Lee Payne: Isn’t it time City built a statue outside Carrow Road?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City may be rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt more connected to my club.
Carrow Road is an absolute picture on a matchday now, thanks to the efforts of Barclay End Norwich and Along Come Norwich raising funds for flags and tifos. The old place now has personality, a real identity. It has got me thinking - isn't it about time we had a statue outside of a Norwich icon?
George Best, Dennis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton stand together outside Old Trafford. There are two statues outside Molineux, the scene of Norwich's defeat on Sunday - one of Billy Wright and one of Stan Cullis.
Even Portman Road, of all places, has a statue outside of the great Sir Bobby Robson. So I've had a think about who of a yellow and green persuasion would be fitting of becoming the feature of Carrow Road's first statue.
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Norwich's home game with Liverpool this month coincided neatly with the 40th anniversary of that Justin Fashanu goal. I was gazing over the ground from the upper Barclay, taking in the atmosphere before kick off, when the banner was unfurled at the opposite end commemorating the 1979-80 Goal of the Season winner. It brought a smile to my face. I love how we hold our former players so close to our hearts and, given Fashanu's status as the first openly gay professional footballer, are proud to say he was one of ours. It would be fitting to have Justin in the pose of celebrating that strike - one arm raised modestly above his head with index finger pointing skywards - immortalised outside the ground it was scored on.
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You only have to look at the huge outpouring of love there was for Duncan Forbes after his sad death in October to see how much he meant to Norwich City fans. Strong as an ox, fiercely determined and not one for taking prisoners, I think Big Dunc stood tall with his arms folded would be an intimidating entrance to Carrow Road. A clear indication that nothing will be taken from inside without a fight.
When you think Goss, you think volley. Jeremy Goss only scored 14 goals in his career, all of them for Norwich, but it was the quality of those goals that has sealed his place in Canary folklore. He thumped in on the full in a 4-0 win at Leeds - a goal that had even the home fans at Elland Road applauding - and famously scored the last ever goal in front of the old Spion Kop at Anfield before it became all seater. But surely Goss in full gravity-defying pose, meeting the ball on the edge of the box with perfect technique to stun Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium, would be perfect for a statue.
With no exaggeration whatsoever, without Delia there would be no Norwich City.
The club was on its knees as the Robert Chase era came to an end, marooned in Division One and unable to keep hold of its best players for more than five minutes. Delia and her husband Michael Wynn Jones invested in the club in 1996 and have been the figureheads ever since.
Any mention of Norwich City in the national press may be plagued by tiresome cookery puns as a result, but every Canary fan should be hugely grateful to have two people who genuinely love the club overseeing things. A statue of Delia holding her scarf aloft would be perfect.
You may have your own ideas of who should be immortalised outside Carrow Road. Perhaps you're a big advocate of Bryan Gunn. Maybe you think Wes Hoolahan should be the man. Or you could dream of Steven Whittaker standing proudly outside the Barclay. It's up to you. Let's agree, though, that it's time we had one.