Manchester City legend Mike Summerbee has saluted a flag-bearer for a different era following the death of Malcolm Allison.

The flamboyant Allison, whose death at the age of 83 was announced Friday, made his name as a coach at City, where he worked with great success under manager Joe Mercer, and twice took the hotseat himself. He was as well known for his enjoyment of life off the pitch as football's first superstars emerged.

"He was a great character and a very sociable man. We worked hard for him and we were exceptionally fit, but we could enjoy ourselves and he went along with that," said Summerbee.

"The club itself at that particular time came from nothing under Joe Mercer and Malcolm and became very, very successful.

"It was a great era, a great period in the history of the club. He was a special, lovely man.

"I wouldn't change it for anything. It was a very special time and we were very successful.

"Manchester was buzzing in the '60s and '70s. George Best was my best pal. We had a great time, and Malcolm was there with us."

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