Manchester City legend Glyn Pardoe has experienced a range of emotions following his beloved club but their Premier League success tops the lot.
City scored twice in injury time yesterday to claim their first league title in 44 years with a dramatic 3-2 win over QPR.
With rivals Manchester United having won at Sunderland, City’s hopes of finishing top looked over until Sergio Aguero struck the decisive blow in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Pardoe believes the success was entirely in keeping with the roller-coaster history of the club.
The 65-year-old, a member of the last City side to win the league in 1968, regularly attends matches as a fan and has been up and down the divisions with the club.
Pardoe told Press Association Sport: “It was a stressful day, the most stressful I can remember at City.
“When we were 2-1 down with five minutes to go I just couldn’t see us scoring.
“But that is Manchester City – we can’t do it easy. We have to do it the hard way don’t we?
“It is always the same. I don’t know why we can’t do it easy and just go and win 3-0 and take the pressure off, but never mind.
“We did it and that is all that matters.
“All the years we have been up and down and promising to do things and never have done.
“Now we have done it two years running – the FA Cup last year and now the league, the ultimate. It is incredible.”
Success was made all the sweeter for City as it was their great rivals United - in whose shadow they have lived for so long – who they pipped at the post.
Pardoe, a full-back who made 41 starts in the 1967-68 campaign, remembers well how City also saw off United on the final day last time and is surprised how history has repeated itself.
He said: “It is funny isn’t it? The last time we won it was United as well. It is incredible how fate works out, I can’t believe it.
“But 44 years – it is too long for a club like us.
“It has been so disappointing so you just want this to go on now, to take it on again.
“It’s great for the fans – what they have suffered. Let’s hope it’s not going to be 44 years again.”
Another former City player, Asa Hartford, believes the weekend’s stunning success could signal a shift in the Premier League power balance from United.
Despite challenges from Arsenal and Chelsea, United have been the team to beat over the past two decades.
City already have the financial resources to become England’s dominant side and Hartford – who enjoyed two spells at the club in the 1970s and 1980s – thinks they now have the belief too.
Hartford told Sky Sports News: “It was an absolutely amazing day, we finally stepped out of the shadow of Old Trafford.
“(Quentin) Tarantino could not have scripted it any better. I think it (the balance of power) has shifted slightly.
“City, in the foreseeable future, I can only see them going on and winning more trophies.
“This is the first time in 44 years but they’ve finally done it.”
Hartford also praised manager Roberto Mancini for masterminding City’s title success.
He said: “He’s been here for two years. Maybe there were teething problems and his training methods took some getting used to and he’s moved a lot of players on.
“But what he does obviously works because he’s won titles in Italy and now he’s won here.”
Former City captain Richard Edghill, who was with the club throughout their descent from top flight to third tier in the 1990s, also hailed Mancini.
He said: “It’s been an eventful season, a lot of things have gone on and to finish like we did put everything to bed.
“The manager takes a lot of credit for this. He’s done it his own way.
“He’s had a few problems with a few different players – that could have cost him his job – but he stuck with it.
“A lot of people were talking, saying that if he didn’t win the league he wouldn’t be here next season but he’s proved them wrong.”