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Alan Stewart

A tall and imposing centre half, Alan Stewart was a key figure for Cityís Happy Wanderers

Alan Stewart joined City in 1949 from Huddersfield and was to be Cityís first choice centre half for the next 8 seasons.

Tall and commanding, he was a brave adn imposing centre half and was noted for his heading ability but was equally good on the ground. Even in the late 1980s when I met him and some of his fellow Happy Wanderers, he cut a striking figure.

Despite being directly opposite some of the top strikers of the time during Cityís 1954/5 cup run (Stanley Mortensen, Jackie Milburn and Vic Keeble included), none of them scored a goal against him. In the semi replay, he suffered a bad head injury just after half time, but in the days before substitutes, he courageously returned to play out the game on the right wing.

Whilst Terry Butcher popularised the concept of a bandaged and bloodied centre half, Alan Stewart was doing the same over 30 years earlier.

He announced his retirement at the end of the 1956/7 season, just days short of his 35th birthday. He scored just once in 231 games for City, it would have been many more appearances but for a series of injuries, including missing the whole of the 1952/3 season.