It's every Sky Blues' supporter's ambition to play for their home-town side. Not many of them top 250 first-team appearances for the club and lie ninth in the all-time top scorers' list. No-one else has made their debut at Villa Park in the first-ever league win there thus becoming the club's youngest ever player. As well as finishing top scorer for the Sky Blues three seasons running he also took Player of the Year in 2006 and scored in the final game at Highfield Road. Step forward Gary McSheffrey.
Aged just 16 years and 198 days, he replaced Darren Huckerby at Villa in the emphatic 4-1 victory on his debut, there could be no better place and more significant event to make your bow. Following relegation in 2001 'Sheffers' spent time on loan at Luton, aiding their promotion campaign, and began to feature regularly at City in 2002/03. He bagged a treble in the 8-0 League Cup win over Rushden and Diamonds but came to real prominence under Eric Black's brief tenure as he partnered Julian Joachim in a fondly remembered era for City supporters. Top billing in terms of goal scoring came in 03/04, 04/05 and 05/06 before his big move to Birmingham City, a transfer hotly contested by the City faithful as yet another star was sold. The Sky Blues a selling club? Never. You can see his prowess in front of goal in the clip below with 'Mr Blue Sky' for musical accompaniment:
Gary McSheffrey's many goals in a City shirt
After four seasons and a taste of the top flight with the side from St Andrews, Aidy Boothroyd snapped him up in the summer of 2010 for a second spell, a popular move amongst the Ricoh faithful. Since his return, in main due to fan expectation following his first spell, it has been a frustrating time for the City fan himself. We expect so much from him as we know what he can produce, he has spoken himself how it frustrates him but the hope is that he can now build on an injury-free run alongside David McGoldrick and add to his goals tally.
Now level with Dion Dublin on 72 goals, he is also the club's leading scorer in their time at the Ricoh, currently with 25 strikes to his name. Mark Robins believes in his talents, at present he is keeping John Fleck out of the side and finding the back of the net. If McGoldrick does leave the Ricoh in January we will need goals from somewhere and 'Sheffers' contribution will be vital along with Carl Baker who is also finding the net with regularity in recent weeks. The goals have started to flow for the pair but we need them in the zone every week to keep the momentum going on the pitch. They should let Mark Robins sort out the shambles off the pitch also, he speaks more common sense than all the 'board' members put together, they could do no worse than sit down with Robins and listen to someone else's voice apart from their own for a change.
Footnote: this was written prior to kick off on Tuesday.