A product of Newcastle United Boys but then later snubbed by the Magpies, Dennis Tueart began his professional career with Sunderland in August 1967. Seven years later he had written his name into Roker Park folklore as a Wembley winner with a Sunderland team that beat the then mighty Leeds United in the 1973 FA Cup final. But Tueart wanted a regular shot at the big time and his dream came true in March 1974 when he was sold to City in a player-exchange deal.
He arrived at Maine Road along with team-mate Mick Horswill from Sunderland in a deal worth £275,000, while Tony Towers went the other way. Dennis could not have had a greater baptism of fire with his Blues' debut coming in the drawn derby against United. Later that year the Reds were relegated. As a fast, direct winger, Tueart quickly established himself as a fans' favourite.
What the supporters loved was Tueart's ability to combine silky skills with aggression and commitment. Eighteen months after that first derby game, Tueart scored a brace in helping City defeat United and progress to the final of the League Cup. He was one of those rare wingers who could score goals, and spectacular ones at that. He netted 107 times in 259 games (2 spells) for City which is an admirable strike rate for a winger. Who can forget the sight of Tueart racing away from the halfway line, defenders in hot pursuit, calmly drawing the goalie and then slotting home, Notts County certainly can't! He was a hard man as well, no defender ever kicked him out of a game. Tueart springing to his feet and smacking the guilty defender in the mouth became part of Kippax folklore! Together with Peter Barnes, he formed one of the most exciting wing partnerships ever seen in Manchester, a joy to watch.
Of course he'll be forever remembered for that brilliant overhead kick at Wembley in the '76 League Cup final against Newcastle United which took the Cup to Maine Road. He agonised at scoring against the team he supported as a child but took some consolation in knowing he was the only Geordie on the pitch! He got 6 England caps which was derisory considering his talent. In 4 years he played 140 games and scored 59 goals for City, and was part of the last great era at Maine Road.
Towards the end of 1977 he felt a little disenchanted with the club, and was concerned he was not guaranteed a regular place in the team. Manchester United showed their interest in the England international but instead he decided to try his luck in the increasingly interesting US League. He joined New York Cosmos to cover the gap following Pelé's retirement the year before, and played with some of the best players around at that time, including Franz Beckenbauer. Dennis scored 10 goals in 20 games during his first season, and won both the NASL Championship and the Soccer Bowl for Cosmos. The Soccer Bowl was played at the Giants Stadium in New York, and over 74,000 attendees watched Dennis score twice to secure a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay. Other former City players doing their stuff well in the US were Rodney Marsh and Trevor Francis who both made the NASL All star team in 1978.
Dennis returned to Manchester City after two seasons in the US. He played under Malcolm Allison and John Bond, but injuries got the better of him during the period and he was never allowed a long run in the team. He didn't make the line-up for the 1981 FA Cup, but came on as a substitute in replay. Many wondered if this was his last game for the club, but surprisingly Bond decided to play Dennis as a midfielder starting 15 of the opening 18 matches of the 1981/82 season. He scored 9 goals and was experiencing the best run of his life. Then injury struck again when he snapped his Achilles on December 19th. He was sidelined for the rest of the season, and after City got relegated in 1983 he left for Stoke where he ended his playing days.
Dennis still lives in Manchester where he runs his own promotions company. He's to be seen every home game where he entertains his business clients in an executive box. He also does regular slots on local radio. He became a representative at the board of directors at the club during the Lee campaign, a position he is still posessing. The fans still love him, and will always remember him for the spectacular overhead kick in the 1976 final.
Stories by the fans
Event: 'Italia 90'.
My friend and I were fortunate enough to be given a free hospitality package by a well known courier company to the opening game of the of the World Cup in 1990 - Argentina Vs Cameroon. Argentina, the reigning champions, were expected to win easily !
We were traveling from Dubai, the package included flights, hotel, match tickets and airport transfers. Upon arrival at the chaotic Milan airport, nobody arrived to meet us so we made our own way to the 'Hotel Jolly' [actual name]. The then Yugoslav soccer team was staying at this hotel so security was pretty tight.
After checking in we decided to go straight to the bar. We were standing at the bar for about 20 minutes when standing in front me was Dennis. At first I thought I was pissed after 2 glasses Italian beer when he said ' Hi lads, going to the match ? I could hear you were speaking English'... we then started to explain from where we had started our journey , why etc.. I think when I told him I was a City fan he thought I was just being polite, until I started to talk him through every City match of the 1970's and 1980's ! Anyhow Dennis explained that he had set up a sports promotion company and had purchased the same corporate package for his clients, many of whom it seemed had no interest in football, but their wives fancied a few days in Milan !! Dennis joined us for several drinks, we talked a lot about City and New York Cosmos. Then it was time for dinner and Dennis went off with his clients... I was left top bore my friend all night with City stories.
Anyhow, next day we were waiting in reception for the limousine to take us to the game, waiting, waiting.. nothing. No chance for a taxi. Shit, we've come all this way from the Middle East and we're going to miss the game! By this time, Dennis's coach has arrived and he saw us standing waiting for our transport, by this time looking rather pissed off. Dennis then call's out 'Hey Bill, do want to come with us on our coach?' [by this time we're the best of mates on first name terms]. As we get on the coach he urges me to sit next to him so we can talk about football [and not about the shopping and sights of Milan that most of the other guests were discussing]. By this point I think I've died and gone to heaven, I mean here I am on a coach going to the opening game of the World Cup sitting and chatting to my hero about City. When we arrive to the San Siro, Dennis says 'lafter the game you'll never get any transport, why don't you come back on the coach with us'...er ..let me think about that Dennis.
Argentina 0 Cameroon 1 - great result for the non-neutrals like us.
So its back to Dennis's coach. 'Where can we drop you, Bill' he says. Well if its all right with you Dennis, we would like to go to the center of Milan - 'no problem' says Dennis. As we get off the coach in the Center of Milan, we exchange phone numbers and I said I would call when back in Manchester later that summer. It all seemed surreal.
When eventually I did return to Manchester, it was pissing down with rain and a long way from the San Siro and the sunshine in Milan. It seemed rather odd to be calling 'Dennis' and reminiscing about the day in Milan. So like in the movie - I never called.
To sum it up. What a great bloke. He had no need to go out of his way to help us, but did so at the possible expense of pissing off his clients. Unlike you hear so many times, the Hero really can be a Hero in real life.
And Dennis if you read this, thanks again.
Bill Hill. Singapore Blue.