Opening Day History | Starting with success
On Saturday Cardiff City head to Burton Albion ahead of their first fixture of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Neil Warnock and his troops will be eager to return to the Welsh capital with a positive result, and history shows that a win on the opening day can go a long way to achieving success.
This was the case at the start of the 1920/21 season when the Bluebirds squad [pictured above] travelled to Stockport County. Former Stockport boss and longest serving Cardiff manager Fred Stewart was in charge ahead of the game. City triumphed 5-2 over the Greater Manchester side when history suggested that they were a tough team to beat at home.
FA Cup winning captain Fred Keenor started and scored in the emphatic victory witnessed by 13,000 people. Inspired by this result, Cardiff finished second in the table and level on points with first placed Birmingham City. The prolific Jimmy Gill, who signed for £750 from Sheffield Wednesday, was top scorer for City with nineteen goals including a brace on the opening day.
At the commencement of the 1951-52 season Cardiff thrashed Leicester City to later gain promotion to the top flight. Their success was made sweeter due to the club narrowly missing out in the previous few seasons.
C. T. Steer (Cardiff’s Chairman at the time) blamed previous shortcomings on not having the right players to progress due to financial difficulties following the post-war era. However, this season, City were able to hold onto their star figures and Englishman Wilf Grant [pictured back row, second from right, with the '51/52 side] notched an impressive twenty-six goals for the club.
It’s also worth remembering that one result doesn’t determine the outcome of the campaign. This can be evidenced in the 1975/76 season when the Bluebirds lost 2-0 away to Grimsby.
City only won two of their first eight games, but Cardiff manager Jimmy Andrews turned performances and results around. By the end of the season, City had impressively won twenty-two games and drawn thirteen. With the likes of Phil Dwyer, Tony Evans and Brian Clarke [pictured below in 1971], Cardiff gained automatic promotion to Division Two.
Finally, and most recently, lets relive the exciting start to the campaign that the 2012/13 City side enjoyed. Sky TV cameras were there to watch Cardiff win 1-0 on opening day courtesy of a last minute goal by Mark Hudson.
This initiated a ten game winning run at Cardiff City Stadium which led to the club clinching the Championship title with games to spare. Craig Conway [pictured below] helped complete City's ten game home streak as he scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on 2nd December.
As the game against Burton Albion draws closer, City fans will be awaiting the start of the campaign with excitement and anticipation. Indeed, a positive summer will have surely filled supporters with plenty of confidence, as they prepare to cheer on Warnock and his men in the season to come.