It’s 20 years to the day since football came home and that one long, hot summer when England believed…
On June 8 1996, the Three Lions met Switzerland in the tournament opener at Wembley with a whole host of players who would go on to represent City, either as players or as coaches, in their future careers.
To mark this special 20th anniversary, let’s take a look at the ten players at those European Championships with MCFC links…
Before Joe Hart, there was David Seaman.
The moustachioed stopper was England’s first-choice ‘keeper for more than a decade between the nineties and the early noughties.
He enjoyed a memorable Euro 96 tournament, saving a penalty from Gary McAllister in the win over Scotland in England’s second match.
Seaman rounded off his glorious club career at City where he retired in January 2004 due to a long-standing shoulder injury.
One of the enduring images of Euro 96 was Pearce’s euphoric celebration after he scored his penalty against Spain in the quarter-final shootout.
That spot-kick exorcised his Italia 90 demons where “Psycho” missed one of the vital penalties against Germany in the World Cup semi-final.
Pearce was another who ended his career at City, captaining Kevin Keegan’s side to promotion from the Championship in 2002.
He would go on to manage City between 2005 and 2007.
Platt was arguably England’s most important player in the early 90s, scoring 27 goals in 62 games for his country.
Although he was only used sparingly in Euro 96, mostly coming on as a substitute, his experience was said to be important in helping the younger players through the competition.
Platt never played for City in his 16-year playing career but he would serve as a member of Roberto Mancini’s coaching staff between 2010 and 2013.
Big Vin on the Beeb
Howey never made it off the bench in the tournament and was never called up to the England squad again after Euro 96.
However, he did win four caps before then, making his debut against Belgium in November 1994.
The Geordie defender joined newly-promoted City in 2000 and made more than 90 league appearances for the Blues over three years.
His most famous moment came in the Manchester derby best-remembered for Roy Keane’s horror tackle on Alfe Inge Haaland where Howey scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Another man who was an unused substitute throughout Euro 96, Tim Flowers was one of the Premier League’s finest goalkeepers in the early-mid 90s, winning the title with Blackburn in 1993/94.
Flowers went on loan to City late in his playing career and briefly served as a goalkeeper coach after his retirement.
Yet another player at Euro 96 who finished off his playing career at the Etihad Stadium, Steve McManaman won it all at Real Madrid before joining City for two seasons in the mid-noughties.
The curly-haired winger was named in the official Euro 96 Team of the Tournament after a series of brilliant performances which earned the praise of Pele.
It’s a telling sign of the rich striking options at England’s disposal in the nineties that Robbie Fowler, one of the most clinical English strikers of his generation, only made 26 appearances for his country.
Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham were ahead of Robbie in the queue for starting berths for much of the “Toxteth Terror’s” international career.
Fowler made two substitute appearances in the tournament against the Netherlands in the 4-1 win and the penalty shootout victory over Spain in the quarters.
He played for City for three years, scoring 20 league goals between 2003 and 2006.
Scotland were in England’s group at the competition and they had a man who represented City in the late eighties and early nineties at the heart of their back four.
Only a late consolation goal from Patrick Kluivert in the Netherlands’ 4-1 defeat to England prevented the Scots from qualifying from Group A.
Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis missed World Cup ’94 after leading a player boycott against the coach but he was in the squad for Euro 96 at the age of 27.
Kanchelskis, who spent time at City on loan in the nineties, won 59 caps for his country, scoring seven goals – however, Russia were knocked out in the group stages, finishing bottom of a Group C containing Germany, Czech Republic and Italy.
Holders Denmark narrowly missed out on the quarter-finals of Euro 96 after finishing third in Group D, behind Portugal and Croatia.
Schmeichel, yet another player to hang up his boots at City, was chipped by Davor Suker at Hillsborough in what would prove to be one of the iconic moments of the tournament in the Danes’ 3-0 loss.