Manchester City have come a long way since they played their first competative fixture as St Mark’s (West Gordon) in November 1880. They became Manchester City fourteen years later and, although it’s quite a while since they won any major honours, it is thought that, at the moment, they are the wealthiest club in the world.
The first ‘big’ thing they won was the Second Division in 1899 and in 1904 they beat Bolton to win the FA Cup but it wasn’t until 1934 that they got their hands on the cup again when they beat Portsmouth. In 1937 the club won the First Division title but the following season were relegated.
In the 1950’s the team reached two consecutive FA Cup Finals – losing to Newcastle in 1955 but beating Birmingham City the year after, in what became one of the most famous finals of all time, after goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann continued to play with, what was diagnosed later, a broken neck.
In 1963 City were relegated to the Second Division and things didn’t look so rosy until two years later, Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison were appointed as the management team and won the League in their first season and two years later were Champions of the First Division. In 1969 they won the FA Cup and in 1970 won the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the League Cup.
The City fans will remember the 1970’s best for sending arch rivals Manchester United down in 1974 and the winning of the League Cup against Newcastle two years later.
In the 1980’s the club had no less than seven managers and were relegated from the top league in 1983 and again in 1987.
In 1992 City were founders of the Premier League but four years later were relegated and two years later became the only European trophy winners to be relegated to English football’s third tier. After a lot of upheavel in the backroom, City were promoted via the play-offs at the first attempt and went up again the next year but were relegated in 2001. That season, Kevin Keegan came in as manager and got the club back in the Premiership
In 2003 the club said goodbye to Maine Road and moved to the new City of Manchester Stadium and coming right up to date, after having various managers, Mark Hughes became manager in the summer of 2008.
Over the years The Millers and Manchester City have only met ten times, the Millers not winning any of the games and only drawing three. The last time the two met was at Millmoor, in the Championship, when Alan Lee put the home side ahead just before half-time only for Ali Benarbia to get the equaliser on the hour mark. The game at Maine Road, earlier in the season, was a 2-1 win for City, although Christian Negouai’s equaliser, after Chris Swailes had headed the Millers into the lead, was seen by everyone but the referee to be a punch that could only match the famous one by Maradonna some years earlier. Ali Benarbia got the winner two minutes from time.
It is a Manchester City XI who are coming to Don Valley tomorrow, although with all the players that the Premiership club have, Mark Hughes should be sending a good team. It is unlikely that Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz will be in the squad though as they are, according to Manchester City’s Official Site, being ‘nursed back to full fitness’. Micah Richards has had a dose of swine flu but he will probably be going in the squad the club are sending to Oakwell tomorrow.
The game at Don Valley kicks off at 3.00pm and prices are
Millers v Manchester City Friendly