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That Bloody Dog

August 22, 2010

I’ve been doing a bit of research into the Myth about Harry Stafford and his dog, and can now recount a different story to that one which is told in this thread Newton Heath Birth Of A Football Club.

The part about Stafford taking it upon himself to hold a bazaar to raise funds is true, he did organise it and it was held in St James’ Hall in Manchesters town centre, however how he came to meet J Henry Davies is different in this tale.

The bazaar was a fisasco with just over £200 being raised instead of the £2670 needed to save the club, so Staffords dog ( Major), a St Bernard was dispathed off round the city’s pubs to virtually beg for loose change, Major however disappeared along with a collecting tin which had been strapped around his neck, Stafford was distraught that he had lost Major, however a couple of days later an advert appeared in the local paper, a St Bernard had been found in one of the pubs belonging to the Manchester Brewery, the coincidence is he was looking for such a dog for his daughter, and both he and Stafford turned up at the pub at the same time. The two men ended up talking, and in exchange for the magnate putting money into the club, Stafford handed over the dog.

Thats how the story goes, however there is no further documentary evidence to prove or deny the story, the idea that Major saved Newton Heath has appealed to the romantics and is now part of the clubs mythology.

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