While us football writing folk always consider the summer months of June and July as the “silly season” – and for very good reason – that doesn’t mean that nothing has been going on behind the scenes at our beloved Norwich City.
The EFL Championship fixtures will be released on Thursday [starting with Rotherham away, anybody?] and the long-awaited home kit launch will be coming down the tracks pretty soon.
Like many of us, I am hoping for a nod to the Asics model of 1989-91 with all these stripes popping up on the brickwork at Carrow Road. That is deffo my favourite NCFC issue of all time and I wish I still had mine from those times. Like a fool, I sold it while having a house clearout when I moved from Blofield to Coltishall back in 1999. ***
I didn’t fancy the look of the rebranded badge when it was first unveiled but I have really come around to it now and quite like it.
Gary made the point on Friday that the outdated Dauphin font for the large lettering on the stand walls will also be dispensed with and I totally agree that this is the right thing to do. Serif fonts have little place in the internet era and this is one I am particularly glad to see the back of as I will forever associate it with the Robert Chase days.
I’m not one for reading too much into silly season rumours but it will be interesting to see how our goalkeeping roster will look on July 29, but rumours of Tim Krul heading off to PSV Eindhoven and Michael McGovern hanging up his boots remain with us, which would leave us with Angus Gunn as absolute Number One and a pleasingly fully recovered Daniel Barden a shoo-in for the number three – or even number two – slot, thus leaving a vacancy.
This possible scenario prompted MFW regular Alex Bain to recall a few of our keepers that he remembers from the past, so courtesy of that fine gentleman, it’s time for a trip along memory lane.
Ken Nethercott began his career as an amateur with Cardiff City before signing a professional contract with Norwich City in 1947. He stayed at Carrow Road for 12 years. He made 416 appearances for the Canaries
Neil “Sandy” Kennon signed from Huddersfield in 1959 and played from the sixth round of the FA Cup that year, replacing Nethercott. Outside football, Sandy played rugby and cricket where he represented Norfolk in the minor counties.
Kevin Keelan signed from Wrexham in the summer of 1963. Between then and 1980 he would make 673 first-team appearances for City, a club record. His legacy has been a hard thing to handle for some that followed. [KK’s my all-time favourite – Martin].
Roger Hansbury played 78 times for City as a back-up. [we used to change the Des O’Connor song Careless Hands into Careless Hansbury for him back in the day. Says it all – Martin].
Chris Woods signed from QPR for £225k. In 1985 he won his second League Cup final, helping us beat Sunderland 1–0 at Wembley. City were relegated at the end of that season.
Bryan Gunn signed from Aberdeen for £100k on the recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson and played 478 games in a City shirt plus 70 cup games. An injury that was never fully recovered from ended his City career. He returned to fill many roles including a brief unsuccessful stint as manager. [Legend and a thoroughly nice geezer – Martin]
Andy Marshall came from the Academy and played 197 games after replacing Gunn due to injury. He lost his place when Gunny returned to action and on his second debut for City he notably scored an own goal. At the end of 2001 after relegation, he signed for Ipswich who were then still in the Premiership. Marshall stated he was a “Premiership quality” keeper at the time.
Robert Green is another that started his career in the Academy and went on to play 223 games for City. In 2004 he won his first of 12 England caps under Sven-Goran Eriksson.
David Marshall was signed from Celtic and went on to make 93 appearances before transferring to Cardiff in 2009 for £500k+.
John Ruddy arrived from Everton and made 235 appearances. At the end of the 2017 season, his contract expired and he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on a free. [Another top bloke – Martin]
Tim Krul was signed on a free transfer from Brighton in 2018 on a two-year contract, which was renewed for a longer three-year deal that expires next summer. Injuries and covid-19 have hampered his appearances but he has played over 140 games. A penalty wind-up merchant of the highest order, he has been very popular with the Carrow Road faithful.
Angus Gunn is the current incumbent and has as much City pedigree as anybody as he too started in our Academy. He re-joined us on loan from Man City and then arrived on a permanent from Southampton last summer. He’s played 53 games so far with that figure only likely to increase.
So it’s thanks to Alex for that and I’ll only add a few in that we missed out as it was a very lengthy list to begin with.
Graham Benstead, Scott Howie, the fantastic occasional Radio Norfolk sidekick to Chris Goreham that is Mark Walton, Jed Steer, Declan Rudd, Simon Tracey [sorry!], Ben Alnwick, Michael Theoklitos [big sorry!], and probably several others I have long forgotten.
Don’t be afraid to point out any significant omissions dear readers – 60 years of goalkeepers is a lot to compress into a single article.
Finally, I’m not childish or churlish enough not to remark upon Delia’s 81st birthday on Saturday. I hope she had a great celebratory day. She must be close to being the oldest football club owner of all time in British history, so well done for that!
*** If I don’t like the new home shirt after all I’ll be hightailing it down to On the Stall City to try and get the old Asics one that I sold for a tenner all those years ago. It’ll cost me significantly more than that now but it’s all for the very best of causes and I’m sure I’ll buy one anyway, so put me a home yellow or an away white [XL as that era suffers from natural shrinkage] on ice until Friday please, Jacob!
An article that combines currency with nostalgia can surely only end with this: