This is what we've unearthed on this lot so
far. If you've got anything more, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an instant
put-down for those wonderfully loyal Man City fans, ask them what the attendance
was for their game against Mansfield on 5th December, 1998. If they tell you it was more than 3,007
then they are lying.... (658 were away fans). They then crammed in a whopping 8,595
(1,143 away fans) a
week later for an FA Cup replay against Darlington....
be fair to Man City they have a pretty decent attendance record in the
league in the last 30 odd years. In fact, it is amazingly similar to Newcastle's which makes it all
the more ridiculous that they sing the "Where Were You"
song more than anyone.
However, after delving deep, it brings us
immense pleasure to report that between the years of 1963 and 1965, years of generally large football attendances, Manchester City were
sh*t, and Maine Road was empty:
63/64 Season - 12 matches below 20,000, six below 15,000, one below 10,000, including:
8,053 17/3/64 Middlesbrough Div 2
11,060 21/12/63 Rotherham Div 2
11,411 22/2/64 Grimsby Div 2
11,908 7/3/64 Derby Div 2
64/65 Season - only 4 matches ABOVE 20,000, TEN below 15,000 and
two below 10,000, including:
8,015 16/1/65 Swindon Div 2
8,409 28/4/65 Charlton Div 2
10,215 14/10/64 Newcastle United! Div 2
10,470 20/2/65 Southampton Div 2
10,804 17/4/65 Coventry City Div 2
10,929 31/4/65 Plymouth Div 2
Now if that isn't "playing regularly in front of 10,000" I don't know what is. Then Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison took over and it all took off again.
Also, 1970 European Cup Winners Cup Final (held in Austria) - 10,000. Very poor.
In recent times we managed to dig out a couple of 15,000
crowds from the 1987/88 season. Other
than that, it's the League Cup and the tin pots where they look bad. And
if they try and tell you the League Cup is a tin pot, just remind them how
excited they were when some mackem fell over backwards and the ball
bounced in off his shin pad at Wembley in 1976.
9,373 8/10/86 Southend
15,172 4/4/88 Reading Div 2 (12 other crowds sub
20,000 in 87/88)
15,430 16/9/88 Millwall Div 2
8,551 22/9/87 Wolves Littlewoods Cup
9,454 18/9/88 Plymouth Littlewoods Cup
12,204 10/10/90 Torquay Rumbelows Cup
10,987 25/9/91 Chester Rumbelows Cup
9,967 23/9/92 Bristol Rovers Rumbelows Cup
9,280 9/9/83 Reading Coca Cola Cup
16,266 4/3/95 Norwich Premier League
11,545 5/10/94 Barnet Coca Cola Cup
11,474 4/10/95 Wycombe Coca Cola Cup
11,106 13/11/98 Halifax FA Cup
8,595 15/12/98 Darlington FA Cup
10,063 19/8/98 Notts Co. Worthington Cup
11,074 11/8/99 Burnley Worthington Cup
Tin Pot cups
Wimbledon Full Members Cup
6,383 26/11/86 Watford Full Members Cup
11,027 31/1/87 Ipswich Full Members Cup
5,051 10/11/87 Plymouth Full Members Cup
6,402 16/12/87 Chelsea Full Members Cup
6,406 9/12/90 Middlesbrough Full Members Cup
3,007 8/12/98 Mansfield Auto Windshields Cup
Some astonishing facts:
1) During the 96-97 Season Man
City had 5 managers.
2) According to a press
conference, Man City were appointing a "big name manager with a
proven track record". Imagine everyone's surprise when Alan Ball
popped out from behind a (very small) screen.
3) The correct pronunciation of
the name "Tueart" is "Twat"
4) The Maine Road stadium took just 4 months to build and cost a measly £100,000. The initial capacity was 70,000 with plans to extend it to 120,000. This never happened, (just goes to show that even in the 1920's they thought they were more massive than they really are). The old ground at Hyde Road was redeveloped into a bus skidpan for training bus drivers how to really scare passengers, and was later home to the Manchester Police helicopter. It is now derelict land, clearly visible from the Manchester - Stockport train line.
5) The final league game at Hyde Road was a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United on 28/4/23. It was the 3rd consecutive season City had played Newcastle on the last day of the season. Bizarrely, on each occasion they had also played the corresponding fixture the previous week.
6) In spite of the nominal 70,000 capacity of Maine Road, 84,569 were shoehorned into the ground for an FA Cup match v Stoke in 1934. The previous year, 72,000+ had watched a match involving Man City in which hundreds of people were injured and at least one was killed in a crush. The venue? Hillsborough.
7) Denis Law famously scored for Man City v Man United with his final touch in professional football in the last game of the season when Man U were relegated in 1974. Less well known is that he had done exactly the same while playing for Man United v Man City in the 62/63 season when he earned a penalty against his old club in the dying minutes of the penultimate game of the season to deny City both points. They lost the next game and were relegated.
8) Man City had a bad week at the end of the 25/26 season - on 24/4 they lost the FA Cup Final. A week later, they came to
St.James, lost 3-2, missed a penalty and got relegated by a single point.
9) The following season, 26/27, Portsmouth and Man City went into the last game of the season level on points, Portsmouth with a slightly better goal average. A big win for City would surely see them promoted as runners up to
Middlesbrough. They tonked Bradford 8-0 to give them a goal average of 1.770. If only Portsmouth hadn't put 5 past Preston at the same time.... Portsmouth went up with a goal difference of 1.775, the narrowest margin ever.
10) Man City were champions in 36/37. The same squad was relegated the following season.
11) Man City's status as the poor relations in Manchester is arguably a direct result of their own generosity. After the Luftwaffe had flattened Old Trafford in the war (nice one Herrmann), City allowed United to play their fixtures at Maine Road. After a couple of years, the lodgers were attracting bigger crowds than their landlords, and have never looked back. If only they'd told them to bugger off and play in the park, Matt Busby wouldn't have built his side, they wouldn't have won the championship in 1957 and wouldn't have been anywhere near Munich in 1958. The enormous global sympathy that ensued wouldn't have happened and Manchester United wouldn't be the biggest club from Singapore to Delhi.
Huge thanks to DMac for some
outstanding investigative work.