Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Once a blue always a blue #3

Happy 31st birthday Nicky Weaver.

Nicky Weaver will always be remembered as the hero from the shoot-out against Gillingham, the man who completed the work of Kevin Horlock and Paul Dickov. With his saves from Paul Smith and Guy Butters he sent us back up into the second tier in what remains the greatest match in the history of the club. Naturally it was Weaver's finest moment for City but that doesn't mean it was the only part of his story here. In many ways he was the Joe Hart of his day, a promising English teenager recruited from an unfashionable lower league club, and like Hart he found himself quickly in the fray. He starred in both of the consecutive promotion seasons under Joe Royle - like Hart, making his way into the England U21s, and looked set to be a real star of the future. He held on as first choice as we were relegated under Royle and then promoted under Keegan, but the arrival of Peter Schmeichel in summer 2002 signalled that Weaver was no longer first choice. The presence of Schmeichel, David Seaman and David James as well as a series of knee injuries meant that he played just one game for City in the next four seasons before Stuart Pearce made him first choice for the dismal 2006/07 campaign. It was heartening to see him in goal again for City, but he could not maintain his place and in 2007 he left on a free transfer to Charlton Athletic. After a spell at Dundee United he is now back in the Premier League as back-up to Brian Jensen at Burnley.

Nicky Weaver MCFC 1998-2007 205 games.