Norwich City is a warm, wholesome, family club which has experienced its fair share of ups and downs since a group of friends organised a kick-about after a meeting in the Criterion Café more than 100 years ago.
So, let’s take a look at the key players, managers and vocal owners to have graced this wonderful club…
A is for Terry Allcock
The club’s all-time second-top scorer, Terry Allcock spent more than a decade leading the line for Norwich City and surely would have claimed the record had he not moved into defence later in his career. Y’know, as you do.
B is for Barry Butler
Barry Butler was a tall, imposing centre-half for Norwich as the 1950s became the 60s. After more than 300 first team appearances h
C is for Ian Crook
In 1986, Norwich got one of the biggest bargains in English footballing history when they signed Ian Crook from Tottenham Hotspur for £80,000.
He was the hub of the side during the club’s most successful period as his classy performances in midfield led the club to three top-five top flight finishes over the course of his 418 appearances (which works out to £191 per game).
D is for Delia Smith
A beloved TV cook, lifelong fan of Norwich City and part-owner of the club, Delia Smith is a figure that will forever be entwined with the Canaries.
Yet, one moment she will never be able to outrun came at halftime against Manchester City. With the scores tied 2-2, Smith, who claims she was urged onto the field with a microphone thrust in her hand, addressed the crowd:
E is for Efan Ekoku
Efan Ekoku may have only been a Norwich player for 18 months, but what an 18 months. The Nigeria international was bought by the club in March 1993 in a desperate (and ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to salvage their faltering title bid.
Yet, Ekoku will remain their first ever scorer in European competition and the first player to score four goals in a single Premier League game. He’s also the only person in the Premier League to score a German hat-trick and a perfect hat-trick in the same game…without them being the same three goals.
F is for the Old Farm Derby
Referee Keith Hackett, who was the official for Arsenal‘s 1-0 over Manchester United in 1990 (which saw the game descend into a 21-man brawl and resulted in both clubs being docked points) still described the East Anglia derby between Norwich and Ipswich Town as ‘the most aggressive atmosphere I’ve encountered’.
G is for Bryan Gunn
Bryan Gunn was not only an unending source of laboured puns (“How did Gunn save that bullet of a shot?” etc.) but he is one of Norwich’s greatest ever goalkeepers.
12 years at the club, two player of the year awards and an inaugural entrant into the Hall of Fame, Gunn is a sure-fire pick for this list.
H is for Grant Holt
A striker who was a bit rough around the edges, Grant Holt was the Canaries’ top scorer in all four of his seasons at the club, across the top three tiers of English football.
Between 2010 and 2012 Holt scored 40 goals for the Yellows, but his victory in a 40-man rumble event on his Professional Wrestling debut, his post-retirement career move, is somewhat more impressive.
I is for Ian Culverhouse
J is for
K is for Kevin Keelan
The club’s all-time appearance maker, a goalkeeper who dutifully patrolled his area for almost 20 years, Kevin Keelan will go down as a Norwich legend, with many fans urging the club to name a stand in his honour.
L is for the League Cup
The League Cup, in all of its names down the years (weirdly most of them revolve around some sort of fluid; Milk, Coca-Cola, Worthington, Carling, Carabao) is perhaps not the most storied competition in the English game.
But for Norwich it will always have a place close to their heart given as, other than lower division titles, it is the only trophy the club has ever won – twice. The first came in the second ever edition of the competition in 1962 and the next followed in 1985.
M is for Martin Peters
The 1966 World Cup winner may be more closely associated with West Ham, but the man who played in every position (including goalkeeper) made more than 200 appearances for the club despite joining the Canaries aged 31. And it was while a Norwich player that Peters earned his MBE.
N is for Ken Nethercott
Always a gentleman, Ken Nethercott’s humility makes him the only person who would dispute his legendary status at the club. In 12 years’ service for Norwich, Nethercott made 416 appearances, but it would be his last that stands out most.
In the FA Cup quarter-final Nethercott, a goalkeeper, dislocated his shoulder with 30 minutes to play. In the days before substitutes, he insisted on continuing as Norwich came from behind to equalise and force a replay on their way to the semi-final.
O is for Olympiastadion
When Norwich finished third in 1993, they qualified for the UEFA Cup (no four Champions League spots then) where they would meet Bayern Munich. The first leg would take place at Bayern’s Olympiastadion, and Norwich recorded a famous 2-1 win.
This victory saw them become the only English side to defeat Bayern Munich on that ground and is a record which can never be broken since the Bavarians moved to the Allianz Arena in 2005.
P is for Graham Paddon
The long-haired left-midfielder enjoyed a fruitful decade with the club over two spells in Norfolk. He is most fondly remembered for an odd combination of skills; his left-footed strikes from long range and his huge throw-in which Norwich exploited to great effect.
Q is for a visit from the King and Queen
On 29 October 1938 King George VI and his wife
R is for Iwan Roberts
Iwan Roberts may have been missing his two front teeth since the age of 18, but the Norwich striker was anything but toothless in front of goal. For four consecutive seasons the Welshman was the club’s top scorer, and his last saw them promoted to the top flight for the first time in a decade.
S is for Chris Sutton
Chris Sutton may be a slightly monotonous pundit who occasionally pops up with pearl of wisdom but more commonly just asks himself questions. However, in his four years at Carrow Road he developed into one of the league’s best strikers.
So, is Sutton a fundamental part of Norwich’s history? Yes, yes, he is.
T is for the Friendship Trophy
In keeping with their image as a nice, friendly club it seems only fitting that Norwich are involved in a fixture known as the ‘Friendship Trophy’.
This is the sobriquet bestowed upon any meeting between Norwich and Sunderland after the fans of the two clubs commingled wonderfully in the 1985 League Cup final, which Norwich won 1-0 thanks to a Sunderland own goal.
This apparently prompted chants on the way out of the ground of ‘
U is for FA Cup Upsets
One of the most famous runs in the history of the FA Cup came in the 1958/59 season. As a side in the third tier of English football, Norwich defeated top flight Tottenham and Sir Matt Busby’s Manchester United (who would finish second in the First Division that campaign).
Ultimately, they lost to Luton Town after a semi-final replay but it will forever be remembered as a historic run in the history of Norwich and the FA Cup.
V is for Paul McVeigh
The diminutive Northern Ireland international wasn’t the most prolific forward to appear in the famous yellow and green of Norwich but his partnership with Iwan Roberts (see I) was instrumental in their promotion to the Premier League in 2004 and
W is for Mike Walker
Mike Walker, in his first season with the club, took the Canaries to heights they had never previously, nor since, seen. In the inaugural Premier League season Walker’s side were in a real title race, spending more than 100 days at the top of the table. They eventually finished third but it remains their highest ever league position.
X is for Ruel FoX
Despite representing Montserrat at international level, Ruel Fox was born in East Anglia.
Y is for the Yellows
There aren’t many more distinctive kits than Norwich’s famous yellow and green. Yet, their first kit was blue and white and they were nicknamed ‘the Citizens’. The chairman soon changed that to ‘the Canaries’ (as an avid collector of the birds) and altered to the colours to match the feathers of his favourite pet.
Z is for Christoph Zimmerman
You can probably tell, this last one was a struggle. Unlike sides who can fall back on Zinedine Zidane, Norwich don’t have an outstanding candidate for ‘Z’. But Zimmerman isn’t exactly an also-ran.
The German centre-back has been at the club for three seasons and featured in 40 league games as the side clinched the Championship title in 2019, captaining the team for 17 of the final 18 fixtures.