Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Watch a 80-year-old video of City in the Cup final

This really is a fascinating video from British Pathe's online archive. It's a seven minute film
about City's 3-0 defeat to Everton in the 1933 FA Cup final, and it is packed with historical
resonance. It was the first Cup final to feature shirt numbers and City, lining up on the right,
are the first club to use the numbers 12-22.





















In the image above City captain Sam Cowan is introducing the players to the Duke of York.
Standing behind the Duke is Charles Clegg, and behind him is Frederick Wall. Three decades
earlier these two elderly figures had been the driving force behind an FA investigation into
City. That resulted in 11 directors, 18 players and the club's manager being banned from
football - and ushered in the rise of Manchester United.

City were hardly an establishment club in the early 1900s. Controlled by a Catholic newspaper
baron and Manchester Liberal, City had been snatched from the hands of a serving Conservative
Prime Minister and an Ardwick brewery that helped get him there. But by the 1930s, Freemasons
were back in charge, and City had become respectable, not to mention, highly successful.

The video is the 1930s equivalent of MOTD highlights and gives a great insight into style and
tactics, not that there was too much style on display on the cabbage patch of a Wembley pitch.
Matt Busby features for City, while Tommy Johnson - who had scored 166 goals in 354
appearances for City - plays for Everton. His sale three years earlier sparked protests from
City fans.

























Everton's second looked like a clear foul on the keeper to me, but back then players never
complained to referees. Following the match (at 6.26min) captains Sam Cowan and Dixie
Dean give a toast to Lancashire (you may remember it from Baddiel and Skinner's Fantasy
Football League).























Dixie Dean, though, does not look a happy bunny. Smoking a cigarette, he looks like he wants
to give the gentleman standing next to him a bit of a slap.

Click here to watch the video

Buy my new book on City's origins in time for Christmas


My new book, A Man's Game: The Birth of Mancunian Football and the Origins of Manchester
City FC (Books & Doxey), is still available in time for Christmas.

The 218-page paperback took me three years to research and two more to write and I'm pleased to say
I'm getting very positive feedback so far. You can read some of the reviews lower down the page.

                  Buy direct through the publisher for £9.75 plus £2.75 P&P via the BuyNow button 
                                                            & Save £0.13 on Amazon.co.uk price
                                                                                           
                                      Copies purchased through Buy Now are signed by the author
                                           & will be dispatched by 1st class post the following day 






                     UK Customers
                     
             
    
  Also available at Amazon.co.uk

        Worldwide customers  h
                   Amazon.com
       or Amazon's Createspace





                         Reviews                                                                                          


MCFC Official Programme

"An essential purchase for any fan interested in the early days of association
football in Manchester.

Old Newspaper clippings and Ordnance Survey maps from the 19th century provide
a glimpse into the past, with Keenan's considered commentary and analysis adding
fascinating insights into the formation of the club, and even the naming of Maine Road".


New light on an Old Subject 
Emeritus Professor Steve Rigby (Manchester University School of History)

Andrew Keenan manages to unearth a mass of new material about the origins of the
club and offers a number of important and original interpretations of City's genesis, in
particular challenging familiar views about the part played by St Mark's church, West
Gorton, in the club's formation.

Keenan locates the development of football in Victorian Manchester in the wider context of the city's political
and social history but his background in journalism means that the book never becomes dry or overly
academic even though it is based on original research into the primary sources.
(Steve's two-page review is in the current issue of King of the Kippax, available here.)

Brilliantly Researched & Well Worth A Read
Lee Hayes (co-owner, ManCityFans.net)

This book is not just for fans of Manchester City, anybody with an interest in the
history of the beautiful game will find it to be a brilliant and interesting read.

The amount of research that has gone into the book is staggering, and is backed
up with evidence such as newspaper cuttings and old maps. As well as introducing
new evidence on some aspects of City's history it also challenges important information such as how and
when the club actually came into existence.

If you think you know all about the history of MCFC, read this book and I guarantee you will learn
something new.

Great Read
Jon Camden (assistant headteacher and history teacher)

I love social history and I love football and if, like me, you do you'll love this book.
A Man's Game is an extremely well researched, interesting read. Keenan successfully
weaves the story of the origins of Manchester City with the wider social history of
Lancashire and Manchester to produce a fresh, fast paced, and fascinating account
of the beginnings of Association Football in the North West. Sex, religion, politics and
football: a winning combination.

 I read this relatively short book cover to cover in a few hours and found it hard to put down. And no,
you don't have to be a die-hard City fan to appreciate it, I'm a South London Palace fan, this book has
a broad appeal to anyone interested in the history of football.

An Original, Well-Researched and Engaging Read
Michael Marriott (history graduate, Exeter University)

'A Man's Game' ... skilfully weaves the club's history in to Manchester's rich
socio-religious past. The author is not afraid to slaughter sacred cows; the book
reveals shocking truths about Arthur Connell, one of the Eithad's historical heroes.

What is most notable, however, is the way in which the author substantiates his arguments with an
impressive array of original contemporary sources; newspapers, correspondence and photographs
are all used to better illustrate his points. It is through this fastidious research that Andrew Keenan
succeeds in providing a more nuanced and sophisticated history of Manchester City Football Club.

                                                                                     ~ ~ ~
                         You can contact me at akeenan(at)manchesterfootballhistory(dot)com.
                                  I'm also on Twitter @mcfchistory and on Facebook here.







Sunday, April 7, 2013

Do Man United have the wrong formation date?

  By ANDREW KEENAN                                                                     

The  exact year that Manchester United's forerunner, Newton Heath, were created has for many
years been a source of uncertainty. The first written account of the club's history, in the 1905-6 Book
of Football, was especially vague about the club's starting point.
"Somewhere about 1878 there were Association football clubs in a small way in the Manchester
district, and one of the best known of these was undoubtedly Newton Heath."
The discovery of a fixture list for the 1882-83 season, which stated that the Newton Heath (LYR) Cricket
and Football Club was formed in 1878, appeared to confirm matters. However, major doubts have
remained in the minds of those researching Manchester's football history. Newton Heath's first recorded
game wasn't until 20 November 1880 and the result, a 6-0 defeat away to Bolton Wanderers reserves,
suggests the club was new to the association game. It's also important to note that "football" in 1878
referred solely to the rugby code, while soccer was referred to as either "association" or "football
(association rules)". 

Now a newly-discovered report in the Manchester Courier, from 29 September 1884, becomes the first
contemporary account to state the club's starting year. According to the report, Newton Heath were a 
"four-year-old organisation", thus making 1880 the formation year.

The Manchester Courier report from 29 September 1884 
The article was written by the Courier's respected football columnist, "Dribbler", and was most likely based
on information supplied to him by the Newton Heath secretary (club secretaries also supplied newspapers
with match reports during this period). The newspaper appears to have been fastidious about its accuracy,
and was always quick to print corrections, so it's worth nothing that no correction to this article appeared
in subsequent weeks.

While a single newspaper cutting cannot be considered conclusive proof about Newton Heath's formation
date, it nevertheless becomes the most compelling piece of evidence we currently have. However, a new
starting date for Newton Heath would not alter the club's history in any significant way. And a far more
interesting question has always been why they were formed in the first place.

Manchester was an overwhelmingly rugby town until 1880. The city had only one association club by that
point, called Manchester Association Wanderers. It was made up of gentlemen players, many of whom had
moved to the area. But in November 1880 four new clubs, Manchester Arcadians, St Mark's, Newton
Heath and Clarence Association of Stalybridge, played their first recorded matches. These were the city's
first association clubs to be made up of working men, and the reasons they sprang up in such a short space
of time is only now becoming more clear.

Over the next few weeks I'll be going into more detail about the formation of these clubs, as well as revealing
newly-discovered details of the first association game to be played in Manchester. I'll also be listing the first
twelve football sides in Manchester, with details of their formation dates and origins, and telling the story of
how football almost missed Manchester by.

A new book on the origins of Manchester City on sale now

My first book on City's history, A Man's Game: The Birth of Mancunian Football and the Origins of 
Manchester City FC  is now on sale, published in paperback by Books & Doxey Press.
.
Revealing significant new evidence about City's formative years, the 218-page paperback book also
reveals how football became established in Manchester, including newly-discovered details of the first ever
match played in the city.

A Man's Game also provides a social history of Victorian Manchester, examining how football was
promoted by social reformers, with the aim of promoting a "Muscular" Christianity. It throws up many
surprising finds, including the violent suicide of a St Mark's clergyman, a transvestite sex scandal and a
lacrosse game involving Iroquois Indians. It also solves the mystery of why Manchester City's forerunner,
Gorton Association, wore a Maltese Cross on their shirts, tells the story of a women's football match that
sparked riots, and reveals how the city almost hosted a rugby World Cup in 1880.


                         A Man's Game costs £9.75 plus £2.75 post and packing (UK only).
                All copies purchased through the 'Buy Now' button are signed by the author. 




                      UK Customers:


             
    
  Also available at Amazon.co.uk

          Worldwide customers:  h
                   Amazon.com
       or Amazon's Createspace






                         Reviews                                                                                          


MCFC Official Programme

"An essential purchase for any fan interested in the early days of association
football in Manchester.

Old Newspaper clippings and Ordnance Survey maps from the 19th century provide
a glimpse into the past, with Keenan's considered commentary and analysis adding
fascinating insights into the formation of the club, and even the naming of Maine Road".


New light on an Old Subject 
Emeritus Professor Steve Rigby (Manchester University School of History)

Andrew Keenan manages to unearth a mass of new material about the origins of the
club and offers a number of important and original interpretations of City's genesis, in
particular challenging familiar views about the part played by St Mark's church, West
Gorton, in the club's formation.

Keenan locates the development of football in Victorian Manchester in the wider context of the city's political
and social history but his background in journalism means that the book never becomes dry or overly
academic even though it is based on original research into the primary sources.
(Steve's two-page review is in the current issue of King of the Kippax, available here.)

Brilliantly Researched & Well Worth A Read
Lee Hayes (co-owner, ManCityFans.net)

This book is not just for fans of Manchester City, anybody with an interest in the
history of the beautiful game will find it to be a brilliant and interesting read.

The amount of research that has gone into the book is staggering, and is backed
up with evidence such as newspaper cuttings and old maps. As well as introducing
new evidence on some aspects of City's history it also challenges important information such as how and
when the club actually came into existence.

If you think you know all about the history of MCFC, read this book and I guarantee you will learn
something new.


Great Read
Jon Camden (assistant headmaster and former history teacher)

I love social history and I love football and if, like me, you do you'll love this book. A Man's Game is an
extremely well researched, interesting read. Keenan successfully weaves the story of the origins of
Manchester City with the wider social history of Lancashire and Manchester to produce a fresh, fast
paced, and fascinating account of the beginnings of Association Football in the North West. Sex, religion,
politics and football: a winning combination.

 I read this relatively short book cover to cover in a few hours and found it hard to put down. And no,
you don't have to be a die-hard City fan to appreciate it, I'm a South London Palace fan, this book has
a broad appeal to anyone interested in the history of football.


An Original, Well-Researched and Engaging Read
Michael Marriott (history graduate, Exeter University)

'A Man's Game' ... skilfully weaves the club's history in to Manchester's rich
socio-religious past. The author is not afraid to slaughter sacred cows; the book
reveals shocking truths about Arthur Connell, one of the Eithad's historical heroes.

What is most notable, however, is the way in which the author substantiates his arguments
with an impressive array of original contemporary sources; newspapers, correspondence and photographs
are all used to better illustrate his points. It is through this fastidious research that Andrew Keenan succeeds
in providing a more nuanced and sophisticated history of Manchester City Football Club.

                                                                                       ~ ~ ~

                                   You can email us at info(at)manchesterfootballhistory(dot)com.
                                    We're also on Twitter @mancfoothist and on Facebook here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How Maine Road Got Its Name

The origins of the Maine Road name are revealed in A Man's Game: The Birth of Mancunian Football
and the Origins of Manchester City FCa new book charting City's earliest history.

Maine Road was originally called Dog Kennel Lane, and took its name from the dog kennels that were
located there. But by 1876 it was designated as "Domain Road" on Ordnance Survey maps, a translation
of the French word "Demesne" (pronounced "demain" or "deman"). That was the name of a nearby farm,
listed as "The Demesne" on an 1843 ordinance survey map (below).

An 1843 map showing the location of Demesne farm, south of  where Maine Road was built























However, it was still being called Dog Kennel Lane in newspapers, and by locals, some of whom seemed
quite attached to the name.

At a meeting of the Moss Side Local Board in September 1876 the local Temperance Society proposed
the name be officially changed to Domain Road, but after opposition "the matter was adjourned for further
consideration". Soon afterwards abbreviated forms of "Domain" were first used for the road's name. The
earliest record of it being called Maine Road was on 24 March 1879, but it was usually referred to as
Main Road in reports until 1893, after which Maine Road became the accepted name.

The road also had historical football significance years before City moved there. On 2 October 1875 a
letter to the Athletic News proposed the formation of Manchester's first association club. They were called
Manchester Association, and in February 1876 their home ground "was on land adjoining" Pepperhill Farm
in Moss Side, only a few hundred yards to the north-west of where Manchester City's Maine Road stadium
was later built. 

There is no record of the club playing there that season. However, in 1878 Manchester Association merged
with Manchester's only other club, Manchester Wanderers, and were renamed Manchester Association
Wanderers. On 19 November 1881 the Manchester Courier recorded that Maine Road had become their
home. The exact location of the ground is unknown, but this may have also been Manchester Association's
original Pepperhill Farm ground from 1876.

A match played at Maine Road, reported on 19 November 1881







                                                                               ~ ~ ~

A Man's Game  is the most detailed account of City's origins ever written. The result of four years research,
the book contains a vast amount of new information about City's earliest history - and the birth of
Manchester football.

~ ~ ~

You can email me at: info(at)manchesterfootballhistory(dot)com

You can also find me on Twitter @mancfoothist

Thursday, March 21, 2013

So Where Do We Start?

  By ANDREW KEENAN                 


1880. It is a date ingrained in the minds of virtually every City fan; the commonly-accepted starting
date for the club that became Manchester City FC.

Over the last four years I've been researching City's origins, and have unearthed a wealth of new information
that points to 1884 as being the correct starting point for the club. The research is contained in a new book,
A Man's Game: The Birth of Mancunian Football and the Origins of Manchester City FC.

Here is a timeline of keys events in City's formative years:

In November 1880 an Anglican church in the iron district of West Gorton created a football club, called
St Mark's. It is the first recorded association club in Manchester that was made up of working-class players
(though most of them would nowadays be termed "lower middle class"), and its first match took place on
13 November. A week earlier St Mark's had created a rugby club, and the two played alternate Saturdays
until 18 December, when both fielded teams. These sides were created in order to tackle the biggest
problem faced by the Church at that time - the loss of young men.
The first match report of St Mark's rugby team, for a game played on 6 November 1880
On 6 November the rector of St Mark's, Reverend Arthur Connell, attended a keynote speech by Bishop
Fraser at Manchester cathedral. Fraser revealed that over the previous 11 years only 14,050 young men
had been confirmed into the Manchester Church compared to 73,754 young women. He declared that it
had become a commonly held view that "religion is a thing for women rather than men”. The antidote,
evangelicals such as Connell believed, was a "Muscular" Christianity that would instill the manly values
of courage, loyalty and discipline.

However, football soon became a little too manly.

By 1882-83 violence on Manchester's football pitches had reached dangerous - sometimes fatal - levels.
St Mark's folded early in 1883, and around that time another club, West Gorton Association, played its first
recorded game. The team was made up largely of players from St Mark's, who may have founded the club.
It may also have originated from the nearby Union Iron works. However, the club was not to last much
longer.

There were four football clubs in Gorton that season: St Mark's, Belle Vue Rangers, Gorton Tank Rovers
and West Gorton Association. But by the start of the 1883-84 season only one was left standing. West
Gorton Association - which had been on the point of folding - was taken over by Belle Vue Rangers,
who took on West Gorton's name.

The following season a new club, Gorton Association - the club that evolved into Manchester City - was
created by a group of young footballers. According to the 25 October 1884 edition of the Gorton Reporter
“The members of the old West Gorton Association Football Club have pulled together, and, with the
assistance of a few other players, have formed a new club under the name of “Gorton Association”.
The first recorded line-up (above) reveals that four of the side had played for West Gorton a month earlier,
and three of those had been regulars for Belle Vue Rangers in the 1882-83 season. Only two players had
been regulars for St Mark's, while four had no known connection to any of the clubs in West Gorton.

This is clearly a very different club to St Mark's.

Gorton Association was created and run by its players and, reflecting the fact that its sole financial benefactor
was a Unitarian, was open to players of all Protestant denominations. St Mark's, on the other hand, was run
by a clergyman, and would have been restricted to parishioners. Other evidence illustrates how the two clubs
differed. None of Gorton's opponents in the 1884-85 season appeared on the St Mark's fixture list from 1882-83
and the club also played under the jurisdiction of the Football Association, which St Mark's did not. Lastly,
its name represented the whole Gorton area, not just West Gorton. Indeed, according to the census rolls,
only six of the players from Gorton AFC's first recorded line-up lived in West Gorton.

St Mark's certainly played an important role in laying the groundwork for Gorton AFC's creation, as did
Belle Vue Rangers, but the foundations of Manchester City FC were not laid until October 1884.

~ ~ ~

You can email me at: info(at)manchesterfootballhistory(dot)com

You can also find me on Twitter @mancfoothist

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Origins of Manchester City Football Club

Welcome to Manchester Football History, a site that will provide new information and insights into the
history of Greater Manchester's football clubs. The first project - chosen because I am a City fan -  is
a book called A Man's Game: The Birth of Mancunian Football and the Origins of Manchester City
FCThe result of more than four years' research, it is one of the most detailed accounts of a football club's
formative years ever written. A paperback version is available to pre-order (UK only) lower down this
page.

But this is not just a book for City fans. A Man's Game describes how association football emerged from
rugby's shadow, despite almost disappearing entirely from the city in 1879. It also contains discoveries
about United's early years, including new evidence that Newton Heath were formed in 1880, not 1878,
and how they were involved in a breakaway FA in 1884.

The book also details how Manchester's social reformers promoted team sports in order to keep young
men out of the pubs and bring about their “mental and moral improvement”, and how “Muscular” Christianity
was used to stem the flow of young men away from the Church. And it reveals how football developed its
own, less noble, culture, and how violence in the game soon reached dangerous - sometimes fatal - levels.

Over the next few days I'll be running stories about these, and the many other findings in the book,
including  new evidence of what St Mark's Reverend Arthur Connell was really like, and new information
about key figures in the club's history such as Lawrence Furniss and William Beastow.

For a club that has recently been accused of having “no history”,  A Man's Game shows how Manchester
City's formative years were actually interwoven with the rich and turbulent history of Manchester, the world's
first industrial city and one of the most important and influential centres of the Victorian world.

                                                                                          ~ ~ ~

You can email me at: info(at)manchesterfootballhistory(dot)com

You can also find me on Twitter @mancfoothist



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