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Joe Mercer OBE: Football with a Smile

Joe Mercer OBE: Football with a Smile
August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Joe Mercer’s birth.

The former City boss presided over one of the most exhilarating periods in the club’s history during a six year spell at the helm. Arriving at Maine Road in 1965, he led the Blues to the Second Division title in his debut season alongside assistant Malcolm Allison, and under his leadership City were crowned Champions of England two years' later. 

Joe propelled City into the history books by winning four major trophies in three years, adding the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup to the collection by 1970. 

One of the Club’s most revered figures, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Mercer would have celebrated his 100th birthday on 9 August, a day before City take on Arsenal in the Community Shield at Wembley. A legend with both clubs after turning out more than 250 times for the Gunners during his playing days, fans are calling for applause in the 14th minute of the game to mark the life of one of football’s greats.  

To commemorate the anniversary, we are posting an edited version of the chapters from Manchester football historian Gary James’ biography of Mercer, “Joe Mercer, OBE: Football With A Smile” (published by James Ward, £19.95 & available as a kindle book), covering the 1967-68 League title winning season.

Greater detail is available in the book, but you can read the highlights in three parts right here on starting on Thursday.

A special exhibition of memorabilia is also on display at the Etihad Stadium throughout the month to celebrate Joe’s memory.

You can follow Gary on twitter: @garyjameswriter or on facebook: