Wembley wonder, Maine Road icon, Transatlantic pioneer, astute boardroom counsel… 

By Neil Leigh

As lasting rolls of honour go, Dennis Tueart’s immense Manchester City legacy takes some beating. 

275 appearances and 109 goals across two storied spells as a player only scratches at the surface in terms of the impact and influence of the man from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

And that memorable City journey all began on 11 March, 1974 - when a fresh faced Tueart swapped the then second division Sunderland to make the move south to join City. 

Over the course of an era that spanned four decades, Dennis poured his heart and soul into seeking to help deliver nothing but the best to City. 

Initially as one of the most exciting and transformative wide players to grace the English game during the 1970s and 80s - then more latterly through his time serving on the Club’s board of directors, initially at a time when City’s fortunes were very much on the wane. 

To help celebrate that 50th anniversary of the advent of his unique City journey we gauged Dennis’s memories, tracing the arc of his remarkable career – one that took him from a humble North East upbringing through to gracing some of the greatest stadiums in the world. 

Having started out at his hometown club of Newcastle as a highly rated schoolboy where he was originally deployed as a centre forward, Tuerart was subsequently switched to the left wing, in the process becoming one of football’s first right-footed left wingers.  

But with the Magpies concerned about Dennis’s perceived lack of height in his formative teenage years, he then made the short move to Sunderland where his talent and technique immediately soon marked him out as a player with vast and rich potential. 

Evidence of his talent, technique and hunger for success soon became evident to everyone at Roker Park. 

A bravura display in an FA Youth Cup tie against a Manchester United side featuring Brian Kidd saw Dennis score one goal and create another in a famous 2-1 win for the Mackems in front of more than 13,000 fans. 

Soon the teenage Tueart had graduated to the senior Sunderland side with a first team debut following at the tender age of 16. 

Having suffered the body blow of relegation in his second full season at Roker Park, Tueart then became one of the key cornerstones of a resurgent and vibrant Sunderland side. 

One who, seven months after Bob Stokoe arrived to take charge in late 1972, went on to win the 1973 FA Cup final by beating mighty Leeds United 1-0 - an achievement that sent shock waves through the very fibre and firmament of English football. 

Almost 51 years on it’s impossible to overstate the impact of that achievement. 

Stokoe’s second division side were massive underdogs against Don Revie’s all-powerful Leeds– who were the undisputed English powerhouse of that era. 

Yet in one of the most famous finals of all time, it was the Wearsiders who prevailed, Ian Porterfield’s famous right footed strike securing a 1-0 win. 

“Looking back now, it all happened so quickly,” Dennis recalls. 

“In November 1972 we were playing in front of 11 or 12,000 fans. Then by the April, when we played the FA Cup quarter final against Luton at Roker Park, we played in front of 53,000. 

“But without question it was one of the greatest FA Cup achievements.” 

However, with Sunderland still plying their domestic trade in Division Two and frustration building about again missing out on promotion back to the top-flight, Tueart – by then one of the most highly sought-after young players in the English game – decided it was time to move on in search of a fresh challenge. 

That said there was an element of intrigue and mystery about the identity of his prospective new employers in an era when the influence of agents and the chatter of instant communication were the stuff of mere pipedreams.

“We just didn’t build on to the quality in the side. Everybody wanted to beat Sunderland. It was a bit like when City went down to the third division in 1998. Everyone would come to Maine Road like it was their cup final, and it was the same as Sunderland. We just didn’t have the quality and depth,” Dennis recalls.  

“So, I asked for a transfer in November of 1973 which was granted. But Bob Stokoe came to me a month later and said stay until the deadline which, back then, was the third Thursday in March. 

“He said just stay until then whilst we get the team spirit back up. I said OK. I came off the transfer list and played a few games, but I still wasn’t very happy as I knew I was leaving.  

“Then before we played a game on the last Saturday before the third Thursday of March, Bob said to come to the ground the following morning. I said Why? He said: ‘I’m not telling you!’.  

“So I turned up at Roker Park on Sunday morning and Micky Horswill was there too, who had also asked for a transfer. 

“We said, ‘Where are we going’? Bob said ‘I’m not telling you!’ 

“We jumped into Bob’s car and went to a hotel just outside of Leeds. We got there and saw Tony Book, the then manager Ron Saunders, chairman Peter Swales and Tony Towers, who was going the opposite way, so it wasn’t rocket science to think ‘Oh hello, it’s Manchester City here. Then we got down to the negotiations. 

“I had no hesitation at all moving to City. There was speculation that Spurs and West Ham had been in for me, but I was more than happy. 

“They asked me to come down to Maine Road the next day. I turned to Tony and asked: ‘How do I get to Manchester?’ I didn’t have a clue! 

“I was hugely excited at the prospect. City were the team of the period. 

“From 1968-72 they won everything. Their profile and obviously with Law, Best and Charlton over at United, meant that Manchester was the hub of football. 

“What I also liked about it was the creative football played by City.” 

The formalities of a club record £275,000 deal concluded, there was to be no gentle introduction to life at City. 

Instead, just two days later, Dennis’s City debut saw him hurled into the maelstrom of a full-blooded Manchester derby under the Maine Road lights – even if the City concierge at the time had some trouble realising quite who he was dealing with. 

Welcome to Manchester indeed! 

“We finalised the deal on Monday at Maine Road and Ron Saunders said to me ‘I’m thinking of playing you on Wednesday,” Dennis chuckles today. 

“I said ‘Yeah - who are we playing?’ He said Manchester United! You can imagine what that was like! 

“Back then Maine Road had some stairs up to the boardroom. I went to go up there to make my way in and the concierge said, ‘Have you got a pass?’ I said ‘No’. He then said ‘You can’t get in here.’ I told him I’d just been signed but he still wouldn’t let me in! 

“Finally, someone pointed out to him who I was, then he directed me to the dressing rooms.” 

With United fighting for their First Division lives in a season that would ultimately end in relegation, the derby proved a niggly, no-holds barred affair. 

The scoreline may have finished 0-0 but boring it was not.  

City talisman Mike Doyle and United’s Lou Macari both received their marching orders while referee Clive 'The Book' Thomas at one stage took both teams off the field such was the tempestuous atmosphere on and off the field.

Dennis meanwhile was given his own personal warm introduction to a Manchester derby. 

“There were 50,000 people there on a Wednesday night – it was incredible,” DT says. 

“I used to love playing at Maine Road on a midweek evening game, the atmosphere was so special. 

“That night there were all these little skirmishes going on all over the pitch. 

“Early on I got the ball on the left wing, and I heard someone shout 'Break his leg'. I looked back and it was the United manager Tommy Docherty!” 

Along with his instant impact on the pitch, Dennis also created something of a stir thanks to the flamboyant 1970s coat he sported on the cover of the City matchday programme following his arrival. 

“I’ve still got it. It was a maroon leather coat, in fact I’ve still got a photograph of it on my phone,” Dennis laughs today. 

“We had travelled to London to play and stayed at the Royal Garden Hotel. On the Saturday morning I went for a walk around and popped into Kensington Market and saw this coat and it was £60, bear in mind I was only on £30 a week at the time. 

“So, I went back to the team hotel and one of the lads had been playing cards and won a few quid. I asked him to lend me some money and I went back to the market and brought it. 

“That was two weeks' wages!” 

But barely a month into his transition into life at Maine Road, City were rocked by yet more managerial upheaval – a constant theme of that 73/74 period. 

After a series of indifferent results Ron Saunders, the man who had brought Tueart to the Club was out and Club icon Tony Book was installed into the Maine Road hot seat.  

“I’d been sent off against Middlesbrough playing for Sunderland just before I signed for City. In those days if you hit 12 points for bookings or sending’s off you had to go before the committee,” Dennis adds. 

“It meant I was suspended for a few games over the Easter period, and that’s when Ron Saunders got fired. 

“I was in Newcastle when he got dismissed and when I came back, we’d lost two out of the three games over Easter so you can imagine the atmosphere around the Club at that time.” 

Ultimately that season was one of frustration for City. A 14th place finish in the table was scant reward for the talent possessed within the squad, while the Club also lost out 2-1 in the League Cup final to Wolves 10 days prior to Dennis’s arrival. 

With Book settled at the Maine Road helm, and the former full back overseeing a series of astute signings, amongst them ex-Everton talisman Joe Royle and Scottish midfield maestro Asa Hartford who both added further stardust and lustre to the City ranks, Tueart’s game-changing ability hit full throttle. 

“Tony gave me the best advice I ever had by a football manager. He said: ‘I want you to start wide and then go where you can cause trouble.’ That was music to my ears because I could play in any forward position. That flexibility was one of the big strengths of mine,” Dennis adds.

“I tell you what, he was a right so and so as well, in training, he really was. He was such a fit fella; he would join in and my goodness he wouldn’t hold back. 

“But that was the competitive element that City had, it’s what you need to be a winner.” 

The 1974/75 season saw City finish eighth with Tueart weighing in as second top scorer with 16 goals from 45 appearances across all competitions. 

For the man himself the campaign ended with the richly deserved reward of a first full England cap, though a final tally of six caps scarcely beggars’ belief given Tueart’s myriad qualities. 

But with young guns such as Peter Barnes and Ged Keegan also beginning to emerge, suddenly Book had assembled a potent blend of youth and experience and a thrilling side that was to take full flight across the next two seasons. 

The 1975/76 campaign may have seen City repeat that eighth placed finish but the full flowering of the talent nurtured by Book – now further supplemented by the arrival of Dennis’s teak tough former Sunderland colleague Dave Watson - came in the form of a League Cup campaign that was to see the Blues collectively and Tueart individually cement their place in City and Wembley folklore. 

A thunderous 4-0 fifth-round derby demolition job on Manchester United at Maine Road really lit the Blue touch paper as to what City were capable of. 

On a rip-roaring night crackling with a white-hot atmosphere, Tueart struck twice – including a 35 second opening effort that until Ilkay Gundogan’s FA Cup final strike of last year served as the fastest ever Manchester derby goal. 

The night though was tinged by the devasting knee injury sustained by City midfield talisman Colin Bell – a cruel body blow that was eventually to force Nijinsky into early retirement. 

A magical run culminated in a League Cup final for the ages, ironically against Dennis’s boyhood club Newcastle United. 

Boy wonder Peter Barnes fired Book’s Blue buccaneers into an early lead only for Alan Gowling to level for the Magpies just past the half hour. 

With a swashbuckling game on a knife edge a minute into the second half that was the cue for Dennis to take centre stage and serve up one of City’s and Wembley’s truly iconic moments. 

Tueart sublimely executed a spectacular overhead kick to provide one of the most memorable Wembley winners of all time. 

Full back Willie Donachie expertly arced a cross into the box. Tommy Booth then did wonders to rise and head the ball back across goal. 

In the blink of an eye, Tueart, with his back to goal, acrobatically took to the air before executing a stunning bicycle kick past Newcastle keeper Mike Mahoney to send the City end head over heels with Wembley joy. 

Not surprisingly, it was subsequently voted as the greatest goal in the history of the League Cup – though for Dennis, the greater satisfaction came from the collective pleasure that special strike provided the City fans and his colleagues. 

“That’s what you endeavour to do as a professional football player,” Dennis declares. “To try and perform on the biggest stage of them all. 

“I’d had a great relationship with the City fans over the two years I’d been there, and it was very special to see so many people gain pleasure from it – none more so than the team and the fans.  

“You want memories in your treasure box – your career lasts maybe 10 years at the top level if you are lucky and there are only a certain number of opportunities you have. That was one of them. 

“It has stood the test of time and I’m pleased and very proud of it. It was one of those occasions where you get the opportunity to win a game especially against your hometown team, who had rejected me at the age of 15 because of my height.” 

That Wembley win should have been the precursor to a period of sustained success for such a vibrant, attack minded side. 

Instead – remarkably – it was to prove the last silverware accumulated by City for 35 years. A fact no-one could have foreseen back in those halcyon days.  

“I think we had a great team with a nice balance of experience and youth. We had flexibility. The one big downside was that Colin got that terrible injury in the earlier rounds against Manchester United,” Dennis said. 

The following season saw City continue to conjure up a beguiling blend of free-flowing attacking football that saw us launch a sustained assault for the Division One title.

With Tueart again complementing his wing wizardry with another barrow full of goals – 18 to follow the previous campaign’s tally of 24 – City for much of the campaign looked firmly set to be crowned league champions for the first time since 1968. 

We had less league defeats – 7 from 42 games – than any other side but agonizingly fell short at the final hurdle, missing out on the title to Liverpool by a single point. 

“Yeah, we were so close,” Dennis says today. “I always reference our 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Maine Road, if we won that game we would have won the league title. 

“But it was so enjoyable to be part of that side. 

“We had some flair players and five England internationals. We were encouraged to use your skill and ability and go forward. 

“We had great strength down the middle, two good full-backs and midfield, we had a lot of quality. It was a real quality side.” 

Dennis’s fine form continued apace in the first half of the 77/78 campaign where he also had the distinction of claiming three separate hat-tricks including one at Aston Villa where he all but replicated that Wembley overhead kick. 

However, the arrival at Maine Road in the summer of 1977 of England international Mike Channon had meant the balance of the City side – along with the already fierce competition for places – was subtly but irrevocably altered. 

Finding himself out of the side after the advent of the New Year of 1978 and in the prime of his career at 28, Tueart began to ponder on the future when fate suddenly prompted another dramatic twist in his career. 

One that was to transport him and wife Joan 3,500 miles across the Atlantic to a new adventure with the legendary New York Cosmos… but not before Manchester United had come a-calling. 

“I had been injured and Brian Kidd was playing left side of midfield. It was a really tough period,” Dennis says today reflecting back on the factors behind his City departure. 

“I’m not sure what caused the demand to change the team. Even Mike Channon said I don’t know why they signed me. He was a free runner, he just ran anywhere up front, whereas we had more of a system. 

“I was 28-years-old and I asked for a transfer because I wasn’t a regular in the team and they put me on the transfer list. 

“I’d heard from a friend that Man United were interested so we had a meeting with Dave Sexton, the United manager to discuss it. 

“Our coach at the time was Bill Taylor who was also coach with the England national team. I was with Bill because prior to that week I was guesting at squash club in north Manchester as there was a pro-am squash match going on. 

“So I met Dave Sexton in the afternoon and then Bill Taylor. Bill said: ‘Just tell me two things, do United have a better team and are they paying you more?’ I said ‘The team isn’t better but he’s going to bring a few players in, and they’re giving me a bit more money.’ 

“Bill then said, “Why are you bothering?” So I actually called off the deal at the reception. 

“Nottingham Forest were also interested but then New York came onto me. The risk was they didn’t need me until the February as theirs was a summer season and they just finished their previous season. 

“I said I was interested as I was open to anything at the time. 

“Pele had gone over there, Franz Beckenbauer had been over there and there was a lot of interest and the attendances watching North American soccer were terrific. 

“So, you get a feeling where you’d like to try it and sample something different. And that really was different!”

It’s difficult to comprehend today just what a big deal Dennis moving to New York was. 

In today’s cosmopolitan game players move all around the world without so much as a raised eyebrow. 

Back then however, the thought of an England international in the prime of his career committing wholesale to swapping life from Manchester to the Big Apple was seriously big news. 

For Dennis though the thought of being such a transatlantic pioneer made perfect common sense. 

That said when DT discovered when he discovered whose boots he had been recruited to fill there was a brief pause for thought! 

“No question. I couldn’t have wished to have made any other decision at that time,” Dennis declares. 

“I was ready for it. I was young enough and astute enough. We didn’t have any children at the time too, if we had children, we would have second guessed it. 

“We lived on the banks of the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan. On the New Jersey side.  

“In fact, if you know the film Scully, where the plane comes down on the Hudson River, the jet would have glided past my bedroom window. 

“The fact that I went there full-time meant it was big news. 

“When I first went over there to sign, they flew us over on Concorde and before the press conference, they put us in a room. I was looking at the video from the season before just to check on who I’d be playing with. 

“There was Georgio Chingalia, a very famous Italian centre-forward, Stevie Hunt an excellent English left winger and the other person who played with them the season before was a little fella called Pele… 

“The great man had just retired and I thought ‘Blimey, I’m replacing Pele. No pressure!’ 

“It was an incredible experience.” 

That memorable window on life in the Big Apple was matched by a series of searing performances as Dennis instantly made his presence felt Stateside. 

Once again, he proved himself the man for the big occasion, scoring twice and earning the coveted Most Valuable Player award as he helped a Cosmos side that also featured the legendary German libero Beckenbauer win the 1978 Soccer Bowl by beating Tampa Bay Rowdies 3-1 in front of almost 75,000 fans at New Jersey’s famed Giants Stadium. 

More success was to follow in 1979 as Dennis helped the Cosmos to win a second successive North American Soccer League crown. 

“We were like a footballing Hollywood set up. It was bedlam wherever we went,” Dennis chuckles. 

But almost two years to the day since decamping to America, fate meant Tueart was on the move once more in the shape of a dramatic return to his old Maine Road stomping ground. 

“At Cosmos we used to go on these long pre-season and post-season tours. We used to do it because our domestic season was only six months long. And as foreign players, we had a non-resident alien visa which meant you could only stay in the country for six months,” Dennis reveals. 

“On my last tour, I was away for six weeks. We played 14 games across eight different Australasian countries. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Australia. I was away for six weeks and really fed up. 

“Then halfway through my second season, Eddie Firmani a former Charlton player who had brought me over was fired and they brought in a Brazilian coach who was looking more at South American players. We didn’t hit it off. 

“A player has the M factor, money or manager, either you’re not being paid enough, or you fall out with the manager. And I fell out with him. 

“By the time I came back there were rumours that the Cosmos were trying to sell me without even telling me. 

“So, I said ‘I’ve had enough.’ They paid £235,000 for me and they were trying to get the same back for me. I said ‘No, no that’s not right. I said the deal is £150,000 otherwise I’m coming back.’ 

“I then rang Peter Swales. I said ‘This is the situation, are you interested? I rang the vice-president of the Cosmos and said the only club I’d go to is Manchester City. 

“My wife was pregnant, so I’d brought an apartment as a base, and I said that’s the only place I’ll go. He said ‘OK’, send a teletext and we did a deal.” 

However, the City that Tueart returned home to in early 1980 were a different beast to that of two years earlier. 

Malcolm Allison was back at the helm as manager, but the Club’s fortunes were on the wane. 

Several of Big Mal’s lavish signings were struggling to justify the large fees that had been laid out to recruit them while a phalanx of experienced talent had been ushered out of the door. 

Having been bundled out of the FA Cup by minnows Halifax Town, City also found ourselves fighting for Division One survival. 

Allison had established himself as one of football’s most visionary coaches during his time working alongside Joe Mercer but for Dennis translating that knowledge to a clutch of younger, inexperienced players proved a bridge too far. 

“He was fantastic, but the problem was that when I came back, he was in his own world. He needed quality players to really understand what he was talking about,” Dennis says. 

“That was the problem. I think he just didn’t relate to the young players in the team.” 

By the October of 1980 with the start of the 80/81 season having got off to a traumatic start Allison was gone. 

John Bond, ironically another former West Ham player armed with a large than life personality, was recruited in his place. 

From somewhat initial misgivings on both sides, the pair established a fruitful working relationship as City’s fortunes suddenly took a dramatic and welcome upswing – especially in both domestic cup competitions. 

First Bond’s reborn Blues made it all the way to the League Cup semi-finals where we were unlucky to be edged out eventual winners Liverpool over two legs. 

And a revitalised City then went one better in the FA Cup, memorably overcoming title chasing Ipswich in the semi-final before coming up against Tottenham in the centenary FA Cup final where we were pipped 3-2 in a dramatic replay after a 1-1 draw. 

“After John came in, we didn’t get on well at first,” Dennis admits. 

“John could be quite an abrasive fella and I think he maybe looked on me as a threat. He wanted all his young players in and I wasn’t one of his players, but we got on in the end. 

“During the course of the season he got to know me, and we even ended up playing tennis together. 

“That said in the original final with Spurs that finished 1-1 I wasn’t even on the bench but in the replay, I was the substitute. 

“I remember I was sitting there that Thursday night at Wembley shouting at the guys urging them on. When it was 2-2, John then said ‘Right Dennis, get warmed up, they’re tiring. We can win this.’ 

“As I was warming up, Ricky Villa scored Spurs’ third goal. If he had brought me on five minutes earlier, maybe he might not have scored! 

“I also had two half chances, one a right foot volley that I didn’t quite catch it right and the other a left foot volley that flew past the post.” 

It was a desperately disappointing denouement to a memorable cup adventure, but one not nearly as heartbreaking as to what would prove his final appearance in a City shirt. 

That came on 15 May, 1983 – a date infamous for many City fans of a certain generation. 

By the spring of ‘83 John Benson had succeeded John Bond with the Club embroiled in another frantic and fraught fight for survival. 

It all culminated in a dramatic finale of the 1982/83 campaign which saw Luton Town visit Maine Road in a face-off for Division One safety. 

The mathematics meant a point would ensure City stayed up. Luton on the other hand knew nothing less than victory would suffice. 

If those stakes weren’t enough, Dennis had even greater cause to try with all his might to force a positive result as he had agreed a one-year extension provided the Club stayed up. 

For 85 nerve-wracking minutes it looked as if City would get the point needed - only for disaster to strike when Hatters sub Raddy Antic rifled home a close range shot to send City through the relegation trap door and bring the curtain down on Tueart’s time as a City player. 

“Sadly, I knew it was going to be my last game, because I’d agreed a one-year extension if we stayed up,” Dennis says today. 

“So, I knew coming off the pitch that was my last game. Everything went against us that day. 

“I had a couple of half chances and they virtually never had chances at all and then they managed to get that goal near the end.” 

However, that was not to be the end of Tueart’s City story. 

After subsequent spells at Stoke City and Burnley, Dennis called time on his playing days after a brief sortie with Derry City. 

The intelligence and work ethic that had been two of the hallmarks of Tueart the player also served him well as he embarked on hugely successful business career, becoming director of a highly regarded events business. 

And it was through that at a chance meeting with Club power brokers John Wardle and David Maken that he was asked to return to his beloved City as a boardroom director in 1997. 

“I had already met John and David and when Platt Lane was redeveloped with new corporate boxes I took one over in 1996 when someone said to me would you pop down and see John Wardle,” Dennis reveals. 

“John said: ‘Would you like to be our nominee on the board. I said wow. I spoke to my accountant and got back to them and said: ‘Yeah I’ll have a go.’ 

“John said it’s one board meeting a month, but it ended up being four meetings a week!  

Dennis’s elevation came at a trying time for everyone connected with City, and a period that would see the Club drop into the Second Division (the old Third Division) in the May of 1998. 

For Tueart though – a man who had never shirked away from a challenge on the field – it was the start of more than a decade’s unstinting service as he and his fellow directors sought to turn City’s fortunes around and steer us to back where we belonged. 

“My main priority was communicating to the fans,” Dennis says looking back. 

“When we went down to the third level, I said to the chairman that we had to galvanise everyone on and off the pitch. I said we have to get up straight away. 

“I put together an initiative where someone from the club would go to the supporters’ branches for their monthly meetings. I’d have anybody from the club just to go out and communicate with the fans and be truthful to them. 

“We had to galvanise everybody.” 

Along with a key role as City’s football liaison officer Tueart also played a big part in raising vital funds for City’s Academy, helping bring in more than a half a million pounds to help then Academy director Jim Cassell revitalise the Club’s youth system. 

Dennis also played a big part in persuading both first former club colleague Joe Royle and his successor Kevin Keegan – both former England team mates of his too – to take up the City hot seat. 

“They both did exactly what it says on the tin. Regarding Joe, one or two things forced our hand to change the manager,” Dennis says. 

“We went down into the Championship and the debt was going up and up. It was one of those situations where we needed Mr Motivator and that was Kevin.” 

Tueart also played his part as part of the process that led to the crucial move from Maine Road to the Etihad but what was then called the City of Manchester Stadium in the summer of 2003. 

He was part of the stadium design sub-committee where his vast experience as a player helped make several key recommendations as to sightlines and stadium specifics. 

Asked about the pressures of the role and whether he had any sleepless nights, Dennis had a succinct response. 

“The big difference is as a footballer you’re only looking out for yourself. When you’re a director you’re looking out for a host of people,” he points out. 

“If you know what you’re doing then you can take a lot on your shoulders. My business helped me with the stadium, my business helped me with communication side. 

“Given how City have become a byword for success today it’s perhaps easy to forget what we did between 1997 and 2003. 

“We got back in the Premier League and into a new stadium. If we hadn't done that, there wouldn’t have been anything to buy and we wouldn’t be where we are now.” 

The eventual takeover by Thaksin Shinawatra in 2007 saw Tueart’s time on the board come to an end – though he has remained a passionate fan and advocate for the Club and also kept possession of his prized box. 

“I must be one of City’s longest serving box holders,” Dennis quips.

On a serious note, reflecting back on more than four decades of having shed blood, sweat and the occasional tear on City, pride is his overwhelming emotion. 

“There is a sense of achievement. You only get one chance on this earth and it’s nice to be successful in the things you do,” Dennis reflects. 

“You want people to enjoy what you’re doing. You get so much emotion and pleasure because you’re the flag-bearer for them. They can’t do what you can do, but you’re their leader. 

“And to make so many people happy is what its ultimately about.”