On this day (April 11) in 1974, despite bold statements from new Manchester City Chairman Peter Swales at the time of his appointment, manager Ron Saunders was dismissed after less than five months in the role. In March Saunders’ City had been defeated 2-1 in the League Cup final against Wolves.
Here for subscribers are Peter Swales’ comments (from an interview I did with him shortly before he died) on the dismissal:
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An odd one this but that’s football… On this day (21 November) 1960 Portsmouth became the first side ever to beat Manchester City in the League Cup. The round three tie ended 2-0 before a Fratton Park crowd of 10,386. Future City boss Ron Saunders scored both Portsmouth goals. Ah well! Here’s a contemporary report of the game (it seems Trautmann got into a bit of a dispute with the crowd and the police had to intervene!)
You can read about Ron Saunders’ time at City here:
The Old Trafford derby of 1974 is usually quoted as a decisive derby, however the Maine Road match was viewed at the time as being vital to United’s survival. In fact in the programme Red manager Tommy Docherty claimed: “Tonight’s game is one which decides our fate. City’s League Cup defeat is a big anti-climax for them and could help our fight for First Division survival.” Here for subscribers to this site is the story of that game – a highly controversial one that was almost abandoned due to player indiscipline!
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The City players lined up to applaud Wolves and congratulated them on their success. Dave Wagstaffe believed this was well received by his team mates: “That was great. Wonderful. If you looked at our team none of us had ever won anything. Even Derek Dougan! I think City were saying ‘Well done’. We really appreciated that. It meant a lot and said something about City. That night we celebrated at a club after the formal dinner and Franny Lee walked in with bottles of champagne. He gave them to us and said well done. It was a great gesture and said a lot about him and City at that time.”
Here for subscribers is the story of a final that, from a Manchester City perspective is often forgotten (in the early 2000s a history video of the club neglected to include it at all!):
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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.
On this day (2nd March) in 1974 Manchester City faced Wolverhampton Wanderers in the League Cup final at Wembley. It was City’s second League Cup final in four years and saw the Blues, managed by Ron Saunders, lose 2-1. Colin Bell scored for City. For the story of the game, including quotes from interviews I’ve performed with Bell, Swales, Wagstaffe etc., see: