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Norwich City
A Canary Century

Highlights of 100 years of Norwich City
by David Cuffley

Norwich City Football Club was founded after a public meeting at the Criterion Cafe in White Lion Street on June 17. Well-known sporting figure Arthur Turner was entrusted with the role of secretary. City, who wore blue and white halved shirts, played their first match – a friendly against Harwich – at Newmarket Road on September 6. Jimmy Shields scored for City in a 1-1 draw.

City were banned from the 1904-05 FA Amateur Cup after an FA commission at the Bell Hotel on December 17 found them guilty of financial irregularities – inaccurate gate receipts and extravagant expesnes for players – in the previous season’s competition.

1905 The first professional Norwich City team lines up for the camera.
1905 The first professional Norwich City team lines up for the camera.

City turned professional on March 4 at a packed meeting at the Agricultural Hall. A limited company was formed and John Bowman, from Queen’s Park Rangers, became manager and secretary. City played their first professional match in the Southern League on September 2, losing 2-0 at Plymouth.

1907 There was outrage among City fans as they sold star goalscorer Davie Ross to Manchester City on February 8 for £650 plus the proceeds of a friendly.

City pulled off their first major giant-killing act, beating FA Cup holders Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 at Newmarket Road in the first round in front of 10,366 fans. Concern over crowd safety prompted a move to a new home ground at The Nest, Rosary Road, in September.

The Canaries, in the bottom half of the Southern League, produced a major FA Cup upset, beating Division One side Liverpool 3-2 in the second round at Anfield.

Sunderland became City’s next big FA Cup scalp, beaten 3-1 at The Nest in the first round.

City knocked Nottingham Forest and Spurs out of the FA Cup.

Norwich City FC was wound up on December 10 and went into voluntary liquidation, owing £2000 to bankers and £1000 to creditors.

City FC was re-formed as a new company and returned to Southern League action after a four-year break. Major Frank Buckley, who won one cap for England and was severely injured on the Somme, was appointed manager.

The Canaries joined the Football League’s new third division and, on August 28, drew 1-1 at Plymouth in their first ever League match. Vic Witham scored.

Bob Dennison scored the first League hat-trick for City in a 3-2 win over Millwall on April 14.

A plan for a new 27,000-capacity City FC ground at Highland Road was presented by city engineer J S Bullough, but came to nothing.

New signing Percy Varco scored 10 goals in his first seven League games for City. 1930 City beat Coventry 10-2 in Division Three South at The Nest – still their record win in a competitive match.

City, bottom of Division Three South, were re-elected.

The Canaries, managed by Tom Parker, were Division Three South champions with 61 points, seven clear of Coventry.

Carrow Road opened with City beating West Ham 4-3 on August 31 in Division Two, with 29,779 watching. The Nest had been declared unsafe after 25,037 packed into the ground for an FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday six months earlier.

King George VI became the first reigning monarch to watch a Division Two match on October 29, when City lost 2-0 at home to Millwall.

City were relegated after finishing second from bottom of Division Two. They went down on goal average – by 0.05 of a goal. 1946 City returned to Football League action under new manager Cyril Spiers.

A Carrow Road record crowd of 37,863 watched the legendary Tommy Lawton score for 1-0 winners Notts County.

City held League champions Portsmouth to a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park in the FA Cup third round, before Pompey won a Carrow Road replay in front of a record gate of 43,129.

Giant-killers City added Liverpool to their FA Cup scalps with a stunning 3-1 third round win at Carrow Road in front of 34,641.

Tom Johnston scored twice as City produced another FA Cup shock, beating League champions Arsenal 2-1 at Highbury in the fourth round.

Ralph Hunt set a new club record of 33 goals in a season

City were plunged into a financial crisis which threatened their very existence. After 25 League matches without a win under Tom Parker, the Canaries were more than £20,000 in debt. A new board was formed under chairman Geoffrey Watling and an appeal fund chaired by the Lord Mayor, Arthur South, raised more than £20,000. Archie Macaulay replaced Parker as manager.

1959 Ken Nethercott (right) leaves the pitch with his dislocated shoulder after his heroics at Bramall Lane.
1959 Ken Nethercott (right) leaves the pitch with his dislocated shoulder after his heroics at Bramall Lane.

Macaulay’s Canaries shook the football world with a thrilling giant-killing sequence which took them to the FA Cup semi-finals. Skippered by Ron Ashman and inspired by seven-goal Terry Bly, they beat Manchester United, Cardiff, Tottenham and Sheffield United before losing 1-0 to Luton in a semi-final replay. Goalkeeper Ken Nethercott played half an hour of the quarter-final at Sheffield United with a dislocated shoulder.

City clinched promotion to Division Two after a gap of 21 years, beating Southend 4-3 at Carrow Road on April 27 to secure second place in Division Three.

Archie Macaulay resigned as City manager and took over at West Bromwich Albion.

City, under new boss Willie Reid, won the Football League Cup, beating Rochdale 4-0 on aggregate in the final, and knocked Alf Ramsey’s Ipswich out of the FA Cup, winning a fourth round replay 2-1 at Portman Road.

The Carrow Road gate record was broken as they lost 2-0 to Leicester in an FA Cup quarter-final in front of 43,984.

Goals from Don Heath and Gordon Bolland gave the Canaries a shock 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win over a star-studded Manchester United at Old Trafford.

City sold star goalscorer Hugh Curran to Wolves for £60,000. Ron Saunders was appointed manager on July 10.

City won promotion to Division One for the first time under Ron Saunders, winning the Division Two title with 57 points. The Canaries drew 1-1 with Everton at Carrow Road in their first Division One match on August 12.

The Canaries made their first appearance at Wembley, losing 1-0 to Tottenham in the League Cup final on March 3. Sir Arthur South succeeded Geoffrey Watling as club chairman. Ron Saunders resigned as manager on November 17, and was replaced by John Bond.

City were relegated from Division One after finsihing bototm of the table.

City returned to Division One, clinching the third promotion slot. They also returned to Wembley, losing 1-0 in the League Cup final to Villa.

City finished 10th in Division One – the highest Football League finish in their history. Ted MacDougall scored 28 goals.

Goalkeeper Kevin Keelan played the last of his 673 senior games. City sold striker Kevin Reeves to Manchester City for £1million. John Bond resigned as manager.

City were relegated to Division Two despite a late rally which brought them four successive wins.

The Canaries, under Ken Brown, clinched promotion, winning 10 of their last 12 matches.

City lost 1-0 at Brighton in their first FA Cup quarter-final appearance for 20 years.

Fire destroyed part of the Main Stand at Carrow Road.

1985 Chris Woods and Dave Watson lead the celebrations after City won the Milk Cup.
1985 Chris Woods and Dave Watson lead the celebrations after City won the Milk Cup.

A bitter-sweet year for the Canaries brought triumph at Wembley in the Milk Cup with a 1-0 win over Sunderland, but relegation from Division One – and exclusion from the UEFA Cup because of the ban on English clubs following the Heysel disaster.

City returned to Division One as second division champions, clinching the title with a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke on April 19.

Ken Brown was sacked as City manager – just six months after leaading the club to a best-ever fifth place in Division One.

City chairman Robert Chase and the directors survived a vote of “no confidence” at an extraordinary general meeting at St Andrew’s Hall. Under Dave Stringer, the Canaries topped the Division One table at Christmas.

City finished in a best-ever fourth in Division One, and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, where they lost 1-0 to Everton.

City beat FA Cup holders Manchester United 2-1 in the fifth round at Carrow Road, but lost 1-0 at home to Forest in the quarter-finals.

Dave Stringer resigned as manager after taking City to the FA Cup semi-finals again, where they lost 1-0 to Sunderland. Under new manager Mike Walker, they went eight points clear at the top of the new FA Premier League in December.

1993 Jeremy Goss scores THAT goal to help knock Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Cup.
1993 Jeremy Goss scores THAT goal to help knock Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Cup.

City finished third in the Premier League to book a place in Europe, where they knocked Vitesse Arnhem and Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Cup, winning 2-1 over Bayern in the Olympic Stadium in the second round, first leg. They went out, 2-0 on aggregate, to Inter Milan.

Mike Walker resigned as City manager to join Everton. New boss John Deehan, made the club’s first £1m signing – centre-half Jon Newsome.

The Canaries were relegated from Division One and had three managers in a year – John Deehan, Gary Megson and Martin O’Neill.

City came close to bankruptcy. Club chairman Robert Chase quit after weeks of protest, selling his shares to club president Geoffrey Watling. Mike Walker returned as manager. TV chef Delia Smith joined the board.

Mike Walker was sacked as City manager in April and was replaced by Bruce Rioch.

Bruce Rioch resigned as manager and was replaced by Bryan Hamilton. City sold Craig Bellamy to Coventry for £5.3 million. Hamilton resigned in December, Nigel Worthington taking over.

City chairman Bob Cooper survived a motion of “no confidence” at the club’s annual meeting.

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