Where are they now?: Neil Young

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The Independent Online
MANCHESTER was in celebration 25 years ago, as now, except the bunting was sky-blue, rather than red. City, League champions in 1968, consoled themselves for failure in Europe by winning the FA Cup in 1969, courtesy of Neil Young's 23rd-minute goal against Leicester City at Wembley.

Young's 108 goals in 13 seasons at Maine Road also included the winner in the Cup-Winners' Cup final, against Gornik Zabrze, the following year, yet the Manchester-born inside-forward tended to be overshadowed by his team-mates, Francis Lee, Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell.

After leaving City in 1972, Young briefly served Preston and Rochdale before retiring in 1976. Since when he has endured periods of unemployment and ill-health and pursued various means of making a living, including a milk round in Rochdale.

'I was quite ill for three or four years with disc trouble and thrombosis,' Young said. 'I did have a good job, selling life insurance, pensions, etc., but I was advised not to drive.' He blames playing with cortisone injections when injured for his health problems. 'I'm not too bad now, so long as I don't spend too long on my feet. I could have had surgery but there was only a 50 per cent chance of success.'

Now 50, Young is currently occupied coaching six to 12-year-olds at schools around his home near Wilmslow, Cheshire. 'It is nice to be able to help youngsters develop their skills rather than spend time playing computer games or watching videos. When I was their age, I would be on the park with a ball every day. But it is not like that for children nowadays.'

Young keeps in touch with few of his former team-mates but recently returned to Maine Road for the first time in 15 years as a guest of Lee, the new City chairman, who is attempting to bring many former players back into the fold. 'I went on the pitch in front of 30,000 fans. It brought back a few memories.'

(Photograph omitted)

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