Wswilly3 sent us the following…
Watching the video section on Vital Manchester City and particularly the clips entitled ‘Greatest City Moments’ brought back some great memories and started me musing on what were my five favourite City matches.
So here goes but I have to admit the first of these I saw on TV and not live but whose counting.
v Birmingham City 1956 won 3-1
This was the 1956 FA Cup Final and as all the other scrotts in my street supported United, it was important we got a result. It was also the first year we actually owned a TV and in those days the FA cup was the only live football shown on the box and was a bit of a social occasion in its own right, irrespective of who the finalists were.
We won 3-1 with the final gaining fame due to Bert Trautmann, our goalkeeper and ex – German paratrooper breaking his neck and playing on. They made them tough in those days – ‘eer you ar lad, I’ll rub in a bit of Elliman’s lubrication and you’ll be as rite as rain’. My other memory was of 5pm that day and of walking down our street as proud and as pleased as punch – up yours you rags.
v Manchester United 1968 won 3-1
This was the year we won the league and this was the away ‘Derby’ match, about three or four fixtures from the end of the season and was played on a Wednesday evening. City and United were the main challengers for the trophy and the only ticket I could get was on my own, in the then seated area of the Stretford End at Old Trafford, surrounded by the Scum.
We were a goal down in the first minute, courtesy of George Best but then Colin Bell turned on a virtuoso performance and we won 3-1. Each time we scored I was the only person who rose in the Stretford End but I somehow got out in one piece, as the Rags were sulking as they are won’t to do when they lose. A truly great match and a great night to be a City fan.
v Newcastle United 1968 won 4-3
This was the last match of the season and was away to Newcastle, with the requirement that a win would mean we took the title for the first time in over 30 years and leave the Rags in second place. Sweet dreams are made of this, as they say.
Every time we scored they pegged us back and it was 2-2 at half time when we had our meat pie and Oxo. Finally we ran out winners by the odd goal thanks to two goals from Neil Young and at the end everyone rushed on the pitch and grabbed some turf (I’ve still got mine but it now looks like a dried turd).
The match was also notable for the fact that four off us had come by car from Hull, where we were at University.
After the match we went to the Newcastle Union bar and all sank about ten pints of Guinness in celebration, including the driver!! Not very smart, as he insisted on driving back and he was to miss a corner in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside. We were very lucky to end up in a ploughed field with only a few injuries and a written off car. The stupidities of youth and the last time we won the Title were long memories and on the whole pleasant!
v Schalke 1970 won 5 – 1
This was a night match and the semi-final of the Cup Winners Cup when there were only about five rounds to go through and only teams from the main European countries playing. European football was a bit of a rarity at Maine Road and so these evenings were great anyway but this evening the Blues played sublimely. They were trailing 1-0 from the first leg and produced champagne football that swept the Germans aside.
Neil Young scored twice and Colin Bell pulled all the strings and it brought memories back of a bit of early European mystique in Moss Side and that was before they sold kebabs and anything that was foreign was either exotic or mucky.
v Gillingham 1999 drew 2 – 2 ( won 3-1 on penalties)
A year of agony, losing to such as York City, Wycombe Wanderers, Lincoln City and Mansfield Town whilst our ‘Derby’ match was against Macclesfield Town. Yes, heady days but thankfully we scraped into the play-off final. I went to Wembley with my son, who remarkably had followed my path as a City fan (as the Jesuits say, get’em young).
We went through more agony and then ecstasy, thanks to Paul Dicov’s late equaliser and the match ended with everyone hugging everybody else in sight.
It says much for my luck that surrounding me were sweaty overweight, pie eating City fans and none of the fairer sex but at that stage I couldn’t care. I often think what would have happened if we had lost that game but those are but aimless thoughts.
So those are my top five City matches admittedly taken from over a long period, as I am a bit of an Old Fart now. So what are your top five City matches, maybe of more recent times? Do tell!!
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