WBA v MCFC: The Earliest Film

It’s West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City tonight (26 January 2021) in the Premier League. This game will be televised and so I thought I’d dig out the earliest known surviving film of WBA v MCFC at the Hawthorns.

Here it is:

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-football-season-opens

It’s a curious little film and it does show one of the goals (Albion’s not City’s) and so you will see Frank Swift making an attempt to save it. Notice at the start the way the two teams enter the field (more like the way it’s done at the moment during Covid than it was only a season or so ago).

WBA’s shirts are interesting with their extra white section on the front.

This game is from 25 August 1934 and ended 1-1 with Sam Barkas scoring for MCFC.

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Coming Soon – Peter Barnes Biography

I’ve been working with Peter Barnes since 2019 on his biography. This will cover his life & career and will be illustrated throughout. Personal items, such as Peter’s own artwork from school lessons (and earliest attempts at writing his autograph!), will appear in the book.

Written to a similar standard as my biography of Joe Mercer (Football With A Smile, first published in 1993, reprinted in 1994 and updated in 2010), this includes quotes from Peter throughout, alongside the views of players and managers.

This will, hopefully, prove to be a must have book for fans of Manchester City & United, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Real Betis and the other clubs Peter played for.

Details will be revealed here later this year, but it is anticipated the book will be available before the end of the current football season (assuming Covid does not add any further delays). There will be the opportunity to subscribe to the book before publication (and get your name included in the subscriber section at the back of the book).

Watch this space!

On This Day 1977 – Manchester City and Joe Royle

On this day (11th January) in 1977 Joe Royle ensured Manchester City, wearing their famous red & black striped kit, progressed to face Newcastle United in the FA Cup by scoring the only goal of the Third Round replay at West Bromwich Albion.  The first game had ended in a 1-1 draw at Maine Road.

Royle’s goal came in the 19th minute on the snow at the Hawthorns in a game that many people felt should never have started, though City were not going to complain about that once they had control of the match. According to some reports Albion didn’t have a single shot in the match.

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Manchester City Season 2008-09

Previous Season

The Blues ended 2007-08 in ninth place, five places higher than the previous season.  However this was not good enough for owner Thaksin Shinawatra who dismissed manager Sven Goran Eriksson in the close season.  His replacement was former United star Mark Hughes, but few fans were impressed as they had loved Sven’s brief period in charge and were uncertain what to make of the summer’s changes.

League Overview

By the time Mark Hughes managed his first League game the Blues had already started their UEFA Cup campaign with victory over Streymur from the Faroe Islands.  The first League game saw Hughes’ side defeated 4-2 at Aston Villa – all six goals came in the second half – and it is fair to say that fans were not particularly enamoured with the position the Blues were now in when compared with twelve months earlier.  

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