Friday, 16 December 2011

On the 9th day of Christmas, TSBV gave to me....

So you picked Niall Quinn at number 10 in terms of cult hero status, but at number 9, you have chosen.....

Paul Lake
If anyone sums up Manchester City, it is Paul Lake. Lake was a defensive midfielder who only ever featured in Sky Blue, as well as featuring for the England u-21's on five occasions and the England B team once.

After playing a pivotal role in City's FA Youth Cup winning team of 1986, he made his first team debut against Wimbledon the following January.

It was widely expected that he was to have a glittering career for both club and country, but a number of career-threatening injuries meant he was unable to fulfill his potential.

The run of injuries started at the start of the 1990/91 season, when Lake, the new team captain at the heart of defence, suffered what was seen as a minor knee injury from a Tony Cascarino tackle. However, it was later diagnosed as a ruptured cruiciate ligament injury, which resulted in a lengthy 2 year absence on the sidelines.

His return at the start of the inaugural Premier League lasted just eight minutes into the second game of the season away to Middlesbrough, when his ligament snapped again. It was horrible to see it happen to such a great man, and he was eventually forced into retiring at the age of just 28 after 14 different operations.

Since retiring, he has decided to become a physiotherapist, after the way he was poorly handled by the medical staff at the club. He has had spells with Altrincham, Burnley, Oldham Athletic, Macclesfield Town and Bolton Wanderers before he set up his own practice in Manchester. As many City fans know, Lake has recently released an autobiography on his struggle with injury, named "I'm not really here." If you are yet to read it, we thoroughly recommend it.

Paul Lake, you will always be a City legend and it is a real shame that you never had the chance to fulfill your potential, and definitely deserve your place in our Hall of Fame.

Come back tomorrow where we look at who is Number 8 in your cult heroes list!

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