City v Cardiff: Connections part I
- 22 August 2013 10:34
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Ahead of City's trip to the Welsh capital on Sunday, we examine links between the Blues and the Bluebirds...
Uncompromising defender Spencer Prior spent two seasons at Maine Road at the turn of the Millennium, arriving from Derby County before the transfer deadline in the 1999/2000 season.
Signed as cover for the injured Andy Morrison, Prior went on to make 33 appearances for the Blues as they climbed back up the Premier League after stints in the second and third tier of English football.
Prior found opportunities limited in the Premier League as Richard Dunne and Steve Howey came into the City squad, so was moved on to Cardiff in 2001 where he spent three years.
A long-term understudy to legendary City goalkeeper Joe Corrigan, Ron Healy made his professional debut for the Blues as a 17-year old in 1970.
Corrigan’s vice-like grip on the number one jersey limited the Manchester-born stopper to just 30 first-team games at City but he did nail down a place in the Cardiff XI between 1974 and 1982.
Healy is also credited for discovering a 12-year old Andy Dibble who would ironically go on to represent both teams in his career too.
Manchester-born midfielder Dave Bennett started out life at City and racked up 54 appearances for the club, including the FA Cup final and replay against Spurs in 1981.
It raised eyebrows when Bennett was sold to Cardiff City that year who were then playing in the third tier of English football.
Bennett helped the Welsh side gain promotion to Division Two before going on to have his crowning moment at Coventry – a man of the match-winning performance in the 1987 FA Cup final win over Spurs.
A man with experience of occupying dug-outs at both Manchester City and Cardiff City is Phil Neal who represented Liverpool as a player with distinction in the 1980s.
Neal had arrived from Cardiff at Maine Road as Steve Coppell’s right-hand man and took temporary charge when the ex-Crystal Palace man resigned on 8 November 1996.
Unfortunately for Neal, it wasn’t a successful reign as the Blues managed just two wins in ten games and Frank Clark became permanent manager in December.
Goal machine Robbie Fowler may be most closely associated with Liverpool but he is another player with links to both Cardiff and Manchester City.
The striker signed on for Kevin Keegan’s City in January 2003 and, although the “Toxteth terror” struggled for goals initially at the City of Manchester Stadium, he did enjoy some great moments in a City shirt, including a famous goal in 2004’s 4-1 derby win over Manchester United.
A moderately successful return to Liverpool followed before Robbie signed for Cardiff City in July 2007. He played 13 times for the Welsh side and scored four goals.
Join us on Friday for five more connections between City and Cardiff.