Former Manchester City ace Shaun Goater has admitted that it was a “huge moment” for him to sign off his career at the club by wearing the captain’s armband in their last-ever game at Maine Road. After joining the club in 1998 from Bristol City, Goater was handed the armband for his final game for the club in May 2003, captaining the side in a 1-0 defeat to Southampton. After initially struggling to win the supporters over, the now-51-year-old had proved himself to be a key figure at City, helping them progress from the old third division to the Premier League during his five-year stint. Having been part of three promotions, the former striker was handed the honour of being captain for his and City’s final game at their former home.
Shaun Goater said: “It was an emotional day to captain City in the final game at Maine Road in my last game. After the start I had, to come full circle and be captain was a huge moment for me, knowing that I’d won the fans over. I can’t speak highly enough of the City fans. And to this day, to have that adulation of them singing ‘Feed The Goat’, I would never have imagined that after the first season. The reality is, they looked and went ‘you know what, every season this kid is the top goalscorer’.”
After a fruitful and colourful career, Goater made the decision to hang up his boots at the end of the 2005/06 season, having spent the final season of his career at Southend United. That season, which saw the Shrimps earn promotion to the Championship as League One champions, Goater netted 11 goals and made his final appearance of his career in a 1-0 win over Bristol City at Roots Hall. Amazingly, 400 City fans made the long trip down to Essex to give the striker the send off he fully deserved.
Shaun Goater added: “That last Southend game was such a proud moment for me and an emotional day. To have 400 City fans there was just incredible. I don’t think any other club has had to prepare for three different sets of supporters like that. To have them make that four-hour journey was amazing and I absolutely loved it. To have that number of fans come down and support me on my last game was beautiful.”