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Great FA Cup goals: Neil Young

Neil Young

Neil Young

The significance and quality of Neil Young’s strike against Leicester in 1969 makes it one of the most iconic FA Cup goals in City history.

A graceful, elegant left-sided forward, Young had played in every round of the Blues’ pursuit of the trophy under Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison.

A hard-fought semi-final against Everton had been settled by Tommy Booth, and the Blues were off to Wembley for their first FA Cup final since lifting the trophy in 1956.

On a surface that Joe Mercer described as a 'cabbage patch', the Blues and the Foxes fought out a close affair.

After 24 minutes, Mike Summerbee got hold of the ball on the right hand side, and jinked past a helpless defender to arrive in the box and send a perfectly-weighted ball to the penalty spot, where Young was lurking.

The childhood City fan fired an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net, leaving Peter Shilton grasping at empty air.

It proved to be the game’s solitary strike, sealing the Blues’ fourth FA Cup win in their history.

Club ambassador Summerbee said of his former teammate: “Everybody refers to those days at the ‘Bell, Lee and Summerbee’ era, but it really should be the ‘Lee, Bell, Young and Summerbee’ era because he was a great player who scored countless vital goals for us.

 

He was like a ballet dancer in the fact he was so graceful on a football pitch.

 

...Mike Summerbee...

 

Young remains an important figure in City’s history, and he was touched by the outpouring of affection from Blues fans all over the world when news of his terminal illness emerged.

In January 2011, fans turned their backs to the action in the 24th minute during an FA Cup tie with Leicester in tribute to Young and his spectacular trophy-winning goal, as well as donning red and black scarves for the game.

Sadly, Young passed away in February 2011, aged 66.

 

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