Newsletter #1941

One down…!

Wasn’t it a cracker?!

Strangely, with us not being at our best it actually made for a much better game. Contrary I know. However, the goals! Oh my word the goals!

How can Nasri’s not be the best in a match? It’s in one of my top 10 all-time. It was surpassed by Touré’s though. Even our third was sublime.

However, perhaps the greatest moment of all was a tackle. Kompany’s to deny Borini a second towards the end of the first half. Just utterly stunning.

It was a tremendous atmosphere (for the most part, see Phil B’s heavily asterisked article) and made for a great memory for us all. You sensed a thirst for more from the players too. Here’s hoping (though never expecting!).

A big week for a couple of our younger players out on loan too. Karim Rekik made his début for the Dutch national side (is it me or is that genuinely impressive?!) and Emyr Huws played the full 90 minutes for Wales. Well done to both, it will be interesting how their careers progress from these very successful loans they are having at PSV and Birmingham respectively.

Apart from Phil’s article below we at MCIVTA Towers were involved in some unpleasantness this week too. With a 9-year-old boy being denied the chance to attend the game on Sunday. I’ll not go into the details, no names no pack drill, but, can I put out a plea: if you advertise tickets, please be honest, please honour your commitments and, if something goes wrong, please refund anyone who is out of pocket to you.

Ok nothing more to be said, other than to note we have had to add a disclaimer to the tail of MCIVTA moving forward, such a shame.

A cracking, celebratory read awaits you…

Next Game: 9 March, Wigan Athletic, FA Cup 6th Round, Etihad Stadium, 16:05 GMT


Manchester City 3 Sunderland 1 (HT: 0:1)

Manchester City came from behind to win the 2014 League Cup after two world class goals turned round this thrilling final against a Sunderland side in a vibrant atmosphere at Wembley Stadium. Indeed, those goals from Yaya Touré and Samir Nasri will live long in the memory, not only because they won the match, but also for their sheer, breathtaking brilliance.

Wembley, with its arch towering above packed stands awash with the roaring passionate blue and white of City and red and white of Sunderland is an exhilarating sight and sound that takes the breath away. The teams entered the stadium to great cheers from two sets of very fervent, loyal supporters, filling the ground. The good news for City was that Sergio Agüero had been passed fit to start up front. The stage was set.

City started well, passing the ball in a manner to which we have been accustomed, and created the first chance. Sergio Agüero spun away from two Sunderland defenders and hit a rasping drive that forced Mannone into a full length drive.

Bardsley should have picked up an early booking for a crude challenge that flattened Silva. It was one of those challenges that defenders have made since time began, to let their opposing wide player know they are there. If it was supposed to soften Silva up, it failed, because he is a very strong character, and as ever, he sought to be involved and create throughout his time on the pitch.

After four minutes, an image of Mike Doyle, City’s last League Cup winning captain in 1976, was beamed up onto the giant screens to applause and “There’s only one Mike Doyle”. How that True Blue would have loved this special occasion, but he might have been rather perturbed, not to mention cross in the first half.

Sunderland, who had won our last four encounters with them away from the Etihad, predictably made this a hard game. They pressed and harried us and when they didn’t have possession, fell back into those two tight lines of four defenders and five midfielders. They were very difficult to break down. Sunderland weren’t just intent on defending, though, and were dangerous when they broke. We had a warning when Colback had the ball in the net in the 8th minute, but was ruled offside.

This was only a temporary reprieve as Fabio Borini scored in the 10th minute. Adam Johnson lofted a long pass from deep inside the Sunderland half for Borini to chase. Demichelis seemed to be caught in two minds, the Italian striker showed no such hesitation, and darted after the testing long pass, leaving the Argentine centre back standing. The covering Vincent Kompany reached it first, but unfortunately his clearance struck Borini on the chest, leaving the Sunderland striker clean through, and he shot from an acute angle across goal, finding the right hand corner of the net in front of us. The Eastern half of Wembley roared with delight.

Not again. Was our latest bogey team going to prove our undoing yet again? At least we had most of the game in front of us, but we have been in similar situations like this before with Sunderland… and lost.

Sunderland, to their credit, didn’t sit back on their lead, and with Ki prompting in midfield and Borini lively in attack, they looked the more likely to score more goals before the break: a corner was only half cleared by our defence and the lively Borini’s twenty yard drive was deflected over by the blocking Dzeko; then, under pressure from a City defender, Brown headed over from a corner.

City tried to hit back. Agüero left Sunderland left back Alonso standing and crossed but, under pressure from converging defenders, Nasri couldn’t muster the power to test Mannone who gratefully gathered the ball. We tried to encourage the Boys in Blue with “Come on City” and Blue Moon.

City, though, were rattled by Sunderland’s pressing game. Although we dominated possession, we found ourselves passing in front of Sunderland’s well drilled back nine, who remained stubborn and compact. The City end had been silenced for a while as we watched on in frustration, prompting chants of “Shall we sing a song for you?” from the Wearsiders.

Sunderland threatened again when Johnson latched onto a long throw in and tricked his way past Demichelis on the by-line, but thankfully his cross was intercepted by Kompany and cleared away by Fernandinho. It was a relief but it should not have happened as it was a schoolboy error by Demichelis, which made it easy for the ex-City winger. A defender has to watch the ball rather than the man in those situations.

“Come on City”, we exhorted our boys in blue. City won a series of corners, with Zabaleta doing a particularly excellent pressing job to win one of them, but Sunderland dealt with them, and even Borini popped up to head over his own bar when needed.

Sunderland could have made it 2-0 in the 38th minute when a long clearance was played out of their defence and Kompany was deceived by a Sunderland midfield player’s failed attempt to gather the ball. This left a suspiciously offside looking Borini clean through down the left, with 50 yards to run and Costel Pantilimon to beat. It seemed inevitable that he would get a shot in as we feared the worst, but Kompany recovered to make a brilliant last ditch saving tackle to thwart him as he was about to pull the trigger. Costel Pantilimon and the City defenders stuck their hands up to express their exasperation that offside had not been given. It was a crucial, potentially match saving tackle by City’s great captain.

Sunderland deserved their half time lead. They tackled harder and it looked like they wanted it more at times. City didn’t move the ball quickly enough.

We wondered if Sunderland were to continue to be our bogey team. Was it going to be like Wigan all over again? We just hadn’t looked like breaking Sunderland down.

“Take a sad song and make it better…”

Cup finals are all about seizing the day. If we didn’t seize this one we only had ourselves to blame. Thankfully City collectively did, and how.

It was clear from the start of the second half that City were much more aggressive in our play. The atmosphere was white hot: nay, blue and white hot! “Come on City” was bellowed again with gusto. Roared on by the City faithful, the Blues prompted and probed, forcing the play. Amongst others, Yaya Touré used his immense physique to great effect as City started much stronger, moving the ball much quicker, and pulling Sunderland’s defenders around. At the end of some classic City possession in the 50th minute, Nasri fed Silva but his shot lacked the power to beat Mannone, who gathered gratefully.

It would need a great strike to beat him, and we produced two within a couple of minutes of each other, the first coming in the 54th minute.

Zabaleta won a tackle with the teak tough Colback to roars of approval, then City teased and tormented Sunderland with skilful, patient possession. Silva spun away from a defender and won a free kick when he was tripped 25 yards out in the inside left position. It was made for Yaya. Unfortunately (for a few seconds anyway), one heavy touch scuppered an elaborate routine and the shooting opportunity had passed (why didn’t we just shoot!). Crucially, through a combination of patient passing and hard work, we didn’t lose possession and we continued to pass, prompt and probe, switching play when needed. For all their sinew-stretching efforts, Sunderland could not win it back. Nasri and Kolarov exchanged passes down the left, then the French midfielder lofted pass into the box which was flicked back by Dzeko into a pocket where there was no City player. Excellent work rate by Silva and Nasri ensured that we contested the loose ball and retained possession. Zabaleta and Yaya Touré exchanged passes half way inside the Sunderland half, then the City right back advanced to the edge of the box and cut the ball back to Yaya, who calmly lifted a high, curling, dipping right foot shot that thrillingly rocketed between the angle of post and bar. The net bulged in front of us and the West End of Wembley gasped, and erupted! As we po-goed and hugged each other, Yaya and co peeled away to the North West corner of Wembley where they have celebrated previous historic goals. It was a great goal by any standard. It took our breath away. To get such power, dip and accuracy in that shot was the work of genius. It was a brilliant strike, world class. It was also a testament to the team work, skill, persistence and quality of the whole team. Has Wembley seen a greater goal?

The build-up had looked quite innocuous from behind the goal, given the amount of passing in front of the massed Sunderland defence that we had seen in the move (and before it). The goal was a sudden surprise, a very pleasant surprise!

Our excitement had barely died down when City dramatically turned the match on its head, barely just two minutes later.

City were dealing with a Sunderland attack that ended up with Aleksandar Kolarov heading back to Costel Pantilimon. The giant Romanian ‘keeper cleverly found Sergio Agüero deep inside the Sunderland half with a steepling kick, and City’s top striker showed great technique to bring the ball under control. Aleksandar Kolarov overlapped outside him down the left, received Agüero’s measured pass, and crossed for Nasri who swept the ball home just inside Mannone’s right hand post with the outside of his right foot. It was a brilliantly executed, swift move that extended the whole length of the pitch and a crisply-taken goal of great technique from Nasri. In support Pantilimon, Agüero and Kolarov also showed no little intelligence in their play.

Nasri and his team mates ecstatically (and fittingly) peeled off to the North West corner and we bounced and roared with delight, joyful adrenalin flowing again. Wembley’s West End was symphony of cheers and chants of “Na-na-na-na-na- na-na-na-na-na-na Samir Nasri, Nasri, Samir Nasri…”

There is something very special and exhilarating about scoring two goals in quick succession, especially when they turn a match on its head. It’s becoming a bit of a habit for City, especially when a trophy is at stake!

With just 56 minutes on the clock, there was still plenty of time to go, and with Agüero understandably fading after his recent injury lay-off, Pellegrini replaced him with Navas. City were on top and sought out more goals. Silva fed Kolarov who cut the ball back to Nasri whose dipping shot was just a couple of feet over the bar.

The force was with City but Sunderland continued to show character and fashioned a half chance for Fletcher, whose goal-bound shot lacked power to test Pantilimon.

At 2-1 City couldn’t relax, but we caused problems for ourselves. Demichelis put us under unnecessary pressure with a sloppy clearance and was forced to head away a resultant cross. Still we couldn’t clear our lines, but thankfully, under pressure from Kompany, Fletcher scuffed his shot into the ground and Pantilimon gathered.

Pellegrini stiffened our midfield’s physicality by replacing Silva with Javi Garcia. It proved to be astute, as Garcia tightened things up in midfield, and it allowed the manager to push Yaya Touré forward into the more advanced role, where we have seen him prosper further, especially in the title-winning run in, two years ago.

City carried the greater threat with Nasri revelling in the occasion, Yaya a colossal presence in the centre, and the pace and trickery of Navas tormenting Alonso down City’s right. Kompany stabbed a Nasri corner wide in the 82nd minute, but Sunderland were still dangerous, even if we were restricting them to longer range efforts like Bardsley’s, which sailed well over the bar.

With this in mind and the game entering its final minutes, a smiling Samir Nasri kicked a ball back to an over eager ball boy, and comically invited him to slow down a tad.

Pablo Zabaleta fancied his chances of scoring by cutting and firing a left footed curler wide in the 85th minute.

Negredo came on for Dzeko with three minutes left, with the latter walking off extremely slowly, much to the exasperation of the Wearside contingent. It didn’t do that much for our nerves either.

Sunderland still had one last chance when Negredo gave away a free kick just inside our half. The dead ball was lofted diagonally into our box, a Sunderland giant flicked across to Fletcher and we held our breath, expecting him to shoot… thankfully, to our relief he mis-controlled and the ball squirmed behind most delightfully for us!

Then, with just over a minute left on the clock, Jesus Navas sealed the game with our third, and deciding goal. Fernandinho tenaciously won the ball with a firm tackle just outside our box, Demichelis passed forward to Yaya Touré. Oh yes, Yaya Touré! What a thrilling sight he is, running forward at the opposition! City’s Wembley talisman advanced, bided his time before picking out Navas with a perfectly timed pass down the right, and the jet-heeled City winger fired in our third goal, which Mannone could not stop. Yet again, City had scored a goal that was the result of a thrilling, quality move that showcased several of the best qualities that our team possesses: tenacity, teamwork, skill, pace, pin-point passing and deadly finishing.

We knew then, for sure, that we had won the League Cup/Capital One Cup, and we celebrated. The Sunderland fans, much to their credit, continued to back their team.

Sunderland played very well in this game, but City’s extra class won the day, and it was such a pleasure to celebrate this win at the final whistle.

Vincent Kompany lifted Manchester City’s third League Cup, and our first in 38 years, to heartfelt cheers. He dropped the plinth to no little amusement, but it was a sweet sight to see that beautiful three-handled cup adorned with Blue and white ribbons. In those trophyless years, those of us who never saw silverware have looked longingly at photographs of Mike Doyle, Peter Barnes and co with that League Cup.

Much to their credit, most of the Sunderland fans stayed behind to see the Cup being presented.

On that dreadful Cup Final day last May a vocal minority sang disrespectful songs about Pellegrini. This time, there was a reprise of a song that has been aired at City matches recently:

“Sheikh Mansour went to Spain in a Lamborghini He brought us back a manager, Manuel Pellegrini”

Pellegrini deserves this first trophy. He has fostered a very happy spirit at City. Whatever he said at half time in this match worked. City had upped the tempo significantly, and stretched Sunderland with our precise passing and movement.

Mike Doyle, skipper of City last side to win the League Cup in 1976 would have approved how City fought back from adversity. It was a lovely touch to see his face displayed on the screens in the 4th minute, in tribute to him. Doyle, of course, like our current skipper, Vincent Kompany, wore the City number 4 shirt with great distinction.

This was a match of great distinction. Sunderland edged the first half, but thrillingly, City showed great character and blew them away in the second with football of the highest class. It was an unforgettable Wembley final and a happy day in the history of Manchester City.

Sunderland: Borini (10)
Manchester City: Yaya Touré (54), Nasri (56), Navas (89)

Attendance: 84,697

Pantilimon: Beaten by a very good finish, which was no fault of his. Handled and punched well, and saved what he had to save: 7
Zabaleta: A warrior, as ever. One excellent bit of pressing by Zaba in the Sunderland penalty box won us a corner, and a hard tackle he won with the keen Colback stood out. A reliable, reassuring presence down the right. He provided the pass for Yaya’s great strike: 7
Kompany: As ever, a commanding presence at the back. Unfortunate that his attempted clearance struck Borini who went on to score. His last ditch tackle on the Sunderland striker saved us from going 0-2 down: 7
Demichelis: Did some good defensive work but this was spoiled by some sloppy passes and when he was easily beaten on the by-line by Johnson. He was also beaten and caught out for pace on occasions and might have been better positioned to cover Kompany for Sunderland’s goal: 6
Kolarov: Kept Johnson quiet mostly, resulting in the ex-City winger being substituted, He was very good going forward, supplying the cross that led to Nasri’s goal, which gave us the lead: 7
Nasri: Such a mature performance from an individual who has come of age this season. Scoring with a controlled shot just inside the post from a crossed ball takes great technique. He deserved his goal not only for his skill but for his persistence in trying to create all match. This very popular young man is now a key player: 8
Yaya: He had a quiet first half, but had a great another match winning performance second half. His foot was like a giant wand with that great strike. His ability to play an inch perfect pass on the run cannot be taken for granted, and his pass for Navas’s goal was a superb example of this. We are witnessing one of Manchester City’s greatest ever players, and he is continuing to make history: 8 (Man of the match)
Fernandinho: Worked tirelessly and helped keep us in touch with some important defending. Got stronger in the second half: 7
Silva: Not his greatest day (and it started with a bone jarring challenge from Bardsley), but as ever, he was undeterred, prepared to work, always wanting the ball and looking to create. He tended to over-elaborate at times when he could have shot, but, as ever, was important in our retention of possession: 7
Dzeko: Started off with some good touches, but didn’t maintain that level consistently, and he didn’t look like scoring. Still, he stayed involved and kept going: 5
Agüero: Stung Mannone’s gloves with an early drive, set up another chance in the first half, and played a key part in our second goal, before his month’s layoff caught up with him: 6
Garcia (for Silva 76): Stiffened midfield with some sharp tackles and sensible distribution: 6
Navas (for Agüero 57): Gave us pace and energy down the right, and his finish for his goal very good too: 7
Negredo (for Dzeko 87): Picked up a silly booking, kicking the ball away to waste time, then gave away a foul that allowed Sunderland one last set piece! n/a

Refwatch: Martin Atkinson: His appointment was a good omen – he was the referee for our FA Cup Final win of 2011. Not that he favoured us in any way. He got most decisions right, even if it didn’t seem like many were going our way in the first half: 7

Best Oppo: Borini: A livewire in Sunderland’s attack, who made a crucial clearance in his own box too. Took his goal very well indeed but possibly should have taken his shot earlier when clean through again: 8

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Eventually! I cannot get rid of the feeling we were lucky!

Sure, Touré and Nasri scored great goals and for that matter the Navas goal was a nice one too but frankly I would be very surprised if the stats do not show that Sunderland had the greater possession. The Premier League managers particularly seem to have got the measure of the City plan and in simple terms it is to keep hassling the City players so they have to resort to trying to walk the ball into the goal and keeping a very tight defensive formation across the penalty area.

There has been one thing that was surprising me and that was the impression of a low number of City players being caught offside in all competitions till I realised that play slows down as they try to walk the ball through the packed defence!

Thus I am surprised at City’s goals for in all competitions so far this season.

So, one down, 3 to go!

Trevor Bevan <mate.bevan(at)>


Living in Holland I was watching the Europa League Match Ajax vs. Salzburg. Alan, who was serenaded by City fans in 2012 at Eastlands, is now a regular in the first team and played an important part in the two victories over Ajax.

It is still a mystery to me how City let Ajax keep us out of the second phase of the Champions’ League that year. Now no-one gives us a chance against Barça it is time for a “Typical City” moment to shock and awe the rest of Europe.

Ian Nixon <i.nixon(at)>


It’s easy to be magnanimous in victory but the Sunderland fans, as ever, were brilliant. They never stopped backing their team, stayed behind to see their heroes get their medals and City pick up the Cup. A section of them even applauded City fans on the concourse afterwards. They were a real credit to themselves and Sunderland AFC. They were sporting to the last. There are countless accounts of their sporting behaviour, and my experience of them was all positive.

It was a relief when Sunderland got through to the final, even if they are more difficult opponents than United. The contrast between the Sunderland fans who partied in London (Covent Garden was a small corner of Wearside on Saturday!), and the thuggish behaviour of United fans at the FA Cup Semi-Final in 2011 is marked.

A few of them, though, have wrongly commented on forums (forae?) that City fans didn’t enjoy this day, were “miserable” even in victory and that we had become spoiled by money and success. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are absolutely delighted to have won the League Cup. Our reaction was no different to the Wigan fans last May, or to the way that we behaved towards Stoke three years ago when we won our first trophy in 35 years. Like Wigan, we have shown respect for our beaten opponents by not being too triumphal. We understand what it is like to lose. The vast majority of us don’t want to be like United or Tottenham fans, arrogantly and obnoxiously giving it large.

Sunderland have fantastic fans, and always have had. I remember the last game of the season back in ’91 when they came to Maine Road needing a win to stay up (Denis Smith was the manager and they had players like Marco Gabbiadini and Chris Waddle). Sunderland actually played better than City for the most part and were beating us 2-1 but Peter Reid’s side turned it on for about 15 minutes and we won 3-2. Sunderland brought about 14,000 that day and they were awesome.

Very noisy, and loyal. I was a mile away from the ground and could hear them singing 20 minutes after the game had finished. I’m told that they made a party of their relegation day and there was no trouble in Moss Side or Manchester.

Wonderful. I have always had a lot of time for the Mackems.

As for this season, Sunderland deserve to stay up, and hopefully Poyet will continue his remarkable job and keep them up. Good luck to them, except against us of course.

Sunday’s League Cup Final was not all positive, I am sad to say. There have been too many accounts of fights and obnoxious behaviour amongst pockets of City fans in our end. Nothing new, but deeply unpleasant. Manchester City are investigating various reported incidents. Every football club has a small minority of fans who are deeply obnoxious, and our club is no different. It’s always been like that. There exists an abusive, violent, lawless minority of people who say they are City fans who have no respect for their fellow fans. There were a few accounts of City fans being assaulted by these cretins – I won’t refer to them as City fans.

Though I was not assaulted myself, it was my misfortune to have a verbal exchange with one of these imbeciles, who could not accept anyone else having a different opinion to his own ignorant view of the world. He clearly couldn’t take his beer, given the way he was behaving. He was drinking two bottles of lager in the stand in view of the pitch (when he’d clearly already had more than enough), which is breaking the law, and his behaviour was anti-social and abusive. He had no respect for anyone other than his mates. Absolute sc*m.

He started off making homophobic comments about Sunderland’s ex-United defender, John O’Shea: “I hate the gay b******”.

“You hate him for being an ex-United player rather than if he was gay, right?” I offered, hoping that he might (only might) realise that he might offend. He seemed to agree but burbled something about one of his mates being gay. It would be interesting to know whether his mate would still want to associate with him if he heard his bigoted remarks.

He wasn’t done. During the first half I expressed an opinion to my wife that Sunderland’s midfield player Ki was playing well and that he is a good player. “He’s rubbish”, blustered the lout. “In your opinion,” I replied. “He’s f***in’ rubbish” he said aggressively, “have you only just started going to watch City?” When I pointed out that I’ve been watching City longer than he has been alive (I very much doubt that this idiot is anywhere near as old as 33), he told me to “F*** off”. Well there is no arguing with that kind of logic. This cretin is thankfully in a minority but his sort are not unique, sadly. Ideally they wouldn’t be allowed into the match. He didn’t spoil our afternoon, but he didn’t exactly enhance it.

He quietened down a bit, though there were one or two sarcastic comments. Both my wife and myself noticed later in the afternoon that he was trying to see what I was tapping into my phone (I do make some notes on the match for my match report). Hopefully he was worried. The likes of him should be worried because his sort should be thrown out of football, and prosecuted, where appropriate.

Alcohol in itself isn’t the issue, as many of us enjoy a drink at the match, or before it, and we don’t cause trouble, abuse or assault our fellow fans. It’s the imbeciles who can’t hold their beer or a cocktail of alcohol and drugs, who behave worse for having had it. Society has always had anti-social, dangerous and violent people, and football is a cross section of society. Any Friday or Saturday night in a town or centre centre will see such behaviour replicated. The Law has to deal with them, but we are sometimes hoping in vain. Unfortunately the Metropolitan Police has been shown to be a corrupt, racist, ineffectual organisation too many times.

What surprised me at Wembley was the lack of visible stewards. There should be more vigilance. No one should be drinking in the stands in view of the pitch, and no one should be assaulting anybody. The offenders should be rooted out, banned and prosecuted.

It’s a shame to be writing about this, but it happened, and my account of the afternoon would be incomplete without it.

We still had a good afternoon. A rather good afternoon! Everyone else round us were perfectly decent, honest to goodness City fans. It’s a shame others had their afternoon ruined. We can console ourselves with what we already know, i.e. that the majority of City fans are fine, upstanding people. As we bounced with delight after Nasri scored his scorcher, I hugged my wife, then I got a hug from the Blue (not the imbecile!) next to me, though he had a rather stubbly head! Better a stubbly head than a stupid head. Isn’t it great how football brings people together like that – almost total strangers delighting in our beloved City’s success like we are family. And of course, we are family aren’t we? Sadly, we can’t always choose…

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Appreciate it’s long shot but I’m trying to get my hands on 2 Barcelona tickets for my brother and nephew. Singleton tickets from two different sources would of course do. Can anyone help?

Was over-optimistic on the points call and booked us flights as soon as we drew Barça, and accommodation shortly after on the basis our first competitive Champions’ League game at the Nou Camp, one not to be missed and of course because it’s Barcelona… Barcelona… Barcelona! Barcelona (Live) – Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé – 1988

Whatever, we’ll enjoy it, but it would be better with tickets and save me doing what I know I must do… give up my own seat to my nephew.

There you have it, nothing noble about this, it’s an utterly selfish request. Help please!

Dave Parker <david.parker5(at)>


My article on the birth of Manchester football (ground-breaking research that has never been published before and of interest to anyone who wants to know why football took hold) is available free to download until 8th March here:

It’s important everyone respects copyright but please take this opportunity to download your own copy now. The offer won’t last and I’m sure you’ll be interested in the content.

This includes information about football before 1884 in Manchester that has never been revealed before and provides evidence of a Hulme-based football club existing in November 1863, making it the earliest known constituted football club in Lancashire (my research continues of course!).

I’ll also be giving a free talk on this at the National Football Museum on 28th March at 1pm. Tickets must be booked in advance from here:

Thanks as always,

Gary James <city(at)>

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Newsletter #1941