Okay, well somebody had to get the letter X in our City A to Z, so let’s get on with this…
X is for…
Hard as it may be to believe, Christmas Day was a regular date on the football calendar. When the City players of yesteryear should have been opening presents and carving the turkey, they were representing the club in cold and frosty grounds up and down the country. A total of 44 matches were played in total with the last time the Blues played on 25 December back in 1957 where Burnley emerged victorious with a 2-1 win at Turf Moor.
City’s complete record is:
Pld: 44 W: 14 D: 11 L: 19 F: 74 A: 86
Probably the most fearsome challenge by a City player in recent years was Ben Thatcher’s forearm smash on Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes in 2006. So ferocious was the tackle that it left Mendes unconscious near the advertising hoardings and needing hospital treatment.
Thatcher was widely condemned for the incident by both the FA, media and the Club and he was banned for eight games as a result with a further 15 matches suspended. Thatcher apologised and later admitted that if he could erase one moment from his career, the Mendes challenge would be his choice.
See what Ben thinks of that day in his interview with Chappy...
Bert Trautmann’s neck injury in the 1956 FA Cup final was not immediately diagnosed with the City keeper playing on for 15 minutes in the game against Birmingham City – a game the Blues won 3-1.
Trautmann was told the knock would heal with rest but couldn’t move his head at the celebratory banquet after the game. The next day, he went to hospital and was told he had nothing more than a crick, but unconvinced, on his return to Manchester he was finally X-rayed at the Manchester Royal Infirmary where it was revealed he’d dislocated five vertebrae. Only good fortune - of sorts – saved Trautmann’s life.
One of the vertebrae wedged against another that had cracked in half - in effect preventing further damage and ensuring he made a complete recovery from an incident that could have easily left him crippled for life.
It's our penultimate alphabetic offering tomorrow, "Y". Any players spring to mind?
If you have any ideas, send them in to @MCFC.