Goalscoring Nationalities

Prior to this weekend’s game with Spurs, Manchester City have had players from 41 different nations score for the Blues in the Premier League. Can you remember them all? The following 1200 word article tells the story…

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City Make History With Foreign Player Rule?

On this day (23 December) in 1995 there was a great deal of speculation that Manchester City would be the first team to field four ‘foreign players’ which wound PFA chief Gordon Taylor up considerably. There had been a rule in place limiting the number of foreign players to three but this had been challenged by English clubs, following the historic Bosman judgement in the European Court of Justice.

Basically, before Bosman challenged the restrictive trade practices UEFA insisted that a maximum of three foreign players could appear for clubs. The Bosman judgement was immediately considered by Premier League clubs who felt it meant they could play as many players from the European Union as they wanted (though the maximum of 3 from outside the EU was still a limit).

The Premier League, supported by the FA, said the ruling meant that City and other clubs could play as many EU players as they wanted. At Maine Road Alan Ball had brought Danish under-21 international Ronnie Ekelund on loan and together with Eike Immel, Uwe Rosler and Georgi Kinkladze it was suggested he would play against Chelsea on 23 December 1995.

In the end Ekelund came on as substitute for Rosler, so 4 ‘foreign players’ had appeared that day but only 3 at any one time (though there’s a whole other discussion to be had about players from other United Kingdom countries and Ireland and whether they should count as that day the Republic of Ireland’s Niall Quinn played, as did Gerry Creaney from Scotland and Welsh international Kit Symons!).

As for the game… City lost 1-0 to Chelsea!

Ekelund had a brief up and down career at City, making only 6 (plus 3 as sub) appearances and he was soon off to Barcelona, while the change to the ‘foreign player’ rule was to have a massive impact on the development of football in England, paving the way for the multitude of talented players at City today.

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GOLDEN GOALS – 1996 Georgiou Kinkladze Goal V Southampton

One of the best goals of Maine Road’s final couple of decades saw the brilliant Georgiou Kinkladze at his best.  Kinkladze was a major star – some would say Manchester City’s biggest during the mid 1990s – and livened up many dull days for City fans.  This goal was obviously popular with Maine Road regulars but, thanks to television and the game’s appearance on Match of the Day, many neutrals recognised the quality of this Golden Goal.

The idea of this ‘GOLDEN GOALS’ feature is to remember a significant or spectacular Manchester City goal from yesteryear.  My hope is that supporters who were not around back then will learn more about these goals while those who were here will hopefully be reminded of them.  If you would like to nominate a goal for possible use in a future feature then please comment at the end of this piece or email me with details of game, goal scorer and date.

This article, covering Kinkladze’s goal is available for subscribers to the website below. It costs £20 a year (it works out £1.67 per month) and you get full access to all articles posted, including PDFs of the out of print Manchester A Football History and my first ever book about Manchester City. There are also audio interviews & more. Do a few searches on past content to see what’s available.     


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25 Years Ago – The 1996 Manchester Bomb

25 years ago today (June 15 1996) I was in Manchester Central Library doing some research for my book Manchester The Greatest City when a terrorist bomb went off close to M&S and the Arndale Centre. The explosion was felt across the city and in the library flecks of white paint floated down moments later, creating a surreal site. It looked like it was snowing.

I’ve written about the day before and maybe, when the time feels right, I’ll post more about it here but for the time being it’s worth pointing out that though no one died hundreds were injured. Many of these were seriously injured and it has affected them since.

In addition some lost there homes – there were houses on top of the Arndale centre back then – and businesses suffered too. Many closed down for good (a major loss was the old Corn Exchange – the building survived and was ‘gentrified’ but the small businesses that had operated in there mostly disappeared for ever).

I know we all talk positively of the changes to the city since the bomb but we should also remember those who suffered and the trauma faced.

More here on the day:


Manchester City Season – 1995-96


Once Brian Horton had been dismissed as manager in May 1995 rumours circulated that George Graham, Franz Beckenbauer and a whole host of other big name managers would be appointed.  When the news broke that former World Cup winner Alan Ball was to be appointed supporters felt disappointed. Fans wanted him to succeed but it was fair to say that his managerial record had not impressed them.  Before the season even started questions were being asked, and supporters needed to see positive performances in the Blues opening games to reassure their scepticism.  

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