NORWICH CITY - 1986-1995
City made a slow start to 1985-86, but gradually found their form. A blistering spell of ten successive league wins from mid-November through to the end of January took them clear and the Second Division Championship was clinched with four games remaining.
Back in Division One, City enjoyed a tremendous return to the top-flight, finishing in 5th position, another all-time best; a position which would normally have seen them qualify for Europe again, but the ban remained. Off the field the newly constructed City Stand was opened for the start of the season and officially, by the Duchess of Kent, in February 1987.
A faltering start to 1987-88 led to the acrimonious departure of Ken Brown as new Chairman Robert Chase moved swiftly to ensure City's continuing success. Dave Stringer was appointed Manager and the team recovered to finish 14th.
1988-89 proved to be another great season for City fans. Playing a brand of attractive football which won many admirers, the Canaries contested top spot of Division One for virtually the whole season, only fading in the last five or six games, eventually finishing in another best-ever position of 4th. European qualification was denied for the third time.
Dave Stringer's side also reached the FA Cup semi-final, for only the second time in the Club's history, beating non-league Sutton United 8-0 on the way. On a never-to-be-forgotten afternoon on April 15th 1989, City lost 1-0 to Everton at Villa Park, but it was the tragic events at the days other Semi-Final, Liverpool v Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough which were to change the whole future of English football.
The next two seasons were relatively uneventful as City continued to entertain their fans without the near success of 1988-89.
1991-92 was to be the last Football League Division One season before
the introduction of the new FA Premier League. The Canaries only just avoided relegation at the season's end, although another FA Cup semi-final appearance was a highlight, even if the team's extremely disappointing display in losing 1-0 to Second Division Sunderland at Hillsborough wasn't.
Off the field, the old Barclay Stand was demolished to make way for a new construction to allow for the implementation of an all-seater stadium as per Lord Chief Justice Taylor's report, as seats were also installed in the Lower Tier of the River End Stand.
Dave Stringer resigned at the season's end and Reserve Team boss Mike Walker was appointed.
Walker's first season in charge, the first FA Premier League campaign, was truly remarkable. The team made a flying start and were soon leading the table, by a staggering eight points in early December. A poor spell followed, but as late as early April, City were still battling it out for the title.
They eventually finished third, behind Manchester United and Aston Villa, but a UEFA Cup place was won - a new exciting venture beckoned.
Some tremendous away results at the outset of 1993-94 proved City's success was no 'flash in the pan', as they once again found themselves in the top six. A 3-0 aggregate victory against Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem gave Norwich a winning start in Europe and they were soon rewarded with a plum tie against Bayern Munich.
The Canaries became the first ever English side to beat Bayern in the Olympic Stadium, 2-1, and completed their task with a 1-1 draw in the home leg. Inter Milan were next, but a late goal in each leg, from Dennis Bergkamp, did not portray an accurate picture of City's endeavour and possessional superiority throughout both games.
Honour in defeat, but following a clash of ideals with Chairman Chase, Mike Walker resigned and despite his successor John Deehan's best efforts, City ended the campaign in 12th place.
The next season,1994-95, saw City 7th at Christmas but relegated by May. A run of seven successive defeats as John Deehan resigned, gave City no chance of survival.