True Blues – Billy Meredith

Continuing the weekly series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on Billy Meredith who was the captain and goalscorer for Manchester’s first major trophy success. You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below:

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There will be another ‘True Blue’ featured next Monday. Use the tag ‘True Blues’ to find other profiles in this series.

True Blues – St Mark’s Community Leaders

Continuing the weekly series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on the community leaders in St Mark’s, West Gorton, during the development of footballing activities in the 1870s & early 1880s. There are a lot of myths out there! You can find out more below:

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There will be another ‘True Blue’ featured next Monday. Use the tag ‘True Blues’ to find other profiles in this series.

True Blues – Tom Maley

Continuing the weekly series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on the first manager to bring major trophy success to Manchester – Tom Maley. You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below:

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Read more of this content when you subscribe today. Annual subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since December 2020 for an annual subscription of £20 (works out about £1.67 per month). There’s also a monthly subscription (see below).

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There will be another ‘True Blue’ featured next Monday. Use the tag ‘True Blues’ to find other profiles in this series.

The full series of True Blue profiles will feature:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

Politics & Sportswashing

Lots said these days about using football as a means of ‘sportswashing’. The basic idea being that politicians and state leaders use football to sell a better image of themselves. The suggestion often made in the media is that this is a recent phenomenon but of course, like so many other things in life, it’s far from new. In fact, as far as football goes there are plenty of examples of politicians or businessmen pushing a particular idea to fans of certain clubs. As Manchester City are often highlighted today by those who are critical of the club’s owners, I thought it would be worth posting this image of a postcard created to promote a Manchester City director’s Conservative campaign.

Chapman was the first chairman for City back in 1894 and years later he died in office during his second spell as City’s chair. As part of his political campaigns he often linked the club’s successes to help present a positive image of success to potential voters. City’s captain Billy Meredith even campaigned for him at times.

City chairman John Chapman used City’s success as part of his political campaign.

Chapman was a decent guy it seems and both his political career and City chairmanship seemed on the whole to be positive for the people of Ardwick, though of course there were critics.

Regardless of how he was viewed it is clear that he did use City’s successes as part of his political campaigns. Nowadays someone would call this sportswashing no doubt, but it does show how people have used their sporting connections to further other ambitions. There’s nothing new in football!

My True Blue profile of Chapman will appear on 27 March 2023. You can read other True Blue profiles of City’s earliest figures by using the True Blue tab below. Thanks.

True Blues: William Sumner, the Earliest Captain

Continuing the weekly series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on William Sumner, the man who captained St Mark’s (West Gorton) in their earliest known fixture in November 1880. You can find out more about Sumner and the latest research below:

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The full series of True Blue profiles will feature:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

True Blues – Walter Chew

Continuing the weekly series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on Walter Chew, a man associated with the first known season of St Mark’s (though there are serious doubts on whether the 16 year old played in the earliest known game). Chew went on to be a key figure in the club’s formative years but there are some myths out there about him and that time. Please note: My MCFC v AVFC programme article earlier this season included a typo which said he was 15 at the time of St Mark’s earliest known game. That should’ve read 16 (his obituary above is from August 1948 which says he was 84 at the time of his death, meaning he’d have been 16 in November 1880). You can find out more about Chew and the latest research below:

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Read more of this content when you subscribe today. Annual subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since December 2020 for an annual subscription of £20 (works out about £1.67 per month). There’s also a monthly subscription (see below).

Subscribe to get access – Monthly

Monthly subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since 1 October 2022 for a monthly subscription of £3 (cancel any time).

There will be another ‘True Blue’ featured next Monday. Use the tag ‘True Blues’ to find other profiles in this series.

The full series of True Blue profiles will feature:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

True Blues – Joshua Parlby

Continuing the weekly series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on Joshua Parlby who was the visionary who was the main figure behind the creation of Manchester City. He was also a former Stoke footballer and committeeman. As an appetizer for my forthcoming talk (1 March – see below). You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below:

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Read more of this content when you subscribe today. Annual subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since December 2020 for an annual subscription of £20 (works out about £1.67 per month). There’s also a monthly subscription (see below).

Subscribe to get access – Monthly

Monthly subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since 1 October 2022 for a monthly subscription of £3 (cancel any time).

There will be another ‘True Blue’ featured next Monday. Use the tag ‘True Blues’ to find other profiles in this series. If you want to join my free online talk concerning Parlby and City see:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/joshua-parlby-the-launch-of-manchester-city-tickets-537769542177

The full series of True Blue profiles will feature:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

True Blues – John Allison

Continuing the series of ‘True Blue’ figures associated with the early years of Manchester City, here’s an article on John Allison who was a key figure with Ardwick AFC, Manchester City, Salford Harriers and also at Celtic. You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below:

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Read more of this content when you subscribe today. Annual subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since December 2020 for an annual subscription of £20 (works out about £1.67 per month). There’s also a monthly subscription (see below).

Subscribe to get access – Monthly

Monthly subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since 1 October 2022 for a monthly subscription of £3 (cancel any time).

The full series of True Blue profiles will feature:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

True Blues – Lawrence Furniss

Lawrence Furniss was a key figure behind the development of Manchester City for 60 years and his achievements should never be forgotten.  His contribution to the City cause was total.  He was given (and thoroughly deserved) the accolade of being City’s first Life President. You can find out why this man was such an important figure in Manchester City history below (there’s also some film of him at Maine Road in the 1920s:

Subscribe to get access – Annual

Read more of this content when you subscribe today. Annual subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since December 2020 for an annual subscription of £20 (works out about £1.67 per month). There’s also a monthly subscription (see below).

Subscribe to get access – Monthly

Monthly subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since 1 October 2022 for a monthly subscription of £3 (cancel any time).

The full series of True Blue profiles will feature:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

Starting Monday: True Blues

Starting Monday and running each Monday for nine weeks I’m doing a new weekly series of profile articles on some of the earliest figures behind the development of Manchester City. Some of these will be players or managers, while others will be directors, chairmen or other figures associated with the club in some way. Some of them will be fairly unknown while others may still be recognisable names today. All deserve to be remembered.

The people featured are:

Lawrence Furniss, John Allison, Joshua Parlby, Walter Chew, William Sumner, Tom Maley, St Mark’s community leaders, Billy Meredith, John Chapman, William Beastow and James Moores.

Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of them – you soon will. I’ve been obsessed with the origins of football in Manchester for decades now. In the 1980s I first started researching the early years of City and spent many, many hours every week in libraries and other locations trying to piece together the club’s story, particularly its formative years in West Gorton, Gorton and Ardwick. I also contacted various churches, local history groups and more in the desperate hope they had something – anything – of interest. From a St Mark’s perspective this included contact with Emmanuel Church in West Gorton (who took over from St Mark’s as the local church when St Mark’s was demolished; sadly in the early 1990s they told me all St Mark’s records had either been destroyed or had been passed on to Manchester Cathedral) and later with Manchester Cathedral.

In the early 1990s I also tracked down the son of the 1950s editor of the St Mark’s parish magazine as in a feature the former editor had written he discussed the original parish magazine, published in the 1880s, and explained that he had copies of every issue in front of him. I was convinced these would hold clues as to the development of the football club. Sadly, despite considerable effort on his part his son came back to me with the news that the magazine had been disposed of when his father either moved or died. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens a lot.

Anyway, these True Blue profiles are only one small glimpse into those early years. If you’d like to read more then please let me know and I’ll try and share as much as I can from my archive of material, researched continuously since the mid-1980s.

So, watch this space! These ‘True Blue’ profiles will be available to subscribers. See below for details of how to subscribe either monthly (cancel anytime) or annually.

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Annual subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since December 2020 for an annual subscription of £20 (works out about £1.67 per month).

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Monthly subscribers can access all the articles, talks, books and interviews posted since 1 October 2022 for a monthly subscription of £3 (cancel any time).