Men's Team

City pioneer Stan Horne's pride as Academy Classroom is named in his honour

City pioneer Stan Horne's pride as Academy Classroom is named in his honour
City pioneer Stan Horne has spoken of his immense pride after receiving the accolade of having a classroom at the City Football Academy named in his honour.

For a man who holds the distinction of being the first Black player to represent City, Stan said receiving the tribute while we celebrate Black History Month helped afford the naming of the classroom even greater significance.

And coming just days after Stan (along with three other former members of the famous City squad that helped win the 1967/68 Division One title) were awarded winners’ medals for their roles in our success, it capped a remarkable week for the 77-year-old.

Out of a ballot of 10 historic dates spanning the Club’s history, players and staff across the whole of City voted to name the classroom after Stan – who made his debut for us in 1965 - in recognition of his totemic status.

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He was present at the CFA this week to help officially open the Stan Horne Room as well take part in a Q and A session with six of our Under-15s – and said it was a special moment both for him and his family.

“It’s absolutely brilliant. I just can’t get over it – it’s something that I could never have dreamt of,” Stan admitted.

“And meeting the boys as well in the classroom seems unreal. I’m just so proud

“It means a lot to know my name was suggested by the boys and staff. It just adds that bit of extra bling!


                        City pioneer Stan Horne's pride as Academy Classroom is named in his honour

“I’m amazed that even my name was mentioned in the ballot but obviously I have a connection with it being Black History Month and I’m proud of that as well.

“City did an amazing job on the medal presentation at the weekend and my family are still on Cloud Nine (from the day). They are all so proud.”

The classroom tribute only solidifies Horne’s standing as an inspirational trailblazer and hugely significant figure in the Club’s history.

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Not only was Stan the first Black player to represent City, but last weekend’s title tribute also saw him officially become the first Black player to win a Division One league winners’ medal.

Also a Second Division title winner with City in 1966, as is the case with so many pioneers, Stan had to overcome challenging moments in his career, emerging as he did at a time when Black players were a rarity in the English game.

But reflecting back on his career more than 50 years on, he says he is immensely proud of the small role he played in helping to break down barriers and overcome prejudice.


                        TITLE WINNER: Stan (back row second left) and the City squad which in 1967/68 would win the Division One title
TITLE WINNER: Stan (back row second left) and the City squad which in 1967/68 would win the Division One title

“It is an honour to be associated with Black History Month,” Stan reflected. “I am of Black origin, and it means a lot to me.

“Obviously back in those days I never played against any other Black players or players of colour. It was a different age and a different era.

“There may have been one or two in the entire league but that was it.

“Now of course every team has a lot of Black players, so it’s not unusual.

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“Back then it really was.

“But I didn’t feel any different. I just felt like another person playing football – and now looking back I’m thinking I was lucky to be able to do that for the people who were in my position.

“And City as a club were so encouraging to everyone. City were never afraid to take chances and do the right thing."


                        INSPIRING: Stan took part in a Q and A session with some of our Under-15 players
INSPIRING: Stan took part in a Q and A session with some of our Under-15 players

That said, there were challenges and uncomfortable moments to navigate along the way.

But Stan recalled how having to tackle and confront prejudice only served to strengthen his resolve.

“It was a wake-up call early in my football career. Back then, I didn’t understand what being racist was,” he reflects now.

“It wasn’t so much from the fans – they thought it was a novelty seeing this man of colour playing football - but it was more in those days from the opposition players.

“I used to enjoy a hard tackle and get stuck in as they say and some of the players didn’t like it and that’s when they reacted.

“And the natural way to react was to pick on what you are not familiar with and that was how they tried to upset you.

WATCH: Former City players express delight at 1967/68 First Division medals

“But it didn’t work with me. It just made me more determined.

“Hopefully going through experiences like that does make you a better person

“We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a way to go.

“I hope in years to come we can all live as one and strive with the same aspiration.”

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