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The Legends of Manchester City Hardcover – 1 Sep 2002
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"Meticulously researched... beautifully presented and wonderfully detailed... a fantastic read from cover to cover" -- Paul Hince, Manchester Evening News, 27 September 2002
IN 120 years more than 800 players have turned out in the colours of Manchester City Football Club or the club's earlier guises. Of these many have earned legendary status. This book lists a personal choice of 100 of these legends (one of them never even kicked a ball) who the author thinks warrants the description. Not intended as a complete biographical dictionary, it will hopefully stimulate discussion among supporters and bring back memories of former players and former glories. Names such as Meredith, Browell and Cookson from the early days may not be too familiar to the younger supporter; likewise Swift, Cowan, Doherty and prolific goalscorer Johnson from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. In the 1950s Blues fans witnessed the efforts of Messrs Trautmann, Barnes, Clarke and Paul. The late 1960s and early 1970s brought Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison together and their combined efforts provided the wonderful triumvirate of Lee, Bell and Summerbee (not to mention Book, Young and Doyle) along with superb enjoyment and entertainment to Maine Road. In more recent times Kinkladze, Bishop, Weaver and Goater have all earned the right to be included in the club's Hall of Legends.
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What lets the book down, though, is its appallingly clumsy writing style. The phrase "he had began" crops up with alarming regularity, and apparently Shaun Goater's first touch "leaved a lot to be desired"; and is it really true to say that Ali Benarbia and Eyal Berkovic "literally carved up defences"? And a quick lesson in the difference between "ironically" and "coincidentally" wouldn't go amiss, either.
The author's painstaking research and willingness to champion some lesser-known City stars makes the book worth reading; it's just a pity that the publishers didn't have it properly edited and checked over before publication.