In the Red corner: Wilf McGuinness (pictured), a former Busby Babe, and Jack Crompton, a 1948 FA Cup-winner with United. In the Blue corner: Mike Summerbee and Andy Hinchcliffe, both former City players and England internationals.
The four Mancunians each pitch in with their thoughts on what the Manchester derby means to them, painting an intriguing picture of an invigorated, historic football rivalry…
Wilf McGuinness: “When I was at school, you could support United and City, although once I joined United that was it. We were always friendly with City's players and we’d go out together. On the field it was different. One of their lads might give you a kick and at the very least you’d give them the look, you know? We were rivals on the field, friends off it. You could have all the fiery business in a match and then when the final whistle went we’d shake hands and have a beer together. City have bought excellent players and have a good team, but I’m delighted to look down and see our closest neighbours in a good position but nowhere near as good as ours. I have many friends at City; they want their team to win and I certainly want mine to win. It doesn’t matter if it's a cup final, league decider or dead rubber – you have to win. It's all that matters in a derby.”
Mike Summerbee: “The 3-3 at Maine Road in 1971, when we were 3-1 down at half-time, is my favourite derby moment. We came back in the second half. Sammy McIlroy scored on his debut that day and I managed to get the equaliser in the last few minutes. Derbies are always very special, even now I feel the tension on the day, I feel like I’m going to play because the adrenaline is still there. I never make predictions for the derby, you can make yourself look silly! I hope it’s a good game and I hope it’s a great spectacle.”
Jack Crompton: “Friendship. That’s what the Manchester derby means to me. My earliest memories are of when we shared Maine Road with Manchester City – it was a great time of friendship. When we won the FA Cup in 1948 there was no jealousy from my old City pals. They were supporting us. There was no animosity. The games were pleasant and unlike any other match we played. We’d talk to each other during the game, joke with each other… it was like