Men's Team

Ian Bishop reflects on the Maine Road Massacre

On this day in 1989, City claimed one of our most famous victories over Manchester United.

One of the heroes that day was midfielder Ian Bishop, who turned out 117 times for the Club across two separate spells, and spanning three decades.

City were searching for just our second victory of the campaign having been promoted back to the top flight in the season prior, but Bishop insists there were few nerves among the players going into the Derby.

Indeed, he believes the magnitude of the fixture sparked an extra intensity in both his own and his team-mates’ performances.

He reflected: “Going into that Derby, it felt like 'the millionaires' were coming into the terraced houses, they were coming to visit us.

“We came out with a different sort of fire and played them off the park, we just got on top of them, pressured them, never stopped running and closing down.

“Nowadays people talk about a high press, and if you watch that game again you can see the energy and the fire that we had.

“Even when we went 2-0 up, we were still looking at each other and thinking ‘this is not done’.”

Play was halted due to some crowd disturbances inside the opening ten minutes but, as Bishop alluded to, City soon raced into a two-goal lead thanks to quickfire strikes from David Oldfield and Trevor Morley.

Maine Road was rocking, and a further effort from the midfielder before the break would send the home supporters into dreamland.

After making a lung-busting run from his own half, he rounded off a swift City counter by heading home Oldfield’s perfectly weighted cross from the right, grabbing his first goal for the Club in the process.

“When I look back at my goal, I didn’t feel myself running almost the full length of the field,” Bishop reflects.

“Steve Redmond intercepted and played a ball down the line and I was thinking, ‘is Dave going to get there?’.

“I remember watching Paul Ince, he didn’t believe Dave was going to get there because he didn’t track me as tight as he should’ve done, so I broke into a little bit of a sprint to keep the distance.

“Then the ball coming over, it was perfect for me to do what I did. If it had come any further back and I’d have had to adjust, maybe it wouldn’t have happened.”

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It was a special moment for Bishop but one that, albeit tongue-in-cheek, not all of his teammates celebrated with him.

He joked: “Trevor (Morley) never celebrated, he said afterwards ‘you should’ve left it for me’!

“I remember thinking: ‘Well Trev, I’ve scored actually to put us 3-0 up, let it go!'

“I didn’t even see it go in because I was on the floor and expecting to be smashed by Jim Leighton.

“On the replays, I turn around and make sure it’s in the goal first, before I run away.”

Mark Hughes reduced the arrears after the restart with a spectacular overhead kick, but City’s three-goal advantage was restored soon after with Oldfield’s second of the game.

But far from content to sit back and preserve our healthy advantage, there was still time for Andy Hinchcliffe to make it five.

Even though he’d got on the scoresheet earlier on, that final goal was the pick of the bunch in Bishop's eyes, as Hinchcliffe headed home David White's inch-perfect cross from the right.

“The fifth goal just summed the day up; it was the best,” he declared.

“I’m not saying it because I was involved, but it was the best. It was better than my goal, I’ll give Hinchy that!”

City's 5-1 victory on 23 September 1989 remains one of our most memorable Manchester Derby performances.

And its significance was perhaps heighted given it would be another 13 years before we would get the better of United once again.

On that occasion, in a mirror image of Bishop and co's exploits, Kevin Keegan's newly-promoted side blew the Reds away at Maine Road in November 2002 thanks to a Shaun Goater brace and further strike from Nicolas Anelka.

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Asked whether the 1989 victory ranked among his greatest career highlights, Bishop’s answer is emphatic.

“Definitely. It meant everything to us back then because we didn’t have anything.

“There wasn’t much else in the trophy cabinet at that time, so it was important for us to get something out of that day and kickstart the season.

“The beauty of it is the City fans let us know about it, they don’t forget about us.

“It’s a different world now, but you’re still treated like you’re somebody and that you’ve played a part in the Club’s history. You’re really looked after by the Club and the fans.”

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