For a man far more comfortable in the shadows, Adam Drury deserved his starring role in the spotlight.

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From the guard of honour formed by team-mates past and present alongside the Scottish champions to his raucous address to the crowd on the final whistle, Drury was the only show in town. The archetypal team player, the solid citizen, the pro’s pro was lauded by his peers and the thousands in attendance, swelled by the 2,500 Celts who made the long trek south.

Drury’s decade of loyal service to the Norwich cause may never be seen again – such is the evolving nature of modern football. The futures of both Grant Holt and Paul Lambert may have dominated the headlines since clinching Premier League safety, but on this balmy night, back in familiar surroundings so soon after that emphatic finale against Aston Villa, the focus returned to football.

Drury had chances to leave Carrow Road at various stages during a tumultuous period in the club’s recent history. City’s Hall of Famer chose to stay; through good times and bad. The love and affection from the terraces last night was testament to an enduring legacy that will last long after his playing days are gone. Supporters retain a special place in their hearts for their own. Drury may hail from across the border in Cambridgeshire, but he is an adopted son of Norfolk now.

The defender’s Norwich career has spanned every possible range of emotions since his arrival from Peterborough in 2001; weighed down with Barry Fry’s label as the ‘best left-back outside the top flight.’ The ecstatic highs of promotions mixed with the epic, gut-wrenching lows of dropping all the way down to League One. The ultra-consistent periods of longevity in settled City backlines counter-balanced with the lengthy injuries that forced him onto the sidelines.

Even the ebullient Fry undersold the man for his loyalty and commitment to the cause during the intervening period. The 33-year-old has been the one constant through it all for the Norwich supporters; the reliable anchor in an ever-changing dressing room of different characters.

Drury has earned the respect of his peers for time served and dues paid. That much was clear by the former team mates who turned out in his honour, both on the pitch and in the stands. Young men like Dani Pacheco and Henri Lansbury spent only the briefest of periods alongside Drury, but they wanted to be at Carrow Road with men like John Hartson and Dion Dublin who spanned a different generation.

Lansbury and Pacheco may still be in the Spring of their careers, but they reaped the benefits from precious time spent around a true professional. For one night only, Darren Huckerby’s fleeting presence on the same team sheet evoked memories of an intuitive understanding with his great pal that carried Norwich to the Promised Land the last time they mixed it with the big boys. A lifelong friendship forged on the training fields of Colney and the Carrow Road.

Huckerby rivalled Drury in the pre-match popularity stakes when the line ups were first announced.

Lambert was another name feted as both sets of fans duelled to acclaim him as one of their own within the opening minutes. Yet even City’s much-heralded manager would have paid due deference to the player he restored to his Premier League line up for the closing weeks of a memorable campaign.

Drury burst inside Dylan McGeough inside the opening minutes, but the fairytale goal eluded him. Jed Steer parried Tony Watt’s stinging drive from long range before the unmarked James Vaughan slotted City in front 12 yards out from Wes Hoolahan’s cut back. Holt comically shot Drury a withering look when a miscued cross drifted into the Lower Barclay. City’s number three could be forgiven the aberration.

Kyle Naughton and Drury emerged for the second period with a new cast list in tow. Michael Nelson partnered Ryan Bennett in a central defensive mix of the ages. Lansbury and Pacheco also took their bow with Aaron Wilbraham earning a ringing endorsement from the home fans.

Naughton exited the scene for George Francomb in what in all probability had more than an air of a farewell for the superb Tottenham loanee. Watt tested City’s youthful keeping battery again but Declan Rudd tipped over before all four sides of Carrow Road rose to salute Drury just past the hour mark. Lansbury shovelled home a second on 69 minutes after Fraser Forster was punished for a miscued clearance.

Huckerby entered the field to thunderous applause from the home fans, who were only denied a fitting finale when Forster bravely smothered at the flyer’s feet after exchanging passes with Andrew Surman. Ever the showman, Huckerby tried again but was foiled by the Bhoys’ defence in the closing seconds following another flowing move from the hosts.

Lambert took to the microphone yet again on the final whistle to introduce the man of the moment.

Throughout the build up to his special night, Drury’s only wish was that all those in attendance indulged in a night of celebration. One fully merited for a club mercifully moving in the right direction and the player who played a major part in that journey.

After Vaughan had opened the scoring, the home fans bellowed, ‘We are Premier League.’ Norwich City have been good for Adam Drury. But Adam Drury has been even better for Norwich City.

13 comments

  • My abiding memory of Glasgow is the Scottish Junior Cup Final @ Hampden Park, 197-something. Tennent`s lager, now raised to body temperature, being recycled back into the cans whence it came. Then used as impromptu missiles that showered all beneath their trajectory with golden, tepid, toxic rain. Happy days. Also got food poisoning from a rancid Burger. I suppose there`s a "flipside" to everything? Happy days, indeed.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

  • Evolution? Football will get Revolution if the "Authorities" live up to their stated aim of putting Sugar Daddy football into the dump bin. History is not single-track, D`Avitt, it can change direction. It is not about smug, banal local journalism.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • Without my reading glasses, I originally read the headline as "Hall of Farmer" + thought it was some sort of bizarre agricultural award presented by the local rural community....time to clock off football messageboards + have a summer break methinks !

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    Timbo

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • Drury may have been here longer than the south stand, but 33 is no age for the tidiest left-back in the league to be retired or released!

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    Rogers of Norwich

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • Question for the stats geeks. How many different players has Adam apppeared with for Norwich? Then a Q for him, what is the best team he would pick from those players?

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    Pondlife

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • I`ve done that "farmer" thing too, Timbo! The error sort of gets blurred because of the general standard of spelling & grammar used in headlines, etc. Yes, time for a summer rest. Take a br ether. :-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • A wonderful evening for a wonderful player who every supporter admires. Hope Adam stays as it will be nice to see him still playing, 33 is not that old. Thank you also to the Celtic supporters who made the long journey to Norwich and certainly helped to creat a brilliant atmosphere.

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    goldie

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • One of the best games that I have been to. The atmosphere was pure "football supporter", the Celtic crowd were fantastic, the city followers copying the Celtic celebrations all around the ground. The football was good but didn't really matter too much. Great night for adam drury, well deserved reward for his loyalty to the club. Thought Hucks was the dogs whatsits and should be signed up without delay. Well done to PL for getting Celtic down, and twenty thousand plus supporters calling out for him must have made his day.

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    tom the taxi

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • Full respect for those Glaswegians, super place, though the last time I was there I got caught up in a Norovirus outbreak and felt like hell for two days. Kelvingrove Musem, one of my all time favourites. Yes, I am trying not to think about the news we are all craving but not getting. Let's be having you!

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • on one line. Bre ther! :-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • It was good to see so many Celtic fans make the long trip and, from the television news, that they were so positive about the welcome they received.

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    Sprowstonboy

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • As long as it didn't make Lambert homesick!!

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    Pondlife

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

  • It was a great night all round. What an atmosphere and rightly so for such a player. If you're looking for role models in football you need look no further than Adam Drury. Whatever happens from now on in, he'll always be welcome at Carrow Rd,

    Report this comment

    Flying Canary

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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

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