August 2000: CITY 2 (Windass 24, Carbone 74) CHELSEA 0

TODAY marks the anniversary of City splashing a record transfer fee.

It was 19 years ago that they shelled out £2.5 million to sign Scottish international David Hopkin from Leeds – breaking the previous best set 12 months earlier when David Wetherall went the same route for £1.4 million.

The 29-year-old Hopkin arrived with a strong reputation and appeared a solid addition for City’s second term in the Premiership.

But it never worked out. A serious ankle injury in a League Cup tie at Darlington hampered the future manager’s first stay at Valley Parade and he was packed off to Crystal Palace before the Bantams were relegated.

Hopkin featured only 11 times in the top flight and won on just one occasion – what a mirage that proved to be.

City’s second most famous win over Chelsea is this week’s nostalgia game as newly-promoted boss Chris Hutchings celebrated his competitive home debut in the dug-out with victory. Like Hopkin, that would be his sole success.

It would be as good as it got in an ultimately-wretched campaign as City hustled and harried Chelsea’s aristocrats while Benito Carbone pulled the strings.

Geoffrey Richmond called it the “absolute pinnacle” of his time at the club, suggesting it was possibly the best football City had played in their entire history. The 2-0 scoreline flattered Chelsea, he said.

Carbone, making his first start for the club, was the inspiration as the game raged frantically from one end to the other.

Hopkin sent an early volley wide before Gus Poyet’s lunge just failed to reach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s low cross.

Then City struck. Stuart McCall, whose industry with Hopkin controlled the midfield, worked Lee Sharpe into space on the left of the box.

He swung a cross to the far post where Dean Windass had room to head past Ed de Goey.

Valley Parade rocked and Chelsea were rattled. Hopkin failed to finish from a tight angle after another fluent move and then Emerson Thome nearly headed into his own net.

Gianluca Vialli hauled off Hasselbaink soon after the break, the Dutchman smacking the dug-out roof in frustration, but sub Tore Andre Flo fired straight at Matt Clarke when sent clear.

Christian Panucci, another sub, volleyed wide from distance and Gianfranco Zola shot wastefully at Clarke again after being set up by Flo. The Londoners were knocking on the door but City held firm.

And they made sure of the points with 15 minutes left as Carbone got the goal that his individual display richly deserved.

The Italian unleashed a swerving shot from the edge of the Chelsea box that flummoxed de Goey, who could only push it into his own net.

City fans went home jubilant at the side expensively rebuilt in the summer – Vialli would soon lose his job at Stamford Bridge.

But it proved a false dawn for the Bantams, Hutchings and Hopkin, the most expensive recruit of the lot.

CITY: Clarke, Petrescu (Ward 76), Wetherall, O’Brien, Nolan, Atherton, McCall, Hopkin, Sharpe (Whalley 79), Carbone (Myers 89), Windass.

CHELSEA: de Goey, Babayaro (Harley 46), Desailly, Thome, Melchiot (Panucci 63), Poyet, Wise, Di Matteo, Morris, Zola, Hasselbaink (Flo 56).