Norwich City top 100 appearances: Darren Eadie (62)
PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:55 29 May 2017
COPYRIGHT ECN 1998
204 appearances, 38 goals
Skill and pace to burn saw Eadie become a hero at Carrow Road and led to plenty of controversy when the winger was sold amongst financial difficulties for the Canaries.
After starting out with Southampton’s centre of excellence at 11 years old the Chippenham-born speed merchant first started playing for the Norwich academy as a 15-year-old.
He signed professional terms in 1993 and made his senior debut in memorable circumstances the following season – in City’s first ever European tie, replacing Gary Megson in the 81st minute of a 3-0 win over Vitesse Arnhem at Carrow Road in the Uefa Cup first round, as an 18-year-old.
Three goals in 20 games – starting the vital 1-1 home draw with Bayern Munich in the second round of the Uefa Cup – saw Eadie make a lively start to his Canaries career.
It was the 1996-97 campaign which really saw his star in the ascendancy though, after City had dropped out of the Premiership, scoring 17 goals in 42 league games. However, knee problems started to emerge and disrupted the England U21 international’s next season, preventing him from playing for England at Le Tournoi in France in the summer of 1997, as Glenn Hoddle built towards the 1998 World Cup.
Top flight interested continued as Eadie was called into an England training squad in August 1998, with Leicester and West Ham monitoring his talents, in spite of more injury problems.
Eventually it was Leicester who won the race, in December 1999, with former Norwich boss Martin O’Neill’s chase of the wide man finally paying off, the Foxes paying a club-record fee of £3million.
City insisted finances hadn’t forced the sale but criticism still came the club’s way, with Eadie leaving after 38 goals in 204 appearances across seven seasons.
Unfortunately those injuries also limited his impact at Leicester, scoring twice in 47 games and his contract was not renewed in 2003. There was brief hope that Eadie would re-join City but instead the winger was forced to retire at the age of 28.
Nowadays you can catch Darren presenting on Norwich’s very own Mustard TV.