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Loyal Blues: Five long-serving crowd favourites

Shaun Wright Phillips 0809

Shaun Wright Phillips 0809

Longevity at football Clubs in the modern era is something of a rarity so Joe Hart’s tenth anniversary is a notable milestone.

In recent times. Only a handful of players could boast similarly long stays with the Blues, so we salute five more long-serving players who have clocked up 10 years’ service in sky blue…

Micah Richards 2002-2015

Micah joined City as a boy and left as a man after 13 years with the Club.

After joining the Blues from Oldham Athletic’s youth team, the young defender steadily made progress with City’s Academy and was an integral member of the youth team where it soon became clear he was destined for bigger and better things.

Aged only 17, he made his first-team debut for City away to Arsenal in October 2005 and was a regular member of the senior side for the next seven years, often sharing the right-back berth with Pablo Zabaleta during the course of the campaign.

In the Blues’ 2011/12 title-winning season, Richards played 37 times in all competitions, but injuries meant he would never be a regular again thereafter, making just 19 appearances in total over the next three years.

After a loan spell with Fiorentina, Micah severed his ties once and for all with City having made 245 appearances and scored nine goals.

Shaun Wright-Phillips 1998-2005 & 2008-2011

Famously released by Nottingham Forest for being ‘too small’ Shaun Wright-Phillips joined City in October 1998 and was one of the first members of the newly-formed MCFC Academy.

His trickery and low centre of balance soon caught the eye of manager Joe Royle and in 1999 he made his senior debut against Burnley.

The following year he regularly featured in the City side that won promotion back to the Premier League and then became not only an integral member of the first-team, and a huge crowd favourite in the process.

Wright-Phillips contributed with plenty of goals from midfield, many of them spectacular, and he became coveted by a number of other clubs, resulting in Chelsea purchasing his services in 2005 for £21m.

SWP spent three years at Stamford Bridge before returning for a second spell at City in 2008 and would make a further 94 appearances before joining QPR in 2011.

His combined service for City is a decade and he made 275 appearances in total, scoring 47 goals.

Nedum Onuoha 1996-2011

A boyhood Blue, Nedum Onuoha began training with City aged 10 and would remain with the Club he loved until 2011.

He made his senior debut against Arsenal in 2004 and clocked up double figures in appearances for the six seasons at either full-back or in central defence.

Unfortunately, a succession of muscle injuries prevented Onuoha from ever establishing himself as a definite starter during his time with the Blues and the fact he clocked up just 116 games in his 17-year association – but for injury that figure could well have been triple that number.

Nedum spent a year on loan with Sunderland before finally severing his association with City by joining QPR in 2011.

Richard Dunne 2000-2009

Richard Dunne signed for City in October 2000 for a fee of approximately £3.5m.

He was rarely out of the team during his ten seasons with the Club and after six years’ solid service, he was named skipper in 2006.

Such was Dunne’s consistency that he was named MCFC Player of the Year for four successive years between 2005 and 2008.

A firm favourite among the supporters, the Irishman knew his time with the Blues was over when Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott arrived and having played just one game of the 2009/10 campaign, Dunne joined Aston Villa having made 352 appearances for City.

Nicky Weaver 1997-2007

Nicky Weaver joined City in 1997 from fourth tier outfit Mansfield Town and would spend the next decade with the Club.

Having made just one appearance for The Stags, Weaver was seen as an investment for the future, but his second season saw him become first choice aged only 19.

He made 55 appearances in 1998/99, breaking a Club record after keeping 26 clean sheets and it was his penalty shoot-out heroics in the Division Two play-off final against Gillingham ensured Nicky weaved his name into MCFC folklore.

He spent four years as City’s undisputed No.1 before injury kept him side-lined for the best part of three years by which time he had fallen way down the pecking order.

He made 25 starts in what would be his final season with the Club before moving to Charlton Athletic in 2007.

‘Weaves’ made 207 appearances for the Blues (including one famous sub role against Middlesbrough) and but for injury, chances are that figure would have been closer to 400.

First Team News

Hart: Ten years a Blue

Joe thanks the fans and hugs the badge

Joe Hart today celebrates his tenth anniversary as a City player.

The Blues and England No.1 signed for the Club on 22 May 2006 for a bargain fee of £600,000 from his hometown club Shrewsbury Town after the teenager had been voted into the PFA League 2 Team of the Year.

First Team News

City in 2015-16: Most read stories on our website

It's been another fascinating season with City at the centre of some of the biggest stories of 2015-16.

Let's take a look back at the 10 most read stories on MCFC.co.uk since the start of pre-season way back in early July last year...