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City A to Z: H is for...?

Kevin Horlock

Kevin Horlock

Our alphabetic odyssey continues with the letter ‘H’… what does it mean to MCFC? We investigate…

Asa Hartford

Hugely popular Scottish International Asa Hartford was the lynchpin of a great City side during the mid-to-late 1970s.

A busy, all-action midfielder, Hartford was signed from West Bromwich Albion in 1974.

He had been due to sign for Leeds United but a medical revealed he had a hole in his heart and the Yorkshire side passed.

It didn’t stop City moving in for the player and it proved to be the Blues’ gain and Leeds United’s loss. Asa went on to won 36 caps for his country while at Maine Road – a record number of Scottish caps for a City player – and he formed an excellent partnership with Gary Owen.

He was the driving force behind the Blues’ bid to lift the League title in 1976–77 when they agonisingly missed out by a point to Liverpool.

He was sold by Malcolm Allison in 1979 to Nottingham Forest for £500,000 but returned two years later, making another 88 appearances for City before setting off once more in 1984, this time for the North American Soccer League.

He returned to the club for a third spell in 1995 to assist Alan Ball after management spells at Shrewsbury and Stockport and went on to manage City’s Reserves until 2005.

Joe Hart

The best piece of transfer business City have done in the last decade?

You’d be hard pushed to find more wisely spent money than the reported £600,000 the club paid for the goalkeeper in 2006.

Since signing, Hart has gone on to become one of the continent’s very best stoppers, winning more than 50 England caps and the Premier League’s Golden Gloves award on a record four occasions.

Joe Hart's top ten saves of 2014/15

Colin Hendry

Colin Hendry was Mel Machin’s final signing, barely a month before he was sacked as manager in November 1990.

Hendry’s arrival from Blackburn soon steadied things and under new boss Howard Kendall, City ended the season as a difficult team to score against with the gritty Scot outstanding.

His well-taken goal against Manchester United in the October 1990 derby at Maine Road is still fondly remembered.

Yet barely a year after signing, Hendry was playing under his third manager at Maine Road after Peter Reid took over from Kendall.

Though Hendry kept his place for much of Reid’s first year, he started the following term by being dropped following the £2.5 million purchase of Keith Curle and, despite the player’s popularity among City supporters, he was sold back to Blackburn a few months later.

What should have been a long, successful career at Maine Road was mystifyingly over.

Andy Hinchcliffe

Andy Hinchcliffe joined City straight from school and looked set for a long and illustrious career at Maine Road.

He was an important part of the FA Youth Cup-winning side of 1986 and, just as many others did from that team, he soon progressed to first-team action.

Hinchcliffe was given the opportunity of establishing himself by Mel Machin, who gave the 18-year-old his debut on the opening game of the 1987–88 season.

He played all but two of the 44 League games and solved City’s troublesome left-back problem.

Beset by back injuries, he had to play in a specially designed corset that gave him the support he required to be able to continue playing.

He missed nine games of his second full season as a first-teamer scoring five goals and creating havoc with his right-sided in-swinging corners and even scored direct from the flag against Shrewsbury Town in December 1988.

City won promotion and were back in the top division for the 1989–90 campaign and it was Andy Hinchcliffe who crowned an unbelievable 5–1 derby victory over United with a powerful header, the fifth of the afternoon.

Howard Kendall’s arrival, a few months later, was the beginning of the end of Hinchcliffe’s career at Maine Road. He only made the subs’ bench for three of the last four games and in July 1990 he joined Everton, aged 22, with Neil Pointon moving to Maine Road in part-exchange.

The young star would go on to play for England before retiring in 2003.

He is currently one of Sky Sports’ finest pundits.

Kevin Horlock

Signed for £1.5 million in January 1997, Northern Irish midfielder Kevin Horlock proved to be an excellent buy for the club.

With a healthy return of goals during his time with the club, Horlock established himself as a hard-working defensive midfielder who could pick a 50-yard pass with deadly accuracy and was also a threat from any dead-ball situation.

He played at left-back, central midfield and, in his later City career, as an anchoring role behind Eyal Berkovic and Ali Benarbia.

His performances in 2001–02 earned him runners-up spot in the Player of the Year award behind Benarbia when in any other year he would have walked away with the trophy himself.

One of many highlights Horlock has provided for the Blues was his 89th-minute goal against Gillingham – often forgotten – that enabled Dickov’s last-gasp equaliser and effectively changed the course of the club’s path.

He also successfully dispatched the first penalty in the resulting shoot-out. Deceptively good in the air and as a ball-winner, the popular Horlock, or ‘Super Kev’ as the fans call him, repaid the original fee many times over and played an integral part in City's successes to come.

Horlock goal v Birmingham 2002


Huddersfield

There was only one occasion when three players scored a hat-trick for City in the same game and that was when Huddersfield Town lost 10–1 at Maine Road in 1987.

Tony Adcock, Paul Stewart and David White all scored three times that afternoon – only the fifth time in Football League history that such a feat has been achieved.

City 10-1 Huddersfield: Rewind

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City A to Z: G is for...?

Shaun Goater

It ain’t nothin’ but a ‘G’ thang… but what does the letter mean in the history of MCFC? Let’s see now…

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City A to Z: F is for...?