The day Norwich City hit Birmingham for six
12:16 03 April 2011
Norwich City had a reputation as a side built on solid defence under manager Ron Saunders – but they served up a goal bonanza in the penultimate home match of his first season in charge.
• Date: Wednesday, April 15, 1970
• Venue: Carrow Road
• Competition: Football League Division Two
• Score: Norwich City 6, Birmingham City 0
• Attendance: 12,994
• Story: The Canaries scored six in a league game for the first time in seven years as they thrashed Birmingham in the penultimate fixture of the 1969-70 season to extend their unbeaten run to 11 games.
Birmingham City were the victims as the Canaries produced a scintillating display in the Division Two fixture at Carrow Road, recording their biggest win since the 6-0 thrashing of Stoke seven years earlier.
Winger Ken Foggo scored twice, with Graham Paddon, Albert Bennett and Peter Silvester also on target as the Blues were brushed aside.
Victory made it 11 games without defeat for City – and they made it 12 unbeaten by wrapping up the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Watford three days later.
But it was the Birmingham victory that put fans in good heart going into the summer.
Paddon gave City the lead in the 16th minute with a low drive and it was 2-0 five minutes before half-time when another Paddon shot was diverted into his own net by Birmingham defender Ray Martin.
Paddon was involved again after 64 minutes when Foggo scored from his pass, and Foggo scored the fourth seven minutes later after Silvester’s shot came back off goalkeeper Peter Latchford.
Bennett scored goal number five in the 82nd minute and Silvester completed the rout two minutes later with a header from Foggo’s cross.
The celebratory mood was complete after the final whistle when skipper Duncan Forbes received the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy after being voted player of the season.
For inside-forward Bennett, it was his seventh goal in nine games as he finished the season with a flourish. Eleven days earlier he had scored a hat-trick for City in a 4-1 victory over Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
He said: “I remember scoring the hat-trick at Portsmouth but funnily enough I don’t remember too much about the Birmingham game.
“We had a good side and most of that team won promotion a couple of years later. Unfortunately I did my cartilage – the same thing had happened to me at Rotherham – and I had to pack up before that.
“Ken Foggo was a great winger and scored some terrific goals for Norwich. I’d be in the middle waiting for the cross but often Kenny used to take it on and shoot. He certainly packed a shot.
“Graham Paddon had a very good left foot, something you always need in a team, and scored some wonderful goals. And Peter Silvester was a very good player. I remember Peter coming to Norwich and I played alongside him when he made his debut at Birmingham that season.
“Trevor Howard was a bit of a supersub who used to come on and score a few goals, Alan Black was a real character, and of course we had Duncan Forbes and Dave Stringer at the back, who were very solid, and Kevin Keelan in goal.”
Former England Under-23 international Bennett, who joined City from Newcastle in 1969 – the first signing after the sale of Hugh Curran – scored 16 times in 60 appearances before a knee injury forced him to retire from the professional game in March 1971.
The cultured inside-right became well-known as one of the first players to don white boots, though the picture above shows he was not wearing them against the Blues, on a night when he came up against one of his former Newcastle colleagues.
Trevor Hockey was in the Birmingham side, a player Bennett remembers well.
“Trevor was one of my pals at Newcastle, where he used to play on the wing,” he said.
“He was a real battler, he used to go out with that headband on, and of course he came to Norwich for a short time a few years later and did a good job for them.
“It was very sad that he died after a heart attack when he was only 43.”
Bennett, now 66, is still a regular at Carrow Road, 40 years after he played his last game for the Canaries.
“I never miss a match. I bought a season ticket for my grandson,” he said. “It’s great to watch them doing so well.”