The club, however, never operated a system like Scottish sides Celtic and Rangers, who until recently discriminated
against players because of their religion. Nor was it ever a case of City being Masonic and therefore Protestant to Manchester United's Catholic.
'When I was at the club there were people with Masonic connections, but we never talked about it because it was nothing to do with football,' says Hughie. 'Personally, I didn't join [the Craft] until well after I stopped playing, and if a player was a Mason then that was
As Sidney himself says, it was just a happy coincidence that so many of those involved with the club were also
Masons. In his case, his work as a respected orthopaedic surgeon in the late 1940s was the catalyst for his long association with the Blues.
'I just feel very lucky that two of the great interests in
my life, outside of family Manchester City and Freemasonry - are in some way connected,' he says with
It's a relationship that continues today, and as well as Sidney and Masons like Eric Alexander (an honorary club president and the son of Albert Alexander), the first face you see on entering Maine Road is Mike Corbett, security manager and member of the Hanoverian Lodge in Glasgow.
'The Masonic tradition is a
big part of Manchester City,' says Mike, who has been with the club for 13 years, 'and it's just one of the things which makes the club so special. Hopefully it will remain that way for many years to come.'
With special thanks to Manchester City's Official Club Historian Andrew Waldon
Of all the Manchester City players past and present to have Masonic
connections, Bremen-born Bert Trautmann is perhaps the most colourful. Signed to replace City favourite
Frank Swift, he was an exGerman paratrooper who had only taken up goalkeeping while being held as a POW in Ashtonin-Makerfield.
With the war still fresh in people's minds, he was a far from popular choice, but soon won over the fans with a series of wonderful displays in goal, claiming that his training as a paratrooper helped him dive and cushion the ball on landing.
His finest hour came in the 1956 FA Cup final victory over Birmingham City. Diving at the feet of an attacker to make an important save, he injured his neck and was only able to continue after lengthy treatment.
He heroically played the last 17 minutes of the game in obvious pain and at full-time had to be helped off the pitch. The injury was later diagnosed as a broken neck, putting him out of the game for seven months, but his status as a City legend was confirmed.
When finally released by the club in 1964, he had made over 500 appearances, building up such a rapport with the local area that he subsequently joined a Stockport Lodge.
Web site created by Mark Griffin