Men's Team

50 years of MCFC Player of the Year: Part 1

50 years of MCFC Player of the Year: Part 1
David Silva became the 50th City player to scoop up the MCFC Player of the Year award last month.

Since the end of the 1966–67 season, supporters have voted by ballot to choose the player they feel is the worthiest of recognition for his performances during that season.

The 31-year-old won the accolade for the first time in his seven-year spell at the Etihad, after an impressive season under Pep Guardiola, which saw ‘El Mago’ net four goals and provide seven assists in the Premier League.

The Spaniard joins a long list of stars to win the prestigious in-house award – here’s a look at the first ten players to receive the award as we celebrate a half-century of winners.

1966/67: Tony Book

Tony Book remains to this day City’s most decorated captain – with current skipper Vincent Kompany just one trophy shy of equalling Book’s record of six trophies.

The English right-back was the first player to receive the award after an impressive debut season with City, with manager Joe Mercer signing Book for £17,000 from Plymouth Argyle.

He was labelled a gamble at the time, with the 31-year old having spent just two full seasons in league football with The Pilgrims after nine years at non-league hometown side Bath City.

He made his debut in the opening fixture of the 1966/67 season against Southampton, and only missed one game that season.

His efforts saw him gain the captain’s armband for the 1967/68 season, following the departure of Johnny Crossan to Middlesbrough.

Book improved on the previous campaign, playing every game in a season which City saw record their second First Division title.

WINNER: Tony Book
WINNER: Tony Book

1967/68: Colin Bell

The debate of who City’s greatest ever player was often a topic of conversation.

Many believe the answer still and always will lie with this man. Colin Bell is regarded as one of England's finest ever midfield players, due to his inexhaustible and characteristic box-to-box energy and athleticism.

Bell was signed from Bury in 1966 and was instrumental in helping City become First Division Champions in 1968, in a campaign that saw him also win his first England cap against Sweden in a 3-1 victory.

There was only one deserved winner of the award that season and with more than 13 years’ service, he racked up almost 500 appearances for the Blues, scoring 153 goals as well as picking up 48 England caps.

His legacy lives on at City with the Club naming the West Stand of the Etihad Stadium after him as a tribute in 2004.

1968/69: Glyn Pardoe

Glyn Pardoe remains City’s youngest ever player after making his debut against Birmingham in April 1962, aged 15 years and 314 days.

The versatile Englishman adopted several roles - starting out as a forward before settling into a full-back role in 1996 for the remainder of his career alongside his cousin Alan Oakes.

Pardoe played every match in Manchester City’s historic FA Cup journey in 1969, where they faced Leicester City with City prevailing 1–0 at Wembley.

Often an unsung hero, Pardoe’s efforts were rewarded by the City fans after another solid campaign.

1969/1970: Francis Lee

Francis Lee was a goal scoring machine for the Blues, notching 148 goals.

Lee was the top goalscorer in the 1969/1970 season, a feat he would repeat for the next four consecutive seasons.

Lee's goals were key throughout this period as City claimed the league title in 1968, including the vital goal in a final-day 4-3 win over Newcastle which sealed the championship.

Lee represented England at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico and was the first English player ever to receive a card in a World Cup.

Penalties became a common trait for Lee - the nickname 'Lee Won Pen' stuck after the 1971-72 season in which Lee scored a record 15 times from the spot.

1970/1971: Mike Doyle

Manchester born and bred, Mike Doyle made more than 565 appearances for the Blues.

An iconic figure amongst supporters for his incredible passion for the club and was once voted City’s toughest ever player in the official magazine.

He was the cup-final hero in the 1970 League Cup Final against West Bromwich Albion and captained the Blues in the 1976 final victory against Newcastle United.

WINNER: Mike Doyle was voted Player of the Year twice
WINNER: Mike Doyle was voted Player of the Year twice

1971/72 & 1972/73: Mike Summerbee

One of the most popular City players of all time, Mike Summerbee was also the first back-to-back Player of the Year winner – a feat which wouldn’t be matched again until Georgi Kinkladze in the mid-1990s

Summerbee played as a forward and right winger during his career with the Blues, believing in the theory that you start defending from the front.

He could have perhaps won the award in any of the previous five seasons, such was his consistency.

1973/1974: Mike Doyle

Doyle won his second MCFC Player of the Year award in the 73/74 campaign – the season Tony Book eventually took over as manager.

Though the Blues won no trophies that season, Doyle cut an inspirational figure throughout a turbulent period for the Club and his efforts were once again recognised by the supporters.

1974-1975: Alan Oakes

WINNER: Alan Oakes bagged the prize in his 16th year at City!
WINNER: Alan Oakes bagged the prize in his 16th year at City!

With close to 700 appearances for the Blues, it is a measure of Alan Oakes’ consistent excellence that he won his first Player of the Year award in his 16th season with City.

Oakes joined City as an amateur in 1958 before turning professional a year later, picking up numerous accolades during his 17-year tenure with the Club.

A classy half-back who was cool and calm on the ball Oakes was heavily praised for his professionalism with Liverpool manager Bill Shankly describing him as "exactly the kind of player youngsters should use as a model".