From Wes to Alan Lee: City's Irish contingent


Norwich City has been the home to 31 players from the Republic of Ireland. Credit - Paul Chesterton/Focus Images, Archant & PA - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images, Archant & PA

Ireland has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Norwich City throughout the years, with both Andrew Omobamidele and Adam Idah the latest from the Emerald Isle to have success with the Canaries. 

From Wes Hoolahan to Phil Kelly to Alan Lee, City have had 31 Irish players throughout their history, with a varied level of success. 

Omobamidele made his Premier League debut for the Canaries at Arsenal last weekend and his rapid rise through the academy ranks of the club have seen him lauded by Irish media, including Paul McGrath. 

So what of those who have come before? Here is a look at some of City's Irish contingent.

Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan is reportedly heading to Australia Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus I

Wes Hoolahan, an undisputed Norwich City legend.


Three Irishman have genuine claims of being Norwich City legends. 

The most memorable for the modern generation of supporters is Wes Hoolahan. With over 300 appearances and a decade of service to the Canaries, few were better to watch than Wes when on full form. 

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When he had the ball at his feet, Hoolahan was capable of producing a piece of brilliance that could decide a match. 

Johnny Gavin is another Irish member of City's 300 club and an undeniable club legend for his contribution in yellow and green. His statistics for the Canaries speak for themselves, in 338 games the attacker netted 123 goals. 

Gary Doherty was the man who proved Paul Lambert wrong and was a loyal servant for the Canaries between 2004-10. The central defender, who was also deployed as a striker on occasion, made 225 appearances for the club.


Keith O'Neill made 13 appearances for the Republic of Ireland. - Credit: Archant

Irish internationals

Phil Kelly, a full-back who made over 100 appearances for Norwich City, played five international matches for the Republic of Ireland between 1950-51. 

The right-back, who signed for the Canaries in 1962, was a consistent partner to back four colleagues Joe Mullett, Bryan Thurlow and Barry Staton. Kelly even once filled in for Kevin Keelan in goal after the keeper was sent off against Northampton Town. 

Other Irish internationals to have represented Norwich City include John Devine, the unused substitute in the 1985 MIlk Cup triumph and Keith O'Neill, who graduated through the club's academy before failing to agree a new deal and signing for Middlesbrough. 

More recently, Robbie Brady has been an Irish regular who has played his club football at Carrow Road. The Dubliner completed a move to Norfolk in 2015 after a lengthy summer pursuit and stayed at the club until January 2017. 

Anthony Pilkington, Mike Milligan and Andy Townsend have all featured on the international stage for Ireland despite being born in England. 

Swansea - Saturday April 11th, 2009: Federico Bessone of Swansea City and David Mooney of Norwich Ci

David Mooney made a bright first impression whilst on loan at Norwich City in 2009 - Credit: Focus Images

Loan men

City have had a fair few Irish loanees throughout the years. 

From Alan Lee's controversial loan spell to Stephen Elliott's important brace against Huddersfield during their League One title win, City have signed a range of players on temporary deals from the Emerald Isle. 

David Mooney, who joined City from Reading in 2009, scored twice in his first three starts at the club but failed to add to his tally after remaining the club for the rest of the season. 

Alex Pearce made 11 appearances for City whilst Neale Fenn scored one goal in seven games for Norwich after joining on loan from Tottenham back in 1998.

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