Former Man City captain Mike Doyle dies

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The Independent Online

Former Manchester City captain Mike Doyle has died at the age of 64, the club have confirmed.

Doyle was part of the City team which won the league title, FA Cup, European Cup Winners' Cup and the League Cup between 1968 and 1970, and skippered the side which won the League Cup again in 1976.

He made over 550 appearances for the Blues before moving on to Stoke, Bolton and then Rochdale, and won five England caps.

Dennis Tueart, who scored the winning goal for City in the 1976 final, told Sky Sports News: "It was a great shock this morning - I didn't know he was ill.

"Asa Hartford, another one of my colleagues in the 1976 team, texted me to give me the news and it is very sad.

"Mike was a born winner. He had two periods really as a great player for Manchester City.

"He was one of the younger players in the Joe Mercer-Malcolm Allison era, but when I came in 1974 he then became my captain and there was no question, he was a fantastic leader on the field.

"The one thing Mike wanted to do was win games for Manchester City.

"At the end of the game when the final whistle went he went straight across to the Manchester City supporters to acknowledge their support and (it showed) the feeling he had for the club.

"I know I got all the praise for the winning goal, but in my mind Mike was our player of the match, without question."

Manchester-born Doyle joined City as an apprentice in 1962 and made his first-team debut in March 1964.

Featuring primarily as a defender, Doyle went on to become a key player in the club's hugely successful period with Mercer as manager and Allison as assistant.

After their departure, he was handed the captain's armband for the first time in 1975 and the following year led City to glory at Wembley with a 2-1 win over Newcastle.

Tough and uncompromising on the field, Doyle was also famed for his dislike of local rivals Manchester United. He moved to Stoke in 1978 and retired in 1984.

City ambassador and Doyle's former team-mate Mike Summerbee told http://www.mcfc.co.uk: "He was the heart and soul of Manchester City, the club meant everything to him.

"Mike was somebody you always wanted alongside you when the going got tough.

"He was a great footballer, a magnificent servant to this club, and he was also a nice bloke into the bargain."

Doyle, who had been battling ill health for the past 12 months, was being treated in Tameside Hospital and passed away after suffering liver failure.

He leaves behind his wife Cheryl, sons Scott and Grant and daughters Stephanie and Natalie.

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