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There have been few managers who achieved the popularity of Joe Mercer.
The much-loved City manager dragged the Blues from the murky depths of the second tier into one of the best football teams the country has ever seen, winning everything possible at domestic level and giving the Club the only European trophy to date.
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Joe’s legacy was the City fans’ love of attacking, entertaining football that has been a mandatory requirement ever since, with some managers achieving the aim and many not.
Mercer would have certainly approved of Pep Guardiola’s methods and fully endorsed the style and panache the Catalan has brought to the team.
The Club were determined to purchase some of Joe’s treasured possessions when they recently came up for auction and successful bids were secured on Joe’s City contract,
The steel plate and screws were from a broken leg suffered in an accidental collision with Arsenal team-mate Joe Wade is both fascinating and tinged with sadness as he would never recover from the injury and was the reason his playing days ended a year later.
Of all the lots the Club’s archive team were desperate to obtain was Joe’s treasured 9 carat gold Omega wristwatch.
The Swiss timepiece, made by A.E. Dyson of Hoylake near to Joe’s home, has been pictured numerous times including the 1969 FA Cup final and the parade around the City with the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Finally, Joe’s City contract, complete with bonus clauses and yearly wage, is dated 1 January 1969.
Within the terms, it states: “There shall be paid to the Employee a salary at the rate of six thousand pounds per annum to be paid monthly in arrears on the last day of each calendar month the first payment to be made on the First day of September One thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight and in addition merit bonuses as follows:
Winning First Division Championship – four thousand pounds, runners Up – three thousand pounds"
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