Norwich City heroes want promotion party

Sarah Hall Two of the Canaries heroes who helped secure promotion to the Premiership have backed calls for the current crop of Norwich City stars to be given a civic reception and parade through the centre of the city.

Sarah Hall

Two of the Canaries heroes who helped secure promotion to the Premiership have backed calls for the current crop of Norwich City stars to be given a civic reception and parade through the centre of the city.

Defender Craig Fleming and tireless midfielder Gary Holt were both on the open top bus which was greeted by an estimated 50,000 Canaries supporters when Norwich won the Championship title in 2003/4.

Today the pair, who are celebrating a promotion of their own with the current club Lowestoft Town, said the players and management at Carrow Road who clinched the League One title deserved to share a similar experience as they had.


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Talks about how to honour the team's promotion are continuing, with Canaries officials and Norwich City Council discussing the logistics of holding a civic reception, but supporters made clear they want a promotion party in emails and letters to the Evening News.

Former skipper Fleming, who notched up more than 340 appearances for Norwich City, said of the sun-soaked day when he was honoured with a parade: “It was a fantastic experience, just out of this world.

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“We knew fans would come just because that's how Norwich City fans are, but we weren't prepared for just how many. I remember coming round past the castle towards the Bell Hotel and it was a sea of yellow and green.

“It's something I'll never forget. That time, winning the title, getting into the Premiership and that parade, that was the highlight of my career.”

Fleming, who also played for Halifax, Oldham, Rotherham, Wolves and King's Lynn, added: “Anytime you win the league you deserve to have a celebration. There's a feeling Norwich shouldn't have been in League One, but there's plenty of players who never win anything in their careers, so I think success should be celebrated.”

Scottish international Holt described the promotion parade in 2004 as “mind-blowing”. Dubbed 'three lungs' during his time at Carrow Road, the midfielder said the sheer volume of fans who turned out for the celebration, which culminated in the team being handed the Championship trophy on the balcony of City Hall, had taken his breath away.

He said: “I've spoken to some of the lads, such as Grant Holt, and I've told them it is one of those memories that I'll have for the rest of my life.

“It was mind-blowing. The turnout was incredible and it felt like the whole of Norfolk had come to celebrate with us. I remember I had my son with me on the bus and he thought it was fantastic.

“You feel a bit embarrassed but it makes you realise that you are living out people's dreams and just how important it is to them.”

Holt, who also played for Nottingham Forest and Wycombe Wanderers, added: “I definitely think there should be a parade for the current team.

“There has been so much negativity since we were relegated from the Premiership, but now there is a real buzz about the place and about the team.

“Everyone at Carrow Road deserves a parade because they have worked so hard to turn it all around.”

How do you think Norwich City should celebrate their success? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk or write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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