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23rd Oct 2015

Man City legend(?) inducted into the football hall of fame to celebrate visit of Chinese president

Kevin Beirne

Who says City fans don’t know their history?

Back before they were bought out in 2008, Manchester City were just another club living in the shadow of their more successful neighbours.

They spent the 90s slowly falling from the Premier League back into the old Division Two, aka League One (not to be confused with the old, old Division Two, which is now the Championship).

But at the turn of the millennium, things began to turn for City as they fought their way back into the Premier League, and one man was apparently the driving force behind it all.

16 Mar 2002: Sun Jihai of City in action during the Manchester City v Crystal Palace Nationwide First Division match played at Maine Road, Manchester. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Mike Finn Kelcey/Getty Images

To the layman it may look like Chinese defender Sun Jihai had an unremarkable career in Manchester, but that’s not the opinion of the folks at the Football Museum, who have inducted him into their Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately not everybody appreciates his brilliance, with Labour’s shadow minister for sport Clive Efford saying: “This devalues our entire Hall of Fame. It is corruption worthy of (FIFA President) Sepp Blatter.

“How will all those other players feel when they see Sun Jihai is up there with the rest of them?”

Sure, 130 league appearances in eight years doesn’t put him in the same company as the likes of Denis Law or even Richard Dunne, but his influence on the game will be felt for decades to come.

What, you think they would just induct a random Chinese defender who just happened to play for Man City for no reason?

Oh, yeah…