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City DNA 89: Niall Quinn's Disco Pants

City DNA 89: Niall Quinn's Disco Pants
As terrace chants go, it is up there with the very best in Manchester City fans’ vast repertoire.

And, as with any good song, the story that inspired it is the stuff of legend.

We are, of course, talking about Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants.

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Both the chant and the event which preceded its first rendition are firmly imprinted in City folklore and are perhaps the most enduring legacy of the towering Irishman’s time in Manchester.

On the pitch Quinn made quite the impact.

He scored 78 goals in 245 games, including 20 in his first full season, prompting player-manager Peter Reid to declare: “As strikers go in Britain, he’s got to be up there in the top five.

“He’s exceptional. He wouldn’t be for sale at any price.”

The Republic of Ireland international had already written his name into the history books by saving a penalty against Derby County in 1991, after goalkeeper Tony Coton had been sent off, but it was an unforgettable display off the pitch that would further cement his place in City history.

It begins with Irish boxer Michael Carruth’s gold medal bout at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Quinn was in Italy, on the final night of a weeklong pre-season training camp and whilst his team-mates raced off to sample the local nightlife on a sanctioned night out, he elected to stay in and watch his former schoolmate Carruth win the Republic of Ireland’s first gold medal since 1956.

WATCH: Goal of the Day: Quinn v Luton

Full of pride, he joined the squad later in the evening to celebrate his fellow Dubliner’s achievement when, with the revelry in full swing, the players participated in their own comedy boxing matches.

The merriment soon soured, however, when the physicality escalated between Quinn and midfielder Steve McMahon.

Having been separated, the striker went in search of an altogether more relaxed atmosphere in the company of new signing Rick Holden and it was then that he danced himself into infamy.

“My shirt is ripped and a bit blood splattered, not a look that bouncers generally like and the heat is beating down, so I abandon the offending item,” recalled Quinn in his autobiography.

“We wind up in some sort of dance bar and, keen to show Rick that we’re a wholesome family type of club, I engage in some frenetic dancing. Probably it scares him half to death.

“By now I’m wearing just a pair of cut-off jeans and I’m hardly aware there is a group of hardcore City fans watching.

“I didn’t realise they were there until I’m treated to the first performance of the song that will follow me till the end of my career and will probably serve as my epitaph.”

Niall Quinn’s disco pants are the best,
They go up from his a*se to his chest,
They are better than Adam and the Ants,
Niall Quinn’s disco pants.

Sang to the tune of the football classic ‘Here we go’, it was enough to bring Big Niall's dancing to an immediate end.

WATCH: Goal of the Day: Quinn v Leicester City

However, it was far from the end of the song.

When the travelling fans returned to Manchester, they made sure their fellow supporters became well versed in a chant that became popular at Maine Road.

And it certainly did the imposing No.9 no harm.

Whilst he was never quite able to replicate the exploits of the 1990/91 season, he reached double figures in four of the five campaigns that followed his disco dancing.

Quinn would leave for Sunderland in the summer of 1996, when it transpired City fans’ lyrical genius had caught the imagination of their North East counterparts.

The Black Cats took on the mantle and continued to serenade their centre-forward with his disco pants number, even releasing it as a single which reached number 56 in the UK Chart in April 1999.

It is a certainly a song to remember for City fans of a certain age, whilst its origins are something the man in question is never likely to forget, but that doesn’t mean you’ll catch him giving any renditions.

“Once I was inveigled by John Inverdale into singing it on TV,” he explains.

“For my sins I did it and I cringe when I think of it.”

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