A true blue legend, and one of the first inductees into the Manchester City Hall of Fame, left City for the NASL on this day in 1983. After making his debut against Blackpool in October 1967, it saw the end of a 17 year association with Manchester City.
Almost 500 appearances between the sticks for City, he is a double League Cup and single Cup Winners Cup winner. Leaving the blues at a time when Alex Williams, who will himself be stateside this weekend, was the only recognised keeper.
It wasn’t always certain that Corrigan would stay at City for as long as he actually did. In 1973 City signed Scottish keeper Keith MacRae and Corrigan’s future looked over at the Blues. However, he fought back and instead it was MacRae who lasted only a few years. Making only just over 50 appearances in a seven year stay.
Internationally he made ten appearances in an England shirt, and was on the losing side only once. Behind more glamerous selections as Gordon Banks, Ray Clemence and, later Peter Shilton, Joe was never likely to get a fair shot at the International stage.
Blues fans didn’t care though as Corrigan solidified himself in City hearts. From Helen ‘the Bell’ Turner who used to give him a sprig of lucky heather before each game. Turner was a flower seller who had a stand outside the Manchester Royal Infirmary and was a keen Charity Fund Raiser. She passed away over a decade ago now, but if you get footage of City games from the 1970’s and 80’s you may hear a bell ringing. That’s her.
Corrigan was too young to be fully involved in the title winning side of 1967/68 or the FA Cup winning side the following year. Maybe if he’d got into the starting lineup earlier, or those successes had come later, maybe he would have more medals to show for his time.
It is a testement to his ability though that, despite missing out on the FA Cup and League title he is still associated with the Bell, Lee and Summerbee era of success. Moving to the NASL, and the Seattle Sounders he made only a few appearances before returning to England.
Signing for Brighton, Joe also spent some loan periods at Norwich and Stoke City before retiring. After his retirement he became a goalkeeping coach at a number of clubs, before an altercation with Jimmy Bullard saw him fired from Hull City in 2011.
With a total of just over 600 appearances for the Blues, he is second only to Alan Oakes. And, in the current climate of player rotation, it seems as though those records will always belong to those two.