1. Colin Bell - Reluctant Hero: The Autobiography of a Manchester City and England Legend
Most Manchester City supporters regard Colin Bell as their club's best ever player. He graced the midfield during their greatest years as they won all domestic and European honours, and represented England 48 times before a serious knee injury ended his career prematurely when he was just 29. Now, in this revealing autobiography, ‘King Colin’ has opened up.
He talks about never knowing his mother, who died when he was a baby, and of being brought up by his aunt and then his father and older sister.
He then leads us through the glory years, singles out his greatest opponents and compares the modern game with the era he dominated, before sharing his views on the infamous tackle in a Manchester derby that ended his footballing dreams. In a remarkable development, he reveals for the first time his private battle against cancer and explains how this book has helped to save his life.
2. Manchester City: The Mercer-Allison Years
Manchester City's first home game of 1964-65 was a resounding success - a 6-0 win over Leyton Orient. But by the time Swindon Town arrived at Maine Road in January 1965, City's fortunes had taken an alarming tumble. At Easter, manager George Poyser resigned and the rest of the season City were managerless as they finished 11th. In July 1965, City announced their new man: Joe Mercer, former England, Everton and Arsenal wing-half who had been out of the game for 12 months after suffering a stroke while managing Aston Villa.
Mercer needed a younger man to work with the players on the training pitch and he chose Malcolm Allison, the former West Ham defender who had himself suffered bad health, his playing career ended when he lost a lung to TB. No-one in their wildest dreams could imagine the success these two would bring to Maine Road. Within 12 months City had won the championship of the Second Division. Two years later they were league champions of England and by 1971 had added the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup-winners’ Cup. This, then is the story of the most successful period in Manchester City's history.
3. Manchester City's Cult Heroes
"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy" - F Scott Fitzgerald. Who is your favourite Manchester City Cult Hero? Goater, Lee, Bell, Kinkladze, Dickov or Wright-Phillips? David Clayton's book, “Man City's Cult Heroes", tells the story of the club through the careers of its 20 greatest icons - the men who made fans’ pulses race. The likes of Frank Swift, Paul Lake, Dennis Tueart, Bert Trautmann, Ian Bishop, Andy Morrison and Niall Quinn all join the illustrious cast list as David searches for the very heartbeat of a club obsessed with the way the game is played, but bereft of trophies for so long.
Each player's career is analysed to discover what made him tick and why he was so idolised by the fans, including their foibles, quirks and misdemeanours. Controversy and heated debate will follow around Manchester as City fans place their bets on who is the greatest icon - and who is left out of this definitive list of fans’ favourites.
Featured players are: Billy Meredith; Frank Swift; Peter Doherty; Bert Trautmann; Bobby Johnstone; Roy Paul; Mike Summerbee; Rodney Marsh; Dennis Tueart; Joe Corrigan; Gerry Gow; Paul Lake; Ian Bishop; Andy Morrison; Niall Quinn; Giorgi Kinkladze; Uwe Rosler; Shaun Goater; Paul Dickov; and, Shaun Wright-Phillips. This is a rocky ride at times. But then, if you're a City fan, you're used to it.
4. Please May I Have My Football Back: My Life at Manchester City
"Please May I Have My Football Back?" is the story of the Alexander family and how they helped run Manchester City football club from its foundation in 1880 until the club was sold to Peter Swales a century later. Written by Eric Alexander, former Chairman and current Honorary President of the club and board member throughout the glorious 60s and 70s, it contains wonderful behind-the-scenes stories detailing what it was like running one of the world's biggest football clubs at that time.
Crammed full of stories about players such as Rodney Marsh, Colin Bell, Franny Lee, Mike Doyle and Mike Summerbee, this book also tells many boardroom stories of the kind of shenanigans that go on in negotiations between clubs, how Eric's grandfather, then Chairman of Manchester City was asked to drive the victorious Manchester United team on their tour of the city following the 1909 FA Cup final victory, his dealings with football's administrators and referees, which would often leave him incredulous and how City won bundles of silverware throughout that successful era.
5. Manchester City 1967-1968: A Season to Remember
Wow, what an excellent book. Well worth a purchase for any Man City fans or anyone interested in football generally.
Mike Yardwood designs tutorial websites, guides, reviews and help guides.