Today is another milestone moment in the history of the Manchester derby as City and United clash in a successive FA Cup final.

City are looking to make it two wins in a row in the showpiece to bring up back-to-back League and Cup Doubles.

Ahead of the game, which kicks off at 15:00 (UK) at Wembley, we speak to a host of City stars from yesteryear about their thoughts on City v United.


There’s a fierce rivalry there that with your relationship with your friends, when football comes into it, it all goes out the window.

And then, you put football to one side and you’re back being best mates.

My son is a huge City fan and he will be at Wembley. He talks about the nausea coming towards this game because he knows what’s coming in his workplace. He knows that United fans he’s not seen will turn up at his work and will want to say good morning to him if they win.

So it’s this ongoing rivalry which is beautiful. But it’s also ferocious in football.

The fans do get nervous and without bringing up cliches, it’s a leveller. And then there’s the emotion of it.

But our players were there last time and they experienced it. The pressure of that was huge as it could lead to the Treble and they’ve been very strong this year against them, too.

United don’t need any pity parlour from me but they have been struggling massively. I don’t know how many combinations of defensive units they’ve had!

But they’ll be ready for the game and I think the energy that will be created in the lead-up to it will take care of itself.

From a football perspective, if Manchester City are at their very best and clinical, it’s going to be a very, very difficult day for Manchester United.

If they’re not and United are at their very best, then it becomes a level playing field.

But in my opinion, if Manchester City are at their ruthless best, they win.

You obviously go into it hoping and expecting the players are at their very best – and I’m sure they will be.

Yes strange things can happen. Look at the Liverpool game against United in the Cup quarter-final. Liverpool should have been three or four up but that’s football. Anything can happen in football.

So, you can never ever get ahead of yourself.

But the manager that Manchester City have and the way he prepares the team and the way he keeps them grounded and with his ferocious, driven obsession with winning, he’ll make sure that they’re ready.


It’s amazing how it’s worked out again!

We’ve won the title again. It’s a record.

But the Manchester derby will be something special, especially with it being at Wembley. United had a reasonable result at the weekend away at Brighton. They’ve been getting so much stick, but they’re still a good team.

They’ve got to be beaten. We’ve got the players, we’ve got the squad, we just have to go out and do it again.

It will be brilliant to see Blue vs Red at Wembley – it’s something we’re all looking forward. It’s great for the city to see the two teams – City and United competing in the final of what is for me one of the biggest competitions in the world.

Let’s hope we can do it again. I’m sure we will though I’ve been in the game long enough not to do any forecasts on the score.

But let’s hope it’s a good game, that there are no problems with the fans and let’s hope that VAR doesn’t have a say in anything.

We go into it after winning four titles in a row. That is incredible. Not even the great Liverpool and the great Manchester United teams of the past were able to achieve that. But we’ve gone and done it.

Now we’ve just got to keep going and keep breaking records. 
After all, that’s what they’re there for. We’ve got the players, we’ve got the squad, we’ve got the manager, we’ve got the staff and we’ve got the fans to be able to do it.

Personally, I would love to have been able to play against United at Wembley. Unfortunately, I only played in the one FA Cup final when we lost to Spurs in 1981, but you can’t describe what it feels like to be a footballer going to Wembley.

It’s just indescribable, really. It the feeling that you’re going to the home of football and one that is known throughout the world. Everybody wants to play there.

It’s great that Manchester City are there and let’s hope they pick the trophy up at the end of the day.


Derby games were always so important when I played – and they still are!

The main opposition for me is Man United, no question.

I remember when we beat United 4-0 in the League Cup in the 1975/76 season on the way to winning the trophy.

Later that night after the game we went into town for dinner and as my wife and I walked into the restaurant, we got a standing ovation.

That just brought everything home to me and made me realise the importance of Manchester derbies and what they meant to the whole City support.

It was always the game I looked forward to most in the season and always the one I looked out for as soon as the fixtures were announced.

And don’t forget there were a lot of local lads in both teams when I was playing so we would bump into each other around town.

I lived around the corner in Sale from Alex Stepney, Stuart Pearson, Lou Macari and Paddy Crerand.

And the result of the derby shaped the rest of your week - if not a few weeks!

It becomes a badge of honour for quite a while, and it was such an important game for the fans as well as the players.


You couldn’t go out if you ever got beat in a Manchester derby for two or three days. You just stayed indoors and let it blow over.

You used to look forward to seeing when the derby was. But you didn’t get involved until it was two weeks away.

Fans would mention it every week, saying ‘don’t forget’ and ‘make sure you’re alright’ and ‘derby, derby, derby’.

Don’t forget it was families who didn’t all support the same team, too, and they wouldn’t talk to one another the week before.

Whoever won, they were all chatty and the others wouldn’t talk at all.

I was fortunate. We had five in our family who were all blue!


My first - and only - Manchester derby was at Maine Road.

It was October 1981 in front of 52,037 fans.

The derby was obviously absolutely fantastic to play in. This was City v United which was really, really supreme.

And Maine Road as well too. The bits that I can remember were really astonishing.

The atmosphere in the game, the hostility, it was mind boggling.

Bryan Robson played directly opposite me in his league debut for United that particular day. He was obviously a brilliant footballer, no doubt about it, he could tackle, he could head, he could score.

Playing at Maine Road, too – it had its history. The pitch was really big, really really big for a start. And when the Kippax got behind you, it was fantastic.


When you think of the clubs I’ve played for – Liverpool, Leeds and City – they’re the three biggest rivalries with Manchester United so you can see why that game means so much to me. 

I always had a good record against United. In terms of derby matches, I’d played in Merseyside derbies for Liverpool against Everton so I knew how important City v United would be.

We weren’t the club United were at the time. But we produced some great performances against them whenever we played them.

I was lucky enough to score against them a few times in a City shirt.

My last goal for City was the third goal in a 3-1 win when Darius Vassell broke through and passed to me.

And I obviously gave the United fans a bit of stick after that one, too!