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George Haigh: City’s oldest Academy graduate

ACADEMY GRADUATE: George Haigh.

ACADEMY GRADUATE: George Haigh.

103-year-old George Haigh is one of the oldest surviving ex-professional footballers in the world.

The former centre-half joined Manchester City back in 1931 and grew through the ranks before moving on to Stockport County, where he remained for three years before signing up to the RAF at the start of the Second World War.

Despite never making it to City’s first team, Haigh has remained close to the club, with all of his family members being ardent Blues!

George was invited as Etihad’s guest of honour during our 3-1 win over United on Remembrance Day.

Speaking at the match, George reflected on his time and City and the close friendship’s he built with the likes of City legend Frank Swift.

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“When I started it was a long time to go,” Haigh explained. “I wasn’t old enough to play in the first team because you had to be 18 to play in the professional game at that period.

“So, I used to go on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Maine Road doing my training.  Me and Frank (Swift) used to play together at Maine Road and whenever I was training he would come down and we would have a real chin wag, I found out a lot about City from Frank.”

George reflected on his decision to move to Stockport County and touched on his remarkable first encounter with former City ‘keeper Bert Trautmann.

“The manager at Stockport came and offered me a contract and I grabbed it! I was a young man at a time and ended up with Stockport for a long time. I was with them three years before the war,” George added.

“I ended up in the RAF and I remember meeting Bert Trautmann in a prisoner of war camp. He was a hell of a nice guy.”

Speaking about being one of the oldest ex-professionals, George explained how proud he was.

“I believe I am one of the oldest,” the 103-year-old stated. “I’m really proud, I couldn’t understand it when they told me but there we go! It’s happened and I enjoyed every moment of it!”

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