One of the most popular City players of all time, Mike Summerbee was born in Preston but grew up and learned his football in the West Country. The son of another former player, George, young Mike took his first steps on a magnificent footballing career in the non-League colours of Cheltenham. As a 17 year-old he then joined Swindon Town in the Third Division.
Mike made over 200 appearances before moving from Swindon to Manchester City in 1965 for a bargain £35,000. He was a tenacious winger, who also made a number of appearances at Centre Forward. The crowds were delighted with the stylish Summerbee whose league debut against Middlesbrough was on August 21st 1965. Mike's name first appeared on the score sheets when the Blues secured a consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat by Birmingham on December the same year.
As a player his sheer presence created havoc in opposing defences, and many chances for his colleagues. Joe Mercer once said about Mike: "Mike is the bravest player with his back to the game I have ever seen. He is strong when he is going past them. When he is buzzing he takes them all apart. He is very positive and quite a character." The swinging sixties scene in Manchester saw Mike and United's George Best making quite an impression off the field as well as on it.
He went on to make a positive contribution to City's success scoring 67 goals between 1965 and 1975 (all competitions). In the mid-1960s England Coach Sir Alf Ramsey was looking closely at City personnel, and he eventually chose seven Maine Road players to represent England. The first to recieve this honour was Mike Summerbee w1hose initial England outing was in an under-23 game with Turkey. Together with Colin Bell and Francis Lee he represented England in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The fans wished them good luck with a dedicated song: "Hey ho, hey ho - we're off to Mexico - with Bell, and Lee, and Summerbee - hey ho, hey ho". He should have been a regular in the international side for many years. As it was he made his debut in 1968 against Scotland at the age of 25, and made his eight and final appearance five years later against the USSR.
Mike had over 400 appearances for City before moving to Burnley for £25,000 in 1975. He ended his footballing career as a player-manager in Stockport in 1979. For years he ran his own manufacturing of hand made shirts, where among his customers you'll find such names as Sylvester Stallone and David Bowie. Currently living in a 1800 parsonage in Cheshire. During the 1990s he helped Francis Lee launch his take-over of City, and following the successful completion of that returned to the club to assist the Commercial Department with sales of City's corporate facilities. In 1994 he had the fortune to see his own son Nicky follow in his footsteps and join City from Swindon as a professional football player. Mike also took part in the footballing war film "Escape to victory".