Manchester City Football Club is regarded as a superpower in English and European football, largely down to heavy investment and world-class coaching. Some superstars have represented the Citizens in recent years.
However, City has always had loyal players down the years, who at times served the club for several years or, in some cases, more than a decade. Here are the ten players who have made the most appearances for the men from Manchester:
Alan Oakes (680 appearances from 1959–1976)
The midfielder came through the club’s youth system and cleaned the boots of the now legendary German goalkeeper Bert Trautman. He made his City debut in November 1959 and established himself as a regular in the Citizen’s first team.
Oakes enjoyed a trophy-laden playing career, as during his time with City, he won both the First and Second Division titles and the League Cup twice, the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Oakes’s service to Manchester City was recognised in 2005 when the midfielder was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.
Joe Corrigan (603 appearances from 1967–1983)
Like Oakes, Corrigan was a homegrown talent who joined the club as a schoolboy in 1966 and made his first-team debut in 1967. Corrigan served the club for 16 years, helping his team to win both the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and League Cup in 1970 and also the latter six years later.
On an individual basis, Corrigan won Manchester City Player of the Year on three occasions, a record that only long-serving defender Richard Dunne can match.
At International level, Corrigan made nine appearances for England and was part of the Three Lions squad for the 1982 World Cup.
Mike Doyle (540 appearances from 1967–1978)
The versatile Doyle joined Manchester City as a youth player in 1962. He made his debut in the club’s first team in 1965 against Cardiff. Doyle helped City to promotion to the First Division in season 1965/66.
He scored in the Citizens’ 1970 League Cup final win over West Brom while also captaining the team to victory in the 1976 final of the same competition. Doyle also won the First Division title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969 and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.
Doyle’s stellar performances were recognised in 1971 and 1974, as he was named Manchester City Player of the Year.
Bert Trautmann (545 appearances from 1949–1964)
The German goalkeeper’s story is the stuff of legend and has even been made into a 2018 movie about his life called ‘The Keeper’. Trautmann was a paratrooper during the Second World War and was captured by the British army. He was a prisoner of war in Lancashire and, on his release in 1948, decided to join St. Helens Town after refusing to be repatriated.
Manchester City signed the goalkeeper in 1949, which led to major protests. However, his commitment and loyalty won over the majority of his critics. His most famous moment came in the 1956 FA Cup final against Birmingham City.
Trautmann sustained a broken neck with 17 minutes remaining in the clash, yet continued to play and helped his team to a 3-1 victory. The seriousness of his injury was not realised until after the game. His performance and bravery in the face of personal injury no doubt helped him win the 1956 FWA Footballer of the Year award.
The FA Cup proved to be the only piece of silverware that Trautmann would win in his long City career. However, in 2005, the Bremen-born ‘keeper was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.
Colin Bell (501 appearances from 1966–1979 )
Bell is one of City’s greatest-ever players. The midfielder arrived at City in 1966 from Bury for £45,000 and went on to become a club legend. He helped the Citizens win promotion back to the First Division in season 1965/66. The following season he finished as his team’s top goalscorer with 14 goals.
Bell played a crucial role in the Citizens winning the First Division title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969, as well as a double of the League Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in season 1970. His final trophy with City was in 1976 when the men from Manchester won the League Cup for a second during his time with the club.
Despite being a midfielder, Bell is fourth on the list of Manchester City’s all-time goalscorers. Bell’s other accolades were winning the Manchester City Player of the Year award in 1968 while also appearing in the First Division Team of the Year in season 1974/75.
Eric Brook (493 appearances from 1928–1939)
The outside left joined Manchester City in 1928 from Barnsley for a fee of around £6,000, a deal that also saw Fred Tilson join the Citizens. Brooks had a habit of rooming the field to find space and was ahead of his time in that respect.
He participated in Manchester City’s first-ever English top-flight title win in 1937, as he was ever-present in the starting line-up. However, the title was not his first silverware with the Citizens, as three years earlier, he had been part of the City team that won the FA Cup for only the second time in their history.
Tommy Booth (491 appearances from 1968–1981)
The centre-half is another player who came through the club’s youth system, making his first-team debut in 1968. Booth went on to enjoy a highly successful career with the Citizens, with the highlights being winning the First Division, the FA Cup, the UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup and the League Cup on two occasions before leaving for Preston North End in 1981. Booth also managed the Lilywhites for a year before leaving the game.
Mike Summerbee (451 appearances from 1965–1975)
The winger moved to City in 1965 from Swindon Town for £35,000 and featured in every City game of his debut campaign. In his decade with City, Summerbee, nicknamed ‘Buzzer’ by his teammates, became a club icon.
He is considered an influential player in City’s successes in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Summerbee helped the club win the Second Division title and the First Division title in 1968 before also winning the FA Cup in 1969 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and League Cup in the following season.
Summerbee earned acclaim during his City career, picking up the Manchester City Player of the Year award in two straight seasons in 1972 and 1973. He was also inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2013 after being inducted into City’s version in 2004.
Mike’s son Nicky, would later go on to play for Manchester City, as well as his other former club Swindon Town.
Paul Power (445 appearances from 1975–1986)
The popular defender came through the City ranks and made 445 appearances in his Citizens career. During his time with the club, it was a case of near misses for the defender when it came to winning silverware. Power finished as a runner-up in the First Division in 1977 before being a beaten finalist in the 1981 FA Cup final. However, he did win silverware in 1976, when the Citizens won the League Cup.
The defender moved to Everton in 1986 and won the English First Division title with the Toffees in the first of his two seasons on Merseyside. Power later returned to Manchester City, working in the club’s academy.
David Silva (436 appearances from 2010–2020)
The Spaniard is a modern Manchester City and Premier League legend, having spent a trophy-laden decade with the Citizens. Silva joined the men from Manchester in 2010 from Valencia for an undisclosed fee. The attacking midfielder earned the moniker ‘Merlin’ due to the magic he produced on the ball.
The former Spain international played a crucial role in City’s most successful era under several bosses, including Pep Guardiola. During his City career, Silva won the Premier League four times, the League Cup five times and the FA Cup twice.
The former Los Che midfielder was not short of personal gongs either. He was named in the Premier League Team of the Year on three occasions while also being named Manchester City Player of the Year in 2017, having also won the players award in 2012.