Nobody played more games alongside Wright-Phillips than the 161 managed by the Irishman, who had the privilege of watching him develop from a promising youngster into one of the finest wingers in the country.
Dunne, who features in City’s Homegrown Hero, the latest CityTV production which chronicles Wright-Phillips’ career, says the fan favourite was a great team-mate and admits that whilst he wanted to beg him to stay prior to his 2005 transfer to Chelsea, he could not begrudge him his move to the then Premier League champions.
“One of the best things about City and being at City was Shaun,” he explained on the latest edition of the We’re Not Really Here matchday show.
“I saw him as a young lad coming through and the excitement he got from playing, the energy he put into training and matches and just how nice he was as a fella around the training ground.
“To see him progress and do what he did was a joy.
“He lived two or three doors down from me and I remember him coming and speaking to me and saying, ‘listen Chelsea want me’ and I wanted to say desperately, ‘please don’t go!’
“But the nice thing to do was to say he earned it - go to Chelsea, go and win the league, do what you have to do.
“He’s just a nice person to be around and when he went onto the pitch he played with a smile on his face and all the City fans appreciated that.”
Joleon Lescott joined Dunne in the We’re Not Really Here studio for City’s win over Aston Villa and he too has a unique appreciation for Wright-Phillips.
Our former defender played nearly 40 games alongside the Academy graduate during his second spell in Manchester, which came as a relief having had the difficult task of facing him earlier in his career.
“It was horrible playing against him, so annoying,” said Lescott.
“We got into the reserves at the same time. We used to play the reserve games at the Commonwealth Stadium and then we literally got into the first teams at the same time.
“You didn’t want to be 1v1 with him. He’d just drop his shoulder and go past you and when you thought you’d tackled him, it was like no you’ve tackled him so he can propel more speed and ricochet the ball into his path and he’s away.
“He wasn’t enjoyable to play against and he had ridiculous balance.”
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