Canaries' greatest ever team revealed
Chris Lakey The relationship between football and the glitzy world of pop music has never been closer - and the two came together again on Sunday afternoon as Norwich City fans attempted to answer the most difficult question in sport: just who is the greatest?
The relationship between football and the glitzy world of pop music has never been closer - and the two came together again on Sunday afternoon as Norwich City fans attempted to answer the most difficult question in sport: just who is the greatest?
The arguments will go on ad infinitum, but City fans have had their say and 11 men, good and true, have made it into the team marked “Greatest Ever”.
Selected from 52 nominees, the cream of Norwich City through the years is truly a team that would grace any stadium in the country.
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If camaraderie is anything to go by, they'd shake up the Premiership as well: yesterday was a day of back-slapping, hand-shaking - and the swapping of precious memories gathered through the years.
Kevin Keelan - whose 673 appearances is still a club record - travelled from his home in America and was duly chosen to play in goal; a tough decision when you consider that Bryan Gunn, Robert Green, Ken Nethercott and Chris Woods were his rivals.
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Legendary hardman Duncan Forbes joined Steve Bruce in the heart of the defence - the brawn in the middle of a sandwich formed by the cultured pair of full-backs, Ian Culverhouse and Mark Bowen.
“It's fantastic - I really didn't expect this,” said Forbes. “It's a great honour to receive this at Carrow Road with the fans here.”
Having built a solid-as-a-rock back five, the task was to create a classy midfield - and who better to grace it than Darren Huckerby?
Much has been said and written about the rights and wrongs of allowing Huckerby to leave Carrow Road this summer - and naming the flying winger in the Greatest Ever XI will do absolutely nothing to quell the arguments.
There was never any doubt that Hucks would be in there somewhere, but that didn't stop the anticipation building - and a slight change in the format to accommodate the formal announcement. Had Huckerby not been included, you get the feeling that Jamelia might just have ended up playing to only a handful of people. But he was - and duly produced easily the biggest cheer of the day as his name once again rang out in front of the Barclay Stand.
It was the dazzling Darrens who took the two spots reserved for wingers - although the fact that both Huckerby and Eadie preferred to play on the left side of the pitch didn't seem to worry those who wanted them both in their teams. It wasn't a day for tactical discussions.
Huckerby has the ability to put other people into the shade without trying - but in case anyone's wondering, it was World Cup winner Martin Peters and the sublimely-gifted Ian Crook who formed the central midfield partnership.
The golden boys - the ones who get all the glory for scoring the goals - were Chris Sutton and Iwan Roberts. Sutton was forced to retire a year ago because of an eye injury and while he has moved back to Norfolk, it's cricket - playing for Sheringham - which occupies his sporting time nowadays. Roberts works in the media and is as popular now as he was during his playing days - only Huckerby could boast a more passionate following yesterday.
At the helm was the silver fox himself, Mike Walker, the man who took City to third place in the Premiership back in 1993 and a place in the Uefa Cup.
“I didn't expect it to be honest with you, it's great,” said Walker. “I thought I might have had a chance because we had a very successful time so I'm delighted, it's great.”
That “very successful time” was a journey into Europe that will never be forgotten, and which is now indelibly marked by two other awards yesterday - for the Greatest Ever moment and for the Greatest Ever goal, scored by Jeremy Goss as City beat the great Bayern Munich side 2-1 in Germany.
Goalkeeper: Kevin Keelan
Centre Backs: Steve Bruce, Duncan Forbes
Full Backs: Ian Culverhouse, Mark Bowen
Midfielders: Ian Crook, Martin Peters
Wingers: Darren Huckerby, Darren Eadie
Forwards: Iwan Roberts, Chris Sutton
t Greatest Goal
October 20, 1993 v Bayern Munich in Munich
t Greatest moment
The 1993 Uefa Cup run