Our epic alphabetic saga is reaching its natural conclusion – while we stress about what we’re going to do when we get to “X”, take a look at the stellar slices of City served up by the letter “S”…
S is for Silva
“Merlin”, “El Mago”, “The Wizard” – whatever you call him, Spanish playmaker David Silva is already a City legend…
There are few more breathtaking sights in football than an on-song Silva when he’s terrorizing defences with his magnetic feet, imaginative, evasive dribbling and precision through balls.
David’s stock was already high in his native Spain was already high when City prised him from the grasp of Valencia in 2010 but he’s now recognised as one of the finest playmakers in the world game.
Equally adept at playing wide or in the no.10 role, Silva’s peerless consistency means that a poor game by his standards could be considered as a perfectly good performance by another mere mortal.
Raised in Gran Canaria where he honed his ball skills in his Grandma’s kitchen using fruit, vegetables and rolled up cloths, David caught the attention of Valencia scouts while playing for local youth side, U.D San Fernando.
He represented Los Che for a decade before making the move to England in 2010, joining in the same momentous transfer window which saw Yaya Toure arrive at the Etihad Stadium.
Two league titles, an FA Cup and a Capital One Cup soon followed, adding to the World Cup and two European Championship medals in Silva’s bustling collection.
Frighteningly for the rest of the footballing world, we don’t think David is quite finished there either…
Silva: My XI
S is for Summerbee
Mike Summerbee needs little or no introduction to City fans.
One of the greatest wingers that has played for the club, he is still rightly held in reverence by supporters, both young and old. ‘Buzzer’ – as one and all knew him – was a vital member of the Joe Mercer side of the late 1960s and his contribution to the Blues’ halcyon days was immense.
Adored by the crowd, especially the Kippax, Summerbee played the game with good humour and was happy to entertain the Maine Road faithful with or without the ball, though his professionalism or will to win were never compromised in the least.
With Colin Bell and Franny Lee, he was part of the Three Musketeers that inspired City to success after success.
S is for Songs
City supporters have sung many songs over the years but it wasn’t until 1990 that ‘Blue Moon’ became the fans’ anthem.
Both Peterborough United and Crewe Alexandra claim they serenaded their respective teams with the anthem first but, as the old adage goes, if you’re going to take somebody else’s song, make it your own.
Mention ‘Blue Moon’ to anybody today and they think of Manchester City, not Crewe or Peterborough. Sorry, lads.
The 1970s were a great time for new songs and the Kippax favourites included the following: from the tune of ‘Lily the Pink’ came ‘Colin the King’ for Colin Bell; ‘Sha-la-la-la-Summerbee’ – self-explanatory; Dennis Tueart’s song was ‘Dennis Tueart King of all Geordies’; and ‘Rodney, Rodney’ for Rodney Marsh, who later admitted it gave him goosebumps every time he heard it.
Bringing it up to date, we have “Here’s to you Vincent Kompany” to the tune of the Simon & Garfunkel song, the Yaya/Kolo song and dance routine, Pablo Zabaleta’s rousing toast and, of course, “Sergio, Sergiooooooo”.
No doubt there will be many more to add to the list in future years…
Yaya and Kolo sing their song
S is for Sheron
A bright future was predicted for Liverpudlian forward Mike Sheron.
Signed off a Youth Training Scheme by the Blues, the youngster soon earned a reputation as a cool, instinctive goal-scorer, even acquiring him the nickname ‘Deadeye’.
He made his debut in September 1991 in a 1–0 home defeat to Everton and went on to play in 29 games that season, scoring 7 goals. He also ended top scorer in the reserves in the same year.
He forged a good understanding with Niall Quinn and appeared 38 times in the 1992–93 campaign, scoring 14 times in all matches, 12 of which came during a 21-match period in League and cup.
Peter Reid’s departure and Brian Horton’s arrival were to spell the end for the likeable forward and, after another year and only six more goals, he moved to Norwich City for £1 million following the arrival of Paul Walsh and Uwe Rosler.
He had won 13 England Under-21 caps during his time at Maine Road.
S is for Swift
Frank Swift’s career spanned 17 years, a period in which he only ever played for City.
He was the first goalkeeper to captain England and was the innovator of the long throw-out instead of a hoof up the pitch – he could also comfortably grip the ball in one hand.
Swift had a run of four seasons when he was an ever-present in the team and would be likely to hold the record appearances for City but for the unavoidable break of seven seasons, due to the Second World War.
Swift was a gentle giant and was much loved by the supporters and many older fans still talk of him in affectionate tones.
Frank retired in 1949, making way for Bert Trautmann, and later became a journalist.
It was after covering Manchester United’s game in Yugoslavia that one of City’s greatest ever players lost his life in the 1958 Munich air disaster – a tragic end to a hugely talented man.
S is for Substitutes
The very first substitute for Manchester City was Glyn Pardoe for the first match of the 1965–66 season.
He wasn’t used in the game but three games later Roy Cheetham was and became the first City sub to actually play during a 4–2 win at Wolves.
Several players have only made appearances as a substitute – Ashley Ward and Danny Hoekman both played one League game and two cup matches during their brief spells in the first-team.
Ian Thompstone is the sole substitute who scored on his only appearance – a late consolation in a 2–1 defeat at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough.
So, there we have it… rather predictably we turn our attentions to “T” tomorrow – who or what should we include? Tweet us your suggestions @MCFC.