Saturday, 3 September 2011

1983 - A Visit to the New Champions at Anfield

The very first match highlights I recorded on my brand new Betamax video was the home match with Liverpool in December 1982 (I haven't converted that tape yet). We were rock bottom of the First Division and they were top. Of course, that meant we won 1-0.

In March, Norwich went on an eight game unbeaten run which lifted them well above the relegation zone and by the time they were due to visit Anfield on 23rd April were safe from the threat of the drop. That week, Liverpool had been crowned Champions and this was the first match at home to celebrate. As it turns out, Norwich were the party-poopers and went on to a well-deserved 2-0 win.

There's a great interview at the end of Part 2 with Norwich's captain, Dave Watson, about his thoughts on clapping Liverpool onto the pitch at the start of the game.

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, 28 August 2011

1986 - When Away Fans Were Banned

Norwich City visited Luton Town on 11th October for a First Division Match. However, there were no Norwich fans allowed in the ground following a decision by Luton to ban away supporters from the stadium. This was in response to a riot by Millwall 'fans' at a cup game the season before which was shown on the BBC.

Norwich were riding high in the division after a one year sojourn in the 2nd.

In addition to the supporter ban, Norwich also had to contend with Luton's plastic pitch. Here are the highlights in four parts.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Saturday, 20 August 2011

In the days when we had FA Cup runs...

In 1984 Norwich were drawn away to Aston Villa in the F.A. Cup, 3rd round. I remember travelling on a football special train to Villa and playing cards all the way there and back. After a 1-1 draw it was back to Carrow Road on the Wednesday night.

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, 31 July 2011

1985 Milk Cup Preview

On Friday 24th March 1985, Anglia TV previewed the upcoming Milk Cup Final between Norwich City and Sunderland.

It's interesting to watch brief highlights of Norwich's two previous attempts to win the League Cup in 1973 under Ron Saunders and in 1975 under John Bond. Both games ended in disappointing 1-0 defeats. I didn't get a ticket for the first game but in 1975 I was living in London so just had a short trip to Wembley. I remember Mel Machin pulling a hamstring in the pre-match warm-up but he played anyway. The only thing he did in the game was the diving save to concede the penalty that led to Villa's goal. If my memory serves me correctly, it was the first missed penalty at Wembley even though Ray Graydon put in the rebound.

You'll then see Mick Channon showing a young Louie Donowa around Wembley Stadium. Channon was a great mentor to the young players at the club, none more so than Donowa whom he was constantly directing during games.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

A Milk Cup Final Rehearsal?

On 16th March 1985, Norwich were at home to Sunderland, a week before the Milk Cup Final. They were a comfortable 11th in the table while Sunderland 5 places below them in 16th.

I remember this as a pretty ordinary performance by Norwich. With only three sides of the ground open, and the  old Main Stand being dismantled, the atmosphere was muted.

Interesting to see Gary Rowell at the end. I remember him as a pretty effective striker for Sunderland and his time at Norwich didn't make much of an impression on me.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

On the Road to Wembley - via Grimsby

On 16th January 1985, Norwich City traveled to Grimsby in the Quarterfinals of the Milk Cup. The weather had been awful along the East coast so travel was difficult. However, the game went ahead after a big snow-clearing exercise and Norwich booked a semi-final place against Ipswich.

First Half

Second Half

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

March 1983 - Norwich City v West Ham United

After winning promotion in the previous season, City struggled in the top division. Having spent most of the season in the relegation places, they needed to put some results together to avoid dropping straight back to the second division. A win against Watford at the start of the month had lifted Norwich out of the bottom three, but a defeat at Villa followed by two draws had left them still in trouble.

However, this game formed part of a 10 game unbeaten run which lifted them into mid-table. Norwich City included England 2nd choice goalkeeper Chris Woods, Dave Watson, also on the fringe of the England squad, Martin O'Neill in his second spell at the club and Mick Channon.

West Ham had some very well known players in the team: Phil Parkes in goal, Frank Lampard Senior, Billy Bonds, Alan Devonshire and a young Alan Dickens.

The game was shown on Anglia TV's 'Match of the Week' - a weekly Sunday highlights program of the region's teams. This usually meant Norwich, Ipswich and occasionally Luton as representatives in the top division.

Look out for a young Steve Ryder, now a BBC stalwart, and a tribute to Bob Paisley, the Liverpool manager as his team won the Milk Cup the day before.

First Half

Second Half

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Greatest Night at Carrow Road Ever?

Well, I think it was for me.

The first leg at Portman Road was a bit of a nightmare. I'd organised a job interview in the city for 1 o'clock on the basis that Norwich were due to play a home game that day. Attend the interview, the plan was, have a pint at the Ferryman on King Street on the way to Carrow Road for the match. For some reason, the powers-that-be switched the Milk Cup Semi-Final first leg to that Saturday so I had the interview and then dashed down the A140 to the game (funnily enough one of my planned interviewers wasn't there - he'd gone to Ipswich!).

We got into the ground with about five minutes of the game played - just in time to see Ipswich score. The rest of the match was backs-to-the-wall football and how the game finished at only 1-0 I'll never understand.

So back to Carrow Road two weeks later for the second leg. I'd heard on the radio that day that we hadn't beaten Ipswich by two clears goals for years. I remember I was sitting in the South Stand for the game and it was a pretty full-blooded affair. John Deehan scored a deflected goal in the first half but the second goal wouldn't come.

In the 87th minute, Mark Barham took a corner from what is now the Snakepit corner. The Norwich players in the box all ran to the near post and Steve Bruce from the edge of the box, ran in and headed the winning goal into the net. The place went mad. I fell over my seat into the row behind onto the laps of some stony-faced Ipswich fans.

I got home about 3 in the morning.....

Anglia TV Report

BBC Look East Report

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

After The Fire

Two days after the fire at Carrow Road on 25th October 1984, Norwich were due to play QPR at home. The club were able to get the game played by removing the centre section of the stand roof which had been damaged by the fire and closing the stand. It would remain closed for the rest of the season.

Norwich changed at Trowse Training Ground and QPR in 'The Nest', the pub built into the new River End Stand.

After the match highlights, Stewart White of BBC's Look East interviews the Bishop of Norwich, a keen Canaries fan.