Mike Summerbee is a highly respected English former footballer, who played in the successful Manchester City side of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He made his league debut playing for Swindon Town in 1959 at the age of 16 and made more than 200 appearances for the Wiltshire club, scoring 38 goals. In 1965 Manchester City manager Joe Mercer signed him for a fee of £35,000. In his first Manchester City season Summerbee started every single match, the only Manchester City player to do so that season. Playing on the right wing, Summerbee was one of the most influential players in the Manchester City side which won four trophies in three seasons from 1968–70.
He became known as part of the famous trio of City players alongside Francis Lee and Colin Bell (Lee, Bell & Summabee). The three seem to capitulate a golden period in the clubs history and were members of the England team. Mike played for his country over a five-year period, which encompassed the 1970 World Cup playing eight times in total, making his debut against Scotland on 24 February 1968. Something of a practical joker, Summerbee (or “Buzzer” as teammates nicknamed him) was also known for a fiery temperament, a trait described by teammate Francis Lee as “retaliating first”. Summerbee left Manchester City in June 1975, moving to Burnley, for a £25,000 fee, after making more than 400 appearances for City.
Off the pitch, Mike has been involved with a number a business ventures with varying degrees of success, including a period where he co-owned a menswear business with George Best. Mike also starred in the cult film Escape to Victory alongside Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pelé. He also featured in a BBC West Country documentary ‘Six days to Saturday’ about Swindon Town in 1963 and a ‘Nationwide’ series ‘Saturday Heroes’ about Manchester City. His son, Nicky, is also a professional footballer, who followed in his father’s footsteps by playing for both Swindon Town and Manchester City.
Mike is now the Club Ambassador for Manchester City and regularly seen around the club, further involved in hospitality and his own sports nights. He is available for After dinner speaking.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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