Shaggy-haired Scouser who insists that like fine wine he's getting better with age. Ian made his 200th League appearance at Bolton in November 1995. He has played in all four divisions, including two spells under Harry Redknapp, initially at Bournemouth and later with West Ham. Released by Howard Kendall after making just one substitute appearance for Everton, 'Bish' spent five years in the lower leagues, before the cash-strapped Redknapp reluctantly allowed him to move from the south coast to Manchester City for £465,000 in August 1989. Despite quickly establishing himself as a Maine Road favourite, and even scoring a goal when City trashed United 5-1, four months after his arrival, Bishop - along with Trevor Morley - found himself Upton Park bound as unsettled Mark Ward headed North in a surprise £1 million swap deal.
After struggeling to get into the side at Upton Park, Ian decided to accept an offer from Joe Royle, and return to Manchester City in March 1998. By now he was in his 33rd year, and not ready to spend more time on the bench. This time he arrived on a free transfer, but the audience at Maine Road still remember his abilities, and look forward to see him doing his tricks for the Manchester club again.
After Citys promotion to the Premier League Bishop was not able to maintain a regular place in the team. Joe Royle lined up a more workhorse midfield with the Haaland, Jeff Whitley and Wiekens taking up the places. During the campaign Bishop was approached to play football overseas and finally decided to join Miami Fusion in the US league.
Stories by the fans
Event: 'USA 2001'.
On reading the letter about Bish in the US, I thought I would share my experience with you. Myself and some friends are currently coaching football in the US. We were in a place called Columbus and it just so happened that one of the families we were staying with had got tickets for the Columbus Crew game against the Fusion.
So we arrived at the game and got chatting to this grounds steward. He was a good guy and he will pop up later in this story. We sat down just to find out that Bish was on the bench. Fusion went one nil up but then due to injury of another player Bish had to come on. His first piece of action resulted in a yellow card!!! "Very English like play" I told my American friends.
Well the Fusion ended up losing 2-1, but we figured that as we were there we should go and meet the man himself. This bit you may not believe but I promise it really happened. We asked our friend (the steward) to see if Bish would come out for a pic, so he rushed about a bit and told us to wait by the players exit. Whilst we were waiting myself and my friend noticed these two girls kept staring at us, they must have been about 12/13 years old, then one of them started pushing her friend towards my mate. I thought they fancied him or something, turned out though that they thought he was one of the players and they were in fact asking him for his autograph, I was in tears it was so funny. So he took her programme and signed it!!!
Sorry back to meeting Bish, after that incident Ian Bishop finally came out. We chatted to him for about ten mins, had a photo, he signed this little ball that I had caught during the half time break, he signed it "City Til' I Die, Ian Bishop" he told me that that was a true (about himself), and then wished me all the bet for the rest of my stay in the country. So anyway that was my story about how I met Ian Bishop, and as far as MLS games go it was actually a really good game!!!Adrian Penrose