Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Sky Blue View Christmas Special: Number 8

Today, you picked an absolute legend to be Number 8 in City's cult heroes list, and he is a man who will always have a place in our hearts....

Neil Young
Neil Young was Manchester born and bred. Born just 2 miles away from Maine Road in Fallowfield, Neil joined City as an apprentice at the age of 15, signing on a professional basis two years later. 

He made his first team debut in November 1961, and was on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline at Villa Park as Aston Villa took the spoils. His career got better and better, and gave his family a great Christmas Present on the 23rd December by scoring his first goal in a 3-0 victory against Ipswich Town.

The following season was not as successful for Young or the club, as City were relegated to the Second Division. 

The appointment of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison in July 1965 helped to create a new chapter in the club's history though, of which Young was a pivotal part of. Young finished the season as the club's highest goalscorer as City were promoted back to the First Division as we succumbed to just one defeat.

His first season back in the First Division was not as successful, but a move towards Inside Forward the season after and once again finished as the club's highest goalscorer as we went on to win the Championship, with 2 goals from Young deciding the game against Newcastle. 

Young went on to score the winner in the 1969 FA Cup Final, as well as the winner in the 1970 European Cup Winners Cup, meaning City were the first English team to win a European and domestic trophy in the same season. In a team full of stars, he was always an unsung hero, but his role will never be underestimated. 

Unfortunately, after the tragic death of his brother in late 1970 meant his form dipped, and he was never the same player again. He left the club during the 1971-72 season, scoring 86 goals in 334 games for the Blues.

The death of his brother at an early age understandably never got away from Young, and at one point attempted suicide as he suffered serious depression from serious financial problems, where he was forced to sell his house.

Neil is no longer with us, and his death on the 3rd February 2011 came about after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2010. City dedicated their FA Cup tie against Leicester to him, with all the supporters wearing Red and Black. 

Neil was an absolute City legend, and it is a real shame that he was not as nationally recognised as some of the other players of his generation. RIP Neil, and thanks for the service.

Tomorrow we will have Number 7 in our Cult Heroes list, so check back after the Arsenal game!

No comments:

Post a Comment