MANCHESTER CITY CENTENARY BROCHURE: 1894/95-1994/95
TITLE Manchester City Centenary Brochure: 1894/95-1994/95 EDITOR Joanne Parker PUBLISHER Manchester City Football Club PLC. ISBN No 0-95259-020-4 PRICE £4.95
It's nice to be able to congratulate the club on some aspect of the centenary for a change! My only gripe (very insignificant) is that it can hardly be called a brochure as it's A4, 64 pages and is absolutely packed with excellently reproduced photographs. The cover is thickish card and has an impressive painting by Geoff Wood which depicts famous faces and events from the club's past (I did baulk at that arch Rag Denis Law being on there though). This is also available as a poster though they must now be regretting the placing of Brian Horton and Gaudino so prominently. I would estimate that there are knocking on for 200 pictures of one description or another, with well over 60% being in colour. Many of the pages have photographic backgrounds rather than being plain and this is really well done, avoiding the potential pitfall of making the page look muddled. A brochure it definitely isn't but a good book it definitely is!
We kick off with the club's honours and a message from the Chairman. This is followed with a brief history (good move as it's been written enough already) and some descriptions of classic games ('Blue Heaven'). Along these lines, at various points in the book are: 'City Scrapbook'; 'The Legends'; 'Ton up Ton Down'; 'Joe and Mal'; 'The King, The Ace and the Joker' (BLS); 'A Kick up the Eighties' and 'The Managers (no Bally)'. These historical articles are nicely complemented with ones by fans: 'Being a Blue' (x2); 'From Hyde Road to Maine Road'; 'The Mascot', as well as articles on more fringe aspects of the club such as: 'Centenary ball'; 'The Foreign Legion' (all City's foreign imports listed, a nice piece of research); 'All Kitted Out' (history of the strip), 'The Press Man', 'The Kippax'; 'The Pitch Doctor'; 'Did you Know' (amazing facts about the Blues) and finally 'The Junior Blues'. What really makes this publication though is the interspersing of all these articles with interviews with 16 former players including Roy Clarke; Gary Owen, Denis Tueart, Eric Westwood and Mike Doyle to name but 5. There's also a Quiz, a competition and a few adverts (not too intrusive).
One of the nicest touches for me was the fact that everyone is included; this isn't just the club's centenary but everyone's. We have players, supporters, reporters, employees, they all have their say.
Some people were probably hoping for a mammoth leather casebound history of the club to celebrate 100 years, weighing in at £50.00 or so. What we have is a quality product with plenty of new material (not an easy task) at a very affordable price, a price that all Blues should be able to pay. This for me is an excellent book and I can recommend it without reservation.