Former Bristol City star Shaun Goater profile
Former Bristol City star Shaun Goater is to return to Ashton Gate to play in a testimonial match for Robins legend Gerry Gow.
The striker will make the journey from his native Bermuda to feature for both sides on July 28, when Bristol City XI take on Manchester City Legends select in a game designed to raise funds for Gow.
Shaun Goater MBE joined Bristol City in 1996 for a fee of £175,000. In a little under two years with the club he scored 45 goals in 81 appearances. On March 26, 1998, transfer deadline day, Goater signed for Manchester City, who paid Bristol City £400,000.
Goater’s career began when he was spotted by scouts from Manchester United, who invited him to England for a trial. The then 17-year-old Goater was home in Bermuda during thanksgiving break from Columbia High School, New Jersey, where he had a soccer scholarship. Goater, who at that time played as a creative midfielder, agreed, and in doing so forfeited his scholarship.
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The offer of a professional contract resulted from the trial, but Goater did not make it into the first team. He signed for Rotherham United in 1989, in order to play first team football.
During seven seasons at Rotherham he scored 86 goals in 262 appearances, and clinched a winner's medal for the 1996 Auto Windscreens Shield.
But a disagreement with then-Rotherham manager Archie Gemmill spurred Goater to embark on his next career move elsewhere. He moved to Bristol City, having turned down offers from Spanish club Osasuna and newly formed South Koreans Suwon Samsung Bluewings on account of having recently married.
He went from strength to strength while with the club, eventually being named in the PFA Team of the Year for the division.
When he first joined Manchester City in 1998, fans were dubious about his abilities. He came into the club at a turbulent time - Joe Royle had been brought in as manager to try and stop a seemingly inevitable slide into the Second Division.
But in time he proved himself to be a worthy player, to the extent that fans created a song in his honour, "Feed The Goat And He Will Score". The 1998-99 season saw Goater score 21 goals, finishing the season as Manchester City's top goalscorer.
Goater continued to impress the following season, becoming the club's top goalscorer once again, and was named Manchester City's Player of the Year by supporters. His success was felt at home also, with June 21 declared as "Shaun Goater Day" in his native Bermuda.
He was Manchester City's top goalscorer for the third consecutive season in 2000-01, but his 11 goals could not save the team from relegation.
While the club was blighted by yet more turbulence - Royle was replaced by Kevin Keegan - Goater became the first Manchester City player since Francis Lee in 1972 to score more than 30 goals in a season.
City were promoted as champions, and he was the club's top scorer for the fourth time in a row, as well as being the top scorer in the division.
He announced his intention to leave Manchester City in 2002-3 when the season finished, in order to seek regular first team football.
His next move was to Reading, in 2003. But a matter of months after his arrival manager Alan Pardew left for West Ham United, and Pardew's replacement, Steve Coppell, did not regard Goater as part of his plans. After just two seasons with the club, Goater moved to League One club Southend United for a final season as a professional.
He set foot on the pitch for the last time May 6, 2006, when Southend played Bristol City. Southend arranged for the game to be a tribute to Goater, hosting a Bob Marley tribute band and the Gombey Dance Troupe, from Bermuda.
An estimated 400 Manchester City fans travelled to Southend to mark the occasion.