I. The discovery of Manchester City
Back in 1976, when I was five years old, NRK send a lot of «Tippekamper» from English Division One (Premier League today). Most of the matches were with teams like Liverpool, Everton, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Leeds. But every now and then they showed Manchester City. I remember that it was the sky blue shirts and snow white shorts that first court my attention. But as the month past by, I began to understand that Manchester City played some of the best football in England. At Christmas that year I got my first Manchester City team kit. I remember that I used it almost every day.
To be a Manchester City fan in those days was a lonely experience. All my friends and other people was supporting either Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United or Leeds. Even my father was trying to convince me that it was Liverpool that was the best team in England. But I held on to Manchester City.
To be a City fan, is not boring. Almost every year we either are promoted or relegated. But trough the late 70`s and early 80`s we were pretty stabile at the top of the highest Division in England. This is probably the biggest reason why I have stayed faithful to the club all this years.
II. History and facts
My favourite football club was established in 1880, but back then the club was called West Gorton and played there matches at St. Marks in Manchester. From 1880 to 1887 they played at eight different stadiums. Her is a picture from one of the stadiums.
In 1887 the club changed its name to Ardwick FC. And they began playing theirs matches at Hyde Road. Hyde Road was their homepitch in 36 year.
They played their first match in the Football Alliance (FA) in 1891 (Division Two), and they finished fifth.
In 1894 Ardwick FC. became a limited company and changed their name to Manchester City FC. It took the club only four seasons to reach Division One in England. They got their nickname «Blues».
From 1894 to 1923 they took their first titles. The biggest win was in 1904 when they won the FA cupfinal against Bolton Wanderers 1-0. The same season they finished second in top Division.
In 1923 they moved to Maine Road. And this has been their homepitch until this season. Maine Road was one of the biggest stadium in England at that time.
Before this season they moved to a new stand «City of Manchester Stadium».
From 1923 to 2003 they have been relegated eight times and promoted eight times as well. (Its not boring being a Manchester City supporter). In this period they also took their biggest titles.
In the season 1936/37 and 1967/68 they won their first Division One Championships. And in 1933/34 (Portsmouth 2-1), 1956 (Birmingham 2-1) and 1969/70 (Leicester 1-0) they won the FA cup for their second, third and fours time.
Their biggest win came in 1970, when they beat Gornik Zabrze 2-1 in the European Cup Winners Cup. In the season of 1969/70 Manchester City was one of the biggest clubs in both England and World with three major titles.
In 1976 they was one of only three sides to have won the League Cup twice (they won it for the first time in 1970). And this is the last major title they have won, so it has no gone 27 year without any titles.
But as a loyal and true Manchester City supporter we are hoping that this is
the year to do it.
Throughout the years Manchester City have had a lot of managers. Who was manager from 1880 to 1930 is rader difficult to say. Almost every player who played in the club at that time, had something to do with either training or bringing other players to the club.
The first real manager Manchester City ever had was Wilf Wild, he was manager from 1930 to 1946. He was a former assistant secretary in the club. He is ranked as the second most successful manager at all time in Manchester City.
1946-1947 Sam Cowan (a former great player through the 1930`s)
1947-1950 John Thomson (a former Leeds player)
1950-1963 Les McDowall (a former great player in Man.City)
1963-1965 George Poyser (came form an assistant manager job)
In July 1965 Joe Mercer became manager. He formed one of the greatest teams that the country had ever seen. He led Manchester City through the glorious era of the late 1960`s and early 1970`s, picking up four major trophies. He suffered a serious stroke in 1964, but against the orders from his family and his doctor, he came back. But before the start of the 1971/72 season he came to a disagreement with the clubs owners, and he resigned. He later resaved The Order of the British Empire for his contribution for English football. He died in August 1990. He still remains as the most successful managers in the history of Manchester City.
1971-1973 Malcolm Allison (he was assistant manager under Joe Mercer)
1973-1973 Johnny Hart (a former player for Man.City)
1973-1974 Ron Saunders (came form a manager job in Norwich)
Tony Book became manager in Man.City in April 1974. After he had been assistant manager to Johnny Hart and Ron Saunders. Before that he was one of the major players during the «glory days». He is the last manager that had lead the club to a title (League Cup 1976, Newcastle 2-1). He stepped down as manager in 1979, and became General Manager in the club. He left Man.City in 1986.
1979-1980 Malcome Allison (again, he was manager in 1971-1973)
1980-1983 John Bond (came from a manager job in Norwich).
1983-1983 John Benson (former player and assistant manager under John Bond)
1983-1986 Billy McNeill (came from a manager job in Celtic. He later became a Member of the British Empire for his role in Celtic).
1986-1987 Jimmy Frizzell (he was assistant manager under Billy McNeill, stepped down in 1987, to become a General Manager. He is still in the club today, as a Chief Scout).
1987-1989 Mel Machin (came from a manager job in Norwich).
1989-1990 Howard Kendall (came from a manager job in Athletico Bilbao)
1990-1993 Peter Reid (came to the club as a player in 1989, and became Man.City first ever player-coach).
1993-1995 Brain Horton (came from a manager job in Oxford).
1995-1996 Alan Ball (came from a manager job in Southampton).
1996-1996 Steve Coppell (came from a manager job in Crystal Palace, he resigned after only six matches, claiming that managing the Blues was affecting his health).
1996-1998 Frank Clark (came from a manager job in Nottingham Forest).
1998-2001 Joe Royle (came from a manager job in Everton)
On Thursday 24th May former England boss, Kevin Keegan was unveiled as the new manager, he had signed a six year contract. And he is still the manager to day.
IV. Åge Hareide
Åge Hareide was one of the first player John Bond bought before season 1981/82. He got the nickname «Oggy», because all the other players had problems with the pronunciation of his name.
«Oggy» made his debut 24th October 1981, against Nottingham Forest. In that match he played against another Norwegian, Jan-Einar Aas. «Oggy» came in as a reserve the last 20th minutes, for an injured Martin O`Neill (no manager in Celtic). He had only played about 20th seconds when he was booked for a nasty tackle on Viv Anderson.
«When I came to Manchester in 1981, I came to a big club with long traditions. And the leader was still celebrating last season, when they reached the FA Cup final and had established themselves in the top Division».
«In my first year in Man.City we finished in a disappointing 10th place. And the club found it self in a very bad economic situation. The ones so loyal fans began to turn their backs to the club. And we, the players had to take a paycut».
«We was one over way to play Man.United, we had focused on this game through the whole week. When we reached Old Trafford we were met by hundreds of angry Man.United fans. They were shouting; «bastards» and «son of bitches», and throwing rotten eggs and tomatoes on our bus».
«It was then that I realised what English football was all about».
Åge Hareide left Manchester City after only one season. He went on to play for Norwich in November 1982.
V. Big players
Tommy Johnson is the player who have scored most goals for Man.City. From his debut in 1919 to his career ended in 1930 he scored 158 goals. He is also the player who have scored most goals in one season, with 38. (1928/29)
Bert Trautmann was named as player of the year in 1956. He was a fantastic goal-keeper in Man.City through the 50th. He is most famous for his FA Cup final against Birmingham in 1956. During this match he was injured. He complained about a «sore neck». It later was revealed that he had broken it.
Alan Arthur Oakes is the player who have played most matches for Man.City. Since his debut in 1959 he have played 565 games for The Blues. He retired in 1976. He is also one of the mostwinning players in Man.City`s history.
Dennis Law only played 79 matches for Man.City. He started his career in 1960, but played only one season. Before he moved on to Italy and Torino. He returned to Manchester the following season, but unfortunately he joined United. After 11 seasons at Old Trafford he was released on a free transfer and City`s manager Johnny Hart had no hesitation in re-signing him to the Blues. Ironically his last game of the season 1972/73 would also be his last in league football. And what a way to finish a great career. His back-heeled goal at Old Trafford effectively relegated his former club. He was devastated and left the field only minutes later.
Francis Henry Lee came to City from Bolton in 1967. And he scored 143 goals for The Blues, before he retired in 1974.
Joe Corrigan (Joseph Thomas Corrigen) is ranked as one of England`s best goalkeepers of all time. He was born in Manchester, and he signed for Man.City in 1966. He played seventeen seasons for The Blues, before he retired in 1983.
Niall John Quinn came to the club in 1985, he had then played in Arsenal for two seasons. He is the player with the second highest goalsheet in the clubs history. In 1991 he was voted Player of the year. He left to play for Sunderland in 1997.
Hopefully the future will not be as insecure at the first hundred year in the clubs history.
When we got Kevin Keegan as manager, we got a manager that had authority, experience and knowledge. And that had sign a long-term contract to the club. In his first statement to the Man.City fans he said; «Man.City is a sleeping giant, and I will do my very best to wake him up».
We started this season in a new stadium, «City of Manchester Stadium», this meant that approximately fifteen thousandth more spectators could follow the clubs matches at home. The opening match was played against Barcelona the 10th of August, and we won 2-1. A perfect start for the season and the new stadium.