Last time Blackpool fans saw Joe Hart he was a rookie keeper fighting to establish himself at City.
When they meet again this Sunday he will England’s number one, fresh from the latest in a string of domestic and international clean sheets.
Hart occupies a tiny place in the Tangerines’ history having three years ago spent a period on loan at Bloomfield Road as emergency cover for the injured trio of Rhys Evans, Paul Rachubka and Lewis Edge.
At the time Blackpool were pushing for promotion from League One to the Championship.
They won all five games in which Hart appeared, including a 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town and a 6-3 win at Swansea City. He helped them to secure a place in the League One play-off finals, which they went on to win 2-0 against Yeovil at Wembley, before their promotion to the Premier League this season
Hart, too, has gone from strength to strength having been selected for the England Under-19s, Under-21s and the senior squad.
He remembers his time on the Fylde coast with affection.
“I turned up at Blackpool and they were on a massive winning run, I just had to stand in goal for a couple of games!,” he laughed.
Well it was five games in all and we won them all. Then the team went on to win the play-offs. They’ve not looked back and I’m over the moon for them
...Joe Hart on his loan spell at Blackpool
“I enjoyed my time there. I was an emergency loan, and shot over there. I didn’t train much, I’d just turn up on Friday and play on Saturday.
“I first turned up on the morning of the game and no-one knew that I was even required. They didn’t know me, or why I was there. It was an hour before kick-off when they suddenly realised – the kid’s playing, he’s playing for us in goal!
“But I’ve never lived in fear of anything, I thought ‘just go out and show them what you can do, enjoy the game, and if they do their job I’ll do mine'.
“It was a great experience of me and I am happy that the club has gone on to more success. I am looking forward to playing there again.”