Manchester City is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our Honorary President, Sir Howard Bernstein.

Sir Howard dedicated his life to public service, working for Manchester City Council for over 40 years, rising up to the position of Chief Executive in a role that he held for nearly 20 years, prior to his retirement in 2017.

Under his leadership, the city of Manchester enjoyed an incredible resurgence both economically and culturally following the decline of former manufacturing industries.

One of his greatest achievements as Chief Executive was bringing the enormously successful Commonwealth Games to Manchester in 2002, using sports-led regeneration to breathe new life into Manchester, which in doing so, paved the way for Manchester City’s move to the then City of Manchester Stadium (now known as the Etihad Stadium), from Maine Road.

Sir Howard also initiated a number of broader regeneration projects, including a range of major commercial, transport and cultural developments with the advent and then expansion of Metrolink, the Bridgewater Hall, HOME, the Manchester Conference Centre and the City Art Gallery.

Under his stewardship, Manchester became a leading metropolitan city, revered the world over as a destination for academic study, business enterprise, art and culture.

Indeed, he was knighted in 2003 for his services to the city of Manchester.

A lifelong Manchester City fan and regular attender of our matches over the course of his life, his support for the Club and the city of Manchester mark him out as a hugely important figure.

After leaving public life, Sir Howard took up a position as Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester and served as a strategic advisor to several public, private and academic institutions in the UK and internationally, specialising in health and social care, government reform and devolution, and regeneration.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends and this very difficult time. 

Commenting on Sir Howard’s incredible contribution and legacy, Manchester City Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, said:

“Sir Howard Bernstein’s contribution and dedication to the city of Manchester throughout his life cannot be overstated. His vision and foresight to use sports-led regeneration to reinvigorate the city was unquestionably the catalyst which set Manchester on the path to becoming the successful city that it is today.

“His love for football and his passion for Manchester City in particular, was clear for all to see. The Club has valued his guidance over many years, allowing it to support the continuation of his drive to revitalise East Manchester, and further develop the Etihad Campus.

“Upon his passing, the many people who have worked with Sir Howard and valued his friendship will reflect on his incredible life of public service. There can be no doubt that Manchester’s status as a leading post-industrial city is, in large part, attributable to Sir Howard.

“His family, friends and all who knew him can rightly be proud of his remarkable achievements, and it is beholden on us to continue to build on that legacy.”