Player name in full: Alan Arthur Oakes
To/from dates: 1959 to 1976
Number of appearances: 676
Goals scored: 34
Biography and City Career:
Alan Oakes was born on 7th September 1942 in Winsford, Cheshire.
He joined City as an amateur in April 1958 before signing professional forms in September 1959. Alan made his debut on 14th November of the same year, in a team that was struggling to hold onto its’ First Division place. Despite the regular relegation battles of the late 1950’s, early 1960’s, Alan was able to establish himself as a vital member of City’s midfield. He was one of the most consistent performers and often the first player picked by his first manager, Les McDowall, and then George Poyser. City were finally relegated into the Second Division in 1963.
The summer of 1965 saw Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison installed as a new management team at Maine Road, heralding the start of a trophy-laden era for City and Oakes. Both Mercer and Allison recognised the qualities that Alan brought to the team. Allison said of him: “When I first came to Maine Road it was good to find players of Alan Oakes’ quality already here. He is one of the most conscientious trainers I have ever worked with… always in top class physical condition and always willing to learn and improve.”
One of football’s greatest managers, Bill Shankly, also rated Oakes very highly, saying of him, “The very best type of professional, on the field and off it… exactly the kind of player youngsters should use as a model.”
Overall, Oakes had an amazing City career and became the clubs’ record appearance holder with 680 appearances for the Blues. Until the more recent successes of the last decade, he was also City’s most decorated player winning the European Cup Winners Cup, League Championship, F.A. Cup, 2 League Cups and the Second Division Championship.
In July 1976 – after a career that spanned Bert Trautmann, Ken Barnes, Peter Barnes, Dennis Tueart and Gary Owen (who was born 3 months after Oakes joined City in 1958 ) he moved to Chester City for a fee of £15,000.
During his League debut for City in 1959, Oakes conceded a penalty. Fortunately, the legendary Bert Trautmann saved the spot-kick.
Alan’s cousin, Glyn Pardoe, was a regular teammate in the successful City side of the late 1960s/early 1970s.
Although Oakes failed to gain an international call-up, he did play for The Football League XI against The Scottish League in 1969.
Alan was chosen as City’s Player of the Year in 1975 and was inducted into the Manchester City Hall of Fame in 2005.
As player-manager of Chester City, Oakes led them to the last 16 of the F.A. Cup and to a Debenhams Cup win in 1977. In April 1979, Alan gave legendary striker, Ian Rush, his Football League debut.
In 1983-84 Alan made his final Football League appearance for Port Vale, aged 41 years and 60 days.