WIth all the build up to the Carabao Cup Final, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to talk about Shaun Goater. Celebrating his 48th birthday today, the Bermuda born striker scored over 100 goals for the Blues, and is a club legend.
Although he made it to the Premier League, and scored a boat load of goals, his career in England didn’t start off that well. While trials at Manchester United did result in a contract offer, Goater didn’t break into the first team.
Suffering from home-sickness, and signing to Rotherham, it wasn’t clear if the young man would see himself staying too long in England. He admitted afterwards that it did take him a couple of years to get used to English life.
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He would eventually spend several seasons at Rotherham before being told his future probably was elsewhere. An altercation with manager Archie Gemmil, the catalyst for that decision. So, in the summer of 1996, Goater received offers from Spain and Korea.
Sometimes fate plays a hand, and when you look back it becomes clear. Shaun could very well have jumped at either chance offered, but had only recently got married, and so decided to stay in England. Two years later, with City trying to save themselves from relegation, Joe Royle turned to that proven lower league goal scorer. The rest, as they say, is history.
Goater was City’s top goal scorer in the third tier, and then in the second tier the following season. Promotion to the Premiership saw his home country give him freedom of the island, and declare June 21st ‘Shaun Goater Day”.
In the Premier League though his opportunities were scarce. Former World Player of the year, George Weah and Paulo Wanchope joined. That, and injury, saw Shaun sidelined for most of the season, scoring six goals and only playing half the League games. City were relegated,
City were straight back up though, 28 goals from Shaun made him the club’s top scorer for the season under management of Kevin Keegan. The following season would be his second for City in the Premier League, and also his last.
We will be left with numerous memories of ‘the Goat’ but I think the majority share the same one. His 99th and 100th goal for City came in a Maine Road derby. The side who rejected him early on were now on the end of his relentless appetite. So ravenous he was on that day, een Gary Nevile gave him a cheeky little feed.