With the 50th anniversary of Cardiff City’s victory
over Real Madrid on March 10 next year, Trust Joint Membership Secretary Paul
Evans has published a book looking back at that famous triumph.
Paul said: “While the book is built
around the two games against Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, it
is more than that in that it offers details, analysis and statistics from all games
played by City in the 1970-71 season.
“That might make it sound a little stuffy, but to avoid that I’ve included my memories of games, events and other matters occurring at that time. I’ve also backed it up with opinions taken from the Western Mail, South Wales Echo and Football Echo newspapers of half-a-century ago. I was just 14 when the season started.
“I saw my first game in October 1963, so have experienced plenty of high and lows in my time following City. We all have a bit of a moan about how things are going but, in general, the 21st Century has been a great time to be a Cardiff City supporter Despite how it ended with a 3rd place finish in the old Second Division, and the consequences arising from it, 1970-71 is still my favourite season.
“The games against Real Madrid took
place against a backdrop of what was our most concerted effort to get into the old
First Division between the promotions of 1959-60 and 2012-13.”
Cardiff City beat Real Madrid 1-0 at
Ninian Park with a goal from Brian Clark but lost the return 2-0, going out of
the ECWC at the Quarter Final stage.
Real Madrid and All That is available
in e-book (£7.50) and paperback (£9.99) formats and can be bought at:-
As members will recall, we raised the issue of the way season tickets were being sold without any formal consultation with supporter groups.
The club said at the time of the ticket launch in July that they would not offer season ticket holders any price reduction or cash refund in the event of matches being played behind closed doors.
We thought this was wrong and the Football Supporters’ Association agreed and also strongly criticised the actions of Cardiff City management.
However, we’re pleased to say that Nic Heslop, Head of Commercial, has this week written to supporters to say: “We are now delighted to confirm that the EFL have granted the club the ability to issue a streaming pass to every season ticket holder at the value of £10 including VAT per game.
“The club will then combine the streaming pass along with the difference in ticket price paid to make a pro-rata credit to compensate for any games that season ticket holders are unable to attend. Credits will then be held on each season ticket holders’ account to use towards the 21-22 season ticket.”
While the club is not offering immediate pro-rata refunds– unlike some clubs like our rivals at Bristol City – Cardiff City FC has gone some way to recognising the concerns of supporters.
The Trust has been in contact with the club and anticipate that communication and consultation with fans’ groups will return to the good levels experienced prior to the season ticket announcement issue.
Trust member John Jones responded to our appeal for memories from fans
as we had to the centenary of Cardiff City’s first Football League game on
October 28th, 2020.
John wrote: “This is a picture of the 1922 team that was given to me as a lad by my auntie. A few years later when I was 13 I got to meet Fred Keenor at the old people’s home in Gabalfa.
“He talked to me about the squad. He knew all their names, and as you can see he autographed the back of the photo for me. I’m now 61 but the memories of meeting the captain of the only football side to take the cup out of England has stayed with me all my life.”
Trust board member Rob Jeffrey has done a bit of research on the photograph.
Rob said: “It was taken on October 29, 1921 at Ninian Park. The
background is the Canton Stand which had been built the previous season, our
first in the Football League.
“The opponents that day were West Brom. We won 2-0 in front
of 35,000. Both goals were scored by Jimmy Gill, who was signed for a City record fee of £750
from Sheffield Wednesday the previous season.
The players in the photo are Back Row: Jimmy Nelson,
Herbie Evans, Ben Davies, Jimmy Blair, Fred Keenor
Front Row: Eddie Jenkins, Billy Grimshaw, Jimmy Gill, Fred
Pagnam, Joe Clennell, Jack Evans
“The game was the debut of Jimmy Nelson who went on to play
in the 1925 and 1927 Cup Finals
“The only other bit of trivia I know is that Fred Pagnam, the
gentleman with the ball at his feet was declared a deserter in WW1. The reality
of the desertion was that he went home on leave in 1918 and didn’t return when
he was supposed to, went missing for 5 day, so technically desertion, he
eventually gave himself up. Because he handed himself in no further action was
taken and he returned to the front. He later went into management and managed
the Turkey national team.”
John Jones recalled Fred Keenor naming the team and the one person that stuck in his mind was the goalkeeper Tom Farquharson.
Responding Rob added: “Irishman Tom Farquharson (who lived in Allensbank
Road) made more appearances in goal than any other City goalkeeper. He was
imprisoned in Dublin in 1919 for his IRA activities and was only released on
bail on the understanding that he left Ireland.
“He ended up in South Wales and was spotted by the City when he was
playing for Abertillery Town and was signed by us. Always afraid that his IRA
past would catch up with him he carried a gun in his kitbag, a fact attested by
several of his City team mates. He made his debut for the City against
Manchester United on 6 May 1922 more than 6 months after your photo was taken.
“Undoubtedly Fred Keenor played for nine years with Tom Farquharson behind him in goal so will have figured prominently in his career but, when he named the team perhaps his memory was not as it once was as the the goalkeeper in the picture is definitely Ben Davies,” explained Rob.
One week today, Cardiff City fans will mark 100 years since the Bluebirds played their first Football League game – a 5-2 victory over Stockport County. Trust chair Keith Morgan recalls the ups and downs of supporting the Bluebirds.
Keith Morgan said: “What a remarkable century it has been for Cardiff City and its fans with plenty of ups and downs.
“Since the Bluebirds joined the
league, the club has won the FA Cup, been runners-up twice, finished second in
the old First Division in the 1920s, promoted twice to the Premier League and
won the old Welsh Cup many times, which led onto some great European
“There have also been the trips
to the new Wembley Stadium, iconic games with the 1-0 win at home to Real
Madrid and victory over Premiership leaders Leeds United in the FA Cup in 2002.
“We’re fortunate to have had
some great players turn out for the Bluebirds ranging from Fred Keenor, Billy
Hardy and Len Davies through to Ivor Allchurch, John Charles, Phil Dwyer and
modern legends like Robert Earnshaw and Peter Whittingham.
“The century of football at the
atmospheric Ninian Park and the Cardiff City Stadium has been a rollercoaster
for fans with the excitement of promotion drives set against slumping into the
old Fourth Division in the 1990s, which older supporters will recall.
“We struggled for many years to
get back to the second tier of English football but have been back in the top
two divisions continuously since 2003.”
“We’d loved to hear from fans about their favourite moments following the City.”
The first full football season after World War One was 1919-20 when
Cardiff City finished 4th in the old Southern League.
During this season it was announced that the Football League
intended to create a Third Division for 1920-21 and the club’s Board of
Directors applied to join.
The Bluebirds’ application succeeded beyond expectation in that we
were invited to join, along with Leeds United, a restructured Division 2,
by-passing Division 3 and Portsmouth, Watford and Crystal Palace who had
finished above City in the Southern League that season
The Canton Stand at Ninian Park was constructed for our 1st season
in the Football League
The first game in the Football League was away at Edgeley Park
against Stockport County on August 28th, 1920.
City team v Stockport County was Kneeshaw, Brittan, Layton, Hardy, Smith, Keenor, Grimshaw, Gill, Cashmore, West, Evans
Scorers Gill 2, Grimshaw, Keenor, Evans
Jimmy Gill, the scorer of City’s first goal in the Football League, was a club record signing in the close season at £750.
Our first season in the Football League turned out to be quite momentous for a number of reasons. We gained promotion to Division 1 at our first attempt by finishing as runners- up to Champions Birmingham City on goal average. Both teams finished on 58 points.
Stockport County, our first
opponents, finished bottom and were relegated. In the FA Cup the City reached
the FA Cup Semi Final which was played against Wolves at Anfield. It was
attended by King George V and Queen Mary, the first time reigning monarchs had
attended a football match in Britain. The result was a grim 0-0 draw and we
lost the replay 3-1 at Old Trafford. So, in the course of one season Cardiff
City went from the Southern League to promotion to the top flight and playing
in front of Royalty.
City Supporters’ Trust has praised the efforts of Cardiff City players and manager
Neil Harris in trying to reach the Premier League.
Chair Keith Morgan, said: “We believe as fans that recognition should be given
to the brave and sterling efforts of Neil Harris and his players this season.
Bluebirds fans will be disappointed at failing to reach the Play-Offs Final at
Wembley, we truly believe the team did us proud against a very expensively
can see the improvements that have been made gradually by Neil Harris since he
took over the reigns earlier this season.
we will be in the Championship in 2020-21, we can look forward with optimism to
the new season. We also hope in the not
too distant future that the Cardiff City Stadium will once again be able to
welcome our fans.”