Soccer Players & Managers from Manchester United and Manchester City Football Clubs
Manager of Manchester City FC from 1965-1972. One of the game’s all-time greats, with a long career as a player in the pre- and post Second World War era, having gained 26 caps playing for England, some of them as captain. A broken leg forced him into ‘retirement’ and Mercer went into management, first with Sheffield United and then with Aston Villa. In 1965 he came back to Manchester City as its manager, taking them on to win the Second Division title in his first year, and a succession of titles thereafter, including the League Championship in 1968, the FA Cup winners in 1969, and the European Cup Winner’s Cup in 1970. He left in 1972, after boardroom battles concerning his assistant, Malcolm Allison, and went to manage Coventry City. He was awarded an OBE for his services to Football in 1976, and died in Merseyside in August 1990.
Born Joseph Ryan Giggs in Cardiff, Wales on 29th November 1973. Having played for Salford Schoolboys and England Schoolboys teams he became a United Association Schoolboy player in February 1988, to emerge as a rare and exciting talent, scoring a goal in his debut match with Manchester United against Manchester City in 1991. By the end of his first season he was voted “Young Player of the Year” by the PFA in 1991 and again in 1993. Giggs made his first appearance for the club during the 199091 season and has been a regular player since then, having firmly established himself as a left winger in this position well into the 2000s, Giggs is the most decorated player in English football history to date and holds the Manchester United club record for having made the most appearances and has captained the team on numerous occasions. He was the first player in history to win two consecutive Professional Football Association Young Player of the Year awards (1992 and 1993).In January 2011 he was named Manchester United’s greatest ever player by a worldwide poll conducted by United’s official magazine and website, and in October of that year was honoured with the 2011 Golden Foot Award.
Howard Kendall (Manager, Manchester City FC : 1989-1990). Although only in office for a year, Howard Kendall’s time at Maine Road was highly successful. He had begun his playing career at Preston North End in 1964, aged just 17. In 1967 he moved to Everton, followed by brief spells at Birmingham City and Stoke City, before becoming player-manager at Blackburn and taking that team into the Second Division. Then, as manager at Everton, and a host of titles under his belt, he took over at Manchester City halfway through the 1989-1990 season, at a time when the team was under the threat of certain relegation. He made brave decisions, and brought in trusted players.
Manager of Manchester City FC from 1986-1987. Jimmy Frizzell first came to the public notice when he took Oldham Athletic from the fourth division to the second division. But he had a long and distinguished career as a football player before this. He had begun a playing career in 1957 as wing-half for Morton, and had moved to Oldham in 1960, where he played over 300 League games, scored 57 goals, and become manager in March 1970. Despite his successes at Oldham, he was dismissed in early 1982, and had been unemployed for a year when he was invited to join City as an assistant, and later Manager. However, he had taken over at a particularly bad time in City’s fortunes, and hamstrung by deep financial worries, the team continued to fare badly, and Frizzell was dismissed when the club was relegated to Division Two in 1987.
Born in Wrexham on 1st November 1963. Played for several Welsh schoolboy teams including Wrexham. “Sparky” as he is popularly known, began as a midfield player but developed into a top class forward. His style is marked by superb ball control, strong running and forceful volleying. Leading goal-scorer for Manchester United in 1985-86. Transferred to Barcelona for 2 years before returning to United in 1988. Awarded “Player of the Year” twice by the PFA. Appeared 448 times, 162 goals scored. Went on to play for Everton and Blackburn Rovers at the same time managing the Wales national football team.
Peter Reid as player-coach – all in an attempt to reverse the fortunes of Manchester City. The recipe succeeded and the team avoided relegation, going on to beat teams like Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City. Peter Reid was signed to play for City in a transfer deal with Queens Park Rangers in December 1989, and was appointed player-manager in November 1990 on the departure of Howard Kendall. Born in Huyton, Liverpool, Reid had played as a club teenager for Everton and was a loyal player, though on failing to be signed up he moved to play for Bolton, and by 1977 he was in the Championship Bolton Team. Many serious leg injuries dogged his playing career, though he fought to overcome them and was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1985. Reid was already 33 when he joined Manchester City at the invitation of Howard Kendall, though his personal strength and his ability to lead by example. He was appointed player-manager in 1990 and brought in Sam Ellis as an assistant to lighten his role.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 4th June 1949. Real name Luigi Macari, played as a forward for Manchester United between 1972 and 1984, after a spell with Scottish team, Celtic. He had been a Scotland Schoolboys player. He scored 2 goals in his debut match for United. One of the most outstanding players of the 1970s, he was fit, energetic, brave and a thrilling attacker. Small in build and skilful in the air, of his 373 appearances for United he scored 97 goals. Capped 24 times by Scotland. Tragically, Macari’s son committed suicide in 1998. After leaving Manchester United in 1984, he managed Swindon Town, West Ham United, Stoke City (twice), Celtic, Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town, replacing Steve Bruce at Huddersfield in 2000. Now living in Stoke-on-Trent, Macari also writes regular comment pieces for the local newspaper The Sentinel and has given several guest talks at Staffordshire University on the Sports Journalism courses. He also owns the “Lou Macari Chip Shop” on Chester Road, near Old Trafford which is a popular takeaway on matchdays.
Born in Ealing, London on 4th December 1959, to an Irish mother and Nigerian father and much of his early life was spent in several orphanages in Dublin, Ireland after he was given up by his mother for adoption and his father had disappeared before he was born. McGrath is widely recognised as one of the greatest players to have ever come out of Ireland. He occupied the role of defender with Manchester United from 1982 to 1989. He had moved with his family to Ireland as a young man, and was spotted while playing for St Patrick’s Athletic, by Ron Atkinson when just 22 years old, and signed for a transfer fee of �30,000. His powerful build enabled him to dominate central defence. Persistent knee problems and 8 operations caused great problems. Transferred to Aston Villa in 1989. Voted “Player of the Year” in 1993. Made 119 appearances for United and scored 16 goals. Also a long-time member of the Republic of Ireland national team, he appeared at the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 1988, the team’s first-ever international tournament
Born in Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland on 26th June 1952. Son of Tommy McQueen, who had been goalkeeper with Accrington Stanley. Gordon McQueen came to United via Glasgow Rangers, St. Mirren, Leeds United and Liverpool. Transferred to United as a defender for �495,000 in February 1978, and left in 1985 to manage Seiko Hong Kong, and then Airdrieonians. Tall and dominating in mid-air, his career was bugged by injuries which eventually curtailed his career. Made 228 appearances and scored 26 goals.
Ron Saunders was Manchester City FC manager from 1973-1974. An energetic footballer and high goal scorer in his own right, Ron Saunders played centre-forward position for several football teams, including Everton, Tonbridge, Gillingham, Portsmouth, Watford and Charlton. He also managed Yeovil, Oxford and Norwich (who he took to the League Cup Final), and Manchester City, who he joined in December 1973, replacing Johnny Hart, who had retired due to illness. Saunder’s career at Maine Road was short and abrupt and he was dismissed after only 5 months as City manager. His demise followed the club’s struggle to avoid relegation, and their defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1974. He went on to manage Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich. In 1987 he left football permanently.