Feed the goat and he will score- this is what Manchester City fans used to say about Shaun Goater. In his early days at the club he was a target for the boo boys who did not appreciate his selection in the team. However, he worked hard and turned the fans opinions around in dramatic fashion. He left the club almost on legendary status terms.
The Bermudan international joined City at a time when the supporters were unhappy with the state of the team. City were in what was called Division Two at the time, and when he ended up scoring 21 goals at the end of his first season that is when the fans really started taking to him. That boost of confidence coincided with a 29-goal season the following term, which earned him the player of the year title at City.
As City were promoted to the Premiership, Goater’s goal scoring just kept continuing. In Kevin Keegan’s first season in charge he scored more than 30 goals in the season- this made him the club’s top scorer four seasons in a row. But in Keegan’s second season in charge, Goater found himself out of the team on several occasions because City bought strikers and ended up leaving at the end of the 2002/03 season to find regular first team football. So just how did Shaun Goater end up at Manchester City, and leave with Blues fans reminiscing about him?
Goater had spent several years playing for English clubs before he moved to City. Believe it or not, his first professional club in England was Manchester United. He made no appearances for the club at all and quickly moved on to Rotherham United. This is where he played over 200 games for the club, but his seven year spell with the club was not how it was meant to be for him as he suffered from homesickness. The 95-96 season turned out to be his last one there, and whilst he had offers from clubs overseas, he decided to stay in England and made a move to Bristol City. During his second season with the club he scored regularly, was named in the PFA team of the year, and Manchester City came knocking on the door.
His post Manchester City career included two seasons at Reading, before being loaned to Coventry City. The unsuccessful times at both clubs made Goater think about retirement, before Southend United came in for him. Clearly Manchester City fans were still tracking his progress because his last game for the Essex club apparently had 400 City fans in the crowd.
Since retiring, Goater has said he would like to get in to coaching and since 2003 has ran a football coaching event for children in Bermuda. He is also the chairman of Bermudan team Bermuda Hogges in the USL Second Division. Today, the 25th of February, happens to be Goater’s 40th birthday, and you can be sure that diehard Manchester City fans will know this.
Any fond memories of Shaun Goater’s time at Man City you wish to share?