FORMER Swindon Town midfielder Nicky Summerbee described his desire to prove youth team coaches John Trollope and Eddie Buckley wrong as the catalyst behind the start of his successful career.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Loathed Strangers podcast, Nicky, son of Town legend Mike, recalled the story of being invited down to the County Ground for a youth trial at the end of the 1980s – a time where Lou Macari was in charge of the first team.

The man who would later be sold to Manchester City for £1.3 million declared football to be his one true calling and set about trying to kickstart his career 150 miles from his Altrincham home.

But after the first year of his Youth Team Scholarship (YTS) at the County Ground, Summerbee was told football “wasn’t for him” by Trollope and Buckley – a message that he admitted devastated him at the time.

Reflecting on that period, Summerbee said: “I had a bit of a turbulent time with John Trollope after moving away.

“There was Eddie Buckley and John Trollope in charge of the youth set-up, and you went into a meeting after your first year of your YTS.

“We would go in and the coaches would tell us how they thought we did after the first year and what they expected of us in the second year.

“And when I went in, they said: “if I were you, I would go home and I wouldn’t bother playing football. I don’t think it’s for you.”

“It shattered me really, and I said to my father: “football is not for me”.

“The way my dad went about it was brilliant. We had five weeks off, and they left it for four weeks.

“Dad had been speaking with Lou Macari – Town manager at the time – and Lou Macari said: “why don’t you bring him back and give him a year? Just tell him to go for it and have a real go for one year. You’ve got nothing to lose, what’s the matter with you?”

Summerbee played in a golden era of Town teams that beat Sunderland in the 1990 play-off final before repeating the trick against Leicester City a few years later.

But those memorable days only occurred after the backing of Macari and Summerbee’s desire to prove his doubters wrong.

He said: “To get that little bit of backing (from Macari) was good. But in the back of my mind, I wanted to prove John Trollope and Eddie Buckley wrong.

“I had a great season – I was playing centre forward alongside Paul ‘Oggie’ Hunt, we just hit it off and it was fantastic.

“To go into that room at the end of that season and to have Lou Macari stood at the back with John Trollope stood around Eddie Buckley, and for them to say: “I’ll tell you what, you proved us wrong”, that was the key.

“I thank them for that if I’m honest because that is what I needed in football – to prove people wrong.

“For me, I would never have had my career without that moment – to prove John Trollope and those other guys wrong was what I was all about, and that’s what made me.”

You can listen to the Loathed Strangers podcast on Spotify, Apple Music or most other streaming platforms.