90min’s Definitive A to Z of Norwich City

90min's Definitive A to Z of Norwich City
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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 he was hired to become player-coach but tragically died in a car crash at the age of 31 before the campaign began. 

From that season on, the player of the year award at Norwich has been known as the ‘Barry Butler Memorial Trophy’.


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: “For the best football supporters in the world, we need a 12th man. Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin you. Come on!”

They went on to lose 3-2, had a man sent off and got relegated that season. 


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

The right-back – who later developed into a sweeper, remember those? – joined the club in 1985 as a 21-year-old, immediately winning promotion to the First Division. Culverhouse would then spend his remaining eight seasons in yellow and green amongst the English elite as Norwich enjoyed an unprecedented run in the top flight.


J is for John Deehan

John Deehan’s place among Norwich greats – verified by his inclusion in their Hall of Fame – is even more impressive given the former player and manager crossed the divide of leaving Carrow Road for Ipswich Town in 1986. 


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

Chris Woods,Dave Watson

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 Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who would later assume the wordy title ‘Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’, became the first reigning monarchs to visit a second-tier football match when they saw Norwich lose 2-0 to Crystal Palace. 

King George VI was born in Norfolk, but obviously didn’t have that much time for the sport given the game was paused after 15 minutes as he made his exit.


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 ‘we won the cup’ from Norwich fans, while Sunderland’s retorted with: ‘we scored the goal’.


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 he even got on the scoresheet at Old Trafford the next season.

Admittedly they lost 2-1 that day and it was his only Premier League goal but let’s not spoil it. 


W is for Mike Walker

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. The fact that his two seasons as a regular coincided with Norwich’s most successful period is no coincidence, as the Canaries finished third in the Premier League and beat Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup with Fox terrorising sides on the wing. 


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. 




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