highs and lows of Citys rich past
WITH 15 minutes of the game
left, nippy inside-left Jimmy Shields fastened on to
left winger Tommy Newell's cross.
|The Canaries in 1905/06.
He smashed the ball into
the back of the net and Norwich City, playing in their
very first game of football, had equalised.
James Pratt Addison Shields had the privilege of scoring
City's first-ever goal.
It happened on Saturday, September 6, 1902, when Harwich
& Parkeston provided the opposition in a friendly
watched by 2,000 people at the ground on Newmarket Road.
Jimmy's playing days were cut short by injury. He made
only four other appearances, scoring four times.
For several years he and his wife ran a tobacconist
and cigar merchants shop in Magdalen Street, Norwich,
before he moved to Ipswich, where he became a park attendant.
He died in 1947.
The top soccer team in Norwich for many seasons had
been the Church of England side, CEYMS, until two former
members, Bob Webster and Joe Nutchey, called a meeting
on June 17, 1902, to try to get a rival Norwich City
club up and running.
The club joined the Norfolk & Suffolk League, kitted
themselves out in blue and white shirts and white knickers
and leased the council-owned Newmarket Road ground.
They were known as the Citizens. A scandal over payments
to players followed and they turned professional, joining
the Southern League in 1905.
At the end of the 1907/8 season they moved to The Nest,
a quaint little ground on the site of filled-in chalk
workings in Rosary Road.
The Citizens disappeared and the Canaries came flying
in with new yellow and green colours.
The club was wound up with debts of £3,000 in
1917, but re-formed in 1919.
City joined the Football League in 1920 and won the
Division Three South championship in 1934 to earn promotion
to Division Two.
|Russell Colman, Lord Lieutenant
of Norwich and newly-appointed club president, performs
the opening ceremony at Carrow Road back on August
As the crowds increased,
the FA declared The Nest was not safe and in 1935 the
club moved to Carrow Road headquarters of the
Boulton & Paul Sports Club. Work on building the
new stadium started at 3.45am on June 11 and by August
31 just 82 days later it was finished.
Delighted officials declared it the Eighth Wonder
of the World.
Russell Colman, Lord Lieutenant of Norwich and newly-appointed
club president, untied the yellow and green ribbons,
signalling that the Canaries had arrived at Carrow Road.
In their first game at their new home, a crowd
of 29,779 roared Norwich on to a thrilling 4-3 victory
over West Ham in Division Two. The ground's first-ever
goal came from City captain Doug Lochhead, a tough guy
from Glasgow who served as captain, scout, caretaker
and then full-time manager.
The Canaries were flying high, but relegation in the
last full season before the second world war meant a
grim struggle in the first two seasons after hostilities
ceased, when they had to seek re-election.
City prospered in the early 50s in Division Three South
and turfed giants Liverpool and Arsenal out of the FA
Cup during Norman Lows reign as manager, but declining
fortunes and gates brought a financial crisis in 1957
that threatened the clubs future.
A public appeal which raised £20,000, combined
with the arrival of new chairman Geoffrey Watling and
new manager Archie Macaulay, revived the Canaries
fortunes and their FA Cup giant-killing run in 1959,
in which they beat Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur,
shook the football world.
Promotion to Division Two followed in 1960 for Macaulays
men since when City have never been out of the
top two divisions.
Ron Saunders took them into top-flight football for
the first time in 1972 as Division Two champions, and
they reached Wembley for the first time a year later,
losing 1-0 to Tottenham in the League Cup final.
Despite relegation in 1974, 1981 and 1985, City returned
to Division One at the first attempt each time, first
under John Bond who also took them to Wembley
as League Cup finalists in 1975 then twice under
It was under Browns leadership that City won the
Milk Cup at Wembley in 1985, beating Sunderland 1-0,
and they reached new heights under Dave Stringer and
later Mike Walker, whose team knocked Vitesse Arnhem
and Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Cup in 1993. Relegation
in 1995 sentenced the Canaries to nine long years out
of the Premiership.
The appointment of Nigel Worthington as manager in 2001
steadily revived the clubs fortunes, and they
narrowly failed to return to the Premiership in 2002
when they lost the Division One play-off final to Birmingham
on penalties at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff after
a 1-1 draw.
But it has taken only two more years for Worthingtons
men to make that dream into reality.
(With thanks to Dick Middleton and Paul Standley, authors
of Norwich City: A Portrait In Old Picture Postcards.)
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