For 35 years Mike Doyle remained the last man to lead Manchester City to a Wembley final win.
In these football days of millionaire mercenaries, Mike Doyle, who has died of liver failure at the age of 64, stood out as a bastion of club loyalty. For him, Manchester City meant everything, and he had an almost visceral hatred of their rivals, Manchester United. A rare current equivalent, though with an opposite allegiance, might be the United player Gary Neville.
Born to the east of Manchester in Ashton-under-Lyne, Doyle joined City from Stockport Boys as a youth player in 1962, and spent two years playing at that level, initially as a forward, then as a right-back. Ultimately he settled down as the more defensive wing-half, perfectly partnered by the more adventurous Alan Oakes. Doyle also had a successful spell in central defence.
Between 1965 and 1978, he made 448 league appearances for City, scoring 32 goals, and in 1976-77 five appearances for England. Above all, he became an inspirational club captain. Dennis Tueart, another England player and City winger, recalled: "He was a born winner. He had two periods really as a great player for Manchester City. He was a great leader on the field. I know I got all the praise [for the winning goal againstNewcastle United at Wembley in the Football League Cup Final of 1976], but in my mind Mike was our player of the match without question."
Doyle was equally influential when City won the FA Cup against Leicester City at Wembley in 1969. He was also a major force when City won the European Cup-Winners' Cup Final in Vienna against Górnik Zabrze in 1970, and scored that year when City beat West Bromich Albion in the League Cup Final. And when City won the league title in 1967-68, Doyle had the special satisfaction of seeing them finish two points ahead of Manchester United.
However, his career was compromised by City's flamboyant, innovative but erratic coach, Malcolm Allison, who, when promoted to full manager in 1972, bought the striker Rodney Marsh from Queen's Park Rangers, and, to the horror of City's fans, dropped Doyle to make room for him. In this, his first managerial spell at City, Allison lasted only a season, and after he left, Doyle not only regained his place but won his five England caps.
In 1978 Manchester City transferred him for £50,000 to second-division Stoke City, where he became player of the season in 1979, eventually making 115 league appearances, with five goals. In 1981 he moved to second-division Bolton Wanderers for two years, making 40 appearances and scoring two goals. His playing career came to an end in the 1983-84 season with fourth-division Rochdale, for whom he played 24 games, scoring once.
Yet Manchester City remained in his genes. "I get a bit tired of being the last City player to lead a winning team at Wembley," he once complained. "Obviously I'm proud, but the longer it goes on, the longer it means we haven't won anything." This year, at least, he was able to celebrate an FA Cup win at last for City, over his other main team, Stoke.
In his later years, he had various salesman jobs, and in 2007 sought help for addiction to alcohol at the Sporting Chance Clinic at Liphook, Hampshire, founded by the former Arsenal captain Tony Adams. This helped him to give up drink for 18 months.
He is survived by his wife, Cheryl, his daughters, Stephanie and Natalie, and his sons, Scott and Grant.
• Michael Doyle, footballer, born 25 November 1946; died 27 June 2011