MCFC.co.uk pays tribute to Nick Weaver with a look back at some of the most memorable moments from his decade at Manchester City.
Signed for £200,000 from Mansfield Town in April 1997 aged 18, eventually making his first team debut in the first match of the 1998/99 season against Blackpool.
A rollercoaster first season ended with Nick entering City folklore at Wembley. After the Second Division play-off final against Gillingham went to penalties, Weaver’s second save clinched promotion and saw him go on his now legendary run around the hallowed turf. Still only 19, he was now firmly established as a fans’ favourite.
Made his England Under 21 debut in 1999 against Luxembourg, eventually going on to win 10 caps.
Nick’s career was blighted by a serious knee injury, which was eventually resolved when he had cartilage from a corpse grafted into place during surgery in America. As a result he was out of the first team for almost three entire seasons, but the way he battled back when problems flared up again was a real inspiration.
His first appearance for three years came in bizarre circumstances. The final game of the 2004/05 season saw City needing to beat Middlesbrough in order to secure a place in the UEFA Cup. With the game tied at 1-1 with just a few minutes left, Nick was sent on as a substitute by Stuart Pearce, allowing David James to go up front in search of a winner. Sadly Robbie Fowler’s missed penalty saw ‘Boro take the final European spot, but Weaver was back.
The next season brought some more injury problems, but Nick’s rehabilitation saw him go on loan to Sheffield Wednesday, the club he had followed since he was a boy. 14 games for the Owls restored his confidence, and in the Steel City derby Nick was the only Sheffield-born player on the pitch.
Despite the arrival of Andreas Isaksson, Sweden’s World Cup ‘keeper, Nick was back in City’s starting line-up at the beginning of the 2006/07 season after Isaksson went down with injury a day before the curtain-raiser at Chelsea. Nick held on to his place with a string of assured performances, holding off the challenge of the fit-again Swede and the promising Joe Hart.
Nick went on to make a total of 31 appearances last season, with his final appearance in a City shirt being against Reading in early February. Despite being supplanted by Isaksson, Nick continued to give his all in training and for the reserves, no surprise for such a whole-hearted and likeable character.
MCFC.co.uk joins with everyone connected to City in thanking Nick for everything he did for the Club and wishing him all the best for the future.