Online backlash over Hucks' release

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:34 10 September 2010

Lucy Bolton

The fans' backlash against Darren Huckerby's rejection by Canaries' bosses continued today with a moving YouTube tribute video and a facebook petition calling for him to be given one final farewell game. View the video.

The fans' backlash against Darren Huckerby's rejection by Canaries' bosses continued today with a moving YouTube tribute video and a Facebook petition calling for him to be given one final farewell game.

Thousands of Norwich City fans have been distraught since the announcement that the club's most popular player of the 21st century has been forced to fly the nest and would not be pulling on the famous yellow shirt next season.

Manager Glenn Roeder confirmed on Tuesday through a statement issued on the club's official website that the 32-year-old fans' favourite would not be part of his plans for next season.

But supporters are not letting the matter rest and a petition has been set up on the internet site Facebook for fans to be given the chance for a proper send-off and one more game.

The petition calls for the proceeds from the one-off game to go to charity and suggests a possible match between a Huckerby X1 and Manchester City, one of Huckerby's former clubs.

In just 24 hours more than 200 people have already signed up to the petition, which will be sent to the club's chief executive Neil Doncaster, and viewers of the site have already added their comments to it.

One, Mark Elden said: “I'm not a Norwich fan, but he deserves more respect from Roeder and the club.

“In modern day football there aren't many players who love the club they play for. It's all about money, but not for Darren, who's a true great who deserves better. The fans will miss him, so at least give him another game to say goodbye to the club he loves.”

Another petition has also been set up on Facebook calling for the club to keep Huckerby and to renew his contract.

The petition was posted by fan Daniel Church, who said: “All in favour to keep Hucks in Canary colours join this Facebook petition. He is getting on, but he is still a God on the pitch.”

Fans at the Darren Huckerby Society on Facebook have also been paying tribute to him.

Rachel Waddison said: “Gutted. What eye-candy is there now at Carrow Road? He was the only reason I have had a season ticket for the past four years.”

Simon Bean, at the University of Nottingham, said: “I'm so gutted, what a legend. I just count myself lucky that I got to see him at his best for five amazing years.

“There's no doubt that he'll go down as one of the all-time city greats. Thanks for everything you did for the club and good luck in the future. I cannot believe we're letting him go.”

Rob Donaldson, at the UEA, said: “Can't believe we didn't offer another contract to Hucks. Fair enough, he hasn't had a great season, due to injuries, but for the last 10 games he was by far our best player and is still our main attacking threat. I think it's Glenn's ego coming in.”

The YouTube video captures some of Huckerby's best moments during his five-year spell at Carrow Road and is set to the tear-jerking Oasis track Stop Crying Your Heart Out - the same track the BBC used to sum up England's quarter-final exit from the 2002 World Cup in Japan.

Some of the golden moments from the video include Huckerby's scintillating run and finish against Birmingham last season, his landmark goal against Arsenal in the Premiership - City's 1,000th in the top flight - and his 48th and final goal for the club against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

Many of those who have watched the YouTube video have also paid tribute on the site.

One said: “What hurts most is that we never got to say goodbye. Goodbye Huckerby, you will be in our memories always.”

Another said: “It actually sent shivers down my spine but he's gone now, nothing else can be done.”

As reported, offers have been coming in for Huckerby's services since the Canaries' talisman was told he would not be offered a new deal at Carrow Road once his contract expires at the end of June.

Huckerby's agent Phil Smith said the City legend is already sifting through potential suitors for the start of next season, which is a galling situation for many Canary fans who feel Huckerby still had plenty yet to offer in the yellow and green of City.

Huckerby's father Bill told the Evening News yesterday that the decision to release his son had come as a “shock”. Bill Huckerby said his son showed an interest in football when he was just five and that he knew then that he was destined for success.

During his nearly five years at the club, Huckerby played 203 games, scored 48 goals, won two player of the season awards and a place in the club's Hall of Fame.

t A special page has now been set up on our website, www. eveningnews24.co.uk where you can read all the latest news and views on Huckerby's departure.

t Are you doing something special to mark Darren Huckerby's departure? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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