Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The first foreigner to play for City (and the 83 that followed)

And it's not the legendary Bert Trautmann surprisingly, but a Canadian called Walter Bowman, who signed for City in 1892 when we were called Ardwick AFC.

Actually, Bowman was the first foreigner to play professional football in Britain when he signed for Accrington earlier that year (details here).

He originally arrived in Britain in 1888 with Team Canada, who played a staggering 23 games between Sept 1st and and Oct 31st, including a 2-0 win over Newton Heath (who at that time were based in Manchester).

Below are the 84 overseas players who have played for City. Sixteen players have been added since the last time I published the list, including the name of our third foreign signing, Gerry Baker. Born in New York to Scottish parents, Baker grew up in Scotland but played for the US national side. In what is probably a football first, Gerry's younger brother, Joe, played for England - despite having played for Scotland schoolboys (details).





And here are the totals by country:

~ Probably the strangest transfer deal of all involved Kazimierz Deyna, who was transferred from Legia Warsaw in Nov 1978. According to Gary James’s Manchester: The Greatest City the £120,000 transfer was paid for mainly in goods such as typewriters and medical equipment.

~ I also came across a fascinating site called, which has compiled this graph showing where players in the English leagues were born, dating back to 1888.


Anonymous said...

Interesting info but I can't see all of the tables - some are cut in half with only showing a blank white space!

Anonymous said...

mancini on loan....

-another italian

Anonymous said...

This doesn't include the foreigners at the Academy which would include Mancini and a few others.

Adam said...

I don't see Irish players there. In the last few years Dunne, Ireland, Keranghan, Phelan, Quinn, have all represented the blues....and they are not foreign

Andrew said...

Not sure why you can't see all the tables as they're viewing fine on my computer.

Mancini isn't on the list as he hasn't played for the first team yet.

I've excluded Irish players as historically they've been able to live in the UK without any restrictions.