Cup-winning Burton looks back with pride

The name has changed half a dozen times in 45 years since Norwich City first won the competition - and there have been three different trophies.

The name has changed half a dozen times in 45 years since Norwich City first won the competition - and there have been three different trophies.

But for Ollie Burton, the achievement is undiminished. Winning the Football League Cup with the Canaries in 1962 remains one of the highlights of his career.

For a man who spent a decade with Newcastle United and played international football for Wales, it might seem strange that an unheralded two-leg triumph over fourth division Rochdale stays in the memory. Yet the former wing-half is proud to have played his part in bringing a very welcome piece of silverware to Carrow Road.

As Peter Grant's men prepare to return to Spotland for a Carling Cup second round tie on Tuesday night, Burton recalled the night when Norwich City became only the second name to go on the trophy, following inaugural winners Aston Villa in 1961.


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It was during the brief managerial reign of Willie Reid that City beat Rochdale 3-0 in the away leg and completed the job with a 1-0 home win in front of nearly 20,000 fans.

Burton said: “The final itself was a little bit low-key in those days, but it was still a good competition to win. I remember that we won the first leg 3-0 and we were expected to thrash them in the return leg, but in the end we had to settle for 1-0. We played at Sunderland on the way to the final and won 4-1.

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“They had a centre-half called Charlie Hurley and our manager, Willie Reid, decided to play me at centre-forward because I was a bit quicker than him. I scored and we won 4-1.

“When I moved on to Newcastle and we used to play Sunderland, Charlie used to remind me about it. It was an achievement to win at Roker Park. It was a shame, perhaps, that we didn't play someone like Sunderland in the final. It might have been more of an occasion, but we were still thrilled to win it. It was still an achievement - it was a trophy and our name was on it. Apart from reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, it was the biggest thing Norwich had done.”

It was, of course, Sunderland who were beaten at Wembley when City won the competition again, in their fourth appearance in the final, in 1985. But the nationwide TV exposure and euphoric scenes in front of City Hall were a far cry from the 1962 success, five years before the final moved to Wembley.

Derrick Lythgoe scored twice and Bill Punton once at Spotland, with Jimmy Hill grabbing the only goal in the second leg a week later, and Burton, an £11,000 teenage capture from Newport County when he joined City in 1961, remembers all three team-mates with affection.

He said: “Jimmy was a top player in his day, an international with Northern Ireland, and he went on to Everton. Derrick scored a lot of goals and was a real 100 per cent man.”

He still sees outside-left Punton frequently at Carrow Road: “I played for Newport County against Norwich when I was 17 and played against Bill. I was actually playing at centre-half, but we had a right-back called Alf Sherwood who was getting a little bit long in the tooth. Bill was very fast so I had to get across and cover and if I didn't get the ball, more often than not I got Bill. You could get away with a lot more in those days and I think I might have been sent off today. He still tells me about it.”

After 73 first team appearances for Norwich and nine goals, Burton moved to Newcastle in the summer of 1963 for a fee of about £35,000.

“Earlier that year, we had beaten Newcastle 5-0 in the FA Cup at Carrow Road and I think Joe Harvey, their manager, wanted to sign me the same night,”

he recalled. “I didn't really want to leave but, with no disrespects to Norwich, I always wanted to play for a big club and £35,000 was a lot of money in 1963 and I think they

wanted to cash in.

“At Newcastle we won the UEFA Cup, which was then known as the Fairs Cup, in 1969. We had to beat some top sides to win it - teams like Feyenoord and Sporting Lisbon. It was very exciting to win,” he said. A 6-2 aggregate success over Ujpest Dozsa, of Hungary, in the final gave Newcastle its last major trophy.

Chepstow-born Burton, who was capped nine times by Wales, was forced to retire through injury in October 1972. He said: “I had 10 years at Newcastle and had a testimonial against Sunderland, who had just won the FA Cup by beating Leeds, which was a nice send-off - and tax free in those days! My wife came from Ipswich so we returned to East Anglia and we've never regretted it.”

Now 65, he is enjoying retirement. “We had two businesses which we've sold, so we now spend our time travelling. Our daughter lives near Bordeaux and our son has a place in Marbella, but we have to time our visits so we don't miss any home games at Norwich. Michael Foulger, is a friend of mine and I tend to sit in the directors' box with him.”

Burton is confident City will record another victory at Spotland. “I think they will be OK on Tuesday. I thought in the Southampton game they battled well and they're just lacking a little bit of confidence, but once you get a few points, that confidence grows.”

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