In August 2023, Josko Gvardiol became the Club’s record signing for a defender, joining the Treble winning squad from RB Leipzig.

That same month, lifelong Blue, Peter Walker, departed The Christie Hospital in Manchester after eight gruelling weeks of cancer treatment.

Since being diagnosed with three forms of cancer shortly after the Champions League final in Istanbul, Peter had endured multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.  

In the hopes of supporting Peter with his ongoing battle, a close friend wrote into Manchester City.

On hearing this, Gvardiol sent his first video message to Peter, which accompanied the Treble trophies that surprised the lifelong Blue at his home. Peter became Gvardiol’s first Manchester City fan.

As the season progressed, Peter continued his ongoing battle with cancer.

Looking back on that period, Peter said of his illness:

“With it being throat cancer, my throat was actually like barbed wire. It was that hard I couldn’t eat anything, drink anything, so I had a stomach pump and that kept me alive.”

However, by November, the Club received news that Peter’s health was improving, thanks to the treatment provided by The Christie Hospital.

As Peter’s health returned, he started to attend home then away fixtures once more – following Manchester City into the latter stages of the season.

A key highlight was travelling with thousands of other fans to Madrid, where Peter witnessed his favourite player Gvardiol score a stunning goal in the 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu.

As the season moved into its final months, Peter received incredible news: he was declared clear of all three forms of cancer.

Following this news, as the season drew into its final month, Peter and his family attended a behind the scenes tour of the City Football Academy. As they toured the Etihad Campus, the family reached the Media Theatre, where suddenly Gvardiol appeared and finally came face to face with his first Manchester City fan.

On the surprise, Peter’s sister Angela said:

“We just expected to go around the academy and the Club. Never expected anything like this! City have surprised us again!”

After the surprise, Peter and Gvardiol exchanged jokes, while Gvardiol inquired about the health of his first Manchester City fan. Moments later, the Croatian defender presented Peter with a football signed by the Manchester City squad as a gift to the lifelong Blue.

On what it was like to meet Gvardiol months after the defender’s video wishing Peter well, his sister Angela commented:

“Amazing!” When we got the video that he’d just signed for the Club and when he said to Peter – you’re my first fan – its stayed in my mind. And then for him to walk through the door today its just bowled us over.”

As the pair prepared to part, they exchanged a final promise: Gvardiol would work to help Manchester City win the four-in-a-row and in return, Peter would be his lifelong fan.

“Win the 4-in-a-row and he’s got a friend for life. That was our promise.” said Peter.

Three days following their meeting, Gvardiol scored two goals in one of his best performances of the season at Fulham, before playing a key role in securing Manchester City’s fourth Premier League title in a row a week later with victory against West Ham.

A promise fulfilled and the four-in-a-row season concluded.

For Peter’s full journey, keep an eye on Club channels.