On the fourth day of our alphabetical compendium of all things City, we look at the letter ‘D’ and just some of the legendary players who’ve graced Maine Road and/or the Etihad.
Harry Dowd spent 12 successful years at Maine Road, appearing 219 times.
He performed as deputy to the legendary Bert Trautmann for several years before he eventually shared first-team duties with the German, earning rave reviews for his impressive performances.
During a match against Bury in February 1964, he suffered an injury to his shoulder making it impossible for him to continue in goal.
With no substitutes allowed at that time, Harry swapped shirts with Matt Gray and played the last 36 minutes as a striker.
In one of those aforementioned ‘this only could happen to City’ moments, Dowd equalised seven minutes from time and earned the Blues a 1–1 draw.
Harry lost his place due to injury during the 1968 Division One Championship season, but won an FA Cup-Winners’ medal in 1969.
He later joined Oldham and played 111 times for the Latics as they climbed the Football League, but, alas, he scored no more goals…
Nigel de Jong
One of the most popular players in the club’s recent history, Nigel de Jong represented the Blues with distinction between 2009 and 2012.
The combative defensive midfielder appeared on more than 130 occasions for City and played a pivotal role in winning the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title in 2012.
Still one of the modern game’s best tacklers, Nigel was one of the stars of the Netherlands side which came third in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Now at Milan but out of contract, there is likely to be a lengthy queue for his services if he does decide to leave the Serie A giants this summer.
Nigel's best moments at City
Mike Doyle’s City career spanned an incredible 16 years, by which time he had become a legendary figure at the club.
He played for most of his time at Maine Road in defence, but could play effectively in midfield or, in his early days, as an attacker. Determined and as a tough as they come, Doyle was idolised by the City fans and played a major role in one of the Blues’ most successful periods ever.
First Division Champions, FA Cup, League Cup (twice), European Cup-Winners’ Cup; City won everything in sight with Mike Doyle’s steely determination driving the team on.
It would be 1975 before he was appointed captain, such was the strength of the City team at the time, but it was perhaps fitting that Tony Book, Doyle’s skipper for so many years, should appoint him to lead his team when he himself became boss.
Doyle proudly lifted the League Cup trophy in 1976 and in June 1978 he joined Stoke City for £50,000.
Mike Doyle: A CityTV tribute from 2011
There was much excitement among City fans when it was announced that the Blues had signed Polish World Cup captain Kaziu Deyna in September 1978.
Although he never quite hit the heights achieved at former club Legia Warsaw, the technique, skill and vision Deyna possessed were there for all to see from the get-go and his first season return of six goals in eleven starts catapulted him into the hearts of the City faithful.
At the end of January 1981, he left for San Diego in the NASL. Tragically, he was killed in a car crash in California in September 1989.
However, his elegance and ability have ensured he is still fondly remembered by supporters of a certain age at the Etihad Stadium.
We didn’t want to swamp our A-Z with current players so, with apologies to Martin Demichelis, we’ve sided with length of service and included the “Bosnian Diamond” in our list of City ‘D’s.
The free-scoring striker terrorized Bundesliga defences with Wolfsburg for four years before making the move to the Premier League in 2011.
Since, Edin Dzeko has scored more than 70 goals for the club, including one of the most important in City’s history – the last-minute equaliser on the final day of the 2011/12 season against QPR which paved the way for Sergio Aguero’s 93rd minute winner.
His best season in a City shirt so far was the 2013/14 campaign where Edin weighed in with 26 goals in all competitions to help his team to a league and League Cup double.
Edin chooses his top five Premier League goals
What Paul Dickov lacked in height and natural ability, he made up for in sheer guts and effort.
The Scotsman never really enjoyed the luxury of being an automatic first choice during two spells at City but his attitude did not waver and once he pulled on the sky blue jersey the 5’5 pocket dynamo became like a man possessed, chasing lost causes and wearing down defenders, never giving them a moment’s peace.
His part in the revival of fortunes of the club should never be underestimated.
It was Dickov who equalised in the Division Two play-off first leg semi-final with Wigan Athletic in 1999 and who could ever forget his last-gasp equaliser against Gillingham in the final at Wembley?
He then went on to score in the promotion-clinching victory at Blackburn Rovers in the following season – a famous 4–1 win which meant City stormed back into the promised land of the Premier League.
Dickov left in 2002 but he would return four years later for a second spell.
Who/what have we missed? Want to shout at us for missing out Richard Dunne (how could we!?)? Get in touch by tweeting @MCFC along with your suggestions for City ‘E’s!
City A-Z so far