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The Shield: City's story part I



City played in eight Charity Shield matches ... but it is the 1968 spectacular against West Brom that will always stand out in Blues folklore, and with good reason.

The Club had contested three previous Shields, losing 4-0 at champions Arsenal in 1934 and beating Sunderland 2-0 three years later before a 1-0 derby defeat at Maine Road in 1956.

But when Joe Mercer's champions took on the FA Cup holders, City's trademark brand of attacking football swept aside West Brom 6-1 to guarantee a compelling Match of the Day that night.

Francis Lee and new boy Bobby Owen both scored twice, and Neil Young - who was to end the season with a famous Wembley goal - added another in a never-to-be-forgotten Maine Road performance.

Winger Mike Summerbee, who played in three more Shields for City, had a direct involvement in four of the goals that confirmed the Blues as one of the most watchable sides in the top flight.

He said: "The goal that sticks in my mind most from that game was the third from a free-kick. We played it to the side of the wall, I side-footed it across to Francis and he was there to tap it in.

We were one up in a minute. We scored quick goals ... it really doesn’t tell how well West Brom played


"It sounds like a walkover, and I suppose it was at first, but they really came back into it. Dick Krzywicki pulled one back for them. We scored more in the second half but it was a good match.

“That’s how we'd been brought up to play. We were taught to score a goal in three passes. We had pace all the way through the team - I was quick, Franci was sharpish, Colin Bell was very quick - and we attacked very quickly.

"We could destroy teams early on. They were scared to death of us and with the aggression that we had in the forward line we were able to cause problems in every game we played.”

Owen, signed from Bury in the close season, made an instant impact with the 35,510 crowd although he was on his way to Carlisle two years later.

Summerbee said: “He was a shy lad and it was difficult for him to join a group of players who had played together for such a long time, but he did very well that day.”

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