Curo: why I had to give City another go
- Credit: EDP pics © 2007
Jamie Cureton has revealed how a feeling of unfinished business prompted him to return to Norwich City – in the middle of a family dinner celebrating a ‘move’ to Hull City.
Cureton began his playing days as a schoolboy at City before embarking on a career which is still going strong some three decades and 20 clubs later.
The evergreen 44-year-old striker left City in 1996 but returned in 2007 – although he had already agreed a move from Colchester United to Hull City.
“I’d been up to speak to Phil Brown, agreed a deal and went back to Bristol and was having dinner celebrating and as I am at the table, the phone rang, it was my agent, and he said ‘Norwich want to speak to you’,” explained Cureton.
“In my head since I left I always felt if the opportunity came I would go back, so even without thinking about it I am like, I’m going to Norwich.
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“I drove up, stayed the night at Andy Hughes’ house, went to the ground, spoke to them and the deal was done. I actually got less a week than I would have got at Hull and I didn’t even think about it.
“Norwich was that big a pull. If it wasn’t for Norwich I would have signed for Hull.
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“I hadn’t felt I had a really dominant first team career – I have gone to all these clubs and Norwich had a good team as well and I felt we could do something.
“I signed and then Youssef Safri and Dickson Etuhu both left, two of our best players, and we ended up struggling for three years really.”
Cureton – who had been a prolific scorer during his formative years at Carrow Road in the youth and reserve teams, had been re-signed by Peter Grant, who then left four months later. Cureton then played under Glenn Roeder, who inexplicably farmed him out to relegation rivals Barnsley, before Bryan Gunn took over and immediately recalled him.
That partnership was equally short-lived and when Paul Lambert took the City hot seat, Cureton’s day were numbered: he featured in just six League One games – five wins and a draw – under the new manager but in October was loaned to Shrewsbury and the following summer left for pastures new, landing in Exeter.