I’m delighted to say that I was at the Etihad Stadium today when a record crowd for a women’s club game in Greater Manchester was set when 44,259 watched City draw 1-1 with United. This includes all home games by Greater Manchester’s clubs; WFA Cup finals played in the area and games played by Dick, Kerr Ladies and other prominent women’s clubs over the last 140 years or so. For those wondering the top four highest club attendances are:
44,259 City v United, Etihad, December 2022
31,213 City V United, Etihad, September 2019
31,000 (occasionally reported as 35,000) Dick, Kerr Ladies v Bath Ladies, Old Trafford, January 1921
30,196 United V Aston Villa, Old Trafford, December 2022
You can read about the first competitive women’s Manchester Derby, which occurred in 1990, here:
On this day (11 December) in 1985 a 2-0 victory (3-2 on aggregate) by Billy McNeill’s Manchester City over Brian Horton’s Hull sent the Blues to Wembley for the inaugural Full Members’ Cup Final. City’s scorers at Maine Road were David Phillips and Jim Melrose before the largest crowd (by any club) of the entire tournament, excluding the final, of 10,180. Here’s a contemporary report by Patrick Barclay of the game:
You can read more on the Full Members Cup and what it was all about here:
Lots of people talk incorrectly of Manchester City’s support and so for today’s subscriber feature I’ve decided to focus on the growth in City’s average attendance from the club’s first season in the League through to recent years, alongside other crowd related statistics. Hopefully, this will help to answer any questions raised on the loyalty of City’s support (but somehow I doubt it!).
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On this day (August 25) in 1923 Maine Road staged its first game. Two decades later it staged the first World Cup match in England and the decade after that the first European Cup game in England. It still holds the record provincial crowd and the record for a League game, and for eighty years it was the home of Manchester City. Here’s a look at the life of Maine Road.
Here for subscribers is a 2,000 word piece on City’s former home. It corrects a few myths (the ‘Wembley of the North – pah! It was better than that when it opened!).
If you would like to subscribe and read this and all my other content posted to this site (over 370 articles/sound recordings/interviews including the entire Manchester A Football History) then please use the button below. It costs £20 a year (that’s about £1.67 a month) and you have access to everything for as long as you are a subscriber (you can even subscribe for a month at a time at £3, access everything and then cancel your subscription if you like!).
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On this day (March 25) in 1939 Old Trafford attracted its highest ever attendance when 76,962 packed Manchester United’s ground to see Wolves defeat Grimsby 5-0 in the FA Cup semi-final.
At the time this was the third highest attendance ever attracted in Manchester (behind 84,569 MCFC v Stoke, 1934 & 79,491 MCFC v Arsenal, 1935; fourth highest was 76,166 MCFC v Cardiff, 1924) and today it is the eighth highest.
You can view film of the semi-final here. Well worth watching to see Old Trafford at that time. The Old Trafford scenes begin after about 48 seconds:
There were lots of crowd safety issues at this game – these were the days when fans were packed in without the authorities really considering the potential for disaster or injury (which happened frequently).
Incidentally, Dorsett (seen below after a collision) was related to two of Manchester City’s early heroes Joe and George Dorsett.
You can read about the 84,569 record attendance set in 1934 for Manchester here:
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I’d like to thank you for taking the time and trouble to visit my website. I’ve set up this website to help share my 32 years plus writing and research. The intention is to develop the archive and to provide access to as much of my material as possible over the coming weeks, months & years. Subscribers can already access over 280 articles/posts including the entire Manchester A Football History book and audio interviews with former City bosses Malcolm Allison and John Bond.
It costs £20 a year (it works out £1.67 a month) or £3 if you’d like to sign up a month at a time to get full access for as long as you subscribe (see below). Thanks for the support, Gary.
Previously I’ve posted about the City Voices project capturing the stories and memories of Manchester City fans (if you’ve missed the story take a look at: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/02/06/city-voices-project/ ). The idea is to capture the experiences of Blues from all over the globe regardless of age, gender, ethnicity etc. Basically, if you’re a City fan I’d love to hear from you.
I’ve been capturing the stories of City fans since the early 1990s and always love hearing individual’s memories and stories. Back in 2002 I interviewed a female supporter called Fran Parker. At the time she was in her early 80s and she was able to talk to me about attending Maine Road in the 1920s to 1950s plus a few memories from the 1990s (for example, she talked about the sadness she felt when Paul Lake swallowed his tongue and how she feared for his life). I loved the fact that she was still attending games and still felt as enthusiastic in 2002 as she had in 1932.
For me it’s the experience of football that needs capturing. The media capture the games and the key moments but supporter views are often ignored or misunderstood. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about here’s a brief trailer of the interview I did with Fran. She does talk about goals, but it’s details like how she felt when Eric Brook scored in the 84,569 game; her umbrella and Dave Ewing stories that are different.
Anyway, have a listen:
If you would like to complete the City Voices questionnaire then please download it here and email it to me at gary@GJFootballArchive-com
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.
As for Fran Parker’s interview… Over the coming months http://www.GJFootballArchive.com will develop to include some of my interviews (my John Bond interview from 1995 has already been posted). IF you would like to subscribe then see below:
If you would like to read all the in-depth articles (including the entire Manchester A Football History book and the audio interview with John Bond) 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 270+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.
“I think Brook played in every position for the Club – he certainly went in nets once – and was a very good player. When the goal went in it was marvellous. Nirvana. On the final whistle I didn’t need to use my feet to leave I was wedged in a solid wall of human flesh and swept through the exit gate like a surfboarder.” Supporter Denis Houlston talking in 2003 about Eric Brook’s goal in the 1934 FA Cup tie with Stoke which was watched by 84,569.
It has virtually slipped out of living memory but in 1934 the largest footballing crowd ever assembled on a club ground witnessed a game that still, almost 90 years later, remains etched in the record books. 84,569 paid to watch City face Stoke in the FA Cup quarter-final at Maine Road in March 1934 – a crowd that surpassed Manchester’s previous best (also a national record at the time) by around 8,000 (set in 1924 when Cardiff faced City in another FA Cup quarter-final). Here for subscribers is a long read on the day when 84,569 gathered for a football match in Manchester:
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If you would like to read this and all the in-depth articles on this site (including the entire Manchester A Football History book and the audio interview with John Bond) 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 260+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.