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LongsightM13

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Mark, I gather you are Mick McCarthy’s cousin. How does Mick look back on his time at City? He was an absolute king during his time here imo and was miles better than most of those around him.
I always heard he would have liked to stay to be close to his family but Swales insisted the fee was too good to refuse.
Years later I was living in Bristol and he rocked up at Ashton Gate with the Millwall team with Sheringham, Cascarino, Hurlock etc and took the piss. He was still a top player then
 

Bluefen

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Curious out of that lot - which is your favourite and why… I found a suitcase full of old city shirts whilst looking for an England one to wear last week - was chuffed as anything to find them (mostly late 90’s and early 00’s shirts)
 

City_Shirts

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Champions 37,68,12,14,18,19, 21, ?
In 1985 I attended the game when we played an Isle of Man XI during the tournament there pretty sure it was in Castletown. It was our last game of 3 and we tonked them with Jim Melrose getting at least 4 or 5 { memory fades stuff so sorry if slightly off key } At the final whistle I approached Mr Melrose on what was no more than a park pitch and enquired if I may relieve him of his shirt but he informed me that wouldn't be possible due to his days goal haul in said shirt. He was proper polite and I think it was the red and black kit. Sorry Mark I sound a bit like Jim Bowen " Look what you could have won ".

Great story and so close yet so far away :-)
 

City_Shirts

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Location
Champions 37,68,12,14,18,19, 21, ?
Curious out of that lot - which is your favourite and why… I found a suitcase full of old city shirts whilst looking for an England one to wear last week - was chuffed as anything to find them (mostly late 90’s and early 00’s shirts)

Always a difficult one with so many and from so many different eras but I'd say Colin Bell's 1967/68 First Division number 8 match shirt.

bell8.jpg

bell2.jpg
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City_Shirts

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2,499
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Champions 37,68,12,14,18,19, 21, ?
Mark, I gather you are Mick McCarthy’s cousin. How does Mick look back on his time at City? He was an absolute king during his time here imo and was miles better than most of those around him.
I always heard he would have liked to stay to be close to his family but Swales insisted the fee was too good to refuse.
Years later I was living in Bristol and he rocked up at Ashton Gate with the Millwall team with Sheringham, Cascarino, Hurlock etc and took the piss. He was still a top player then

Mick is real top fella and old school man, he speaks so highly of his time with us.

I did a Q&A with him during the first lockdown for the Facebook page. Manchester City Match Worn Shirts | Facebook


MCMWS Page caught up with former City defender Mick McCarthy for a Q&A on his City memories.

1. Which team did a young Mick McCarthy support as child ?

Leeds United although I also supported Barnsley with them being my home town team.

2. Who were your footballing hero’s growing up ?

My childhood heroes were Gary Sprake, Peter Lorimer, Reaney, Charlton, Hunter, Gray, Bremner, Charles, Madeley, I Loved watching the Leeds side of the early 1970’s although I never got the chance to see them play live as my Dad always worked Saturday’s. Once I could drive as a young pro I would then start to go and watch them play and recall the great European nights.

3. Part of a successful Barnsley team of the early 1980’s saw you attract the attention of Billy McNeill during a great League Cup run…..Had you heard of much interest or speculation in you prior to joining City ?

No I hadn’t, the only speculation I’d heard was me joining Newcastle as Arthur Cox wanted to sign me and we’d been talking over the phone for a while, they kept saying it was getting the done then they didn’t have the money, then one night out of the blue Norman Hunter, who was the Barnsley manager called me in to say City had made a bid and would I like to talk to them to which I replied “yeah I would”!!

4. I’d imagine you didn’t have an agent back then so how did the contract talks go with City and did you deal with these yourself ?

I did and I didn’t because I had a guy who helped me at the time, he used to sell insurance stuff but dabbled a bit in this, It was alright saying what you wanted but sitting in front of Billy McNeill trying to tell him what you wanted wasn’t easy, although I was experienced in terms of games played with over 250 for Barnsley I was still relatively young at 24 and as much as you think you’re a man once your facing Billy it certainly wasn’t easy.

5. Having completed the move to City in December 1983, your debut came in a 0-0 draw at Cambridge…How was your performance that day and what are the memories of it ?

We didn’t concede so mine was alright, I’ve always thought that way…What did I bring to the party…………I was a good defender maybe not the modern day footballer who’d bring the ball out but you could rely on me to keep the ball out of the net that for sure and organise the back four. I remember arriving at the ground, we had a few youngsters in the team like Steve Kinsey & Andy May and I was thinking we will get a shock here unless we are switched on and up for it, I’d been used to this kind of environment over the past few years, Maine Road to the Abbey Stadium was a bit of an eye opener and just because we were Manchester City it wasn’t going to be easy, it was a right tough old game, 0-0 draw so we got something out of it.

6. What were your first impressions of City as club during those early months at Maine Road ?

I played against City in the Barnsley cup run and again in the League at Maine Road and can remember thinking how completely different it was to Barnsley of course and that City had mainly been a First Division side, walking up those steps into the Maine Road offices was pretty impressive so I was delighted and absolutely thrilled to have moved to Man City.

7. Twenty four appearances during the first season at City sees you named supporters player of the year, something Andy May still disputes to this day, how pleased were you with your first season with City and do recall your thoughts ahead of the following campaign ?

Let me tell you he wasn’t getting anyway, I don’t know how he can dispute it when supporters have voted, maybe he should have played a bit better. I was delighted with the start at City, playing in the Second Division was no trouble at all to me as I’d had two season prior to that with Barnsley, I played really well in the Barnsley side hence the reason City wanted to sign me, it didn’t seem any different for me although I was now at a better team with better players so I took to it pretty easy, I use to drive every morning at the start from Barnsley as we didn’t move straight away but eventually bought a place in Wilmslow although that didn’t happen to until the following year in September.

8. Who made the most first impressions on you, good or bad at City ?

The staff at City were great with the likes of Billy McNeill, Jimmy Frizzell & Tony Book, the whole place made an impression on me and I was delighted to have stepped up a level, Paul Power was a great guy who I got on really well with, he was a really good captain, an exceptionally fit guy, Neil Neil Mcnab Sr. another great guy who we lived near in Wilmslow, a great player. Also Big Alex Williams was another I got on great with and it was such a shame when had the bad injury, Graham Baker was a good guy but a standout player for me was Paul Simpson, not immediately but when he came into that Promotion side he was terrific.

9. At the start of the 84/85 season Billy McNeill hands you the captain’s armband which sees you skipper the side on the opening day of the new campaign, a 2-2 draw at Wimbledon. How did it feel to captain a club of City’s stature ?

It was great and a real honour to get the armband which Billy had told me would eventually happen when he signed me, he’d made some great comments when I signed as he knew what he was getting and what he wanted from me. I took it as a huge honour to get it but after a few games big Billy would always have a go at me for anything, which then came to a head when we played a friendly or testimonial up in Scotland against Queen of the South I think, so I told him where he could stick the captaincy if this was going to be the case every time, which wasn’t my finest hour for sure, so it was given back to Paul Power, I regretted it afterwards as it was really was a great honour to captain Manchester City.

10. Do you recall if Promotion was a set target or must for the 84/85 season ?

Yes it was, from where we finished the season before and no play-offs back then Promotion was the target. We had a really good season which I was proud to be part of.

11. Who do you recall as the stand out players for City during that Promotion campaign and how was the spirt among the camp ?

It was great and a good set of honest lads, David Phillips was class that season, Paul Power was always good, Nick Reid was solid and I recall Kenny Clements doing really well when he came in.

12. The season was going along well until a wobble from late March to mid April with no win in six games puts the Promotion push in serious danger until successive wins at Sheff.Utd & Portsmouth – Was there a time you’d thought it may not happen ?

I remember going down to Notts.Co, the fans had got into the dressing and it was almost kicking off, well in fact it was kicking off as it looked like we were going to blow it, we won at Portsmouth when me and Nicky Reid got booked, they were a tough old team to face with the likes Noel Blake and a few ex Palace and Birmingham lads, a proper team and that was a hard game but we beat them with Simmo playing well.

13. A famous last day 5-1 victory over Charlton secures promotion, unfortunately you miss the game but what are your memories of the day which ended with you knowing you’d be playing First Division football the following season ?

Me and Nick Reid were suspended, that was an incredible day in terms of going but not being allowed to play was hard, I remember Billy telling us to wish the lads well then get lost as he didn’t want us being around with the lads with them possibly thinking negative thoughts like “Nicky’s not playing and Mick’s not playing” which I get now from being a manager, I remember we didn’t start particularly well but once we got a few goals it clicked, I recall the atmosphere and whole buzz about the place but of course it was the Bradford fire disaster that day also which sticks in my memory just as much, it was so terribly sad, even when we went out to celebrate that evening, deservedly so it was still on our minds so it was a bitter sweet one but I loved the day from the Promotion point of view.

14. How did you find the transition from Second to First Division Football ?

It was a real step up for sure and a real surprise, I think it still is to players even now, you have a good season then look at the league above but don’t realise how big a transition it is.

15. Which players do you recall were the toughest opponents during your first top flight campaign and were there any players you were really looking forward to testing yourself against ?

I never really gave that a thought, I just wanted to go and play at the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham but I do recall playing against Frank Stapleton at Old Trafford which was always difficult but playing against the likes Rush & Dalglish was what you wanted to do, Graham Sharp and Lineker were great players to face, I remember playing against Glenn Hoddle at Spurs and he did a turn in the middle of the park against Baker and Neil(McNab) that I almost applauded it that was good…what a player he was who could have played in any team in the world even today, a wonderful footballer. Micky Droy at Chelsea was another great player but I can’t remember them all as I had 500 odd games as a player and 900 odd as a manager so difficult to remember.

16. A crazy weekend in March 1986 sees City play twice in a weekend, although you missed the Saturday Manchester Derby you would play at Wembley the following Sunday in the Full Members Cup Final – What are your memories of that weekend ?

I remember the game was a crazy one that we went one nil up then it all went wrong, David Speedie who was with me as a kid at Barnsley hit a hat-trick, Eric Nixon and I certainly didn’t cover ourselves in glory that day for sure but remarkably if we’d played another 5 minutes we would have pulled it back or even possibly won it….a crazy nonsense game which I recall being a red hot day…..I still can’t find the shirt Mark which I think I must of given away !!!!!

17. Going into the 1986/87 season City would lose a few senior players with David Phillips, Mark Lillis and Paul Power all leaving the club – Do you recall thinking City, may well struggle that season or were the hopes high for the new campaign ?

Losing David Phillips was a huge blow and Paul Power got a well-deserved move up but he’d certainly done his shift at City, Mark was a great lad and pro who was also missed but you couldn’t begrudge them the leaving.

18. How did Billy McNeill’s sudden departure to Aston Villa have an effect on both yourself and the team ?

Billy started the season but I recall traveling to play Southend in a midweek cup game, Billy was the manager when we left but not by the time we got there, it was bizarre and no one that I know of knew it was coming. Jimmy Frizzell took over which was difficult as he went from being ‘Jim’ to ‘boss’ overnight. I remember Earl Barratt played for us at Southend that night and was brilliant and look a really good prospect, it may have been his debut and he went onto play for England.

19. 26thOctober 1986 – The first ever televised Manchester Derby – Tell us about ‘THAT’ header from a personal point of view – A goal that’s is still often talked about as one of City’s best of the 1980’s ?

Well that’s really nice that it’s remembered but I have to tell you if it wasn’t for Chris Turner in United’s nets I’d of scored two but he caught the first but had no chance with the second one, the deliveries were great, we took a short corner and McNab put it in and I just met it, I got a run on it which was a problem for anyone.

20. What do you recall of the atmosphere that day and can you still hear the roar when the header hit the back of the net ?

The goal was the perfect storm, delivery, timing…goal and I can still hear the roar…just perfect, I think we were one down so even more sweater…..listen,, playing for Man City and scoring against Man.Utd was just brilliant, the stuff dreams were made of.

21. After a difficult campaign relegation was confirmed on the final day of the season at West Ham which would be your last appearance for the club - At what point of the season did you start to think you’d be leaving City ?

I wasn’t aware of it to be honest as I signed a new contact two seasons before which was coming to end so I was going to be out of contact and of course at that time you couldn’t move and were still bound to the club, the move came out of the blue to Celtic which everyone assumed was down to Billy McNeill but it was David Haye who sorted the move and contact at Celtic. I was gutted to be leaving City but from a personal point I’d worked so hard to get to top level football it was hard for it not to continue.

22. Had there been much interest and speculation as to which clubs would like to sign you before joining Celtic ?

I was linked with Sheffield Wednesday and also surprisingly Liverpool but that might have been down to a dodgy agent I didn’t have !!

23. Which players during your spell at City did you build a good relationship with and was there any that was perhaps not so good ?

I got on well with everyone and for those who know me will I’m sure tell you that if I had an opinion then I wasn’t afraid to voice it and expected the same level performance wise as I was prepared to give from my team-mates.

24. How does Mick McCarthy look back on his time at City and how was the relationship with supporters then and now ?

I loved my time at City, It was a really big move for us, my first move, I’d been at Barnsley from age 18-24 playing nearly 300 games including cup fixtures so it was a big move, I loved living in Wimslow, every aspect of my time in Manchester and at City was fabulous expect getting relegated in the end, that last season was a real tough one, not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just loved playing and especially at Maine Road. I had a great relationship with the fans, especially now from the ones old enough to remember me and whenever I go back I’m always greatly received but of course it’s a different club now to the Manchester City I played, it’s just not the same so I’m defiantly one of the old brigade.

25. What’s your view of the modern day City and which player from today’s City side would Mick McCarthy pay money to watch ?
They are all amazing but Kevin De Bruyne is sensational although there’s lots of them, I saw him come on as a sub in a game and completely change it within minutes, he’s fabulous, the energy he has and the way he uses the ball is just top top draw.

26. So what does the future hold for Mick McCarthy in football ?

Well I’ve just left a job and there’s no way I’m leaving football as I want to get back in but who knows when that will be but of course we need to get back to normality first and then football will follow but one thing is for sure in football, jobs will come up and I feel I’m experienced enough and ready to work.

Mick, It's been an a pleasure as always talking to you and hearing your memories.

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