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Samurai gift, Darth Vader & seven games in 14 days

This is, without doubt, one of the most curious discoveries from the City archives.

Presented during City’s 1976 tour of Japan, the Kabuto (as far as our research suggests), is a type of helmet once used by samurai warriors.

Dating back to the fifth century, they were inspired by variants from China and Korea and the Kabuto was believed to be the inspiration for Darth Vadar’s helmet in Star Wars!

Tony Book was City’s manager at the time and he recalled what turned out to be an unusual tour.

“We flew out to face Japan and South Korea, playing seven games over a two-week period,” said Skip.

“Sydney Rose was the director who accompanied us on the tour and after we were presented with the helmet, he shipped it, along with a load of other artefacts and collectables back to Manchester.

“I suppose it has been in storage ever since so it’s nice to see it again!”

The Blues played Japan four times in succession, winning the opening game 3-0 in front of 15,000 fans.

Dennis Tueart, Denis Leman and Asa Hartford scored the goals and two days later, the teams met again, with Paul Power scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Blues.

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Three days later and the teams met again, City winning 1-0 again with Power once again netting the winner.

The fourth and final meeting of the game was also the best attended with 27,000 fans watching City again edge a tight game 2-0 courtesy of Tueart and Leman.

Four games in a week after an exhausting season – but the squad had no respite with a three-game challenge against South Korea starting just two days later!

A tired City played an ill-tempered friendly and lost 4-2 to South Korea B, but against the South Korea XI national side – again just two days later – the Blues won 3-0 in front of 50,000 and repeated the score-line two days later to wrap up a frenetic fortnight in searing temperatures.

Do you have any rare City treasures you'd like to share with the Club - we'd like to hear from anyone who has any items from yesteryear...

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