The new season is upon us and Manchester City travel to Newcastle on Sunday to kick off their title defence. One of the most famous trips to Tyneside was on the final day of the season in 1968 when City secured their second League Championship with an enthralling 4-3 win against Newcastle.
In eerily similar fashion to the 2012 title winning campaign, City won the league at the expense of Manchester United thanks to goals from Neil Young (2), Mike Summerbee and Franny Lee.
Prior to kick off, City and United were level on points but City had a slight advantage due to a better goal average. With United playing a struggling Sunderland many felt that the title was heading to Old Trafford. As it was, United lost 2-1 meaning City were the team celebrating at the end of the day. It was a historic moment in the club’s history that many see as the City’s finest hour.
Mike Summerbee said:
Colin Bell and I had travelled up later than the rest on the train. The Championship trophy was kept at Old Trafford as everyone was convinced United were going to win it but we had tremendous belief in ourselves. It was a fantastic game at St James Park, matched by the atmosphere. There was only one stand and the other three sides of the ground were open. All our supporters – and there were thousands of them – mingled in with the Geordies.
We went in at half-time at 2-2 but we just kept going. Once we got 4-2 in front, we knew we had done it. The feeling at the final whistle was incredible and the scenes were amazing.
We got a coach back to Manchester and I remember sitting on the back thinking ‘we’ve won the league’. We stopped off for a couple of pints in Darlington before I went on to celebrate that night in the Cabaret Club, where I met up with George Best.
We were presented with the trophy a couple of days later in front of a full house at Maine Road. It was just magical.
Glynn Pardoe said:
What a way to finish the season and win the title. We just went for it – we didn’t know any other way.
Joe Mercer’s words to us before the Newcastle game were just ‘go out there and win’. That was the team talk. We knew what we had to do and that’s all he needed to say.
We weren’t nervous leading up to the game. We’d never been more calm. We had a team that could play in the big games.
The only nerves I got were when we came out onto the pitch, but then they went and we got on with it.
It was an incredible atmosphere, not just among the players but the fans as well. You’d have thought it was a home match, given all the blue and white scarves.
The greatest moment was when the final whistle went and we knew we’d won.
Running off the pitch we had tears in our eyes. Winning the title was the greatest achievement because it is the hardest thing to do.
Man City XI 11th May 1968: Ken Mulhearn,Tony Book, Glynn Pardoe, Mike Doyle, George Heslop, Alan Oakes, Francis Lee, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Neil Young, Tony Coleman.
Watch the highlights of the game in these videos:
Images via The Telegraph
On this day, Andy Williams was sitting at number 6 in the UK Singles Chart with Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
Written by Rob Toole who is on Twitter