VIDEO: Manchester City's League Cup hero Tueart gets a taste for new glories

19 January 2010 02:19
Dennis Tueart didn't realise just what beating Manchester United meant to supporters of their city rivals until he walked into a restaurant late on the night of November 12, 1975.

'We beat United 4-0 at Maine Road in the League Cup,' recalled Tueart this week. 'We watched the highlights on Sportsnight then we headed to a restaurant in Manchester called C'est la Vie.

'The owner was a big Manchester City fan and when I walked in that night I got a standing ovation. Every single person stood up.

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'That was when I finally realised what beating the local rivals really meant. It was remarkable.'

Luckily for City fans, footage of that game is available on YouTube.Sadly, of course, the competition - which ended with a 2-1 win overNewcastle in the final - was the last one that ended in a trophy forthe team from the blue half of Manchester.

This season Roberto Mancini's side aim to put that right. They facetheir old foes in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg at Eastlandstonight and hope that when they head west to Old Trafford next weekthey are part way to tearing down the banner at the Stretford End whichreminds them it is 34 years since they won anything.

Tueart, a director until recent years and a hugely popular forwardin two spells in the 1970s and 1980s, will be present in his company'sprivate box tonight, merely hoping that City can find something of thespirit that turned United over on that night all those years ago. 

'I scored the first goal after 35 seconds,' said Tueart. 'It's the fastest ever derby goal and we never looked back.

'We put in a great team performance. Asa Hartford was outstanding,Dave Watson at the back was outstanding, and four or five others hitthe heights, too.

'Poor old Paddy Roche didn't have a great night in the United goal and it turned out to be quite an emphatic victory for us.

'We were three-up at half-time and had really gone for the jugular.It was a superb night in a terrific atmosphere under lights. They weregreat occasions at Maine Road for us.

'United had a quality side back then and most of them played thatnight. It wasn't like now when people like to chop and change. 'Itmeant a lot back then ukand I still think it means a lot now.'

Standing ovation: City's League Cup hero Dennis Tueart

A look at the records underlines Tueart's point. City fielded a sidethat included players like Joe Royle, Tommy Booth, Colin Bell and PeterBarnes while United's team included Martin Buchan, Steve Coppell andLou Macari.

United's forward Macari recalled: 'It was only my second derby, Ithink. It was a bad night, a bad performance and a bad result. None ofus left the house for days afterwards.It was shocking.'

United have enjoyed many glories since. In this competition alonethey have been to the final seven times,winning on three occasions.

For City, success has been harder to come by and even the memoriesof the victory in 1975 are tainted. It was also the night that legendBell suffered the knee injury which ended his career.

'I remember his knee swelling up like a balloon,' said City centraldefender Booth. 'But we didn't know how bad it was until much later.'

Bell, a midfielder who represented England 48 times, did play againfor City but retired in 1979. In truth, he was never the same player.

'That injury spelt the end of that team,' recalled Tueart. 'He wasnever replaced as he should have been, and it meant that the team neverreally realised their potential. After we won the League Cup we didn'treally push on and losing Colin was one of the reasons for that. Iremember to this day how it happened.

'I was in the centre circle and I played the ball out to the right.Colin was great for me as he used to make those runs down that side.

Enlarge  'I think on this occasion he just touched it too far ahead ofhimself and Martin Buchan caught him as he came in to tackle. It was anaccident but it had a terrible effect.'

Bell is expected to be present tonight, and Tueart said: 'I thinkthis United team hold no fears for City. I am not sure what changes SirAlex can make that will hurt us. Mancini has 18 years' experience inItalian football and has been a fighter all his career. He will accept the responsibility - I love that.

'You need to have strong people in these positions. I am delightedthat Brian Kidd is in there with him. You need people who understandthe nature of the club and the city. You have to understand the culture.

'I think we will perhaps need a 1-0 lead from the first leg. Our manager would be happy with that. He is Italian after all.'

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Source: Daily_Mail