Nicky Summerbee had
trials at Manchester United, Leicester City, and Norwich City,
before joining Swindon Town; where his father, former England
international Mike Summerbee, had connections.
Summerbee played 112 games in seven years for the Robins, scoring
six goals before Manchester City paid £1.3million for his
services. On 10 May 1994, Summerbee won an England 'B' cap in
a match against Northern Ireland 'B' at Hillsborough
In 1997, Summerbee joined Sunderland in a £1million-rated
swap deal involving Craig Russell.
Summerbee enjoyed some of the finest moments of his career after
Sunderland won promotion to the Premiership in 1999, and become
an exceptionally under-valued player. Statistics showed him to
be a better crosser of the ball than David
Beckham, with a crossing accuracy of 36% to Beckham's 27%.
As well as crossing, his shooting abilities outshone those of
Beckham's, by 53% to 48%.
During that season, an injured Summerbee enjoyed a well-publicised
liaison with TV presenter, Melanie Sykes. However, it came at
a cost. Summerbee lost his place in the team following his capital
night out with Mel and a 41 defeat at Arsenal. Whilst he
returned after one match, Nicky was substituted in both of his
next two games and was relegated to the bench for the next four.
He returned triumphantly to the starting eleven by scoring his
first goal of the season against Everton. Sadly, it turned out
to be his last as a Sunderland player. After this goal, Summerbee
was in and out of the side. He finished the season on a high note
though, starting in and starring in the final three
Summerbee was left in the wilderness by boss Peter Reid the following
season. He sat on the sidelines for six months until he was given
a game for the reserves against Newcastle United. Summerbee was
clearly unfit and unhappy, he lashed out at Newcastle United defender
Andy Griffin and was immediately substituted before he could be
Free transfers and quick stays at the likes of Bolton Wanderers
(where he scored once against Crystal Palace), Leicester City
and Nottingham Forest were followed by a two and a half year stay
at Bradford City, which included loan spells at Swindon Town and
Summerbee latterly played for Nationwide Conference side Tamworth,
but was released at the end of the 200506 season.