Manchester City Women Club History
Manchester City Women's Football Club was founded in 1988 by one of City in the Community’s original members, Neil Mather.
Back then, the club was known as Manchester City Ladies and was created after a series of successful local tournaments led Mather to suggest holding an event exclusively for female football teams.
The tournament proved a hit and several talented women took part. Mather then made a formal proposal to Manchester City’s club secretary, Bernard Halford, to set up a women’s team which would be run by CITC.
The idea was approved and a number of advertisements appeared in the programme. Trials were held at Platt Lane, with more than 30 women turning up for the first session and 70 in attendance for the second. Many attendees were life-long City fans and the first squad included several Blues in its ranks.
In January 2014, the club launched the newly-renamed Manchester City Women's Football Club, reflecting the team’s values as professional, athletic, skilful and as positive role models.
The club’s first competitive game was a friendly against Oldham Athletic Ladies, played at Boundary Park. Transport and kit was provided by Manchester City and the women’s side went on to play many more friendlies before they entered into the regional league for the North West.
As the club cemented itself into league football, they began to recruit more experienced players. The Blues went on to participate in tournaments and friendly games that often tied in with the men’s fixtures.
As Manchester City aimed to move away from the 1970s and 80s image of football as a male-dominated environment, the women’s team became more and more popular. They made an appearance in an episode of World In Action and one of their games was shown on the Saturday morning children’s programme, Wide Awake Club.
Twenty-five years later, City Women has kept its affiliation with the men’s side and in August 2012, Manchester City announced its commitment to the women’s team as part of a systematic rebuilding of the football club and the recognition of the need to formalise the relationship for the benefit of the women and girls’ game.
The announcement marked an exciting new era for the women’s side, who had been promoted into the Women’s National Division – the second highest tier in UK women’s football.
It was the club’s stated ambition from the outset to achieve entry to the FA Women’s Super League and in April 2013, this ambition was realised.
In the winter of the same year, the Blues made their first marquee signing in Jill Scott, before going on to recruit top internationals Karen Bardsley, Toni Duggan and Steph Houghton to their ranks.
Featuring speeches on the club’s history, present status and plans for the future, the event also saw the club reveal its dedication to improving women’s football in the local community, with a plan to hold a series of coaching programmes for girls in the area delivered by CITC.
In their debut season in the top flight of women's football in England, Nick Cushing's side collected their first ever piece of silverware - the Continental Cup - following a 1-0 victory over Arsenal Ladies in the final.
City also finished the FA WSL season in fifth place.
The following year, the Club made history once more, securing a top-two finish and a place in the Champions League for the first time and in 2016, the Blues clinched a first league title with an unbeaten record.
That achievement was followed the week after with another trophy - the club's second Continental Tyres Cup.
If you would like to contact us at MCWFC, you can email ManchesterCityWomen@mcfc.co.uk, tweet us at @MCWFC or follow us on Facebook.
To find out more about the grassroots coaching sessions, visit www.mcfc.co.uk/community.