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Brian Kidd feeling 'lucky' to be part of Manchester derby

11 Feb 2011 08:56:46

Brian Kidd feeling 'lucky' to be part of Manchester derby

Brian Kidd will take part in his 50th Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Saturday. To use his terminology, he has been involved 38 times with the 'reds' and on 11 occasions with the 'blues'. At 61, Kidd is a European Cup winner, an England international and a cancer survivor. Perspective comes naturally to the Manchester City assistant manager, and at the club's training ground he let his mind drift back 45 years to a time when he would have given all he had to play in just one of his home city's showpiece games. Blues brothers: Kidd (top right) celebrates with Mancini 'We used to love cleaning the boots when we were trainees at United,' said Kidd. 'I would sit there dreaming. 'If I had the Lawman's (Denis Law's) boots in my hand I would just think that one day I could do what he did and play in the derby. 'On a Friday we would clean boots for Denis, George Best and Bobby Charlton and also Shay Brennan, Nobby Stiles, Tony Dunne and Bill Foulkes. 'Of course, it inspired us.' Today Kidd lives in a different world, where young players don't clean boots and one senior City pro simply parks his sports car in front of the training ground reception every day rather than drive it round the corner to his allocated space. One is tempted to wonder what Kidd makes of it all. But if it does vex him it doesn't show. Back at the sharp end of a profession that has consumed him for more than four decades, Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant returns to Old Trafford feeling a City victory could turn the Barclays Premier League season around. 'I am lucky and feel privileged still to be doing this,' he said. 'I think this could be a defining weekend in the Premier League. There are some great games. People in the top half will be looking at our game to see if anybody is going to drop points. Two halves: Kidd in his playing days at City (left) and United (right) 'So we will be trying to win. It's a work in progress here at City. It does take time. 'At the beginning of the season, it was about getting a top-four place. But I don't think anyone could foresee the season panning out as it has. 'So there is a great chance for anybody. It is tantalising.' Kidd's conversation is smattered with references to the boss and gaffer. He refers to both Ferguson and City manager Roberto Mancini in the same way. Given Ferguson's criticism of him after he left Old Trafford to take the manager's job at Blackburn in 1998, Kidd's generosity towards his old boss is both commendable and surprising. In his autobiography, Ferguson accused Kidd of complaining to the United board behind his back and of being insecure. 'I will always appreciate what he's done for me,' said Kidd. 'You can't buy those memories. 'I have no regrets about leaving. My conscience is clear. Other people might feel differently.' Kidd was raised in the Manchester suburb of Collyhurst. In reference to his battle against prostate cancer in the mid-1990s, he said: 'You get on with it, don't you? Where I was born you just bite on your gum shield and carry on.' With a father who was a City fan and brothers who follow United, Kidd, more than most, understands the unique emotions and demands of derby day in Manchester. He played a part in spotting, nurturing and developing the young Paul Scholes, for example. 'He was outstanding, unbelievable,' said Kidd. These days, however, his heart bleeds blue and in Mancini he sees a coach with a few things in common with the guy across town. 'I can see traits of Sir Alex in him because he's not afraid. He's passionate and he loves football,' he said. 'He is focused and works so hard on the training ground, but he will also make big decisions - just like Sir Alex will.' City will rely heavily on captain Carlos Tevez as the forward returns to a club where he never really hit the heights he has reached at Eastlands. Kidd said: 'He is like a street footballer, like a throwback. Players many years ago when they rang that bell . . . they just went out and played. That's what he is like.' Certainly Tevez will be not be daunted by what lies in store. Neither will Kidd. He has won many things in the game, but a City trophy after 35 years would be something else. 'In some small way . . . you can't dream about it,' he said. 'I'm so proud and humble to have been associated with my two local clubs. It's fantastic.'  Manchester legend Denis Law: It's the 60s all over again with City challenging United to be kings of England Manchester City race up Europe's rich list, but United remain wealthiestSir Alex should sign my mate Hulk, says Man United midfielder Anderson  Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes, George Best, Brian Kidd, Denis Law, Carlos Tevez, Roberto Mancini Places: Manchester, United Kingdom


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