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Manchester City FC

Ground: Etihad Stadium
Capacity: 47,405
Manager: Roberto Mancini

Back in 1880 a church team called St Mark’s formed a football team. Little did they know that over 130 years later it would be called Manchester City and be one of the richest clubs in the English football league.

In 1884 the very first Manchester City shirt was worn which was black with a Maltese-style cross. There are different theories on what the cross stood for with some saying it was because of their religious roots with St Marks church and others because they had links to the Free Masons.

1887 saw St Mark’s go through its first re-formation when it changed to Ardwick AFC and at the same time they moved to a new ground in Hyde Road.

A couple of years later there was a terrible tragedy at the coal mines in Hyde Road where an explosion killed 23 local miners. A friendly match between Ardwick and Newton Heath was played to help raise funds for the families of those killed.

In 1892 the English Football League created a Second Division and Ardwick AFC were lucky enough to be one of the founding clubs. Two years later Ardwick is renamed so it can represent the whole city and at last Manchester City is born.

In 1889 Manchester City make history by winning the division two title and being the very first team to gain an automatic promotion to division one. A few years later in 1904 Man City beat Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup final, which was then played at Crystal Palace and they became the first team from Manchester to win a major trophy.

1914 to 1918 the league is suspended due to World War 1.

Two years after the re-formation of the Football League, Hyde Road became the first stadium to boast a visit from a reigning monarch. Sadly just a few years later in 1923 Hyde Road was completely destroyed by fire so the team had to move to new premises in Maine Road with a capacity for 85,000 fans.

1926 saw an FA cup final loss and relegation but two years later they bounced back and were the best supported club in the football league.

Fast forward a few more years to 1934 and it is Manchester City’s first FA Cup win having beaten Portsmouth 2-1, then three years later in 1937 Manchester City go on to win the League Championship.

Again the league is suspended due to war in 1939 and a ‘wartime’ league is set up. A notable event during this time is that Manchester United was forced to play their home games at Maine Road when Old Trafford sustained major damage. However they were not allowed to use the home team dressing rooms when the two teams met to play each other.

The remainder of the 1940′s saw Man City relegated and then win the second division title. Later that decade the MCFC supporters club was founded.

The mid 50’s were up and down with an FA Cup final loss to Newcastle and then a win against Birmingham, which was also the very first outside broadcast by Granada TV. 1958 is a date etched in every Manchester (United or City) fans memory as United’s team was devastated due to the Munich air disaster. Also former Man City goal keeper Frank Swift who went on to become a journalist was also amongst the dead.

1965 to 1969 saw City develop a new club badge, gain promotion to Division One, win the League Championship for a second time and beat Leicester City in another FA Cup final.

1970 was a great year for Manchester City as they did the European and domestic double winning the European Cup Winners Cup and the League Cup. 1972 saw another badge change with the red rose of Lancashire being the choice this time. They also lose a League Cup final to Wolves but then win a cup final against Newcastle and break all records by making three separate signings of over £1 million each (Steve Daley, Kevin Reeves and Trevor Francis).

1981 saw another FA Cup final appearance and the game was taken to a replay which was lost to Tottenham thanks to a magnificent solo effort by Ricky Villa.
At the end of the 80′s City gained promotion on the very last game of the season with a 5-1 victory over Bradford.

Manchester City made history in 1992 as they were the very first live Monday night match on Sky Sports in the newly formed Premier League. 1995/96 was a changeable time at City with three different managers being appointed (Alan Ball, Steve Coppell and Frank Clark). In 1997 another new badge is created with the “Superbia in proelio” meaning ‘Pride in battle’.

1999 was again a dramatic year with City gaining promotion to Division One having dropped right down to Division Two. Then following year back to back promotions saw them return to the Premier League.

2003 is an emotional time for City and their supporters as they leave Maine Road and head to a new stadium called City of Manchester Stadium. 2007 saw City appoint ex England manager Sven Goran Eriksson as a replacement to popular figure Stuart Pearce then a year later it is the start of the modern and most successful times for City as the Abu Dhabi United Group become the new owners of Manchester City and along with it comes a new manager and controversially is ex United star, Mark Hughes. With the open cheque book now on offer City can buy their way into the top flight and again break the British transfer record with the signing of Robinho from Real Madrid at a cool £32.5m.

2009 it’s another change at the helm and Mark Hughes is replaced with Roberto Mancini who guided them to a 5th place finish and qualification for the Europa League with a semi final exit.

A summary of Manchester City FC honours include;

1970 Man City win the European Cup Winners’ Cup
1936-37, 1967-68 – Football League Champions
1904, 1934, 1956, 1969, 2011 – FA Cup Winners
1970, 1976 – League Cup Winners
1937-38, 1968-69, 1972-73 – FA Charity Shield Winners

Disclaimer: Victor Chandler, trading as BetVictor, is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar.

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