It was always going to happen one day, of course. Throughout Stan's long life, great players have come and gone.
Time moves on and even World Cup winners and chain-smoking centre-forwards have had to hang up the yellow and green jersey at some time during their career. In recent years, however, only Iwan Roberts could claim an affection in the Canary heart on a par with Darren Huckerby. He is – and always will be – a Norwich City legend.
Taken generally, Hucks' time at Carrow Road has been something of roller-coaster ride. On his arrival, City were on the up. Worthy, over two-and-a-half years, had built the basis of a solid and competitive Championship squad. All it lacked was a little bit of quality up front.
Hucks – alongside Crouch, Harper, Svensson and Leon – duly stepped up to the mark, providing Iwan and Co with the supply and injecting some much needed pace into our improving side. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that Darren Huckerby won the league for Norwich City in 2004.
His goals, his threat and his assists won us point after point. The goal against Cardiff will always be up there with Fashanu's v Liverpool and Rosario's v Southampton as a stone-wall classic.
The moment he appeared before the game against Notts Forest, Stan just knew that we would win the league – and he didn't even have to play in that one. Put bluntly, Huckerby transformed Norwich City from Championship also-rans into Championship winners.
Once promoted, our Premiership campaign spluttered and choked. No doubt about it, though, one player looked capable of beating the best defenders in the English game. Hucks' goal at Highbury was a moment of pure genius in amidst an otherwise poor display.
Indeed, such a game, result and performance has – unfortunately – come to typify Hucks' time at Carrow Road.
Too often, he looked a class apart. Three years back in the Championship and each season has seen us looking to Hucks to dig his fellow team mates out of trouble. How many times did Hucks get City back into a match, or set City on their way, but for the defence to go awol or the midfield to just disappear completely?
How many times did his fellow professionals, none of whom could compare in quality or stature to Hucks, choose to move on to pastures new before fulfilling their debt to the Canary faithful? How many times was a dull and lifeless display lit up – even temporarily – by a piece of Huckerby magic?
Truth is, Huckerby encapsulated many of the traits that made football the wonderful game that it is. His flair, his loyalty to his club (and to us supporters), and his ability to upset the opposition all combined to esnure that he – above all others – was the fans' favourite.
In a club with a history of fantastic wingers, Hucks is up there with Eadie and Gordon, just above Neighbour and Barham, as an all-time great. He loved us and we loved him, just as it should be.
But now the time is up. Stan can understand the logic. This season has seen injury and, perhaps, age hinder Huckerby's impact.
We have, as noted above, become overly reliant on the great man in recent years. As Saint Glenn seeks to rebuild Norwich in his image, so he needs to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of the team. Hucks, after all, was always the final piece of a footballing jigsaw, never the first.
Arguably, it was in trying to build a team around Huckerby that Worthy came unstuck. Similarly, as Ipswich have shown us two years running, if you get into the gap between Hucks and the City left-back, then Norwich are more easily beaten than Derby with an injury crisis. Stop Huckerby and you stop Norwich, as Alan Hanson – or another shirt on MOTD – always used to say.
To break the cycle, a new team with a new outlook is needed. Fresh faces and fresh approaches are required. Stan just hopes that this is more a Stringer-Bruce moment than a McClaren-Beckham one.
One final thing. We all know Hucks should be granted the freedom of the city. We all know he is a legend, a true hero, a footballing genius and an all-round good bloke. We will remember him fondly for all time to come.
But it would have been nice to give the man a send off befitting his contribution the club. The way in which Roeder built up and broke the news of Hucks' departure almost got Stan in mind to put Ian Murray back on the Christmas card list. Hucks deserved better.
Stan just hopes that the great man will, in time, become a fixture around the club in a way similar to Eadie, Gunn, Stringer and Forbes. Perhaps then, one day, we can pay him a proper tribute: 25,000 City fans, all stood up, singing the song that defined Norwich in the 21st Century… 'Oh Huckerby, Hucker, Hucker, Huckerby…'
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