Fierce club rivalry is part and parcel of football today – but so should respect and sheer human decency. Which is why this Manchester United site wants to pay tribute to a Manchester City legend who has just lost his battle for life. Former City forward Neil Young, scorer of the only goal in the 1969 FA Cup Final against Leicester City, has died at the age of 66. Under the guidance of managers Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison, Young was key to City’s most successful era. He was the club’s top scorer as City won the old First Division title in 1968 and found the net in the European Cup Winners’ Cup victory of 1970.
Young joined City in 1959 and scored 107 goals in 412 matches for the club. Raised in Fallowfield, Young supported City as a boy and signed as an apprentice upon leaving school. His 19 goals in the 1967-68 season, including two in a 4-3 win over Newcastle on the final day, were crucial as City finished two points clear of city rivals Manchester United to be crowned champions – the last time they won the title.
Despite his success with City however, Young never followed team mates Francis Lee, Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee into the England team. After 13 years with the club and with his first team chances dwindling, he signed for Preston in 1972 playing at Deepdale for two seasons before retiring after a brief spell with Rochdale.
“He will be sadly missed by his wife Carmen, family, friends and everyone connected with Manchester City” read a statement on City’s website. The current Manchester City team paid tribute to Young who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year ahead of January’s FA Cup tie away Leicester.
The players donned replicas of the shirt worn in the 1969 FA Cup final while the visiting fans, many of whom wore red and black scarves, turned their backs on the action in the 24th minute – the time of Young’s FA Cup winning goal.
Website posters like coleusman were moved to write on BBC – 606 “Man United fan here. Sad day, lovely elegant player and underrated. You could mark Lee, Summerbee and Bell out of it sometimes and Neil would simply put the winning goal in with the minimum of fuss. RIP Neil, now you’ll be playing WITH Bestie up there which should be fun – if Big Mal’s keeping the dolly birds occupied for him, that is!
Or as Goidelic wrote “United fan in peace. Sad to hear about Nelly there are some things that rise above football rivalry and this is such a case. Nelly may you rest in peace”
And from a United Mum “R.I.P Neil, what a lovely man! My 12 yr old Utd fan son did training with Neil at his school and Neil always had a positive comment for all the kids. He will be sadly missed not only for his professional football days but for the wonderful work he did afterwards”
Rest In Peace Neill Young, your life was a credit to football, the city of Manchester and to the Manchester City football club – and that comes from a committed Manchester United fan. If anyone objects to this tribute to a wonderful footballer and a fine human being then I’m sorry, TOUGH LUCK. Contrary to what former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once famously said – and I foolishly wanted to believe in my younger days, trust me, football IS NOT more important than life and death.
Should United fans ONLY show respect for former club legends?
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