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The Shield: Gateway to glory, says Buzzer

Tony Book Mike Summerbee

Tony Book Mike Summerbee

Shield veteran Mike Summerbee believes that a City victory at Wembley on Sunday can be the catalyst for another big prize this season.

The former City and England winger played in four Charity Shields and celebrated victories in 1968, against West Bromwich Albion, and in 1972 against Aston Villa.

Summerbee, now Club Ambassador, said: "People might think it didn't meant as much to us because it wasn’t played at Wembley, but it was important to us - it was a big competition back then.

“Every footballer wants to be involved in winning something, and the Community Shield is it is now known is something very special.

"It means you can kick the season off with a trophy in the bag before even starting the league programme, and that’s what it’s all about.

"And if you can get one trophy early on then it can give you the confidence to go on and win more. Winning the derby at Wembley would act as a major boost ahead of the season."

The FA Cup semi-final derby victory in April was the trigger for a fabulous finish to the season that brought not only the Cup but an automatic Champions League place.

"Buzzer", who starred in the City side that reaped glory under skipper Tony Book, said: "I honestly believe that if we’d had a couple more games last season then we could have gone on to win the Premier League.

"We looked brighter, fitter, and more confident, and it all seemed to come together in those last few games. To start the season in that way would be huge for us.”

He expects City fans to play their part once more: "The Cup Final showed what real football support is all about. The atmosphere was unbelievable, and Stoke's fans really contributed to that.

"Our fans will turn up to the Community Shield in the same spirit as they did the FA Cup and they’ll re-create that atmosphere. Hopefully we’ll show people just how important the Shield is.”

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