Whether you take the high road (or, indeed, the low road) it’s difficult to deny there is a well-worn trail between the cities of Norwich and Glasgow.
Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers, legendary rivals from Scottish football’s smokiest crucible, boast an impressive history and share a heated passion for the game sufficient to shame even a South-American football commentator mid- ‘Goooooooooooaaaaaaalllll!’
So, what connects the Canaries to these two footballing giants? (Apart from a conspicuous lack of direct motorway link – or even a motorway at all in parts…)
Well, there has been a surprisingly lively trade in transfers of playing personnel over the years.
Let’s take a look at some of those players…
We’ll start with Celtic (chosen first for alphabetical reasons, so please don’t get your simmet in a twist. Just sit your behookie back on the chair and read on)…
Many impressive names there – Sutton, Pukki, Bellamy, and Dublin – highly successful too. The main surprise for me was Wayne Biggins. Completely forgotten he’d gone to Celtic Park! Good ol’ Bertie.
In addition, ex-Celtic man Peter Grant not only played for the Canaries, but went on to manage them too; as did fellow old-Bhoys, Paul Lambert and Jim Duffy.
There were also a trio of Celtic youth products who didn’t make the Hoops’ first team but eventually made their way to Carrow Road – Paul Dalglish, Gary Holt, and current squad member, Michael McGovern.
So, how about Rangers? Well Graeme Souness scissored the ribbon on that particular trade route with East Anglia in the mid 1980s. Let’s take a look at the Gers…
Some names there too, eh? Woods, Fleck, Gordon, and Drinkell – Drinks being Biggins’ old Canary strike partner to boot!
The slight surprise in the list for me – although quite recent – was Russell Martin’s stint at Ibrox. Forgot that too. Blimey, the memory’s fading faster than I thought. What day is it again?
Anyway, another ex-Rangers player of great significance to City fans was Archie MacAuley who managed the Canaries in the late-50s/early 60s. He not only led them to promotion from the Third Division but also took them on a famous 1959 FA Cup run to the semi-finals, beating Matt Busby’s Manchester United and Bill Nicholson’s Tottenham Hotspur along the way.
Also not mentioned in the chart are current City squad members Grant Hanley and Kenny McClean who were once on the youth books for Rangers. And the reverse situation applies to Glenn Middleton, a City Academy graduate, who travelled north to sign for Rangers in 2018.
See, more connections than a bagpipe’s innards!
Och, I hope you found that interesting. Thanks to all those Scots (blue or green) who have contributed to the Canary cause (it’s all tartan in the end) – and may our footballing association continue equally successfully in the future. Lang may yer lums reek…
‘O ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak’ the low road,
And I’ll be in Norfolk afore ye.
Sariously, we’ll surely find a chum,
Mardlin’ on the banks o’ the ol’ Wensum.’
Extract from ‘Cor blass me, thass a McRummen’. (Trad.)