Norwich City top 100 appearances: ‘Disco’ Dale Gordon (33) – a story of step-overs and a healthy sprinkling of stardust
PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:09 15 January 2020
He’s the boy from Caister-on-Sea who left top-flight full-backs feeling out of their depth. STEVEN DOWNES tells how he was dazzled by ‘Disco’ Dale Gordon.
Dale Gordon (33)
261 appearances/43 goals
"Disco, Disco, Disco...."
For Norwich City fans of a certain age, it's a chant that evokes magical memories of a flying winger who was one of our own (even though he had a childhood crush on Ipswich Town, which I am prepared to forgive).
The boy with the Soul-Glo hair, the roguish moustache and that step-over - it was hardly a secret weapon. But full-backs kept falling for it, often literally.
Dale Gordon came through the ranks at Carrow Road during a golden era. It was a sensational time to be a fan, standing on the terraces and watching a galaxy of stars: Bryan Gunn, Mark Bowen, Mike Phelan, Andy Townsend, Ian Crook, Robert Fleck, Ruel Fox.
A Milk Cup win, fifth in the First Division (that's the Premier League to you youngsters), fourth in the First Division, an FA Cup semi-final in 1989. What would today's fans give for that?
For me, a teenager standing on the lower River End before being allowed by my Dad to graduate to the Barclay, it was a love affair.
The team had Gunn the Great in goal, with a solid back line bolstered by the Atlas figure of Ian Butterworth, the steel and scoring of Townsend in midfield alongside City's best ever passer Ian Crook, and uber-volleyer and comic turn Fleck up front.
But it was Disco who added the sprinkling of stardust; the unpredictability (including of course the predictably unpredictable step-over), the pace, the crosses, the goal threat.
My favourite Gordon goal was when he rounded West Ham's keeper to score the opener from an angle of about three degrees in City's first ever live home TV match in 1988. City were at that time top of the First Division.
But my best on-pitch recollection of Disco is less specific. It is the collective buzz of anticipation that swirled around Carrow Road when he got the ball.
A few years after Gordon retired, my son won a penalty shoot-out at one of his soccer schools at Pontins in Hemsby.
The lad was utterly underwhelmed when the Canaries legend presented him with his winner's medal. Meanwhile, I was tongue-tied and star-struck on the sidelines, taking photos and trying not to chant: "Disco, Disco, Disco..."