With Pep Guardiola taken charge of City, many of the club’s academy prospects are expected to join the first-team within the coming years. This isn’t the first time a crop of young talent has emerged at the club as in 1986, City’s FA Youth Cup winning side emerged from the youth team to play a significant role in first-team affairs for years to come. But where are they now?
Only twice have City been victorious in their pursuit of the FA Youth Cup with the title being claimed in 1986 and 2007. In recent years, a young flock of talent has come through and back-to-back finals over the past few years have given the club some fresh hope of success in their challenge to once again win the title every youth player craves.
Recently, we tried to find out what the team of ’86 achieved after the final and exactly where they are now!
Steve Crompton (Goalkeeper) – He never made a first-team appearance for City, and the success of 1986 became Crompton’s career highlight. He was released by City in 1987 and joined city-rivals Stockport County. Crompton made two appearances for County before being let go by the end of the season. He later played for Wycombe before playing non-league football Witton.
Steve Mills (Defender) – Mills’ career didn’t last very long after the Cup success. A persistent knee injury called time on his career much shorter than he anticipated as he spent his career playing non-league football. He now resides in South Africa where he owns his printing firm.
Andy Hinchcliffe (Defender) – Possibly had the best career of the entire squad. Hinchcliffe remained at City until Howard Kendall’s arrival in 1989 when he was sold to Everton after a fall-out with the manager. He went on to play for Sheffield Wednesday before retiring. He now represents Sky as a co-commentator as well as other media work.
Ian Brightwell (Defender) – Ian went on to play in the City’s first-team for twelve years following a victory and played over 400 times for the blues. Brightwell’s career went downhill after his departure from Maine Road. He moved to Premier League side Coventry City but failed to make a single league appearance for the club. He then played for Walsall, Stoke, Port Vale and Macclesfield before calling time on his career in 2006. He can regularly be seen before City home matches doing media work.
Steve Redmond (Defender) – Mr. Consistency during the cup success, Redmond went on to become City’s youngest ever captain. Eight years at City ended in 1992 after 235 appearances he then moved onto Oldham Athletic before wrapping up more than 200 games for the Os also. Redmond was apart of the deal that took Rick Holden to City in 1992 – a move the club still possibly regret. The former City captain now works in customer services and sales for Travis Perkins.
Andy Thackeray (Midfielder) – Once again, another player who failed to register a single appearance for City but Thackeray held a successful career in the lower leagues of English football. He played more than 500 times for clubs such as Newport, Wrexham, Rochdale, and Halifax. Thackeray retired in 2007 in Mossley before opening a sports clinic in Huddersfield.
David White (Midfielder) – A huge fan-favourite with the City faithful, White went on to become the club’s second highest scoring midfielder before departing the club in 1993. He left City in December 1993 to join Leeds United in exchange for David Rocastle. He was also City’s first goal-scorer in the Premier League era – one of ninety-six goals he scored for the club. White played for England once in 1992 and ended his career at Sheffield United. Since his retirement from the game, he became managing director of his recycling and waste management company “White Recycling.” The company went into receivership in 2015.
Paul Lake (Midfielder) – The most tragic of stories is the one of Paul Lake. A future England captain and City captain by the age of 21. Lake was the subject of a £10million bid from Liverpool which was rejected by City who was keen to hold onto the player. The midfielder was in the provisional England squad that reached the semi-finals of the 1990 World-Cup before being chopped by Bobby Robson. A career ending second knee injury in 1992 seen Lake forced to call time on his short career. Since retiring officially in 1996, Lake went on to become a physio at Bury before working regularly in the media. He went on to work for ‘City in the Community‘ before taking up a role with the FA.
Ian Scott (Midfielder) – Scott stayed at City until 1989 by which time he had made a total of 24 league appearances in just three years after the final. The midfielder moved to Stoke in 1989 but he’s career in the Midlands was not much better than his time in Manchester. A loan spells at Crewe before joining Bury in 1992. He left Bury a year later and retired from football.
Paul Moulden (Striker) – The pivotal point of City’s cup success in ’86, Moulden was already in the first-team at the point City were victorious in the final. He was the club’s top-scorer in 1988-1989 promotion season having scored 13 goals. He was sold that summer to Bournemouth as part of the deal that took Ian Bishop to Maine Road. One season in Bournemouth seen him move back up north to Oldham. His time at Oldham was ravaged by injuries, and he later joined Birmingham City before moving onto the non-league football. He then opened a fish ‘n chip shop in Bolton where he now resides with his family.
David Boyd (Striker) – The Glaswegian of the group and the only non-English born player to play in this side. Boyd never made a league appearance for City and retired before the age of 21. He now works for UK Elite Soccer, running residential camps for American kids.
John Bookbinder (Defender) – John became a social worker in London before tragically dying of mouth cancer in 2006, at the age of 38. John never played for City but sadly passed on twenty years to the year after his cup success with City and will be forever remembered for being an integral part of the squad.