‘I didn’t want to leave’ - Marc Edworthy on the thrills and spills of his Norwich City career
PUBLISHED: 06:02 19 March 2020
Evening News © 2004
When it comes to experienced names leaving in the Nigel Worthington era, Iwan Roberts and Malky Mackay’s departures are often seen as mistakes made by the club - Marc Edworthy feels the same tinge of regret.
City opted not to renew the contracts of the streetwise duo after promotion to the Premier League, a decision that left supporters perplexed.
A year later, Edworthy was another high-profile, experienced operator shown the door as Worthington looked to reinvigorate his squad following relegation.
The right-back wasn’t awarded with a new deal and was frozen out of Worthington’s squad as they battled to complete a great escape.
City won four of their last seven to set up a dramatic last day fixture against Fulham - which City lost 6-0.
Speaking about his contractual dispute, Edworthy said: “I had a great relationship with Nigel. I was going to go into negotiating a new contract and he said ‘yeah, no problem, we’ll speak to the people involved’.
“The negotiations didn’t actually go that well, so it wasn’t a case of me wanting lots of money. All I wanted was to be treated with a little bit of respect and to be on the same wavelength as some of the other members of the squad.
“I think I deserved that after signing on a free transfer and playing a lot of games. So, I felt that I earned myself a new contract.
“I was offered the contract but I don’t think they were looking after me as well as they could’ve. Let’s just say that. That’s me being honest, not me being disrespectful to the club.
“If there are any regrets, it’s leaving the club at that time because I loved it at the club and it was a great place to be.”
Edworthy was a pivotal cog in a structured City defence, and provided the freedom for the Canaries off-the-cuff talents to go and express themselves.
Prior to joining City, Edworthy was a man short of self-belief and questioning the direction his career was heading - only for a phone call from City’s former manager to change it all.
“I remember going up to Carrow Road and Colney training ground on the Thursday with the season starting on Saturday.
“I was out of contract and I remember Nigel Worthington phoning me up and inviting me to a training session at Colney on the Thursday.
“We were playing Bradford away on the opening day. I came on at half time and I think I only missed one or two games that season.
“It was a fantastic season. Darren Huckerby is a great friend of mine, Iwan Roberts as well, we had a fantastic squad. It was one of the highlights of my career and I was fortunate to play at Wembley on three occasions.
“To win the Championship outright was special. Great supporters, I loved the fans and it was a great place to play - I was really happy there,” Edworthy said.
In that title-winning season City won 94 points, a record only matched by Daniel Farke’s class of 2018-19.
A pivotal day in that season was City’s 2-0 victory over Ipswich Town, a win that took City to the summit of the Championship table for the first time.
Leon McKenzie was the hero on that day, but Edworthy recalls the fixture with fond memories.
“It was amazing. I heard of the rivalry with Ipswich and obviously I’ve played in a few derbies but the Norwich v Ipswich games were huge.
“There was always a great atmosphere. We talk about how passionate they are up in Norfolk and a good friend of mine, Leon McKenzie, signed and he was a difficult player to play against.
“He scored two on the day and to go in your rivals’ back yard and to go top was special. Moments like that, when they come in your career, it doesn’t get much better than that.
“We went top but we embraced going top.”
City’s promotion to the Premier League was deserved but they struggled to acclimatise to life in the top-flight and failed to win a game until November.
Craven Cottage, on the final day of the season, was the day it all came tumbling down for City, and marked the end of Edworthy’s spell with the Canaries.
“The preparations went great. There was a great belief in the squad and the banter was great.
“The crowd behind the goal was fantastic as always and we started quite well. One goal went in and you thought, ‘okay’
“When the second and third goal went in, you knew it was over.”