The Best Players to Wear Each Shirt Number at Manchester City

The Best Players to Wear Each Shirt Number at Manchester City
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​Such is the success of the current Manchester City side, it is easy to forget that triumph has not been the norm for the blue side of Manchester. 

Despite a succession of trophies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the club experienced a major decline for the next 40 odd years, much to to the joy of their city neighbours Manchester United. 

However, the new Sheikh Mansour era has seen the revitalisation of the blues, with four Premier League title victories in the last ten years placing the club back at the top of European football. 

Below are the best players – past and present – to have worn number 1-11 for the club… 

#1 – Bert Trautmann

Bert Trautmann

The German goalkeeper remains one of the most iconic players in his position of all time.  

In the 1956 FA Cup final, the City keeper suffered a serious injury – later revealed to be a broken neck – yet continued to play on for the remaining 17 minutes as his team held on for a 3-1 victory. 

Whilst a a truly remarkable story, the former World War II soldier must also be remembered for his goalkeeping ability. The heroic figure amassed an impressive 504 appearances for the club in a 15 year career, before leaving for Wellington Town in 1964. 

Honourable Mention(s): Joe Corrigan, Joe Hart

#2 – Mike Doyle

Despite this not being his most well known shirt number, the versatile hardman donned the number two jersey on a number of occasions. 

With a 13 year spell at the club between 1965-78, the former England international was part of perhaps the greatest period in the club’s history. 

Doyle helped his side to a plethora of trophies, including the FA Cup, two League Cups, the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup and the First Division Title, making over 400 appearances in the meantime. 

Honourable Mention(s): Kyle Walker

#3 – Glyn Pardoe

Colin Bell

Another member of that hugely successful period, full-back Pardoe – the youngest man to ever start for the club – is rightly deserving of his place in this side. 

The Englishman emerged as a consistent performer at left-back despite being right-footed, and made the position his own until a severe injury curtailed his career.

Interestingly his daughter is married to the son of Mike Doyle, with their grandson Tommy Doyle now a part of the Manchester City squad.

Honourable Mention: Paul Power

#4 Vincent Kompany 


“Where do you want your statue, Vincent Kompany?”

Those iconic words by Gary Neville – after Kompany’s game winning rocket into the top corner against Leicester last season – epitomise the greatness of the Citizens’ former captain. Not only did that glorious goal continue the charge to the title, it also reaffirmed the Belgian’s legendary status at the Etihad. 

His eleven-year stay at the club saw him hold aloft four Premier League titles, four League Cups and two FA Cups and amass 265 league appearances for the Blues. 

He is sorely missed in Pep Guardiola’s side. 

Honourable Mention: Tommy Booth

#5 – Pablo Zabaleta


The greatest Premier League right-back of all time?

Whilst Gary Neville and Branislav Ivanovic may something to say about that, there is no denying the consistent brilliance of the the Argentine defender. 

With 333 appearances for the club in all competitions, the current West Ham man is another with legendary status at the club. 

Honourable Mention: George Heslop

#6 – Alan Oakes

Alan Oakes,Tony Book

As City’s all time appearance holder, the midfielder must earn a place in this list.

His 17-year spell at the club aligned with perhaps the greatest period in the club’s history, and assured his place as an all time great. 

With 680 club appearances, he is unlikely to be overtaken anytime soon. 

Honourable Mention: Joleon Lescott

#7 – Raheem Sterling


Despite a rocky start to his City career, the England superstar has emerged into the focal point of Guardiola’s devastating attack. 

The arrival of the former Barcelona manager has seen Sterling’s goal output increase dramatically for both club and country. 

With 46 Premier League goals since the start of the 2017/18 season, the former Liverpool man is now rightly regarded as one of the hottest talents in world football. 

Honourable Mention: Francis Lee

#8 – Colin Bell

Colin Bell

The Blues legend is perhaps one of the greatest to have ever played for the club and certainly its greatest number eight. 

As part of a trio with Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee, the English midfielder was integral to the success of the late 60s and early 70s.

The King of the Kippax is held in such high regard at the club that he even has a stand named after him at the Etihad. 

Honourable Mention: Shaun Wright-Phillips

#9 – Mike Summerbee 

Arthur Mann,Mike Summerbee

Buzzer – as he was known to his team mates – is another true icon on the blue side of Manchester. 

Despite only receiving eight caps for his country, the Englishman managed to achieve over 400 club appearances in his ten-year spell at the club. 

He also went on to play a role in the 1981 film Escape to Victory alongside the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Pele. A classic. 

#10 – Sergio Aguero



The greatest moment in Premier League history and the most enthralling end to a season in recent times – besides Arsenal’s defeat of Liverpool in 1989 – quickly made Aguero a City legend. 

Few, however, could have predicted the career the Argentine striker would go on to have. 

The former Atletico Madrid man is now the record holder for the most hat-tricks in the Premier League as well as the all-time top goalscorer for the club. 

Let’s hope he stays on these shores for a little while longer…

Honourable Mention: Shaun Goater

#11 – Aleksandar Kolarov


As this list reaches its climax, there are few notable players to have held the number eleven jersey. 

However, despite not being a club legend perhaps, there is no doubting the quality that the Serbian full-back possessed while at the club.

Few defenders in Premier League history have had the attacking talent the current Roma man had, as he served as a constant outlet on the left side of the pitch. 

He was also a bit of a hardman as well.

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