Paul Dickov was Alan Ball's last signing for Manchester City, making the move to Maine Road from Arsenal. A trainee for Arsenal in the late 1980's, Dickov - an under-21 international for Scotland - managed to climb the ranks into the senior squad, making his Highbury debut for the first team against Southampton in March 1993. However, the presence of fellow strikers Ian Wright, Paul Merson and Kevin Campbell in the Arsenal forward line restricted Paul's chances to secure a permanent place in the side, and loan spells followed at Luton Town and Brighton.
The opportunity of first team football at Maine Road led to his departure from Highbury. Dickov was City's top scorer in an abysmal 1997/98 season's with 9 goals and went on to play an important role in City's two promotion campaigns. He scored the vital 95th minute equalizer against Gillingham in the play-off final, and also netted in the last game against Blackburn when City clinched promotion to the Premiership the following year. Paul was always a fans favorite and managed to claim his place in a difficult time for the club. When put on display he always paid his dues with hard work and high spirit. His combative approach resulted in Manchester City manager Joe Royle naming him "The Wasp", and later during his time at Leicester he was known as "The Pest". But when Kevin Keegan took over as manager in 2001 it became clear that he was only going to be 4th choice behind Wanchope, Goater and Huckerby. When struggling Leicester wanted his services to help them reclaim their Premiership position, he felt it was time to move on, and for the time being it was also a step up the league ladder.
Paul enjoyed his relationship with the fans. After joining Leicester Paul returned to Citys next home game against Sheffield Wednesday to pay his tribute to the fans that stood by him during his 6 years with City. However Paul's nature is that of a battler and he gives everything for the team he plays for. That was also the case when City was the opponent. He fell out with the City fans after scoring a penalty goal against his old team while at Leicester. It was not the fact that he scored, but the way he celebrated his goal. To the Blue fans it was hard to see their former hero enthusiastically celebrate a goal against his former team.
After Leicester he spent two successful years with neighbours Blackburn Rovers before making the shock decision to turn down a new contract with Rovers and move back to Manchester City. Stuart Pearce was looking for the battling striker to complement Georgios Samaras and Bernardo Corradi up front and act as cover for the injury prune Darius Vassell. Speaking on the reasons for him returning to City Paul revealed that his love for the club had never gone, and when the opportunity came to follow his heart he really had no option. He also expressed that his role would not only be as a player, but also as a motivator to the younger players at the club.
Sadly during the dire 2006-07 season Paul didn't manage to find the net once in 18 games. But even though his last spell with the club should prove to be less fruitful than the first. Paul will forever be remembered for his heroics and the late equalizer that dragged City out of the 2nd Division swamp. We owe him a lot, and history will show that he in his best moments were one of the most important players that wore a blue shirt during the difficult period of the 90ies.