Hey-Ho, a City Hero!

English footballer Colin Bell of Manchester City FC, UK, August 1971. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
English footballer Colin Bell of Manchester City FC, UK, August 1971. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) /

What makes a City hero? When footballing heroes are discussed, there is a tendency to emphasise focus on aspects such as skill, number of trophies, outrageous talent and more recently, stats.

With data analysis becoming increasingly important in the modern era of football, it seems that a focus on statistics is a logical one. A quantitative, evidence-based way to sling players with good stats into the “football greats” debate.

However, in my opinion, quantitative data has its limitations. Do stats really tell the full story? The simple answer is no. And it’s Manchester City fans that set their own precedence for what makes a blue City hero.

Why is it that as City fans, whilst we do admire the players that are extremely gifted and contribute to record breaking stats, we have softer spots and deeper adoration for those that don’t always contribute in those ways?

City fans are to have an incredible number of gifted blues to choose from. Though, some of the fans most favourite players do not necessarily have the biggest impact statistically. The most goals, the most assists, the most clean sheets, the most games played.

Historically, we have adored the players with the most passion for the club, the players that work their socks off, the ones that give everything on the pitch, playing with their hearts and souls.

Players that are loyal and love the club as much as the fans do. The players that “bleed blue”.

Of course, those with high goal contributions – whether goals or assists, have helped massively in our recent success. It is something that we can enjoy and celebrate.

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Nevertheless, it is the players that display the qualities that we ourselves have as City fans. These are the players we connect with, because how they feel about the club we love, resonates with us.

They share the loyalty that we have had for our club through the dark days of relegations and trophyless eras.

Like us, the fans, these are the players that are the heart and soul of our club. The players that are fans themselves. And what is a club with no fans? City should know (WINK).

It is worth noting, despite what fans of other clubs say, that throughout the history of Manchester City, there have been many heroes and legends; all of different levels of talent, ability and skill. It has never been about superstars for this club (welcome Haaland).

The legends for City, or a City hero, are the ones that possess both quality and more importantly, the relatable characteristics of all blues. These are the ones that will be talked about 50 years from now. As Mike Summerbee, Francis Lee and Colin Bell are often fondly remembered and spoken of.

Consequently, Manchester City chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak has disclosed that there will be statues of the historic trio of legends at the Etihad Stadium, alongside those of more recent legends; David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero.

The additional statues will be in great “Kompany”, and proudly welcomed by blues of all generations.