‘I’ll come back to Norfolk for that’ – Gunn signs off in style after the warmest of days
PUBLISHED: 17:16 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:16 21 May 2018
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It was an emotional Bryan Gunn that said his latest goodbye to Carrow Road, as Norwich City Legends and Inter Forever put on a special day for a special cause.
Almost 18,000 fans took in the charity spectacle to raise money for the Community Sports Foundation’s (CSF) ambitious plans for a new home called The Nest, just north of Norwich.
The game marked 25 years since the Canaries and Inter Milan came face to face in the 1993-94 Uefa Cup – when Gunn was between the sticks and at the peak of his powers, for a club where he will always be regarded as a legend.
It was also the last act of Gunn’s latest association with the club; a season spent supporting son Angus whose year on-loan from Manchester City ensured any wounds left by Gunn senior’s chastening time as manager were fully healed.
“I was in the dugout and looking at the crowd, and they weren’t board,” beamed Bryan. “There were lots of kids there for the first time, lots of people who probably haven’t seen me play. They’d seen me get sacked as manager! But that made up for it, today. I didn’t have the two season ticket holders running down the pitch at me, so that was quite nice as well.
“It’s just brought back all the memories. I tried to head the crossbar but I was about a foot away – and that was with a hop, skip and jump.
“Angus was up in the stands watching and he hasn’t sent me any text messages yet, but I think he might have been impressed with the two saves.
“Marco Materazzi scored and what a goal. He’s a World Cup winner, gets head-butted by Zinedine Zidane. He’s a very famous player, so I’ll give him that one.
“But I just loved every moment of it. I’ll die a happy man.”
Gunn’s outing lasted about 15 minutes – although the man himself wanted to cut it even shorter, so he wasn’t left facing Materazzi’s glorious free-kick that opened the scoring.
Inter Forever have never lost a game and with Javier Zanetti, Nicola Berti, Giorgos Karagounis and Jurgen Klinsmann all on show, they ran out 2-1 winners – while City quite fancy the chance of a rematch in the San Siro come December.
But with Angus Gunn’s Canaries involvement now at an end, Bryan hopes the fruits of the legends’ labour will bring him back to Norfolk again soon.
“Credit to Rob Newman, Mark Bowen, we’re all 55 in December,” said Gunn. “Not quite as old as Giuseppe Baresi (60) coming down the line here, but it was just pleasure to be on the pitch.
“I don’t think it will ever happen again, in front of this type of crowd. So thank you to the club.
“The CSF is a great project too so at least we’ve done a little bit and given something back. Hopefully once The Nest is all up and running, we can come back and celebrate again.
“I’m sure some of the people within the stadium will get to benefit from the project and use the facilities once they’re up and running.
“When we took Francesco Toldo there back in August, there was a bit of grass and an old building so I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished article. I’ll come back to Norfolk for that.
“That’s what it’s all about, why we’re here and as I said to the lads, that’s what they will be remembered for now – helping make some money and putting on a show in front of 18,000 fans. Wow! It was great.”
• For more about the Build The Nest campaign see thenest.org.uk
• If you would like to support CSF, donations can be made at communitysportsfoundation.org.uk or you can text ‘NEST11£5’ to 70070 to donate £5
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