Trautmann’s Back

On this day (15 December) back in 1956 was Bert Trautmann’s first League game after his devastating injury in the 1956 FAC final. It was also filmed by the BBC and ended in a 3-2 victory by Wolves.  It wasn’t a great Trautmann performance sadly and the general perception is that he was rushed back too soon. Here’s a match report of the game:

Lots of articles about Bert Trautmann appear on my website. Some are freely available while others are for subscribers only. Take a look at them via the following link and if you’re interested in any that are only available to subscribers then please subscribe. Thanks.

https://gjfootballarchive.com/tag/bert-trautmann/

A ‘Keeper’s Debut

On this day (23 November) in 1957 Manchester City goalkeeper Steve Fleet made his debut in a 4-3 defeat by League leaders Wolves. I’ve met and interviewed Steve often over the years and here’s a 2,500 interview I did with him where he talks about the circumstances around his debut, the game (it was an extraordinary match) and the rest of his career. I’ve also included a match report. Enjoy!

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Wolves Slain

Today (26 October) in 2011 Manchester City won 5-2 at Wolves in the League Cup before 12,436. Edin Dzeko scored twice of course that day. You can see highlights of the game here:

https://www.mancity.com/citytv/match-highlights/2011/october/wolves-v-city-carling-cup-extended-highlights-oct-2011

Away Run Ends: Wolves v City

On this day (6 October) in 1987 Manchester City defeated Wolves 2-0 away from home in the second leg of the second round League Cup tie. It was a weird period for City as the Blues had gone 37 games without an away win and the mood amongst fans was such that you simply had to be there when the win came. I travelled down with my future brother-in-law and father-in-law though at this time I still hadn’t met my future wife. I used to go to games with her brother and it was December 1987 before I actually met her. As for the football… the Blues had lost the first leg 2-1 but the scorelines for both games do not do this tie justice. Here’s a match report and key points from the day…

Wolves thought they had the tie sewn up after their 2-1 win at Maine Road but Andy Hinchcliffe netted after 11 minutes to make it 2-2. Wolves threw everything they had at City with a Midlands based reporter claiming that Wolves had: ‘City’s defence fumbling like geriatric slip fielders;. They hit the woodwork frequently and as fans stood on the away end we were convinced this would not be our day but, of course, City being City it was when you least expected something that it happened. Typical City used to work in positive ways as well as negative ones!

In the end John Gidman scored from a free kick in the 86th minute to guarantee a City victory on aggregate and end our winless away run. However, it was soon pointed out that we’d still not won away from home in the League for a ridiculously long time and so that became the next mission and, as fans, we kept travelling to those games waiting and hoping things would change.

Have a read of this report. There are some great lines in here comparing City to bunny rabbits and other stuff. I particularly like Mel Machin’s comment about the woodwork.

‘Where do you want your statue?’

In November 2020 I was delighted to be one of the speakers at a blue plaque unveiling for former Manchester City boss Joe Mercer in his home town of Ellesmere Port. It set me off thinking about permanent tributes to footballers and so for this article I’m taking a look at the tributes already made and questioning what else could be developed.

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Today in 1976

On this day (20 March) in 1976 a penalty from Dennis Tueart and a goal each from Mike Doyle and Ged Keegan gave City victory by the odd goal in five against Wolves at Maine Road.  City ended the season eighth while Wolves were relegated alongside Burnley (their last appearance in the top flight until 2009-10) and Sheffield United.

Historic Name That Ground – Week 5 Answer

On Monday I asked ‘Can you name the ground featured in the image above? The ground is still a prominent football venue.’ The answer is…

It’s Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux ground photographed in 1945 when Winston Churchill held a political rally there. According to reports there were 40,000 there.

Each week for the next few weeks I’ll post an image of a football ground taken in the past and you can see if you can recognise the ground. Some will be easy (believe it or not there are some grounds that have not changed much in all those decades!), others not so. You’ll be able to post your view in comments at the bottom of each page.

The following Friday I’ll post the answer.

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Old Trafford’s Record Crowd – Wolves v Grimsby

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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The 1974 League Cup Final – Wolves v Manchester City

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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On This Day in 1974

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:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/03/02/the-1974-league-cup-final-wolves-v-manchester-city/