Mike Summerbee

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Mike Summerbee
Personal information
Date of birth (1942-12-15) 15 December 1942 (age 73)
Place of birth Preston, England
Playing position Right-Winger/Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1959–1965 Swindon Town 218 (39)
1965–1975 Manchester City 357 (47)
1975–1976 Burnley 51 (0)
1976 Blackpool 3 (0)
1976–1979 Stockport County 87 (6)
1980 Mossley 0 (0)
Total 716 (92)
National team
1968–1972 England 8 (1)
Teams managed
1978–1979 Stockport County (Player-manager)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Mike Summerbee (born 15 December 1942) is an English former footballer, who played in the successful Manchester City side of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Raised in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, he attended Naunton Park Secondary Modern School where he was influenced by sports teacher, Arnold Wills, with whom he was publicly reunited 50 years later when Summerbee was Guest of Honour at the 150th anniversary celebrations of Cheltenham YMCA, to which both had belonged in their youth. Summerbee made his league debut playing for Swindon Town in 1959 at the age of 16. He made more than 200 appearances for the Wiltshire club, scoring 38 goals. In 1965 Manchester City manager Joe Mercer signed Summerbee for a fee of £35,000. In his first Manchester City season Summerbee started every single match, the only Manchester City player to do so that season.

Playing on the right wing, Summerbee was one of the most influential players in the Manchester City side which won four trophies in three seasons from 1968–70. Something of a practical joker, Summerbee (or "Buzzer" as teammates nicknamed him) was also known for a fiery temperament, a trait described by teammate Francis Lee as "retaliating first". Summerbee left Manchester City in June 1975, moving to Burnley, for a £25,000 fee, after making more than 400 appearances for City.

Summerbee signed for Blackpool on Christmas Eve 1976. The transfer had been the Blackpool chairman's idea, not that of manager Allan Brown. Summerbee later admitted that he should not have joined the club.[1] He made just three League appearances for the Seasiders.[1]

Over a five-year period, which encompassed the 1970 World Cup Summerbee played for England eight times, making his debut against Scotland on 24 February 1968.

Summerbee ended his footballing career at Stockport County, where he was player-manager in the 1978–79 season. In 1980 he returned to the game for a single match, playing for non-League Mossley in their single goal FA Cup defeat of Crewe Alexandra.

Off the pitch, Summerbee has been involved with a number a business ventures with varying degrees of success, including a period where he co-owned a menswear business with George Best.[2] Summerbee is now the Club Ambassador for Manchester City.[3]

Summerbee also starred in the cult film Escape to Victory alongside Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pelé.[4][5]

He also featured in a BBC westcountry documentary 'Six days to Saturday' about Swindon Town in 1963 and a 'Nationwide' series 'Saturday Heroes' about Manchester City.

Summerbee's son, Nicky, was also a professional footballer,[5] who followed in his father's footsteps by playing for both Swindon Town and Manchester City before joining Sunderland. His father, George, and uncle, Gordon, were both lower-division players[5] whose careers were affected by the outbreak of war. Colin Shindler described the contrasting fortunes of the three generations in Fathers, Sons and Football.

Honours won[edit]

As a player[edit]

Manchester City F.C.

  • Football League Second Division champions: 1965–1966
  • Football League First Division champions: 1967–1968
  • FA Cup winners: 1969
  • Football League Cup winners: 1970
  • European Cup Winners' Cup winners: 1970
  • FA Charity Shield winners: 1968, 1972


  1. ^ a b Gillatt, Peter (30 November 2009). Blackpool FC On This Day: History, Facts and Figures from Every Day of the Year. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-905411-50-2. 
  2. ^ "Model Calum Best following in fashion footsteps of his Manchester United legend dad". Manchester Evening News. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Mike Summerbee, Club Ambassador". mcfc.co.uk. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Escape To Victory, again!". Manchester Evening News. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Small Talk: Mike Summerbee". Manchester Evening News. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2015.