Thursday, 10 December 2009

JIM'S COLUMN 5.12.09

Another pic of Steve Mokone taken with Charles Buchan soon after Kalamazoo arrived from South Africa. Love the suit.

At the start of the season I pointed out that there were seven away grounds in the Championship where City have never won a league game: Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium, Preston, Cardiff’s new stadium, Scunthorpe’s Glanford Park, Middlesborough’s Riverside Stadium and Swansea’s Liberty Stadium. I predicted that if City failed to win at all of these grounds then the chances were they would not be in the play-off mix. Tomorrow City play at Scunthorpe having already failed to win at Doncaster, Preston and Cardiff and the game is arguably the easiest of the seven. However whilst Scunthorpe are below the Sky Blues in the table and have a poor away record (seven defeats in nine), they are no slouches at home and have defeated Newcastle and Sheffield United at Glanford. This is a game City cannot afford to lose, especially with in-form Newcastle in town next week. Whilst last Saturday’s draw at QPR was a good result, it is now eight games without a win, the sort of poor run that gets managers sacked, and games against lower half teams have to be won.

Tottenham’s recent 9-1 victory over Wigan Athletic (with ex-City keeper Chris Kirkland between the sticks for the Latics) prompted Dave Long to ask whatever happened to Alan Miller, City’s goalkeeper on that fateful day at Stamford Bridge in City’s relegation season. Kirkland, playing only his second league game, was sent off after 20 minutes for bringing down Jimmy Floyd Hassailbank and on-loan keeper Alan Miller had to go on and immediately face a penalty kick. Hassailbank scored from the spot and went on to hit another three goals with Tore Andre Flo and Zola also netting before Cedric Roussel scored an 88th minute consolation goal to make the final score 6-1.

It was the only appearance in a City shirt for Miller who was on loan from Blackburn Rovers at the time due to injuries to Magnus Hedman and Morten Hyldegaard. He sat on the City bench a few more times before returning to Ewood Park. The following season Miller was loaned out to St Johnstone where he made 15 appearances before a back injury ended his career. That career had started as a 14-year old at Arsenal and in 1988 he was in the Gunners’ FA Youth Cup winning team. Despite winning four England under 21 caps his opportunities were limited by the form of John Lukic and later David Seaman. His debut came in 1992 when he was the very first Arsenal substitute goalkeeper and he made nine appearances over the next two years as well as loan spells with Birmingham and West Brom. In 1994 he joined Middlesbrough for £500,000 and made 60 or so appearances before a move to Hawthorns where for the first time he became a regular first teamer.

Pat Morris wanted to know if a Mike Briscoe played for City in the 1930s. I could confirm that he never played for the first team (nor any other league team) but fellow historian Mike Young was able to tell us that he was listed in a December 1935-6 programme as a reserve playing in the London Combination (a right half I believe). He is showing as having played five games and scoring one goal. He isn't in the team lists in programmes from February 1936 on so probably left the club in early 1936.


  1. Is history repeating itself? After the big freeze of 1963, City drew Pompey away in the Cup. That match was drawn and City eventually won the second replay (at Spurs). Then City were drawn against Sunderland, a team from a higher division. You will remember that match no doubt as City won 2-1 and went on to play Man U in the next round. Shame is - Man U are out already!

  2. Shame history couldn't repeat itself and earn us a big money tie with Sunderland.