Famous shirt brings back memories of Canaries debut for Eadie – and this one fits!
PUBLISHED: 09:30 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:30 15 May 2018
Pulling on the famous ‘egg and cress’ Norwich City shirt brings back great memories for Darren Eadie – and at least his new one fits properly.
Eadie is among the Canaries legends preparing to take on Inter Forever at Carrow Road on Sunday (2pm) in an exhibition game to raise funds for the Community Sports Foundation.
The game is also marking the approaching 25-year anniversary of City’s Uefa Cup run, in which Eadie was handed his debut as a substitute in the first leg of the first round, a 3-0 home win over Vitesse Arnhem.
“It was a special time for me, I probably didn’t realise how special at the time, a youngster coming into the team at 18 and playing in a European run – I thought it was going to be like that every week!” the Canaries legend reflected.
“It was brilliant and it showed a lot of faith from Mike Walker and the football club, I think that season we had 26 pros and 13 had come through the youth team ranks, he put a lot of faith in that.
“To have such a big game here against Vitesse Arnhem, at the start of the Uefa Cup run, to chuck me on for 20 minutes was a dream come true and something I never thought would happen.
“To then play more later in the run, as sub against Bayern Munich away and then to start against Bayern here – I remember standing in the tunnel and being next to Lothar Matthaus, three years after seeing him win the World Cup for Germany, and thinking ‘this is a bit bizarre’.
“It’s just amazing memories and it’s great to be bringing it back and recreate it a little bit.”
Eadie scored 38 goals in 204 games following that debut, going on to join Leicester for around £3million in 1999, and doesn’t remember nerves being an issue on his big night.
“There kind of wasn’t, it was weird, because you’re a youngster you just want to get on there and do something,” he continued. “You don’t really think about it too much because I’d never experienced it before.
“So the nerves were there, there’s always a little bit of nerves but I don’t know if there would have been a few years later, once you’ve experienced the game a bit and you knew how big it was.”
One thing the 42-year-old is looking forward to about Sunday’s game, in aid of CSF’s new hub The Nest, is pulling on the 1993-94 shirt.
“This one actually fits!” he added. “Back in the day it was kind of one shirt fits all, I was wearing the same size as Rob Newman...
“I’ve still got my one at home in a frame with the Bayern Munich shirt and it’s massive, so it’s nice to put it on and actually feel like it fits – no wind resistance.”
The match against Inter, who will have players including Jurgen Klinsmann and Javier Zanetti, will also bring former City boss Mike Walker back to Carrow Road.
“He’s the gaffer, he’s a top man, he’s the one who gave me my debut and set me on my career,” Eadie continued. “So I’ve got huge respect for the man and it’ll be great to see him back because he was a fantastic character and a brilliant man manager.
“He got on really well with the players and there was a brilliant blend that season of that distance from the players but the players had so much respect for him, but also the team spirit was there, and he built that along with Dave Stringer before.”
• Tickets are £9.93 for adults and £1.93 for U18s and are available at tickets.canaries.co.uk, by phone on 0844 826 1902 or from the ticket offices at Carrow Road, Castle Mall or Chapelfield.
• Find out more information about the Build the Nest campaign at thenest.org.uk
• For all the players announced for the game, see our Build The Nest section