Manchester City FC

Tony Henry - Manchester City FC - Biography of his football career at Man City.

Photo/Foto: Tony Edenden

Date: 16 February 1980

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      Tuesday, 26 November 1957
      Houghton-le-Spring, England.
  • Manchester City FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 18th September 1976 as a sub in a 2-0 win at Sunderland (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      68 League apps (+11 as sub), 6 goals
  • Stoke City FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
    • Club Career
      62 League appearances 11 goals.
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Tony HENRY - Manchester City FC - Biography of his football career at Man City.

 Born in Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear, Tony Henry was a midfield player who played for Manchester City between 1974 and 1981. Signed on apprentice forms straight from school, he was given his first-team debut as an eighteen year old substitute in a 2-0 away win at Sunderland on September 18th 1976. With one further appearance from the bench that season it was not until October of the following year that he got his first start for the club in a 2-0 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, his only outing of the 1977/78 campaign.


As a young player he was finding it increasingly frustrating trying to break into a side packed with full internationals which had been consistently challenging for the game's major honours, but it was in March 1979 that Tony finally got his chance. The team had uncharacteristically been struggling in the bottom half of the league table and had also been humiliatingly knocked out of the FA Cup by Third Division Shrewsbury Town (0-2), though progress had been made in the UEFA Cup where a 5-2 aggregate third round victory over the mighty AC Milan had set up a tie with Borussia Monchengladbach. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Maine Road coach Malcolm Allison, who had returned to the club in January, sprang a surprise when he named Henry for the second leg. Though a 3-1 defeat sent the Blues out of the competition Tony kept his place for the trip to Arsenal four days later and was to miss only one further game until the end of the season, making a total of 15 appearances as the Blues finished in a lowly fifteenth spot.


By the start of the 1979/80 season the worst-kept secret at the club was confirmed as Tony Book moved upstairs to become General Manager and Allison was named first-team boss. The style of football Allison wanted to play suited Henry's ability as a utility player, being able to play across the midfield and also at full-back if need be, and his first goals for the club soon followed as he scored both in a 2-1 League Cup replay win at home to Sheffield Wednesday in early September. Two months later he got his first league goal for the club when he opened the scoring in a 2-0 derby match win over Manchester United, the goal Tony is best-remembered for by City supporters. It was, however, a brief respite as by mid-December the team sat eighteenth in the league and had been dumped out of the League Cup in a replay at Sunderland (0-1). Despite this Henry's two goals in consecutive league wins against Derby County (3-0) and Everton (2-1) lifted the team to twelfth, but from then on they embarked on a disastrous eighteen game run without a win including another embarrassing FA Cup exit, this time a 1-0 loss at Fourth Division Halifax Town. Three wins out of the last four games saw City finish in seventeenth place, Henry scoring in a 2-1 win on the last day against Ipswich to bring his tally to 4 goals from 32 appearances, but the fans were increasingly unhappy, not being used to lowly league finishes and early cup exits. (David Redshaw)


The poor league form from the previous term was to carry over into the 1980/81 season, with City bottom of the league with no wins from the first ten games, and after a 1-0 defeat at Leeds on October 8th Malcolm Allison was sacked and replaced by ex-Norwich boss John Bond. He immediately brought in a number of experienced players, with Tony losing his place in the team, and the transformation was instant as the Blues picked up eight wins in ten games. The next few months saw City move swiftly up the table to ensure league safety, but it was in the cups where progress was really made. In the League Cup Henry had hit a rich vein of form, getting his chance because of cup-tied players, and he was on the scoresheet against Stoke (1-1 & 3-0), Luton (2-1) and also West Brom (2-1), before a 2-1 aggregate semi-final defeat to Liverpool.


In the FA Cup Tony had made appearances at full-back in wins over Norwich (6-0, the photo above is during the game 24th. January 1981 - photo G. Herringshaw. ©) and Peterborough (1-0) in earlier rounds, and had also fought his way back into the league side as the Blues went on to reach the Centenary cup final against Tottenham Hotspur. He was named as substitute on the day as the clubs fought out a 1-1 draw, coming on in extra-time for City scorer Tommy Hutchison, but for the replay he was left out of the squad altogether in favour of Dennis Tueart as Spurs ran out 3-2 winners. Even so it had ultimately been a successful season, Henry making 27 league appearances with 2 goals and receiving an FA Cup runners-up medal.


Having made substitute appearances in the first two games of the following season Tony was the subject of a £120, 000 offer from Bolton Wanderers, which manager Bond decided to accept, and he was subsequently sold to them in September 1981, having made 93 league and cup appearances (including 13 as substitute) in his City career, scoring 12 goals. He later went on to play for Oldham Athletic and Stoke City before having two years in Japan with Mazda Sports Club. He returned to the UK in 1991 and spent a successful season with Shrewsbury Town before moving into non-league football, after which he remained in the game working in various roles as an agent and football club scout. (David Redshaw)