Every club is known for a style of play. Liverpool have the pass and move, Wimbledon were the long ball merchants, United are known to play with 12 men!
For City fans we want speed, skill and agression. We all love David Silva but for most there is a special place in the heart for players with a bit more steel in them. Zabaleta, De Jong, Tevez – we like players who give others a bit of what for!
These attributes sum up Mike Summerbee. For, whilst I am far too young to have ever seen him play, I have fondly read Mike’s column in the match day program. If you enjoy the “Buzzword” then Mike Summerbee: the autobiography is for you!
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As the son of a footballer, the first chapters detail Mike’s tough upbringing of a distant father and being a small child with learning difficulties. It is perhaps by being small which led to Mike’s agressive streak, as he needed that bit of steel when playing against bigger children!
Mike talks fondly about the exciting times he had at Swindon Town and how he could have joined Spurs on a couple of occasions. However it was Joe Mercer who was closest to signing Mike with what would now be called “taping up”. Although it was not City that he nearly signed for but Aston Villa (Mike’s boyhood team).
However that move fell through but when Mercer took charge at City, Mike rang up the club asking for Joe to sign him! That’s right, no agents in those days, Mike rang the club and made a pitch to the manager that he wanted to play for City! Can you imagine phoning Roberto Mancini?
The rest is history. The book contains Mike’s humour throughout and details the rise of the club during the great side of the 60′s and 70s. Mike recalls the times he had with larger than life figures of Malcolm Allison, George Best and Bobby Moore together with Jimmy Tarbuck and Kenny Lynch.
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Mike descibes signing for Burnley and his star film debut in “Escape to Victory”. Although when he is discussing his time on location in Hungary, I have to disagree with his take on Hungarian wine!
But football in the 70′s was not as glamouras as Mike ends his playing career at Mosley FC. The book at this point seems to end with Mike discussing his son Nicky’s career in the game, George Best’s death and Mike’s wife Tina.
However as we all know Mike is a club ambassador and the latest edition includes three new chapters covering Thaskin Shinawarta’s regime (a false dawn as Mike puts it). Then the real drama as Sheik Mansour takes over. I’m sure a few more chapters will be added in future editions but fo now this is a great read for all City fans.
Mike’s humour does it again!