quote linkedin dugout

First Team News

Video 1 Gallery

The man sent-off for aggressive walking

16 years have passed since City last met Bournemouth in any competition.

It’s now impossible to contemplate facing the Cherries without taking a trip down memory lane to that last meeting at Dean Court on 13 February 1999.

The match was unremarkable enough, a goalless draw which did little for either team’s Division Two promotion aspirations but it was what happened in additional time that earned the encounter a place in footballing folklore.

City were already down to ten men going into injury time after Jamie Pollock was given his marching orders for a lunge on John Bailey but it was cult hero Kevin Horlock’s sending off in the final minute which truly left a legacy.

Horlock was shown his second yellow card by referee Brian Coddington (a local government officer for Sheffield by day) for what surely must be a footballing first.

Manager-at-the-time Joe Royle explained after the game: "The referee said Kevin was walking towards him in an aggressive manner while asking a question. He admitted that the player never swore - I must have missed the rule change…”

A red card for aggressive walking!

It’s fair to say that Kevin was just as perplexed as the few hundred travelling fans in the East Stand judging by his thoughts on the incident in recent years.

The former Northern Ireland international is quoted as saying in David Mooney's book, "Looks Like Scunny Next Year": "There was a break-up in play and there'd been a tackle about a minute before on the halfway line. I was just walking to the ref to ask the question.

"He just flashed the red card at me. I've turned round thinking he was showing it to someone else behind him and he said to me: 'No you, off you go.'”

Horlock recovered from this bizarre set-back and went on to leave a more positive, indelible mark in the club’s recent history.

Like Edin Dzeko, Kevin might not have produced the infinitely-replayed “Aguero moment”, but without him, Paul Dickov’s last gasp equaliser against Gillingham, which paved the way for promotion back to Division One, would never happened.

Trailing 2-0 at Wembley to Tony Pulis’s Gills after 87 minutes, Sky Sports co-commentator Alan Brazil declared “It’s Goodbye Division Two, Hello Division One for Gillingham”, however, there was an incredible twist left in the piece.

Dickov scored the goal which took the game to extra-time but it was Horlock who got City back on the comeback trail with his left-footed strike to make it 1-2 after 90 minutes.

No doubt his red card for “aggressive walking” will be in the air this coming weekend when City and Bournemouth renew rivalries after a 16 year break but there’s more to Kevin’s contribution that a memorable sending off as fans who were there in 1999 will still tell you today.

The player too, will never forget the connection he forged with the club over six years and more than 200 league appearances.

“It was the longest I spent at any club and if I played even a small part in City returning to the force it is today, it’s something I feel really proud of,” Kevin told mcfc.co.uk back in April 2013.

“Unless you’re a City fan, it’s hard to understand how the club gets in your DNA I’ve spoken to a lot of players who played for the club and they all say the same thing, that the club just gets into your system and you become a part of it.”

Now, who’s for a chorus of “Super Kevin Horlock” this weekend?

First Team News

Otamendi and Zabaleta solid in Argentina draw

First Team News

De Bruyne stars in Belgium triumph

First Team News

Training gallery: Gearing up for Bournemouth