Foot­ball club hon­ours for­mer pro Ge­orge, 103

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GUEST of hon­our at Manch­ester City’s Re­mem­brance Day Derby was 103-year-old Ge­orge Haigh, one of the old­est sur­viv­ing ex-pro­fes­sional foot­ballers in the world.

The for­mer cen­tre-half joined Manch­ester City back in 1931 and grew through the ranks be­fore mov­ing on to Stock­port County, where he re­mained for three years be­fore sign­ing up to the RAF at the start of the Sec­ond World War.

De­spite never mak­ing it to City’s first team, Haigh has re­mained close to the club, with all of his fam­ily mem­bers be­ing ar­dent Blues.

Ge­orge was in­vited as Eti­had’s guest of hon­our for our 3-1 win over United.

Speak­ing at the match, Ge­orge re­flected on his time at City and the close friend­ship’s he built with the likes of City le­gend Frank Swift.

“When I started it was a long time ago,” Ge­orge ex­plained.

“I wasn’t old enough to play in the first team be­cause you had to be 18 to play in the pro­fes­sional game at that pe­riod. So, I used to go on Tues­days and Thurs­days to Maine Road do­ing my train­ing.

“Me and Frank (Swift) used to play to­gether at Maine Road and when­ever I was train­ing he would come down and we would have a real chin­wag. I found out a lot about City from Frank.”

Ge­orge re­flected on his de­ci­sion to move to Stock­port County and touched on his re­mark­able first en­counter with for­mer City keeper Bert Traut­mann.

“The man­ager at Stock­port came and of­fered me a con­tract and I grabbed it. I was a young man and ended up with Stock­port for a long time. I was with them three years be­fore the war,” Ge­orge added.

“I ended up in the RAF and I re­mem­ber meet­ing Bert Traut­mann in a pris­oner of war camp. He was a hell of a nice guy.”

Speak­ing about be­ing one of the old­est ex-pro­fes­sion­als and his in­vi­ta­tion to the Eti­had, Ge­orge ex­plained how proud he was.

“I be­lieve I am one of the old­est,” the 103-yearold said. “I’m re­ally proud.

“I couldn’t un­der­stand it when they told me but there we go. It’s hap­pened and I en­joyed ev­ery mo­ment of it.”

Ge­orge Haigh was guest of hon­our at Manch­ester City for the Re­mem­brance Day Derby

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