Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughAsa Hartford - Happy Birtday to City's Abnormal Midfield Dynamo - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Asa Hartford - Happy Birtday to City's Abnormal Midfield Dynamo - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Asa Hartford – Happy Birtday to City’s Abnormal Midfield Dynamo

Born 61 years ago today, in 1950 was a City legend that may never have kicked a ball at City if not for the Leeds medical staff. Young Scottish player, Asa Hartford looked set to join Leeds United who were all set to dominate the 1970’s when it was discovered, much to both his and Leeds boss, Don Revies disspointment,  that Asa had a hole in the heart. The deal collapsed and Hartford returned to West Brom.

That was when Tony Book decided to go look at the guy and his mind was made up when his City side played Hartfords West Brom side in the 1970 League Cup Final. Book thought then that if Asa did indeed have health problems it was inconsequential with regards his playing ability and after negotiating with the Baggies he brought Asa to Maine Road for a medical. The series of tests determined that the Hartfords problem was actually no problem for Hartford and in 1974 he signed for Manchester City.

Hartford pretty much slotted into the hole made by Francis Lee’s departure and and slotted in perfectly alongside Bell and Tueart. Asa made his debut in the opening game of the 1974-75 season against West Ham where City which City won 4-0. In the very next game he scored his debut goal, his first of 37 for City but it would be the next season that saw the best of him. He scored nine league goals to see City finish eigth in the League and scored two goals on the way to the League Cup victory of 1976, one of which was against United. In 1979 he left along with many other key players including Bell, Barnes and Owen and City’s fortunes went with them.

Hartford did return to City in 1981 but couldn’t recreate the success he had in his previous spell at Maine Road. He left again in March 1984 for the second time having scored only six league goals in that time.

That was all she wrote as far as his City playing career went, however he would come back and eventually take charge of the first team, if only in Caretaker capacity after Alan Ball left after winning us relegation and before Steve Coppell began and then quit. There he took charge of six League games and two League cup games, which ended in an aggerate defeat of 5-1. His League record was evenly split, six games three wins and three losses. After his brief spell as acting City manager he reverted back to his original coaching duties at City and there he stayed before leaving for the third and final? time in 2005 when Stuart Pearce brought in his own coaching staff.

Happy 61st Birthday Asa Hartford.

PA Cityboy

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