It wasn't quite how Dion Dublin would have chosen to celebrate his Carrow Road anniversary.
Virtually a year to the day since arriving in Norwich, his all-round contribution to the club deserved so much more than the humiliating finale to City's match at Charlton.
Dublin's seen it all in more than 20 years of professional football, but surely he can't have witnessed many worse decisions than the red card that was brandished in his direction after little more than a push on Danny Mills.
Even more perverse was the subsequent failure to overturn that sending off.
All of which leaves Norwich, understandably, pretty aggrieved by events at The Valley ? and the rest of us fearful of just what might happen to the side in his absence.
Looking at Dublin's performances this season, it seems hard to believe that some were questioning the wisdom of bringing him to Carrow Road.
At 37, his best days were clearly behind him but a high level of fitness; his enthusiasm and the ability to read a game whether at the back or in attack fully justified Nigel Worthington's decision.
Although Worthington made some strange choices in the transfer market, he was certainly spot on with his final signing.
Dublin makes the game look easy. That's the hallmark of a good player, and it's maybe a telling indictment of the standard of the rest of the Championship that he so often appears the best player on the pitch. He certainly seems to have more time on the ball than just about anyone else.
When he agreed to another year at Carrow Road, I don't suppose Dublin seriously believed he would start too many games.
But his name is just about the first you'd pencil in on any team sheet and the prospect of being without him for three matches is a considerable blow. Even at 38, he's the best central defender at the club.
Where does he rank among the 30-somethings that a succession of City bosses have recruited to bring experience and stability to Carrow Road?
Pretty highly. What counts against him is that although he's played at the highest level with Manchester United and Aston Villa, his Norwich appearances have been as a second division player.
Yet it's a testimony to his enduring spirit that with nothing to prove to anyone, he still stamps that touch of class on games and remains unhurried by the often frenzied nature of football at this level.
At the top of the tree, there can only be one player. Martin Peters. Few would have believed that a World Cup winner might be attracted to Carrow Road. But credit John Bond for an audacious capture in 1975.
City were actually playing Second Division football at the time, so it was a bit like asking Nijinsky to line up in a donkey derby. Peters, though, added that touch of finesse to ensure Norwich's promotion that season and for five years he gave the Canaries magnificent service.
His signature signalled Bond's and Norwich's arrival on the big stage. The ?50,000 City paid West Ham was surely their finest investment ever as Peters repaid that many times over as he orchestrated a fairly comfortable passage through the top flight during his time here.
Mick Channon was 34 when he came to Norwich in 1982. A very different personality to Peters, he also gave the Canaries a real presence.
His signing was rather more of a gamble by City. Without being unkind, Channon was arguably less devoted to football than Peters in those twilight years but after Ken Brown rescued him from obscurity at Bristol Rovers, the former England striker found a sense of purpose at Norwich and flourished.
He'll forever be associated with one of the club's greatest ever days. So too was another veteran signing ? Asa Hartford. It was his deflected shot that earned Norwich a 1-0 win over Sunderland in the 1985 Milk Cup Final at Wembley.
Channon and Hartford; players that in their prime any club would have broken the bank for. City had them at the wrong end of their careers, but what good value they gave before relegation following that Milk Cup campaign brought their Carrow Road days to an end.
So, Dion Dublin's in good company. It's also worth noting the contribution of Joe Royle, another player in his 30s signed by Ken Brown. Royle had a miserable start, but, like Iwan Roberts, won the fans over to become player of the season. Sadly, his subsequent Ipswich connection probably tarnished his reputation.
There is of course a recurring theme amongst all those mentioned so far. All were ex-internationals and all were strong characters.
Gary Megson was the latter. He'd had a long and varied career before Mike Walker signed him in 1992. Regarded by many as just a hard working journeyman, Megson proved an inspired signing and played a key role in Norwich achieving a UEFA Cup place that season.
Regrettably, Megson's stock suffered through being regarded as a Chase man when he twice took over the managerial reins during difficult days either side of Martin O'Neill's brief tenure. It was unfortunate timing, because he was anything but Chase's puppet!
Dion Dublin's just the latest in a fairly healthy group of experienced campaigners who've done Norwich proud. Before we get too misty-eyed, it's worth remembering that not every international's cut the mustard here.
Martin Chivers, Willie Young and Thomas Helveg all had brief stints at Carrow Road…
Dion will be remembered with rather greater affection. Being without him is unthinkable!