 at the age of 67.

Here for subscribers is the interview from 2004.

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Norwich Suffer

A flashback to a high scoring win for Manchester’s Blues on this day in 2013…

After the 2-1 last gasp defeat at Chelsea in their previous League game, manager Manuel Pellegrini took the decision to drop goalkeeper Joe Hart for this important match with Norwich. The decision brought much scrutiny City’s way but Hart’s replacement Pantilimon had little to do as the Blues thrashed Norwich 7-0.  The win lifted City to fourth in the League but more significantly demonstrated the fire power the Blues possessed and demonstrated to all that Pellegrini’s men were determined to mount a serious challenge for the title. Seven separate scorers – including an own goal – made this City’s largest top flight win since 1968. Afterwards Pellegrini was delighted that his side kept striving for more: “Normally a team 4-0 ahead finishes working.”

City had a 100% home record in the Premier League but away from home life was not so easy. At Sunderland in the next League game the Blues were unfortunate to lose 1-0. The BBC’s Sam Sheringham explained: “Referee Mike Dean’s leniency was on display once again in the build-up to the opening goal. The official opted not to penalise Bardsley when he appeared to bundle over Milner, allowing the full-back to race on to Brown’s long pass and curl a precise finish past Costel Pantilimon.”

The Blues were back down to eighth in what seemed likely to be a tight title race.

Match Stats:

2013-14

2 Nov   Norwich City (H)                        W 7-0 Silva, Nastasic, Negredo, Toure, Aguero, Dzeko & Johnson (OG)              47,066

10 Nov Sunderland (A)                         L 0-1                                        40,137

League Cup

30 Oct  Newcastle United (A)                 W 2-0 Negredo, Dzeko             33,846

NEWS: City Reflections

I’m delighted to say that earlier this week I agreed to write a regular column for the new Manchester City Match Programme. If all goes to plan it should be included in today’s programme. There will be two pieces written by me…

One will be about 3 pages or so on a historical theme and the other will be a crowd puller style feature where I provide brief information comparing City’s volume of support with the day’s opponents (the stats may shock a few of City’s rivals as the season progresses!).

Today’s main feature (v Norwich) is on City’s Olympic gold medalists – obviously there have been a few gold winners for football connected with our club but today’s feature focuses on two men connected with City who won gold for other sports.

Hopefully fans will find it interesting.

I’m keen to hear from fans who buy the programme about what areas of history they’d like to read about. Obviously, I want to ensure there’s a connection to the present in some way, but I’m keen to cover topics that fans want to read or learn about.

Please either leave comments below or email me at gary@GJFootballArchive.com

Thanks.

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.

(NOTE: If you downloaded part four yesterday before 17.15 UK time then you actually downloaded part 5 instead. I’d posted part 5 instead of 4. I corrected this about 17.15 yesterday so go back to yesterday’s post and you’ll find the real part 4. Sorry!).

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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) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 250+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

John Bond Interview Part Two

There’s a lot to interest and perhaps surprise Manchester City fans here. This is the second part of my interview with John Bond from November 1995. When I interviewed him he was frank in his views and at times outspoken – and I loved every minute of our chat!

In this clip John talks about the controversial 1981 League Cup semi-final with Liverpool; the FA Cup final (first game) against Tottenham; the way City’s directors handled the draw with Spurs (this astounded me at the time of our interview); how certain directors treated him; and how he almost resigned in between the FA Cup final and its replay. 

As this was recorded in November 1995 it is important to remember that our comments about the ‘present day’ Manchester City refer to the club as it was at that time. Similarly, when we talk about the takeover we mean the 1993-94 takeover of the club. Listening again to this piece now I’m quite pleased that my own perception was fairly accurate.

There’s also some great comments about Norwich City which will please supporters of that club.

This is about 17 minutes long (the previous piece was a similar length too). So get yourself a brew, relax in your favourite chair and listen along.

Subscribe to get access

If you would like to listen to the second part of this frank interview 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) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 240+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

So, here exclusive to subscribers is the second part of my interview:

If you missed the first part it’s available here: 

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