On 8th April 1958 a Manchester City team on the decline signed a young unknown amateur from Mid-Cheshire Boys, in September 1959 the young amateur signed Professional terms. This young player was Alan Oakes who later went on to serve City for an amazing 17-year's on professional terms. Competing in 669 games makes him top the tables for the player with most appearances in Manchester City's colours in the teams over one hundred year history.
Oakes made his senior debut in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea on 14th November 1959. He had made himself a regular feature of the team when City, despite their struggling form, City still had a famous player or two who helped the young Alan Oakes develop. He got on well with Bert Trautmann, whose boots he was responsible for, "he liked them Good and Clean, I got on well with Bert, He was always very helpful." The young Oakes continued to learn and was, more often than not, the first player to be picked by managers Les McDowell and then George Poyser. In a struggling Manchester City Team, He was usually the Heart and only highlight of the side, proving to be the most valuable player on City's books.
When Mercer and Allison took charge in the summer of 1965, he was the first of several homegrown players to blossom, and how much he deserved what was to follow. Both Allison and Mercer identified Oakes as the best talent currently on the books, and incorporated him as the heart of their team selection throughout there tenure as a management team.
Oakes Picked up six winning trophy's, being in the teams that picked up the European Cup Winners Cup, the League Championship, F.A. Cup, 2 League Cups, and the second Division Championship, making him the player winning the most medals whilst at City. He was a quiet, unassuming and gentle man who did a thoroughly and professional job without fuss. Surely less talented but more flamboyant players won England caps, while Oakes had to settle with an appearance for the Football League against the Scottish League in 1969. He also had to wait until 1975, in his 16th season for the Blues, to be voted player of the year.
His final City appearance came at Old Trafford on 4th May 1976, Oakes came on as a substitute for Mike Doyle in a 2-0 defeat. In the 17 years Oakes Served Manchester City, Many players came and went but he was always the 'North Star', a Constant. Here are some Players that passed through his time whilst at City: Bert Trautmann, Ken Barnes, Bobby Johnstone, Glyn Pardoe (his cousin), Francis Lee, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Peter Barnes, Dennis Tueart and Gary Owen (who was born three months after Oakes joined City). And he served under managers Les McDowell, George Poyser, Joe Mercer, Malcolm Allison, Johnny Hart, Ron Saunders and Tony Book.
After so many excellent years and service at Manchester City, Alan Oakes became Player-Manager at Chester. Despite his dedication and commitment to City's cause spaning almost 2 decades, Chester still had to pay a £15k fee for his services! He went on to play 211 league games for Chester, and then went on to a brief coaching role at Port Vale and due to player shortage, even turned out in a game for them in 1983 as a fresh 41 year old, he officially retired from playing the season after!
Alan Oakes should always be spoken of as a true Gentleman on and off
the pitch who dealt with things with the minimum of fuss, a player who
will probably stay at the top in City's History for playing more games
for City than any other player, A true Manchester City Legend, the heartbeat
of the City side for over a decade, who's service to the club should be
Provided by: Monksie