With more than 200 appearances in an eight-year spell with Wolves as
well as being capped for England at both Youth and 'B' level, Steve
Daley was a vastly experienced midfielder when he joined the Blues on
September 5th, 1979. There was no doubting either his stamina levels or
skill with the ball. What shocked many though was the sheer size of his
transfer fee: the small matter of £1, 437, 500. Football tongues up and
down the country were sent into a wagging frenzy as Daley became the
club's first million-pound player. With such a huge price tag hanging
round his neck, it was perhaps not too surprising that Daley failed to
leave a lasting impression at Maine Road. Although to be fair to the
player, when he signed for the club it could hardly have been described
as one of its glory periods. Following his debut in a 1-0 home defeat by
Southampton, Daley subsequently lined up in a Blues side that lost 4-0
at West Bromwich Albion.
There then followed wins against Coventry and
at Leeds and by the end of his first month at the club, Daley had the
early signs of the kind of disjointed season it would be. He had to wait
until his ninth game (at Bolton) in mid-November before scoring his
first goal for City, one that proved to be the only one of the day. Just
prior to Christmas he scored his second in a 2-1 win at Everton. They
turned out to be his only two goals of the season, one in which City
finished 17th and suffered the embarrassment of losing to Fourth
Division Halifax Town in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. Steve played 36
games in his first season, one that saw a mass exodus of experienced,
international players. Had at least some stayed, things may have been a
lot different. As it was they did change in 1980/81, although by the
time they did, Daley had moved to the NASL.
He made a further 17
appearances for the Blues (with two more goals) before new manager John
Bond sold him to Seattle Sounders on February 24th 1981 for the
knock-down price of just £300, 000. His Maine Road career consisted of
53/1 games and four goals. He later played for Burnley, Walsall and San
Diego Sockers. (Ian Penney - author of The Legends of Manchester City)
After leaving Man City Steve Daley played for the following Clubs:
1981–1983 Seattle Sounders 87 (23)
1983–1984 Burnley 23 (4)
1984 San Diego Sockers 19 (3)
1984-1985 San Diego Sockers (indoor) 38 (4)
1985–1986 Walsall 28 (1)
A Total of 455 games and 77 goals.
He played in the US, where he was known as the 'Six Million Dollar Man'.
Steve played alongside Bruce Rioch and Alan Hudson and twice made the NASL All Star Second XI,
as well as reaching the Soccer Bowl - the Super Bowl equivalent - in 1982.
After hanging up his boots, Daley briefly managed non-league Telford United and Bromsgrove Rovers,
before quitting football to join the pub trade. He has since been working as a brewery sales manager,
supplying catering equipment to the industry. Also as an after-dinner speaker,
Daley recalls his career in football with honesty and humour.