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 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

        Worldwide customers  h
       or Amazon's Createspace


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,

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.

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