The History of Manchester City

Published by Chris Jenkins
26th Jan 2022

At the time of writing, Manchester City is currently one of the best teams in world football. They have won numerous league titles over the past decade, as well as a variety of domestic cups. They have also started to emerge as a force within European football, something that many die-hard City fans would have found unimaginable in years gone by.

But how did City get here? From humble beginnings, they have had varying levels of success in their long history. They weren't always the powerhouse we know them as now, and perhaps some of the younger generations won’t understand this.

While they’re currently lighting up the world playing some amazing football, it’s worth taking a look back at where this prestigious club began and how it got here. And that’s what we’re doing in this post - below we go over the history of Manchester City.


In 1880, St Mark’s Church in Manchester formed a football team. The team were known as St Mark’s at the time and played in a black shirt.

In 1887 the team was renamed Ardwick AFC, moving to a new ground at Hyde Road. Around this time, a disaster struck near Hyde Road that resulted in the deaths of 23 miners. A friendly tribute game was played in response to these events.

This all occurred before the establishment of the second division of the EFL. In 1892 the second division of English football was created, with Ardwick AFC being one of the founding members of this organisation.

In 1894, the team reformed as Manchester City Football Club. This was so they could represent the whole city.

The newly named Manchester City’s fortunes were on the up at this point, and in 1899 they became champions of Division Two. Not only did they win the league title, but they also became the first team to gain automatic promotion.  Along with winning the FA Cup final in 1904, the team were doing well, becoming the first Manchester side to win a major trophy. 

Post WW1 Years And WW2 Years

The league was postponed in 1914 due to World War 1, but in 1920, Manchester City was back. Disaster struck almost immediately as Hyde Road burned down in 1923, but the team moved to Maine Road. Maine Road was Manchester City’s home ground up until recently and is a huge part of the club's history.

This marked the start of a strange time for Manchester City. In 1926 they found themselves with no manager and became the first Manchester side to play at Wembley. They also recorded a 6-1 victory against local rivals, Manchester United at Old Trafford. Subsequently, however, suffering relegation in the same year.

In 1928 the Sky Blues returned to Division One and were the football league’s most supported club, recording a crowd of 84,569 in 1934.

This led to them winning the league championship for the first time in 1937 - a truly remarkable achievement. Unfortunately, football was postponed once again in 1939 when World War Two began. 

Post-WW2 years were somewhat quiet for Manchester City, but in 1955 and 1956 they went to 2 successive FA Cup Finals. They won the cup in 1956 - beating Birmingham City 3-1.

In 1968 the sky blues’ secured their second division one title, followed by an FA Cup win next year. The success around this period continued into the 1970s as City had European success, winning the European Cup.

The following years followed a similar pattern. Consistently moving between relegation, promotion, and mixed success all around. 

Premier League

In 1992, the Premier League was formed. The first-ever Monday night fixture on Sky Sports was Manchester City vs QPR. The game finished 1-1 for Peter Reid’s Sky Blues Manchester City scoring first with a finish by David White in the 37th minute. Unfortunately, 2 minutes into the second half, Gerry Francis’s QPR side equalised with a strike from Andy Sinton.

Following this inaugural Sky Sports Premier League fixture, Manchester City didn’t manage to stay in the Premier League throughout the 90s and had mixed success. However, there was always a spark in the team. With one of the most loyal and devoted fanbases in the world, they always threatened to return to the first division and achieve great success.

After back-to-back promotions, Manchester City returned to the Premier League in 2000. Not long after this, their long-suffering fans were about to be greeted with a dream come true.

In 2008, the Abu Dhabi United Group became the new owners of Manchester City. After this appointment, they acquired Mark Hughes as manager and broke the British transfer record. Signing Robinho from Real Madrid for a record-breaking £32.5 million. The record before this was £30 million in 2006 when Chelsea signed Andriy Shevchenko.

After Hughes’ stint at the club, former Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini arrived at the club and guided the team to their best Premier League campaign so far, with the team finishing 5th and reaching the League Cup semi-final.

After years without a major trophy, Manchester City won the FA Cup in 2011 and qualified for the Champions League for the first time. This was a sign of things to come as the team evolved into one of the most dominant teams the game has ever seen.

In 2012, Manchester City won the Premier League following an iconic last-minute goal by Sergio Aguero that remains perhaps the most memorable moment in Premier League history. This 3-2 victory against QPR resulted in Manchester City’s first league title in 44 years. And what a way to win it!

Moving Forward

The trajectory of Manchester City has continued to climb upwards. Solidifying themselves as one of the most prolific and successful teams in recent years. Whether it be die-hard fans or neutrals alike, one thing is certain - you cannot deny their impact on the beautiful game.

Acquiring some of the most exciting talents in world football, with the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and most recently - Erling Haaland. Now that the sky blues have written themselves a spot in the history books from a domestic standpoint. Their ambition will be to dominate the European stage.

For most players, lifting the Champions League is their dream, and doing so with Manchester City will be a monumental occasion within the world of football. The history of Manchester City is an integral part of English footballing heritage, and the game has evolved alongside them in numerous ways. If you’re interested in catching Manchester City at any match, get Champions League tickets and Premier League tickets through Football Ticket Pad.