As well as having a history of bad striker signings, Manchester City also have a knack of signing some truly great strikers over the years. So truly great players have graced the Maine Road and Etihad pitches so let’s take a look at ten of the best
10 Carlos Tevez
In 2009, Carlos Tevez joined the Manchester City revolution. Under the spending power of ADUG, the blues were making waves in the football world and the signing of Tevez was a huge statement, particularly as the Argentine played for United at the time. His transfer sparked anger from the red side of Manchester as he was used in a poster campaign that welcomed him to Manchester, a clear dig at a long-standing joke that the reds were part of Salford and not Manchester.
Tevez would score 73 goals for City in 148 appearances for the blues, but will be remembered for a four month exile from the club for refusing to come on as a substitute in a Champions League tie at Bayern Munich. During this time, manager Roberto Mancini was asked where Tevez was, to which he replied ‘maybe on a golf course somewhere.’ Tevez then gave a golf swing celebration upon completing his hat-trick in a 6-1 at Norwich as City won the title in 2012.
9 Neil Young
A true City legend, Young was born in Fallowfield, a short distance from City’s Maine Road base. Young spent 13 years at Maine Road and scored the winning goal in the 1969 FA Cup Final win over Leicester and also scored in the European Cup Winners Cup Final in 1970.
Young made 416 appearance in City blue, scoring 111 goals for the club before moving to Preston. Young sadly passed away in February 2011 after being diagnosed with cancer in late 2010. Ironically, the blues were drawn against Leicester in the FA Cup, and supporters wore red and black shirts, the same as the ones worn in the 69 Cup Final, as a tribute to their legendary hero.
8 Rodney Marsh
In 1972, City broke their transfer record when they signed Marsh from QPR for £200,000. Marsh was a flamboyant striker who would fit in well with City’s then manager Malcolm Allison, but questions were asked about whether the striker would fit in with the current team. At the time of signing, City were four points clear at the top of the First Division and on course for the title. They ended up finishing fourth with many stating it was Marsh’s signing that disrupted the team, a fact that Marsh himself agreed with in his 2001 autobiography.
Marsh would go on to make 152 appearances and score 47 goals, but it was more his skill and brilliance on the ball that captivated the fans. Marsh spent four years at Maine Road
7 Eric Brook
For so long Eric Brook was City’s all-time top goalscorer until a certain Argentine came along. Primarily a winger, or outside left as it was known then, Brook managed to score 178 goals in 496 appearances between 1928 and 1939.
Brook was part of the team that claimed the FA Cup in 1934 and also part of City’s first title winning side of 1937. Unfortunately for Brook, he was also part of an unwanted record as being the first and only defending league champions to be relegated the following season.
6 Niall Quinn
This lanky striker was signed by Howard Kendall form Arsenal in March 1990 for £800,000 and made an instant impact on the relegation threatened blues. Quinn scored on his debut at home to Chelsea to secure a valuable point and helped the blues survive their first season in Division One.
The following season, the striker scored 22 goals as City finished fifth in the league, but the most notable game for the striker came at home to Derby County. With the bleus winning 1-0, keeper Tony Coton brought down Dean Saunders in the area and was promptly sent off. With no substitute keepers at the time, Quinn went in goal and saved the subsequent penalty from Saunders and also caught the resulting corner. City went on to win the match 2-1.
In six years, he scored 78 goals and made 243 appearances before moving to Sunderland.
5 Paul Stewart
The Wythenshawe born striker learnt his trade at Blackpool before a struggling First Division City bought him for £200,000. Stewart was unable to prevent City’s slide into the second division, but the following season he made himself a City hero.
Stewart made 40 appearances for City in the second division, scoring 24 goals which grabbed the attention of some of Britain’s top clubs. Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal, Spurs and Man Utd were all potential suitors for the striker, while then Rangers manager Graeme Souness was reportedly seen on the Kippax terrace checking out the striker for himself, a Rangers scarf wrapped around his mouth to try and hide his identity (City fans Scottish club was Rangers).
Over the summer of 1988, bods came in for the striker and the blues accepted Spurs bid of £1.7m and Stewart moved to London, although it is rumoured that the City board kept a late bid from Manchester United from Stewart in order to seal his move to London, obviously trying to avoid a supporter backlash in selling to their rivals.
4 Uwe Rosler
The big German striker was an unknown entity when Brian Horton brought him to Maine Road in March 1994. Initially on loan, Rosler did enough to impress the blues by scoring five goals in twelve matches and City paid a sum of somewhere between £375,000 and £500,000 for him.
Rosler was an instant hit with the fans and scored 22 goals in his first full season with the club and formed a formidable partnership with Paul Walsh, until the latter was transferred to Portsmouth for Gerry Creaney. The German had a fall-out with City boss Alan Ball, who relegated Rosler to the substitute’s bench, so when the striker came on and scored against United, Rosler ran to the bench and pointed to his name on the back of his shirt.
The German is still fondly remembered with blues fans and in 2003 he was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma. News of his illness prompted City fans to sing his name at every match and Rosler would later credit his recovery to City fans, saying they had formed an unbreakable bond with him and the club. Rosler named his two sons, Colin and Tony, after the two City greats Bell and Book and has vowed to one day managed the club.
3 Shaun Goater
Feed the Goat and he will score. That was the chant form the terraces during City’s darkest days in the lower tiers of English football. With City struggling in Division One (Now the Championship), manager Joe Royle splashed out £400,000 to Bristol City for the Bermudan. When City fell through the trap door, they were well placed with a proven striker to lead their promotion charge.
After a difficult start, Goater became a club legend at Maine Road. His eye for goal and work rate made him a firm City favourite. The striker scored 103 goals for City in 212 appearances, but he will always be remembered for his 99th goal, which came against Manchester United. With defender Gary Neville trying to shepherd the ball out of play, Goater robbed him and curled a low shot beyond the keeper for make it 2-1 to City. In the second half, Goater scored his 100th goal for the club as City won 3-1. In the return derby at Old Trafford, Goater broke the record for the fastest Premier League goal by a substitute at 9 seconds. He later scored again but it was deemed offside.
Goater was awarded the freedom of Bermuda and 21st June is now known in the country as Shaun Goater day.
Watch Goater Humiliate Neville here
2 Francis Lee
As strikers go, there were not much better in the 60’s and 70’s than Francis Lee. His no nonsense attitude made him a legend at the club and he formed part of the formidable trio of Bell, Lee and Summerbee. Lee started his career at his home town club Bolton, but moved to City in 1967 for £60,000. In 1968, Lee scored one of City’s four goals at Newcastle as the blues won 4-3 to claim the League title.
In the 1971-72 season, Lee set the British record for the number of penalties scored in one season – 15, earning him the nickname of Lee One Pen, although many said that, as most of the fouls were on Lee himself that the striker would often dive to win the spot kick. Lee scored a total of 140 goals in 340 appearances for City.
Lee would eventually return to the club in 1994, but was involved in a bitter power struggle with then chairman Peter Swales. Lee was welcomed to the club as the hero who finally ousted Swales, however the club were relegated twice and Lee stepped down before eventually selling his shares to Thaksin Shinawatra
1 Sergio Aguero
There was only ever going to be one person in the number one spot. Sergio Aguero was signed by manager Roberto Mancini in the summer of 2011 for a fee of around £35m, prompting Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas to predict he would be the biggest waste of money of the season.
Aguero made his debut at home to Swansea as a second half substitute to score two and create one as City won 4-0. Although he scored 30 goals in his debut season he will be forever remembered for his last minute winner against QPR that won City the Premier League title.
Despite injuries in his second season, he still managed 17 goals and has scored 254 goals for the bleus in total, making him City’s all-time record goal scorer. He now also holds the record for the most Premier League hat-tricks. He also sits fourth in the Premier League all time goal-scoring records, just four behind Andy Cole in third place.