Men's Team

From the archives: Joe Mercer, TC and a paper bag

From the archives: Joe Mercer, TC and a paper bag
Things were, indeed, different back then.

When City won the title 50 years ago, there were no celebratory DVDs, replica shirts or, in fact, very much at all.

There was, however, a brown paper bag.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Japanese warriors and Darth Vader

FROM THE ARCHIVES: City's 114-year old flag

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Polar bears and the Ice Trophy


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Hyde Road disaster

Chances are, being such a perishable item, there is only one left in existence and that has been kindly loaned to the Club by lifelong City supporter Terry Rourke.

Terry was born just 200 metres away from the where the Etihad Stadium now stands and a year before the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Or more notably, the year before City won the League for the first time! 

Terry was at Wembley in 1956 to see City beat Birmingham City, paying £1 for a ticket priced at 3/6 (17 pence) but had to pay a tout at Wembley £4 for the same value ticket for his friend.

He has been to Wembley many times and went to Vienna in 1970 to see City beat Gornik Zabrze in The European Cup Winners’ Cup final and he was also at Newcastle to see the Blues clinch the Championship in 1968.

“I can remember the times as a youngster travelling home from games with my dad on local buses along with international players who had played at Maine Road the same day,” recalled Terry.

“I had conversations with Joe Mercer, one of our City's greatest managers the highlight being his reply when I asked why he had signed Tony Coleman.

“Putting his arm around my shoulder he posed the question ‘Well, what would you have done Terry?’”

To commemorate the title win, Terry paid a few pence to buy the bag from a sports shop on Market Street in the city centre – now long since gone.

The bag itself was made by the now defunct Coloroll, a printed paper bag manufacturer which later moved into wallpaper manufacture.

Who would have thought that on the 50-year anniversary of that title win and the bag, the Blues would again be crowned champions of England?

Terry always kept secret what sat alongside the rack of City bags in the Market Street store – other paper bags declaring ‘Manchester United Champions of Europe’.

The less said about that the better!

Do you have any rare City treasures you'd like to share with the Club - we'd like to hear from anyone who has any items from yesteryear...

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