In many ways, Jamie Cureton's moves to Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers were diametrically opposed.

Both involved long journeys, but Cureton's move to Norfolk was about leaving home. At Loftus Road, he was returning.

"Coming back home was a big thing," he says of his move to West London, which came after a difficult six months in Korea with Busan I'Cons. "I was homesick. I had two young kids who were back here, and I was only young myself, I was 27.

"My initial thought was to get back home. I missed the football, I missed my family, I missed everything about what England was and me playing there.

"It was a good club, I made a lot of good friends there. It was my first time playing in London, and I really enjoyed it. But it was probably the wrong timing for me because I still had a hangover from Korea, and I wasn't at my best.

"I had moments of what I could do within those 18 months, but I was nowhere near the player I was before I left. If I had gone there before I went to Korea then they'd have probably seen a much better Jamie Cureton."

The Pink Un: Cureton spent 17 months at QPR between 2004 and 2005Cureton spent 17 months at QPR between 2004 and 2005 (Image: PA)

That failure to make the most of his time with the Hoops will always be a source of irritation for the now-48-year-old, who succeeded at almost every club he played for in a long and varied career.

Rangers sit alongside fellow London club Leyton Orient in the short list of Cureton bad fits, but he’s come to accept that these things can happen in football.

"It's frustrating when you know there's a lot more to give, and it took me a while to get going again,” he continues. “I was always disappointed when I went to places and didn't feel that I'd given what I could.

"I always wanted, whatever club I played for, to do my best, to score a lot of goals and for everyone to be happy that I'd been there. There's probably QPR and Leyton Orient. For whatever reason, it just didn't work."

At Norwich, it was a completely different task. While QPR had been a mission to make the most of his homecoming, Cureton’s first spell at Carrow Road was one of slow adaptation, and that wasn’t easy.

"When I first went there it was definitely strange, because I moved out there at 15,” he says. “The only people we knew were just the players, our team-mates. We were in digs, so if you ever went into the city it was just with the youth team boys.

"I got homesick early on, which I think most young lads who move away from home do, living in a stranger's house and stuff. It probably took about six months before I wasn't sat on the phone for two hours chatting to people from back home.

"Every opportunity I was going back home to Bristol."

But eventually things turned for the former Southampton prospect, and he came to love the city he’d once been miserable in.

"Slowly but surely you got to know people,” he says. “I got to know the brother-in-law of the lady I was in digs with. He was quite a city boy, and all of a sudden I had my own friends and I didn't just have to be with my team-mates.

"That allowed me to get to know the place a bit more and feel more comfortable. That's why I got on and liked the city and club so much. I made a lot of very good friends, who I still speak to now and come up to see. That was a key thing for me.

"I actually didn't go home as much after that. Slowly it became my second home, and I became a lot more comfortable.

"I grew up there really. I was there between the ages of 15 and 21, so all of my young adulthood was there. I bought my first house there, and all the little things that you do growing up. I learned a lot about myself.

"You look back on mistakes you made at that point, which I made a lot. But I was a young lad growing up on my own in a city that I wasn't from, so you're going to make mistakes.

"I definitely look back on that time with positives. There's definitely a lot of stuff that I would have changed, but as I've got older I've learned from that period.”