Mens Team

Life of Brian: The story of a Manchester icon

Life of Brian: The story of a Manchester icon
It’s doubtful that anyone can or will ever match Brian Kidd’s remarkable personal Manchester derby history.

A towering figure on the Manchester football scene for more than half a century, the Blues’ assistant coach boasts a stellar derby back-story that is unlikely to be ever repeated.

As a player, the former England striker sampled the white-hot heat of the fixture for both the blue and red halves of Manchester, serving both United and City with great distinction during his illustrious career.

But, uniquely, initially with United but more latterly with the Blues, Kidd has also experienced huge success on both sides of the Manchester divide through his renowned coaching prowess.

A teenage prodigy with United, with whom he famously won the European Cup, scoring in the 1968 final on his 19th birthday, Kidd featured in several derbies representing the red side of Manchester, though success against City’s gifted team of the late 1960s and early 70s proved elusive more often than not.

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After a move to Arsenal in 1974, two years later Kidd then returned to Manchester to join the Blues where he clocked up 128 appearances over three seasons, netting more than 50 goals.

During his time at Maine Road, Kidd also ensured he made his derby mark, scoring three times for City in clashes against United, including a memorable brace in our 3-1 home victory in the 1977/78 campaign.

He also had the distinction of experiencing and scoring in both the North London and Merseyside derbies during successful spells with Arsenal and Everton whom he joined after leaving City in 1979.

Once he had finally hung up his boots after career that saw him chalk up more than 500 games scoring more than 200 goals, Kidd carved out a reputation for being one of the most innovative and respected coaches working in the English game.

And in a mirror image of his playing career, Brian has enjoyed enormous success through his key roles as one of English football’s most highly regarded coaches with both United and City.

His work at United where he served as assistant manager under Alex Ferguson between 1991 and 1998 coincided with a period of sustained success for the Old Trafford club with Kidd also instrumental in the development of a succession of young English talent.

Brian then went on to hold a succession of senior managerial and coaching roles at Blackburn, Leeds and Sheffield United as well as becoming a trusted and respected member of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s coaching staff with England before his storied career saw him return to City in 2009, initially as Technical Development manager.

Upon the arrival of Roberto Mancini in December of that year, Kidd was appointed assistant manager and since then his vast knowledge and expertise have been utilised to the full in what has proved to be the most successful period in the Club’s history.

It’s surely no coincidence that Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and more latterly Pep Guardiola have all appreciated and been eager to tap into the vast reservoir of knowledge about the English game amassed by Brian in more 50 years in football.

A quiet, humble man who has never lost touch with his Mancunian roots, Kidd has never sought the limelight though his rapport, empathy and affable nature have made him hugely popular with generations of players.

Beneath the calm exterior though, the passion still burns deep.

That fact was never more evident than when Kidd joyously leapt into the arms of Mancini amidst those unforgettable scenes at the Etihad after our first Premier League title triumph in 2012.

Given the cosmopolitan nature of the City squad, the proud son of Collyhurst is also able to offer a personal insight as just what the derby means to everyone associated with the Club. 

So although Kidd will again look to remain in the background, his influence will undoubtedly be keenly felt come kick-off tomorrow as the latest chapter in his amazing 50-year derby story unfolds.