On 8 May 1956, the Guardian described Manchester City's homecoming after a Wembley final full of drama. “As the Cup, dressed in the City's colours, and held aloft by Roy Paul, the captain, came into view, a deafening crescendo of rattles, bells, even a trumpet (blown by a lusty ten-year-old) rose to greet them. A woman near the Town Hall fainted in the excitement. The Lord Mayor stepped forward and tried to speak, but the crowd had been waiting for too long and interrupted his first words – 'This is a proud day for Manchester...' – with a general cry of 'We want Bert'.”
Bert Trautmann's remarkable personal story – an ex-prisoner of war turned cult hero goalkeeper who, days after this homecoming, would be informed he had played out the final at Wembley with a broken neck - is just part of City's rich history: the journey of a club grown from the remains of a 19th-century church side which became, at a stroke, the world's richest team.
Based on original reports from the Guardian and Observer archives from the last 120 years, this unique collection revisits 20 of the club's defining matches, from its first FA Cup final in 1904 and the dark days of decline to one amazing afternoon at the Etihad. What are the lessons of “Typical City's” past - and what does its future hold?