There have been a plethora of players who have turned out for Macc and Wrexham over the years – some of whom will be on show tomorrow, but today we turn back the clock and feature an exciting winger whose career was heartbreakingly cut short through injury
Mike Lake made over one hundred league appearances for the Silkmen during the late 1980’s and is the brother of Paul - who at that time was a Division One regular with Manchester City.
Mike actually started his career at Maine Road himself and played for their reserve side before he made the move to the Moss Rose in the summer of 1986.
In his first season with the club he played an integral part in a memorable season which saw Macc claim the treble (Northern Premier League, League Cup, Presidents Cup).
From there, Mike continued to put in some tremendous performances as The Silkmen adapted to life in the GM Vauxhall Conference.
During the 1988-89 season Mike was awarded an England Semi-Pro Cap - which was just reward for his endeavours, as well as having the honour of walking out at Wembley Stadium for the FA Trophy Final against Telford.
With scouts from the country’s top clubs keeping a watchful eye over Lake, it was no surprise when he left the Moss Rose to join Second Division side Sheffield United for a then club record fee of £60,000.
In his first few seasons at Bramhall Lane Mike was on the outskirts of the First Team, yet once The Blades had regained their First Division status he became a regular starter during the early 1990s.
During the 1991-92 season Lake was nicknamed “Zico” after scoring four spectacular goals in four games for United – the pick of which came in a 4 – 2 win against Southampton.
However, Lake picked up several knee injuries which limited his progress in the top tier of English football and in the summer of 1992 he made the move to the Racecourse Ground by joining Wrexham.
It was said that many Wrexham fans actually wrote to Mike personally asking him to join them and after a three month loan period he duly obliged – although the Red Dragons did have to pay £40,000 for his services.
After an injury hit 1993-94 season which saw Wrexham promoted, Lake started the following year full of optimism.
Yet tragedy was to strike right at the start of the season when he went up for a header against Shrewsbury Town and as he landed, felt his knee go completely.
It would be the last game he ever played.
Much like his brother Paul, Mike had the ability and the passion to go all the way in football. He possessed a unique talent which should have seen him gain full international honours.
Yet this was taken away from him due to a cruel set of injuries which deprived everyone the chance of seeing him realise his undoubted potential.