Mike Lockhart: Why great Scot is the ultimate Norwich City cult hero

Jimmy Bone was the ultimate Norwich City cult hero for Mike Lockhart as part of the Canaries' side t

Jimmy Bone was the ultimate Norwich City cult hero for Mike Lockhart as part of the Canaries' side that won promotion in 1972. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant Library/Norwich City Football Club

In our latest Your Posts Norwich City supporter Mike Lockhart explains why Jimmy Bone is the ultimate Canaries’ cult hero

I first saw City play at Carrow Road in 1970 when serving in the RAF at Coltishall and have been a Canaries’ fan ever since.

So my early years involved the historic promotion in 1972 and the subsequent first ever season in the top division (72-73), and my cult hero nomination comes from that era.

No, it’s not Kevin Keelan (worthy candidate), Duncan Forbes (not a cult hero - a legend), Dave Stringer (ditto Duncan Forbes) or even Ron Saunders (assuming managers are eligible). My nomination is my fellow countryman Jimmy Bone.

Jimmy had been signed from Patrick Thistle early in 1972 and played a full part in the team which won the Second Division that year. Although he stayed at Norwich for just over a year, he wrote his name into Canary folklore by scoring the club’s first ever goal in the top division (against Everton away, I think).

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However the incident that burned him into my memory occurred in the first home game I attended that season.

City had made a hesitant start to their First Division campaign with only one win in five (although it was away at Ipswich).

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We were playing Derby, who were the reigning champions. The Carrow Road faithful were distinctly edgy early on as we were being outplayed by a magnificent Derby side (David Nish, Colin Todd, Roy McFarland, Terry Hennessy, Archie Gemmil, John McGovern, Kevin Hector, John O’Hare - magnificent players all, as anybody of a certain vintage will confirm). Managed of course, by one Brian Clough.

Anyway, City somehow kept the game scoreless for the first half hour or so, when Graham Paddon (another candidate for cult hero status) made a break down the right and swung a great cross into the box. Todd, McFarlane and Nish moved smoothly back to protect the keeper as he came to collect the cross.

Suddenly a flash of yellow appeared on the scene, and the keeper, Nish, McFarlane, Todd, the ball and Jimmy Bone all ended up in the back of the net to the delight of the home crowd. The ‘goal’ was chalked off of course, but from that moment the mood of the season changed as our supporters realised that this team was not going to be pushed around by the fancy dans of the First Division. City went on to win 1-0 and retain their top division status.

Having supported City for over 50 years (and as a shareholder from the supporter share issue bail out in 2002), I would like to comment on the current board’s self funding policy.

Anyone who gripes about the owners and why the club hasn’t spent millions on new players, simply hasn’t been a City supporter for long enough.

Those of us who have got half a century or so in have seen enough financial disaster and threat to the club to recognise how healthy the current position is.

Sure, we’re bottom of the Premier League, but we have a world class football management team which is the envy of virtually every other club in the country; we have a magnificent young team recruited for virtually nothing by modern day standards, who are all on long term contracts so that if they are seduced away by the big boys they will generate massive income, which will be used to strengthen the team.

We have a top class academy system which has already done the business for the first team as we all know, and shows every sign that it will provide a steady stream of excellent players.

Incidentally I have seen a bit of Akin Famewo playing for St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League this year. He looks a proper good player and is a great fan’s favourite there (too young for cult status).

- We welcome your posts on all matters Norwich City... email us at norfolksport@archant.co.uk

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