||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
|Full name||Nicholas Summerbee|
|Date of birth||26 August 1971|
|Place of birth||Altrincham, England|
|2005||→ Swindon Town (loan)||1||(0)|
|2005||→ Tranmere Rovers (loan)||6||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
He notably played in the Premier League for Swindon Town, Manchester City and Sunderland, as well as in the Football League for Bolton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Bradford City and Tranmere Rovers before finishing his career with Non-league Tamworth. He was capped by both the England U21 and England B sides.
Born in Altrincham, he had trials at Manchester United, Leicester City, and Norwich City, before joining Swindon Town; where his father, former England international Mike Summerbee, had connections. Summerbee played 112 games in seven years for the Robins, scoring six goals before Manchester City paid £1.3million for his services.
Summerbee joined Manchester City in 1994. His father Mike had become a household name at the club being part of the successful City team of the late 1960s and early 1970s and also being part of the star trio of Mike Summerbee, Francis Lee and Colin Bell. Nicky joined the team at a time when manager Brian Horton also brought in Peter Beagrie, Uwe Rosler and Paul Walsh. In his first season Manchester City finished towards the bottom end of the Premiership table. Then chairman Francis Lee replaced manager Brian Horton with Alan Ball who failed to manage the team to increased success. The team were relegated to the first division. In 1997, Summerbee joined Sunderland in a £1million-rated swap deal involving Craig Russell.
Summerbee made his Sunderland debut on 15 November 1997, against Portsmouth at Fratton Park, as a second half substitute for Martin Smith. With trademark un-tucked shirt and orange edged boots, Summerbee capped his debut by notching the final goal in a 4–1 victory, scoring with a satisfying low drive. Nicky played out the rest of the season on the right hand side of midfield and enjoyed some of the finest moments of his career after Sunderland won promotion to the Premiership in 1999.
During that season, an injured Summerbee enjoyed a well-publicised liaison with TV presenter, Melanie Sykes. However, it came at a cost. Summerbee lost his place in the team following his capital night out with Mel and a 4–1 defeat at Arsenal. Whilst he returned after one match, Nicky was substituted in both of his next two games and was relegated to the bench for the next four. He returned triumphantly to the starting eleven by scoring his first goal of the season against Everton. Sadly, it turned out to be his last as a Sunderland player. After this goal, Summerbee was in and out of the side. He finished the season on a high note though, starting in – and starring in – the final three games.
Summerbee was left in the wilderness by boss Peter Reid the following season. He sat on the sidelines for six months until he was given a game for the reserves against Newcastle United. Summerbee was clearly unfit and unhappy, he lashed out at Newcastle United defender Andy Griffin and was immediately substituted before he could be sent off.
Free transfers and quick stays at the likes of Bolton Wanderers (where he scored once against Crystal Palace), Leicester City and Nottingham Forest were followed by a two and a half year stay at Bradford City, which included loan spells at Swindon Town and Tranmere Rovers.
Since retirement Summerbee has worked as a Radio co-commentator for BBC Radio Five, as well as being a local pundit for Manchester City games.
- Football League Division 1 winner: 1998–99
- Sunderland Solid Gold XI