Darren Huckerby lifts lid on Norwich City exit
Darren Huckerby’s long silence on his controversial departure from Norwich City will be broken this week with the publication of his long-awaited autobiography.
The City legend reveals how he reached his lowest point when Roeder called him “a has-been” in front of the rest of the team after an FA Cup match at Bury.
“As Glenn said his piece, I’d been looking around the room, and I could see how surprised all of my team-mates looked,” said Huckerby. “I might be wrong, but I don’t think he would have said anything like that to Dion (Dublin), he’d probably have sparked him out.”
Huckerby says Roeder “doubted” whether he was telling the truth over the hip injury which would eventually bring his career to an end, and reveals how he refused to walk out of Carrow Road after Roeder told him he was free to go.
Huckerby was eventually told, soon after the end of the season in 2008, that he would not be offered a new contract – leaving fans furious that they had not been given the opportunity to say goodbye, in the way they had with Dion Dublin, in the last game of the season at Sheffield Wednesday.
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“Dion, of course, knew that Sheffield Wednesday away would be his final game in professional football, but I couldn’t tell,” says Huckerby.
“Afterwards, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to go out and say goodbye to the fans, but, equally, I didn’t want to take Dion’s big moment away from him. He’s had a marvellous career, and he deserved that moment. In the end, I stayed behind, and I think I made the right decision.
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“I’m not dead sentimental, but they could have told me a week before. We’d made ourselves safe from relegation the week before, so nothing was at stake for us at Hillsborough that afternoon.
“However, it just seemed that Glenn wanted to do things his way. I actually thought that Glenn was a decent manager; training was very good with him. It was just that his man-management wasn’t great. The way he spoke to people sometimes had a kind of arrogance about it. Even if you know more than other people – or you think you do – you’ve got to show a bit of respect when you talk to them.”
Huckerby also reveals in his book, From Adversity to Great Heights, why Roeder stopped him from using outside facilities at the Colney training centre – because he believed he had interfered in the proposed signing of Dejan Stefanovic.
“I went in and Glenn said, ‘I hear you told Dejan that I wasn’t a very nice man.’
‘No, I didn’t say anything to Dejan. I spoke to my agent and said that I wouldn’t.’
‘What did you say to your agent, then?’ he asked.
‘I told him that I didn’t want to speak to Dejan because I didn’t want to jeopardise anything, and I said to him that I don’t think you’re a very nice man’.”
“Glenn then told me that I couldn’t use the grass at Colney, and that I could only use the gym at certain times, but that he wanted us to be men about it and not let the press hear about our conversation. Of course, I never mentioned it to the papers. That was that. I haven’t spoken to him again. As I’ve said, he knew his stuff tactically, but he wouldn’t be in my close circle of friends. It certainly wasn’t the ideal way for it all to end. After all that happened, I bumped into Dejan who said I’d been right about Glenn, and that he wished that I’d spoken to him in the first place.”
• To pre-order a copy of Darren Huckerby’s autobiography go to www.dh6.co.uk
• To purchase tickets for Darren Huckerby’s book launch at Jarrolds on Wednesday 12 October go to the events section at www.jarrold.co.uk