City remained in the top flight in the period up to the First World War and for three seasons afterwards, but were relegated in 1921–22 along with Manchester United. Back in Division Two, attendances dropped and City struggled for form, with five consecutive finishes in the bottom half of the table. They suffered a second relegation to Division Three (North) in 1926–27. Two seasons later, O'Rourke, who had initially retired in 1921 following the death of his son, returned and guided City to promotion with a record haul of 128 goals. O'Rourke left for a second time after one more season, and although City spent a total of eight seasons back in Division Two, they rarely looked like earning promotion back to the top flight. Instead in 1936–37, the club were relegated back to Division Three (North). City won their third piece of silverware two seasons later, when they lifted the Third Division North Challenge Cup, but they were unable to defend the trophy because competitive football was suspended for the Second World War.