On the fifth day of our alphabetical countdown, we bring you the letter ‘E’ and examine the legends, the cult heroes and the miscellany associated…
One of the most popular players in the club’s recent history, Elano demonstrated elegance and skill to City supporters who had endured a slightly uneventful few years in the mid-2000s.
The Brazilian joined the Blues from Shakhtar Donetsk having been signed by Sven-Goran Eriksson just before the start of the 2007/08 season.
He had an immediate impact with a series of stunning strikes and a string of influential performances in this exciting, new-look side.
Elano found the going a bit tougher as opponents increasingly targeted him as one of City's main threats, but despite more limited appearances under boss Mark Hughes he still scored 18 times in a total of 80 appearances for City.
He left for Galatasaray in July 2009 but he still reflects on his time at the club fondly, as we learned in CityTV’s must-watch Made in Brazil documentary, released earlier this year.
Made in Brazil: Elano
The curtain finally came down on Richard Edghill’s long career at City when he became a free agent in the summer of 2002.
The former skipper decided to take his chances elsewhere after a 14-year association with the Blues, the club he signed for as a schoolboy.
He had battled back before from injury after damaging his cruciate ligament in 1995 and didn’t play again until 1997.
Though he scored only one goal during his time with the Blues, his confident penalty in the shoot-out against Gillingham helped City win promotion back to the First Division.
It was cruelly ironic, perhaps, that after battling back so many times from serious injuries and finally winning over his numerous critics, ‘Edgy’ should decide to leave after making 207 appearances.
Edghill played on for six more years, lining up for Wigan, Sheffield United, QPR, Bradford City and Macclesfield before hanging up his boots in 2008.
He released a book entitled "Once a Blue, Always a Blue" last year and regularly conducts "Legends Tours" here at the Etihad.
Though his reign was brief, the name of Sven-Goran Eriksson still raises a smile around this part of Manchester.
City’s marked year-on-year progression up until winning the title in 2011/12 arguably began with the then 60-year old’s only campaign in the hot-seat – the 2007/08 season.
The Swede immediately oversaw one of the most exciting recruitment drives in living memory, bringing Elano, Javier Garrido, Rolando Bianchi, Vedran Corluka, Valeri Bojinov, Martin Petrov and Geovanni to the club.
No-one could have imagine that this freshly assembled side would gel so quickly but the Blues flirted with the upper echelons of the Premier League in the autumn.
Sadly, this purple patch would not last and Sven’s side tumbled down the league table and the former England boss was dismissed after a final day 8-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.
However, his place in supporters’ hearts had already been confirmed after he masterminded the double over Manchester United for the first time since 1969/70.
United 1-2 City: 2008
European Cup Winners Cup
A tournament that Manchester City certainly mastered and almost successfully defended...
Following victory in the FA Cup in 1969, Joe Mercer’s side qualified automatically for the (now-defunct-but-sadly-missed) European Cup Winners Cup.
City overcame Athletic Bilbao, SK Lierse, Academica Coimbra and Schalke to reach the final of the competition where they were to meet Gornick Zabrze in Vienna.
Around 6,000 fans made the trek to see a wonderful 2–1 win over the Polish side, with the goals coming from a Francis Lee penalty conversion and Neil Young, meaning City had their first – and to date only – European trophy.
City overcame the same opposition once again the following season to reach the semi-final of the competition where they met Chelsea.
With a crippling injury list including Alan Oakes, Colin Bell, Mike Doyle, Glyn Pardoe and Mike Summerbee, City lost the first leg 1–0.
Tommy Booth and Joe Corrigan were also absent from the second leg and a 1–0 defeat at Maine Road was hardly surprising.
With a fit and full squad, Mercer’s side may well have gone on to win the Cup-Winners’ Cup again, but, alas, we’ll never know…
European Cup Winners Cup final 1970
Elvis the Eagle
“Elvis the Eagle”, the plastic suspended bird that dangled from the new Kippax Stand roof, also known as "Eddie" or "Hudson Hawk" and no doubt a few more monikers, was placed there to prevent pigeons nesting and subsequently *ahem* “making their presence felt” on the punters below.
It was associated, by some, with a return to fortune at Maine Road after it was introduced many years ago.
Eddie did make the short trip to the City of Manchester Stadium when the club moved but, tragically, Kevin Keegan took it down – allegedly after a poor run of results.
Gone but not forgotten!