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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 May, 2003, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Powerful Maine Road memories
By Chris Bevan

Paul Power in action for City in 1980
Power was Manchester City captain for six years from 1980

Paul Power will miss Maine Road more than most.

The former Manchester City skipper has been a regular in M14 for over 40 years as a fan, player, and now coach at the club's academy.

And he has mixed feelings as players and fans alike waved goodbye to the Blues' home of 80 years ahead of the move to the new City of Manchester Stadium next season.

"It's definitely a step forward, and the club can't afford to stand still," Power told BBC Sport.

"But it's a massive disappointment we won't be playing at Maine Road anymore because the place has so many memories."

Power's first visit to the ground came as an eight-year old in 1962.

He stood in the scoreboard end in his early days, and progressed to the Kippax, but within a few years he would be taking centre stage.

DOB: 30.10.53
At City:1973-1986
Captain: 1980-86
Player of the year: 1980-81, 84-85
Appearances: 445
Goals: 36

"Everyone remembers their home debut (against Newcastle in August 1975). Tony Book was calling the team out and the midfield was Marsh, Hartford, Bell and Power.

"It didn't seem right at the time but it was a fantastic moment."

There was much more to come - notably his goalscoring performance in City's 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final replay victory over Everton in 1981.

"That was a great game for me personally. It was one of my better goals at Maine Road.

"A Dennis Tueart through ball left me 40 yards to run and time to work out how to beat the keeper."

But sealing promotion back to Division One with a 5-1 final day win over Charlton in 1985 is perhaps Power's sweetest memory.

"There were over 47,000 there and we went 3-0 up early on. It was so good to know we were coasting it."

There will be tears of joy as well as sadness and it will be a great occasion for everyone
Paul Power

That game came two years after the most famous of all City's setbacks - the drop into Division Two thanks to Raddy Antic's late winner for Luton - swiftly followed by David Pleat's dance across the Maine Road turf.

"All we had to do was draw at home and that was probably our downfall," Power recalled. "If we had needed to win we would have had a more positive attitude.

"We thought we'd be able to get a draw with Luton no problems, but unfortunately we didn't write the script.

"They scored with a few minutes left, which didn't leave us enough time to reply.

"That day was a massive disappointment, I've never known a dressing room like it afterwards - just total disbelief."

Leaving party

There was more nostalgia at Maine Road on Sunday during the final game with Southampton, when a parade of former players said their goodbyes to the ground.

But Power was not one of those present. Instead he was taking two young City teams to Germany to play youth sides from FC Cologne.

But although he was not there to take part in the farewell to Maine Road, Power still expressed his discomfort with the fate of the famous old ground.

With no new tenants found, it looks set to be demolished to make way for a supermarket or housing development.

"It's a total waste," he said. "I can put up with the fact City won't be playing there anymore but I cannot see the point of knocking it down.

"It seems a shame not to make good use of it, there is enough sporting activity in the area, but the only option is to knock it down before it falls down.

"It'd sadder to see that. I'd rather it was demolished than watch it fall apart."


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