Tonight’s Premier League derby at Eastlands will be another cacophonic affair between two clubs who first clashed as far back as 1881 In a friendly on November 12, West Gorton (St. Marks) – the forerunners of City – played at home to Newton Heath, later United. The “Heathens” won 3-0 and the affair was described, in the local press, as “a pleasant game”. The first Football League meeting was in the 1894-95 season with Newton Heath beating Manchester City 5–2 at Hyde Road. They first met in the top division in December 1906, a 3–0 City win in a First Division match for which the gate receipts exceeded £1,000, a huge amount at the time. John Ley from the Daily Telegraph gives an account of what he considers to be theTop 10 derbies between the red and blue halves of Manchester.
Watching former Manchester United starlets Jonathan Greening and Erik Nevland bravely battling away for Fulham in a vain attempt to try and salvage something for their club last weekend one could not help but wonder how often they must have thought of what might have been when looking back on their careers.