Former Norwich City striker Chris Sutton has lifted the lid on his record-breaking move to Blackburn Rovers – and the night he spent in a police cell after his farewell party got out of hand.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

In his autobiography, published today, he reveals how he sat through a press conference at Carrow Road in 1994 where City chairman Robert Chase announced he would “test the water” to see if any club would come up with the £5m asking price. But, claims Sutton, he had by then already signed for Blackburn.

Sutton’s 25 Premiership goals for the Canaries in the 1993-94 season made him hot property, but only Arsenal and Blackburn were willing to pay what was then a British record transfer fee.

In his book, “Paradise and Beyond”, he recalls: “I quickly made my mind up to sign for Blackburn and travelled up to the North West. I met the chairman, Robert Coar, at his house and signed terms on a five-year contract there and then. Norwich had agreed a fee with Blackburn and they gave me permission to talk to the club. But I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone; I was sworn to secrecy by Robert Chase.

“I travelled back to Norwich and had a meeting with Robert Chase.

“He told me he was going to call a press conference to stop all the speculation about me leaving the club because he had previously stated that if I wasn’t at the club for the start of the new season, then he wouldn’t be there either.

“He also said he would make it known at the press conference that he would test the water with other clubs and if a club came up with a £5m transfer fee for me he would let me go. It was surreal because I had already signed for Blackburn.

“I wasn’t totally comfortable with Robert Chase’s press conference but I had no choice, I had to go along with it. But it was misleading to the Norwich fans.”

However, Sutton believes former chairman Chase “did a lot of good for Norwich City Football Club”.

He argues: “He had a big part in the building of the new training ground and the redevelopment of Carrow Road . . . I think it’s fair to say he was a shrewd operator.”

Sutton also recalled how his going-away party in Norwich on the eve of his move to Blackburn ended with a night in police custody. He writes: “It’s fair to say a lot of alcohol was consumed and things got a bit out of hand. Going from one pub to another, I jumped right inside a convertible car headfirst. I caused a little bit of damage to the indicator by bending the lever. Suffice to say it was a pretty stupid thing to do.”

He left the bar in Tombland in a taxi but was followed by three police cars.

“You’d have thought I’d killed someone. I was taken out of the taxi and into the back of one of the police cars. They took me to the police station and put me in a cell,” he says. “It makes me cringe just thinking about it now. It was brainless behaviour. I had let a lot of people down.”

Sutton, 38, who won the Premiership title in his first season at Blackburn, later starred for Chelsea, Celtic – alongside current City boss Paul Lambert - Birmingham and Aston Villa. He retired in 2007 because of an eye injury, a year after returning to Norfolk with his family.

He attributes much of his success in football to Norwich team-mates Ruel Fox and Ian Crook, and in the book he includes the two Uefa Cup colleagues in his dream team.

“Ruel – along with Ian Crook – was the main reason why I progressed in the game. For me, Ruel should have played for England. I can’t think of many players who had his all-round ability,” he says.

Of Crook, he says: “He was the best passer of a ball I played with and when I look at the players in the game today, I still haven’t seen anyone better.”

Sutton also reveals his disappointment at not re-joining the Canaries in 2006, when manager Nigel Worthington decided against signing him.

“Only Nigel knows the exact reasons for not signing me. I would have loved to go back and play for Norwich and maybe if he’s signed me, he would have kept his job,” he says. “There was speculation in the local media that I was on my way back to Carrow Road but I never felt it was going to happen.”

• “Paradise and Beyond: My Autobiography,” by Chris Sutton with Mark Guidi (Black & White Publishing) is now on sale, price £18.99.

25 comments

  • Mike Walker was indeed a great manager the first time round. But he was not sacked he left to go and manage Everton mainly because Chase kept selling off all our best players. Where if my memorys correct he was sacked from there in less than a year as at the time Everton were bottom of the table.

    Report this comment

    The Bloater

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • That picture says it all, however, to my mind, Chris Sutton was the best player I've ever seen to don the yellow and green, Such a shame he never came back

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

  • Was,nt it in Robert Chases Tme that Mike Walker got his manching orders,although Mike Walker was a good Manager who brought glory to the club ?

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • I guess a Ghost may have had some input into that book. Peter Trett`s got a point. It`ll soon be remaindered. Good player, Chris Sutton. Robert Chase a clever "businessman". Norwich City Football Club has moved on. Delia is a latter-day Saint. Lambert an outstanding manager. Cully a great coach. McNally another shrewd operator, hopefully of a different kind. But nothing lasts forever. Let`s enjoy it while we can! OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

  • The picture tells a story. Isn`t it strange that "businessmen" with fat faces have even fatter necks? Cannot be to prevent the use of the noose. Garrotte would be better, just make it long enough to circumnavigate his jowls.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

  • That Mike Walker season where we finished third was the one that got away for me. Walker always reckoned that we were two or three players away from winning the league. Crooky, Bowen, and Culverhouse are all legends for me and with Phillips on the left and Fox on the right what a team that was. Gunny goes without saying as well, so many great saves... ahhh the nostalgia ;) lets dream about Lambert replicating that.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • No need to buy the book now you've told us the only best bit

    Report this comment

    billythebookie

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • What is it with city fans and Robert Chase? The bloke set the club up with sound finacial decisions, all be it not always popular at the time, but the fact he bought property and land by the club that was sold on at a profit in times of need kept you a float. Sutton was 1 player in a team, could he pass the £5m down? I bet there's a lot ofIipswich fans who wish their club had been run in a similar manner.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • does btb mean "the only good bit"? Good, better, best.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • alwys thought that chase shafted the club...i agree with the opinion that ruel should have played for england. bless chris but does he justify writing a book?

    Report this comment

    lordyfan

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

  • Wonder what happened to the comment I posted just before the one below. The phantom comment police must have grabbed it. I wonder if it will re-appear later. If not I'll try to remember it, and post it again. It was good, if a little anti-Chase.

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

  • Prize for the best caption to the picture! My entry - "I wonder who's next to go after me. Definitely not him!"

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

  • Gosh £18.99, I will wait a few months and pick the book up from a car boot or charity shop for about 50p when it represents value for money.

    Report this comment

    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • For "shrewd" read "shifty". I can't believe there are still people like Keith S (surely not Skipper?? !!) who view Chase a some kind of latter-day saint whose only thoughts were for NCFC. No my friend, the only destination the profits of property wheeling and dealing was intended for was RC's capacious pockets! He hung on for 7 years in the hope that the profits were realised while he was in tenure, but in the end he had no choice but to go - even then he made sure of his golden handshake before he departed! And billie - glad you can save yourself £18.99!!!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

  • 11 months Walker was @ Everton. Bad move on his part. Should've stayed with us.

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • Well there`s a shocker! The shrewdest of all shrewd operators misleading the Norwich fans.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • The Brewer is on top form, so too the Crab! I still have my 'Chase Out' mug on display to remind me how that Shyster nearly ruined our club. Delia, on the other hand, has made us all proud again! She gladly signed my son's shirt when we turned up to watch training at Colney the day after we signed Ashton. Incidentally, Worthy had the lads doing shooting practice that day - something that wouldn't go amiss now!

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

  • LOL @ Crab Not Skipper so forget that. City's millionaire came knocking and who did Delia think of first? Yes herself and making a tidy profit on her investment. Bye Bye millionaire.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Friday, October 7, 2011

  • And I bet that the board didn't mislead us as to whether Dean Ashton was up for sale!

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • Absolutely agree DaveG, and pretty well my point too. @Keith S - I think we can all see where you're coming from. So far as Delia is concerned, I wonder where you got your information about Delia's millions. Fact is she has pumped millions INTO the club - quite the reverse of what Chase did. And she and Michael have consistently refused to sell their shares at large profits on the grounds of would-be buyers not being able to show that they had the interests of THE CLUB at heart. And this despite the abuse she gets from ill-informed people like you! Make no mistake Delia loves the club - always has, always will. Unlike Chase, who regularly walked up and down lines of fans queueing for scarce Cup tickets with a counter in his hand, in order to calculate how much he was going to make out of that particular match. Who was your "Bye Bye" addressed to? Chase? - I agree - and good riddance! Delia? - a bit premature, I think!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

  • Aha! It's arrived! See, it wasn't rude, just factual. Thank Mr Comment Policeman for letting it through!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

  • some of the stuff Robert Chase did for Norwich City turned out to be extremely beneficial but he lost my respect entirely when he said to the fans that he wouldn't be here the following season if Chris Sutton wasn't. He didn't keep his word and it still rankles with me all these years later. Clearly he had no intention of keeping his promise so his honesty and integrity was already non-existent in my mind. This additinal information just confirms what a dishonest man he was. A man should be as good as his word and RC certainly wasn't

    Report this comment

    Daveyboy

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • Yes RC did the club well with his property deals, but if he had not sold the team after we got knocked out of Europe, we may never have been relegated and would not have needed the money years later

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Friday, October 7, 2011

  • I must stop agreeing with Crab! Not easy when he keeps talking sense. Delia`s contribution is unimpeachable, surely? She wears her heart on her sleeve. Bless her. And the only cookbook I use is an early edition of her Complete Cookery Course. The only cooking Chase did was of the books!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

  • I have no problem with selling Chris Sutton its all the dishonesty and deceit surrounding it that I don't like. I wouldn't trust Rc as far as I could throw him and would never want to do business with him as I couldn't believe anything that he said. What he said was designed to deceive the fans and this current revelation just confirms that. Again I would have no probelm with Sutton being sold had RC just come out and said that was what was going to happen and explain why

    Report this comment

    Daveyboy

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
LocalSearch24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

Order your copy of The Canary magazine
Norwich City: History as it happened
Order your copy of Norwich City: History as it Happened
Read our digital publication

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT