The History of the Manchester derby

Chalkie

Academy Regular
#1
It was on this very day 128 years ago that the first Manchester League Derby took place. On 10 October 1891, Newton Heath (became Manchester United in 1902) played Ardwick (renamed Manchester City in season 1893-94) at The Heathens’ home ground, North Road, Newton Heath. Newton Heath won the Football Alliance game 3-1 (scorers: Alf Farman 2, Robert Donaldson) before a crowd of 4,000.

The first meeting between the two sides took place on 12 November 1881, when West Gorton St. Marks (later changed their name to Ardwick FC) lost 3-0 to Newton Heath in a game described by the Ashton Reporter as “a pleasant game.” At this time organised League football did not exist so "first class matches" were arranged on a largely ad-hoc basis including Lancashire Senior Cup games (the Manchester Senior Cup began in season 1885-86 with Newton Heath the inaugural winners).

The first English League Manchester Derby took place in season 1894--95 when both clubs were in the English Second Division.

Saturday 3 November 1894 Manchester City 2-5 Newton Heath

Saturday 5 January 1895 Newton Heath 4-1 Manchester City

On 12 September 1925, Maine Road hosted its first ever Manchester Derby. The First Division fixture ended 1-1 with Clatworthy Rennox scoring United’s first ever goal at Maine Road. Up until the end of season 1922-23, City played their home games at their Hyde Road ground. At the start of the 1923-24 season, City were in a new home, Maine Road in the Moss Side area of Manchester. They were in the First Division whilst we were a Second Division side. We won promotion back to the top flight after finishing runners-up to Leicester City in season 1924-25. Plans to build Maine Road were first announced in May 1922, following a decision by Manchester City to vacate Hyde Road which did not have room for expansion and its main stand had been severely damaged by a fire in 1920.

Manchester City played their home games at Maine Road in the Moss Side area of Manchester from 1923 to 2003. However, what the blue quarter of the Red city of Manchester will not want United fans to know is that the actual Maine Road was originally called “Dog Kennel Lane,” and their ground was built on a former brickworks.

Dog Kennel Lane was then renamed Maine Road in the late 19th century after Maine Law gained international recognition and was the inspiration behind the formation of the United Kingdom Alliance. Maine Law was passed in Maine, USA in 1851 and was one of the first pieces of legislation associated with the temperance movement in America. The United Kingdom Alliance was a Temperance Movement which was founded in Manchester on 20 July 1852. The movement’s aim was to ban alcohol and as it owned land on Dog Kennel Lane, it asked the local Authority to rename it Maine Road and their request was accepted. Maine Road was unbelievably nicknamed “The Wembley of the North.” I say unbelievably because if like me you ever had the misfortune to watch us play in it, then you will understand exactly what I mean. I went to see United play at Maine Road twice, the first time was on 17 April 1985 when we beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final replay with goals from Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes. The second occasion was the last ever Manchester Derby at Maine Road, a 3-1 Premier League defeat on 9 November 2002 (scorer: Solskjaer). I always considered it to be a very badly run-down ground.

During the construction of Maine Road in 1922, the site was believed to be the subject of a Gypsy Curse. The story goes that local officials evicted a gypsy camp from the immediate area in the early 1920s. I suppose the latter is an acceptable reason why the Blues only ever lifted two English First Division Championships (they never won the Premier League during their time on Moss Side) in the 80 years they played there.

City have been on the ascendency for a decade now and since Sir Alex retired at the end of the 2012-13 season, they have put us in the shade, hopefully not for too much longer. But, to play on the name of their former home, City were not always the Top Dogs in Manchester and during Sir Alex’s 26½ year reign at Old Trafford, he kept his noisy neighbours firmly tight lipped.

Fergie’s United played City 39 times in the First Division/Premier League with United winning 20, drawing 10 and losing just 9. They also met 8 times in the League Cup, FA Cup and Community Shield with The Boss coming out on top yet again with 6 wins to 2 defeats.

The Boss’s 500th competitive game in charge of Manchester United was a Manchester Derby at Old Trafford on 18th February 1996. United were trailing the runaway leaders, Newcastle United, in the Premier League but this was a 5th Round FA Cup tie. Goals from Eric Cantona, a penalty in the 39th minute, and a Lee Sharpe goal 11 minutes from time booked United a place in Round 6 of the world’s most famous cup competition. But more importantly it kept United’s youthful side on course for the club’s second Double which they duly achieved to prove Alan Hansen wrong because quite obviously you can win things with kids.

Manchester United

• League Wins – 62
• FA Cup wins – 6
• League Cup wins – 3
• Charity/Community Shield wins – 2

The Blues

• League Wins – 47
• FA Cup wins – 3
• League Cup wins – 3
• Charity/Community Shield wins – 0

TOTALS

• United wins – 73
• Blues wins – 53
• Draws – 52

Wayne Rooney is the top goal scorer in the Manchester Derby, having scored 11 times against The Blues including his quite spectacular overhead bicycle kick in our 2-1 Premier League win at Old Trafford on 12th February 2011.

“I knew Nani was going to cross it so I was getting ready for a header, then it took a little deflection and come behind me. I never really had time to think and just tried the overhead and thankfully it went in the top corner,”

said Wayne after the game.

Enjoy:

 
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#3
My first real derby game was in September 1966 at Old Trafford. Alex Stepney made his debut and we won 1-0 through a Denis Law goal. It was City's first season back in Division 1. Colin Bell had just signed from Bury and they were captained by Johnny Crossan. We drew the return game at Maine Road 1-1. My dad took me to a Youth Cup game at Maine Road a few seasons before when we gave them a walloping.

My favourite one though was the FA Cup 4th Round tie in 1970. We'd lost to them in the league 0-4 at home, and they'd dumped us out of the League Cup in the semi-final. Allison was gobbing off about how they'd rub our noses in it and Doyle was on one of his 'I hate United' routines. They were certainly favourites as we'd just managed to scrape past Ipswich 1-0 in the 3rd Round. We battered them 3-0 and it could have been 5. Kiddo got two and Morgan the third from a penalty, but the star of the show was Bobby Charlton who turned back the clock and dominated them. That was sweet.
 

Chalkie

Academy Regular
#5
My first real derby game was in September 1966 at Old Trafford. Alex Stepney made his debut and we won 1-0 through a Denis Law goal. It was City's first season back in Division 1. Colin Bell had just signed from Bury and they were captained by Johnny Crossan. We drew the return game at Maine Road 1-1. My dad took me to a Youth Cup game at Maine Road a few seasons before when we gave them a walloping.

My favourite one though was the FA Cup 4th Round tie in 1970. We'd lost to them in the league 0-4 at home, and they'd dumped us out of the League Cup in the semi-final. Allison was gobbing off about how they'd rub our noses in it and Doyle was on one of his 'I hate United' routines. They were certainly favourites as we'd just managed to scrape past Ipswich 1-0 in the 3rd Round. We battered them 3-0 and it could have been 5. Kiddo got two and Morgan the third from a penalty, but the star of the show was Bobby Charlton who turned back the clock and dominated them. That was sweet.
What a great post.
 
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