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The day they were born: Aleks Kolarov

PASSION: Kolarov after City's win over Barca

PASSION: Kolarov after City's win over Barca

Born in Belgrade on 10 November 1985, here's what was happening in the world when baby Aleks arrived...

Growing up in Belgrade, now the Serbian capital, Aleks Kolarov was used to hearing the sounds of bombs and gunfire as a child in the 1990s.

A military airport near his house was a regular target, and he got used to playing football on the streets regardless of the background noise, before being spotted by Red Star Belgrade youth scouts.

Still a Red Star supporter, the left back plied his trade with the club for five years before honing his craft at FC Cukaricki and OFK Beograd in his homeland to earn a move to Lazio.

HEAD BOYS: Aleks Kolarov and Moussa Sissoko

Thirty-one years later, the world is very different place from the one that future Serbia international Aleks entered in November 1985. We run the rule over City, English football, and popular culture on and around the day he was born…

Famous Birthdays

Blowing out their birthday candles alongside Aleks are Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, American Football Quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Teddy Bridgewater and Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo.  

Further back in history, Martin Luther, a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation, was also born on 10 November just a few years before Aleks in 1483.

TITLE WINNER: Aleks v West Ham in 2014

League Champions

It was a Merseyside top two in the First Division come the climax of the 1985-86 campaign. Liverpool clinched the title on the final day of the season, two points ahead of local rivals Everton, after player-manager Kenny Dalglish scored the only goal of the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

It was the Scot’s first year in charge of the club and it ended in the best possible style, with Liverpool triumphing over Everton at Wembley to lift the FA Cup and become only the fifth side in English football history to do the double.

West Ham were third and Manchester United fourth, while Oxford United – then in the First Division – were the 1986 League Cup winners.

With English clubs excluded from European competition in the aftermath of Heysel, the inaugural Full Members Cup took place that season with a heavy City interest. The Blues were only beaten at the final hurdle by Chelsea in a thrilling showpiece occasion that finished 5-4 to the Londoners.

Meanwhile, future City star David Rocastle made his debut for Arsenal that year, while another famous name, Ian Wright, made his first team bow for Crystal Palace.

City life...

A mere 24 hours before the birth of the man who would win two Premier League medals and counting in City blue, Billy McNeill’s side played out a 1-1 draw with Ipswich at Maine Road. Mark Lillis was the scorer for the home side.

The following weekend yielded more joy, with City running out 2-0 winners away at Nottingham Forest – Paul Simpson and Clive Wilson grabbing the goals on that occasion.

Lillis finished as the club’s top scorer that season with 12 strikes to his name, but it proved to be his only full season in Manchester before departing for Derby County in August 1986.

City finished 15th in the league, with the supporters rewarded for what was largely a challenging season with the glorious run to the Full Members Cup final at Wembley in March 1986 where an incredible comeback saw the Blues recover from 5-1 down with 86 minutes played to 5-4.



Six years ago, Kolarov celebrated his 25th birthday with a first taste of the Manchester Derby. A 2010 summer signing, Aleks had to make do with a place on the bench for a game that never truly lived up to the pre-match hype.

However, he did come on for the last ten minutes to help City shore up the back line and earn a precious point out of a 0-0 draw in which the defenders took the plaudits.

Rather like last weekend’s skirmish at Old Trafford, pragmatism won over creativity and the centre backs on both sides barely put a foot wrong as attacking talent was contained and supporters frustrated.

Kolarov, and Blues fans, have known better derbies since.

Top #5 songs in the UK in the week:

• A Good Heart – Feargal Sharkey

• The Power of Love – Jennifer Rush

• Take On Me – A-Ha

• Nikita – Elton John

• Don’t Break My Heart – UB40

#1 Box Office of 1985: Back to the Future

CLASSIC: Back to the Future was screened at cinemas when Aleks was born

Prices in 1985

Pint of milk 21p, Pint of beer 75p, First class stamp 17p

Transfer records in 1985

World Transfer record

£5m (Diego Maradona, Barcelona to Napoli)

THE GREATEST? Diego Maradona at his peak


UK Transfer record

£1.5m (Ray Wilkins, Manchester United to AC Milan)

UK in 1985

In November 1987, Mark Kaylor emerged victorious in an all-English encounter against Errol Christie to become the middleweight boxing Champion – with the cameras capturing their pre-match brawl at the weigh-in. 

Elsewhere, and the Prince and Princess of Wales arrived in Washington DC to visit President Ronald Reagan, Elmo was first introduced on Sesame Street and Microsoft released the first ever version of Windows.

More locally, Stone Roses played their final gig of the calendar year at Manchester’s railway arch 99 on Temperance Street, titled Warehouse 3 Take Two and featuring the likes of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ and ‘Boy on a Pedestal’. 

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