Over the coming months we'll be adding more of our past player profiles to this section.
Mike Summerbee was a pivotal figure in Manchester City’s greatest-ever side.
Skillful and highly-combative, Mike was one of the earliest signings made by the nascent Mercer-Allison partnership when they brought him to the club from Swindon Town in 1965. A trademark break down the right wing set up Neil Young’s winning goal in the 1969 FA Cup Final, but Mike was equally adept as a centre-forward and was often used there by City.
The League Championship, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup-Winner’s Cup were all won by an entertaining City side with Mike at its heart, although he missed out on that European final because of a leg injury. The phrase “Bell-Lee-Summerbee” has become synonymous with that era.
Alf Ramsey’s reluctance to use wingers meant that Mike was a touch unlucky to only win eight England caps, but he appeared nearly 450 times for City, hugely impressive in the days of solitary substitutes and thunderous challenges on heavy pitches. After City, Mike played for Burnley and Blackpool, and had a stint as player-manager with Stockport County. He also briefly turned his hand to acting appearing alongside Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Pele and Bobby Moore in the 1981 cult classic “Escape To Victory”.
Mike loved the local rivalry with United but that did not stop him becoming good friends with several of his rivals, most notably George Best. He became City’s first Club Ambassador in 2009, and he remains a hugely popular figure with players, fans and staff at the club.
A Blue born and bred, Neil Young realised his boyhood dream in 1959 when City scout Harry Goodwin offered him the chance to join the club as an apprentice. Aged just 17 when he was handed his debut by Les McDowall, there was clearly something special about the boy who would go on to become a key member of the Mercer/Allison glory years.
In 1965/66, a gifted Young led City to promotion and the Second Division Championship. Only two years later he was named lead goal-scorer for a second time in three years and helped his side claim the Division One title.
It was in the FA Cup, however, that his most memorable moment came. His single goal proved the difference in the 1969 FA Cup final as the Blues beat Leicester City 1-0 to win the trophy.
Unavailable for City’s 1970 League Cup success, due to the birth of his third child, Young made amends by scoring in the club’s successful European Cup Winners’ Cup final only weeks later.
Though he never received an international cap, Young’s form was crucial to City’s glory era during the late 1960s/early 70s.
He appeared 412 times and scored 107 goals for the club before eventually moving on to Preston North End in 1972. In 2008 he received the ultimate club accolade when he was inducted into the MCFC Hall of Fame.
Sadly Neil passed away early in 2011, aged 66 and fans paid tribute by donning the iconic red-and-black as worn by City when Neil's goal secured the FA Cup in 1969. It was fitting that City ended the long wait for silverware by winning it back just a few months later.
Hall of Fame