It’s always sad when a football legend dies and the latest death is one of our own.
eil Young was a local hero, born in Fallowfield and achieved every schoolboys dream of scoring the winner in the FA Cup Final. Although that is what many City fans associate him with, Young’s contribution to the successful City team of the 60’s and 70’s goes way beyond one goal.
For it was two Young goals on the final day of the season at Newcastle in 1968 that helped secure the league title and he also played a huge part in City’s only European trophy success in 1970, when he played in the final against Gornik Zabrse.
Young scored the opening goal and won a penalty, which was converted by Francis Lee as City became the first English team to win a domestic and European trophy in the same season. Young started his career as a boot boy at Maine Road and was offered an opportunity to join United in 1959, but being a blue, was right to turn them down.
The glorious City era will always be remembered for Bell, Lee and Summerbee, but Young’s commitment to the side, as well as 416 games (with 413 starts) and 108 goals was a vital contribution to the blues success, but for some reason never made it into the England squad. After 11 seasons at Maine Road, Young left to join Preston for two seasons, before finishing his career at Rochdale.
In late 2010, the winger was diagnosed with terminal cancer and during the recent FA Cup third round match with Leicester, City fans wore black and red scarves in recognition of the FA Cup goal from 1969.
Young leaves behind his wife Carmen and four children and our thoughts go out to his family. This month’s issue of Topical City features Young and looks back at the glorious years he spent at the club.
Thanks Neil for your huge contribution to the City team. You are a true legend who will never be forgotten.
Neil Young, 1944 – 2011. Rest In Peace
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