My City Life part one (the fifties) See part 2 below?
See also City Programme below, at end of text.
My first ever experience of the BLUES began on Saturday 12th Feb 1955 and as an 8 year old I couldn't recall much from the game other than legs running past at eye level,of course my dad took me to old trafford to witness a 5-0 victory that day and it started off my interest and love for manchester city football club.However my next game wasn't until the following season,April 2nd 1956 to be exact at Maine road when just weeks before the FA Cup final Sunderland were the visitors,it was a sunny afternoon with around 44,000 in the ground,we won that day 4-2 but there was one man who stood out and that was Bert Trautmann although I did spend most of the game running up and down the steps at the back of the old Platt Lane stand adjacent to the main stand where it curved round I'll never forget the wooden terracing similar to that of the Belle Vue speedway aces stadium at Hyde road,in essence from that day Bert was my hero. There were other players such as Bobby Johnstone,Roy Paul,Bill Leivers and Joe Hayes just to name a few that all held a place in my heart in those early days.Going back to the 55' FA cup final against Newcastle which took place on my 9th birthday 7th May we didn't have a telly in them days and I was kicking a ball about in one of the avenues close to my house in Withington when an old neighbour and friends of my parents Mr & Mrs Bent who lived at 19 Hassall ave invited me in to watch the match on BBC I was thrilled to bits and obviously must have shown some disappointment at losing because Mr Bent said "never mind Teddy they will win it next year" he probably said that out of pure sympathy because 'The Bents were United fans' of course he was right was good old Mr Bent, the following year we beat Birmingham but the triumph was marred by Trautmanns injury.United won the league title that season so it was a good time for Manchester football but then again my dislike for them wasn't apparent in those early days.However a few weeks later my dad got some prints of the game from a mate who worked on the papers and one was that save Bert made at the feet of Birminghams Peter Murphy which led to his broken neck they were superb and I couldn't help but show them off at school the following day. I attended Old Moat junior school at the time and I sat next to a United fan and when my back was turned (hands up "can I go to the toilet sir?" he torn them to bits I was devastated and for someone who's own favourite football team had just won the championship it was hard to understand but I suppose that was the first pivotal moment when the bitter rivalry had commenced and I have to admit he was the first person I hated in my life,strangely enough he made contact with me recently through an article in the MUEN and I reminded him of the incident of course he denied all knowledge but did make a SARCY remark about our trophy cabinet, still Uniteds results have done my talking since so I have got my own back in a way .The season after 56/57 I began attending matches some at three quarter time waiting for the gates to open,occasionally I used to wait for my dad outside the Princess Hotel on Mauldeth rd west and I jumped on the crossbar of his bike and off we went down Princess rd into Claremont rd on to Maine Road in time for those giant gates to open,funilly enough he parked his bike against the wall and when the game had finished it was still there! However the first game of the 56/57 season on 25th August was against Aston Villa I had saved all summer just to at the first three home games, that day we drew 1-1 and I can remember their Keeper Nigel Sims, we had John Savage in goal deputising for Bert along with the likes of Roy Little, Ken Barnes and Don Revie. The same season we played Werder Bremen in a friendly fixture where Trautmann and one of their players Heinrich Tunnermann were at school together Bremen were one of Germany's leading lights those days, I cant remember the score that night on March 11th 1957 but 15 years later to the day I married margaret at St Stephens RC church in Droylsden, on the same day City beat Everton at Goodison park 3-2. During that time time Roy (nobby Clarke) lived in Victoria road in Fallowfield which was only a short distance from where I lived and I used to pedal past his house regularly hoping to catch a glimpse of him and did sometimes and he always acknowledged me, at that time he owned the Sports depot on Princess road in Moss side where I used to buy studs and dubbin for my football boots he was always on hand to give advice, later he bought a shop on the corner of Wimslow road and Dickenson road and not long after ended up at the corner of Wilbraham road, that building today is a wine bar. On match days when I could afford it me and my pals used to meet in the Avenue and off we went to Maine road via Mr Bs the toffee shop a few doors down from the old Cresta picture house where we either bought a frozen jubbly or a few arrow bars,sometimes a Sherbert and liquorice on arriving at the stadium it was still empty so we always got a good spot to watch the game, I sometimes stood on the rail next to the flagpole behind the goal at the scoreboard end later before the Kippax stand was errected there was one at the top of the terracing there and I stood there on numerous occassions. From 57' onwards as KOTK will know our team was in rapid decline and at the beginning of every campaign we were forever being brainwashed by the clubs management things were about to take a turn for the better, they never did but we still stuck by them. During this period the pre-season training took place at Shawe view off Chassen Rd in Urmston,we caught the 22 single decker bus which ran from Lloyd road in Levenshulme to Eccles bus station but sometimes in the school holidays we walked it! During our pilgramage to Shawe view I can recall chatting and kicking a ball with Paddy Fagan the same sunny day we seen Roy Paul driving away on to Chassen road in his maroon and yellow Vauxall Victor with his window down laughing and joking with Ken Barnes and John Savage It was always sunny it seemed the smell of the freshly cut grass told us all the footy season wasn't far away they were great days especially when you got the opportunity to see players such as Paddy Fagan, Ron Phoenix, Keith Marsden, Ken Barnes, Denis Fidler etc etc etc carrying out their pre season training, and then there was the public practice games that took place at Maine road the week before the season started, was it the light blues verses the Yellows or was it the probables verses the possibles? There was usually about 4,000 at the game and the pitch was like a bowling green but come easter time and sometimes earlier there was a bare patch all the way down the middle from goalmouth to goalmouth. Before each home game we were entertained by the Beswick prize band with female vocalist Sylvia Farmer the star attraction conducted by Mr Albert Risby the tune Washington greys immediately comes to mind. Around 1958/9 we were all used to a relegation dogfight at the end of the season where Bobby Johnstone, Trautmann, Leivers, Mcadams, Hayes and players such like always pulled us through. I remember the Central league games at home when they put the score up every 15 mins keeping us in touch with the score from the first team usually it was bad news especially that day West Brom beat us 9-2 the poor old scoreboard keeper arms must have been dropping off in fact after the first 15 mins he actually put us down as winning 2-0 when actually we were losing by that score and by half time we were 3-1 down, seven goals in the 2nd half was incredible sadly six of them ended up in our net! occasionally after the last score went up with 15 mins to go we were drawing so at the end of the game we all congregated around the main enterance where usually the commissionaire came out to give us the bad news that we lost but if we drew or WON and the cheers could be heard all the way down Lloyd street and Claremont road, some days we went straight home and got the result off sports report on BBC radio (the light programme I think) YES the fifties was a mixture of delight, success and near relegation. During this time I only went to two away fixtures the first ever one was at Blackpool on Oct 19th 1957 where we won 5-2 it was no mean feat in those days because the seasiders had players such as Stanley Mathews, Bill Perry, Roy Gratrix, George Farm in goal, Ernie Taylor, Jackie Mudie and Stan Mortessen in their side. That day me and a couple of mates caught the 102 bus to Mosely street bus station where we jumped on a Ribble bus to Blackpool, it was a great day and after the game we bought fish & chips from Pablos on the front and seen the illuminations before catching the bus back home. My next away game came on the very first day of the 58/59 season at Turf Moor against Burnley and a Finglands coach picked us up outside Cloughs newsagents on Princess parade next to the Cresta cinema where not long after I became a paper boy there. This game was remarkable we were 3-0 down at the interval and only for Trautmann's heroics it could have been 7 or 8 however it was a game of two halfs because City came out and scored four times, Bert saved a penalty and we ended up 4-3 winners, that season but typical City went into their last game that campaign needing a win against Leicester to stay up, we won and Bobby Johnstone had the game of his life, we walked home down Lloyd street into Platt Lane, down Winsford road on to Wilbraham, and on to the Princess parade chippy where we celebrated with fish & chips you would have thought City had won the league Championship that night. My most favourite match from the fifties was against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 5th Sept 1959 we lost 6-4 but it was a great game against then the current League Champions, that day I was stood on the spikes at the rear of the Kippax stand and didn't miss a piece of the action. Here is my team of the Fifties 2-3-5 formation OF COURSE ---- Trautmann, Leivers, Little, Barnes, Ewing, Paul, Johnstone, Hayes, Mcadams, Dyson, Clarke.
for some reason or other tunnermann didn't turn out that night.The game took place on march 11th and 15 years later on the same day I married margaret at st stephens r.c. in droylsden and on the same afternoon city won away at everton 3-1! During the late fifties roy (nobby) clarke lived in victoria road in fallowfield which was a stone throw from where I lived in eddisbury ave in withington me and my mates used to pass his house and always look out for him and he always acknowledged us.at the time he owned the sports depot in Princess road in moss-side where we bought our football gear from such as laces,studs and dubbin in the tin,later he moved to the corner of dickenson road and wimslow road and a few years later to the corner of wilbraham road,those premises today are now a wine bar.On match days when we could afford it my mates and I used to meet in the avenue and off we went stopping on the way at mr bs toffee shop on the main road near wilbraham road just past the old cresta picture house.We usually bought 1d arrow bars or if it was warm a frozen Jubbly.I sometimes used to stand on the flag polke behind the goals at the scoreboard end and later on the one at the top of the kippax stand.From 57' onwards our team fell into decline but we stook by them we had to otherwise our club would have gone under.during this period the pre season training was at Shawe view home of our a & b sides,we caught the single decker 22 bus which run from levenshulme to eccles and sometimes during the school holidays we walked it!It was always sunny when we went to urmston,we could smell the freshly cut grass which told us the season wasn't far away.Our team those days consisted of the likes of paddy fagan,ron phoenix, keith karsden, ken barnes, john mctavish,colin barlow etc etc. The Saturday before the season commenced there was always a public practice match between the probables and the possibles or the light blues verses the yellows or maroons.the game used to attract around 4,000 and the pitch was like a bowling greem,however by the time easter arrived it was bare all down the middle and down the lines.before all the first team games we were entertained by the Beswick prize band conducted by albert risby,the tunes of washington greys and american stars and stripes immeditely come to mind.I can also recall the central league matches at maine rd where every 15 mins the score from the first team game was relayed on the old green scoreboard,one game in particular was the 9-2 drubbing we got off west brom in 58/59 season the scoreboard man put the wrong score up after 15 mins he had us down as winning 2-0 the crowd were elated only to be gutted when he changed it around we was in fact losing 2-0 that game took place on 21st sept 1957 and the week before we were stuffed 6-1 by preston north end, to maintain our uncanny jeckyl and hyde type of form the game following the hawthorns massacre we beat tottenham at home 5-1!.At the end of those games we used to all congrgate outside the main enterance and usually the commissionaire gave us the bad news we had lost again! But if we drew or won the cheers could be heard as far away as platt Fields.yes the fifties were a mixture of delight,success and failure but lets face it thats in our script,our unpredictability was with us then all those years ago and I can recall a match against the might wolves on september 5th 1959 we were two goals up inside the first ten minutes but went on to lose 6-4,that was one of the finest ever games I had the pleasure of watching at maine road . my first away game was on october 19th 1957 we beat blackpool 5-2 at bloomfield road and they had Sir stanley mathews,bill perry.roy gratrix,jackie mudie,george farm,stan mortesen and ernie taylor playing for them,they were a very good side and we went there and stuffed them.That day we caught the 102 bus to mosley street bus station to blackpool it was a ribble bus too,after the game we went on the funfair ate fish & chips from the famous pablo's on the front and viewed the illuminations,all this after a great away win, happy days!!!!
Regards, Ted. 29/06/05
Next - MY STORY ON THE SIXTIES.
See Ted's other contribrutions of his school days
Many thanks Ted, we shall all look forward to that.
As we arrived at the sixties I was now working as a paper boy for Cloughs newsagents on Princess parade, so now there wasn't a problem of getting to watch my favourite team although, I did have to hand over half of the 15 shillings to my mam. Usually if I did go to a game whether it was a central league or first division fixture I had to leave early to start my paper round, but I could catch up on all the latest scores in the stop press of the M.E.N. Our team around 1960 were players such as Barrie Betts who had just joined us from Stockport, Cliff Sear, Jackie Plenderleith who signed from Hibs, Dave Shawcross, Joe Baker, Clive Colebridge and George Hannah amongst a few others I've already mentioned. We struggled all season as per usual. However, our shining light was Denis Law, who Les Mcdowall had signed from Huddersfield the previous season for £55,000 having made his debut at Leeds United on March 19th 1960. Sadly not many of Denis's teamates were on the same wave length as him and his magnificent skills and pace were sometimes wasted. Eventually he moved abroad to Torino in Italy. I can recall the night Law joined City because I was walking down towards our house in Eddisbury Ave in Withington when I heard a neighbours television giving out the news, through an open window. I was over the moon, at last we had a player renowned for his attacking flair. On walking in our house at No 5 my mam couldn't understand why I was so happy "whats up with you" she asked? I replied "Denis Law has just signed for City" "who is he"? she replied, the rest is history and the day he sold his soul to play for that lot across the road was the moment I lost respect for him. More so when he dived to win a penalty in the 1-1 at Maine road in May 63' after Harry Dowd was alleged to have pulled him down in the area. However, it was an awful back pass from David Wagstaffe but had we won we would still have gone down, although any victory against Man United would have done,there is more on that story to follow. During his time at City and United until he got married, Denis lived in lodgings at 23 Goulden road in West Didsbury, I always used to see his RED Jaguar parked outside when I was passing to and from work, when I worked on Lapwing lane during 62/65. I originally left school in July 1961 and started work as a GPO Telegram boy on Aug 8th in Spring Gardens, off Market street. City were going from bad to worse and experiencing relegation dogfights were part of my life. The first game of the 62/63 season was away at Wolves. So off I went to the reserve game at Maine road, that fixture too was against the Wanderers. We lost 5-0 but the worst senario was that our first eleven lost 8-1 at Molyneux, the old green scoreboard was evidence of pure misery every 15 mins. Worse was to come because on Sept 8th West Ham slaughtered us 6-1 at Maine rd. Trautmann got sent off for what I still believe now, was for kicking the ball at the referee's backside. On our way home via a demo outside the main enterance listening to chants of SACK MAC SACK MAC we called in Mr Bs (toffee shop, Mr Bickford was his name ,one of his sons Keith was a class mate of mine at Old Moat secondary) for a bag of peanuts before I began my paper round. Of course our United pals enjoyed every moment of more demise and adversity as would we, I'm sure as we have done, if it had been the other way round. The next day Sunday Sept 9th was a very sad day because news reached me that my uncle John had died very suddenly at home at 18 Ashford road in Withington and for some time after it brought life into perspective. However good news arrived two weeks later on Sept 15th when I heard City had beat United at Old Trafford in the pouring rain, 3-2 the winning goal from Alex Harley, came in the last minute. I was working that day but was frustrated at not being witness to such a rare event as it was in those days. We went down that season and me and my pals Brian (OSCAR) Holt Dave Webb, Terry Broderick and Alan Vickers were all accepting the stark reallity that our team were simply USELESS, but we stuck by them. Eventually Mcdowall was sacked and replaced by George Poyser and in a nut shell IT GOT WORSE and Iam moving on! Before I do, in the penultimate game of 63/62 with City needed to win the last two games we were beating United 1-0, we had just had a goal unjustly disallowed apparently Alex Harley was in an offside position when he slotted the ball past David Gaskell, Eh there were no camera replays in those days. But I have to say there was a doubt about whether or not he was in an offside position! Not long after we all witnessed Denis Law dive in the area after a weak David Wagstaffe back pass and they were awarded a penalty, that Albert Quixall stuck away. We were down failing a miracle, at West Ham, which never came because we lost 6-1 at Upton Park. After the game which took place on a wednesday night we gathered around the main enterance there were very few protests because our hearts had been torn out by our inevitable demotion to the second division. What sickened us more was that as the United coach drew away I saw players such as Crerand, Maurice Setters and Albert Quixall gesturing and laughing, suggesting they were glad we were almost down. It was ridiculing to such an extent I HATED UNITED from that day onwards, to rub salt in our wounds they won the F.A. Cup. The following week, 63/4 season was going great until Jimmy Murray suffered a torn cartilage and his partnership with Derek Kevan ended. Consequently our goals tally dried up and we ended up half way. Newcastle and Leeds went up that season. I will never forget boxing day of that season 1-0 up at half time against Scunthorpe, we ended up beating them 8-1. When I got home my mam told me Dad had won the buster ran from the Princess hotel on the strength of City's eight goals. 64/65 brought more heartache and in between my work I exposed myself to pure torture of having to watch a football club in rapid decline. Oscar Holt, Dave Webb and Terry Broderick had abandoned ship and it was left to Alan and myself to suffer it together,as manager George Poyser was a complete failure other than signing Johnny Crossan, he was eventually sacked, and after Mercer arrived Crossan was kept on to assist the magnificent successes, Mercer and Allison were about to achieve. I used to see Crossan in the Fallowfield hotel on Wilbraham road and at one time he lived in the same digs as Alan Ogley in Rosedale road road off platt lane. We always had hope. we always talked in depth to and from the grand old place deep inside hoping for a miracle. That miracle arrived in the summer of 1965 but we were still a bit sceptical, Joe Mercer had just been sacked by Aston Villa, he was recovering from a nervous breakdown so everyone I suppose had their doubts. The night the news broke out about Mercer's appointment I was in a Youth club in Chorlton called Mcfaddens on Barlow moor road listening to Elvis singing crying in the Chapel followed by Concrete and Clay by Unit four plus two at the time my thoughts should have been echoed by Barry Mcguires EVE OF DESTRUCTION but thinking back Bob Dylan was also singing THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING!!! Gladly all my fears didn't turn out to happen because Joe's first recruitment was Malcolm Allison from Plymouth Argyle and what happened next? he signed Ralph Brand from Rangers, Tony Book from Plymouth, George Heslop from Everton, Stan Horne as a trialist, Mike Summerbee from Swindon Town, Colin Bell from Bury and Franny Lee from Bolton. Tony Coleman from Doncaster, followed by the league title ,the FA Cup, the League Cup, the European cup winners cup and more so DOMINATION over United ALL THANKS TO DEAR OLD JOE! Situations do sometimes change the course of your life, as it has with mine, but Manchester City football club will always be part of my life. There were some good days in the 70s-80s -90s and in recent times with the exception of Gillingham in 99' there were a few awful moments, but its a roller coaster at City and its something we all have to live with and try and enjoy. Its just that the fifties and sixties hold many fond memories for me these particular ones only being just a few, now here is my team of the sixties 2-3-5 of course Dowd, Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Heslop, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Crossan, Young.
1968/69 one of the finest teams to represent Manchester City Football club
Regards, Ted. 29/07/05 See City's Old and New Grounds?
Many thanks once again, Ted
My Ciy Life Part Three
The 70's provided me with a mixture of happiness,sadness and bitterness, so happy in 70' when we won the European Cup winners cup along with the League Cup, sadness soon followed because in 71' after we looked like achieving a back to back ECWC success injuries ravaged our team and Chelsea beat us in the semi final. Dave Sexton was their manager at the time and although they went on to beat Real Madrid in the final City were a better side its just that you can't cope having to face such a game with no fewer than five regulars missing through injury. In 72' we looked certs to win the title and at Easter time had we beat Stoke at Maine road a five point gap would have opened up as it was we lost 2-1 despite being camped in their half for most of the game. I was particularly upset because Rodney Marsh took all the blame that day. I missed the game because I was attending a mates wedding in Stretford and when the result came through my heart sank. The reception was at the Trafford Park hotel and it was full of United fans all gloating at our defeat. It was so painful because I knew deep down inside, the title was lost that day. If City had won the title that season, Marsh would have been a hero and Allison a genius as far as the cynics were concerned, but it wasn't to be. In essence Rodney was unfairly slaughtered by the fans and the media which still to this day, annoys me. One other sad day was when Sunderland beat us 3-1 in an FA Cup replay at Roker Park. I really thought we would go all the way but looking back, Stokoes men had their name on the trophy. 1974 saw us back at Wembley for the league cup final against Wolves, and in a very one sided game, we somehow managed to lose my late brother Bob, and I went to wembley but we came home bitterly disappointed. Not long after Ron saunders was sacked by Peter Swales, who months before gave him a mandate to phase out the older players. He followed those instructions, the players revolted and poor old Ron was sacked! Tony Book the head of the player power (my opinion) took over, and in 1975 brought the league cup back to maine road. In close season Swales negotiated a deal with Sunderland where Tony Towers went to Roker and in return Tueart,Watson and Horswill came to City. It proved to be a great deal because of the Wembley triumph, and in 77' we did finish runners up in the league to Liverpool, and competed in the EUFA Cup a few times. As the 70s came to an end so too looked our fortunes, because for the next two decades we were mismanaged at every level. We suffered relegation on numerous occasions but still managed to sustain a magnificent fan base. One which, in my opinion, that kept the club afloat, but sometimes not appriciated by our club themselves, and most certainly not recognised by the media. Sadly, Maine road no longer exists, and whenever I pass the old site, tears come to my eyes. Great memories spanning over five decades from Les Mcdowall to Stuart Pearce, two FA Cup triumphs, one title win, two league cup successes and one European Cup winners Cup victory apart from the 56' final. They were all celebrated in watering holes such as The Albert pub in Rusholme, The Sherwood on Claremont Road, the Parkside on Lloyd street and the BIG Princess on Princess Road/Mauldeth road west. Some happy days, some sad, some bitter, but hopefully some happy and successful ones on their way, HOPEFULLY!
Yours in football. Ted Knott 16/08/05
Many thanks once again, Ted
A Football Night Out in Bolton
It was september 3rd 1958 I was in 2nd year at Old Moat Secondary School in Withington,it was a day I'll never forget City were playing away at Burden Park home of Bolton Wanderers and we we played something like 3/6d for a Finglands coach journey with my pals from Cloughs a local newsagents on Princess road in Fallowfield only two weeks before we travelled to Burnley to witness a 4-3 victory aftter being 3-0 down at half time Trautmann saved a penalty that day so we were expecting a similar game that night unfortunately it didn't turn out that way.During them days all the newsagents had a billboard outside their shops advertising forthcoming football trips and on this particular occasion we were picked up around 5-30pm for the short journey to Bolton. Having finished school at 4pm I rushed home had a quick tea,wash and changed and made my way to Cloughies shop over the bridge as we called it because it was over a railway line which carried trains from Central station through to Guide Bridge via Chorlton,Fallowfield and Gorton and on to various other desinations one in particular was a night boat train to Harwich which I could hear from my bedroom most nights,sadly due to Mr Beeching the branch line stopped its passengers services due to Central station closing down but Freight trains continued to use it on a single track up to around 1979.
The game was our 4th fixture of the new season and we had drew 3-3 with Bill Riddings team at Maine Road the week before (August 27th) with a 6-30pm kick off!We went into the match on 4 pts which in those days it was only 2 points for a win.However the game started in front of a massive crowd 40,000 plus Bolton were the FA Cup holders and had the likes of Nat lofthouse,Tommy Banks,Dougie Holden, Roy Stubbins,Eddie Hopkinson etc. we had our usual team from the late 50s which I have wrote about many many times and to be honest we were a club in decline at the time fighting against relegation and suceeding most seasons may I add. This night the Trotters were in fine form they bombarded Trautmanns goal and Dave Ewing was given a torrid time from Denis Stevens and BIG Nat up front even the train driver was applauding his team from the steam train that had been stopped by a signal behind the open end of the ground where then it was a regular thing to see a train pulling up watching a game,they must of paid the signal man to do that! In the game itself with the score 0-0 Dougie Holden crossed from the by line Trautmann had his near post covered but the ball found a 'hole' in the side netting and a goal was given, .What an injustice that was and Bert raced to the half way dragged the referee back to point out the tear in his side netting,the referee wasn't having any of it and the goal stood and as a consequence our team lost their discipline and ended up losing the game 4-1 with Joe Hayes scoring a consolation goal with the score 4-0.
Before catching our coach back home we had pie,chips, and peas from a chip shop across the road and they tasted better than the defeat.Following that infamous game City went another six games without a win. We always maintain they were happy days and I suppose they were but our ROLLER COASTER syndrome was in evidence 50 years ago,would we change it? NO WAY thats what MCFC are all about!
Sent in by Ted Knott on 04/12/07
Many thanks once again, Ted
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