Norman LowHISTORY - 1941 to 1969
In name, Norwich City Football Club continued to function during the war years, playing in regional leagues and in friendly matches against forces' teams. Guest players were common, with some famous names turning out for City during that period and on one occasion City defeated Brighton 18-0 at Carrow Road.

Although the war ended in May 1945, the 1945-46 season was still organised on a transitional basis and normal Football League service was not resumed until August 1946.

The two seasons immediately after the resumption of league football found the Canaries having to apply for re-election as they finished 21st on each occasion. The only positive aspect of these two barren seasons were the booming attendances with a new ground record of 37,863 filling Carrow Road for the visit of England centre-forward Tommy Lawton's Notts County side in April 1948.

Seasons 1948-49 and 1949-50 saw a marked improvement in the Canaries' league fortunes and a new record attendance at Carrow Road of 43,129, when reigning League Champions Portsmouth were the visitors in an FA Cup Third-Round replay.

The first four seasons of the 1950's found the Canaries, now managed by Norman Low, finally challenging for promotion again. They finished second (then not good enough for promotion), third, fourth and seventh in successive seasons, scoring a club record 99 league goals in 1952-53.

There were also some tremendous FA Cup exploits which helped the Canaries establish a notable cup-fighting tradition.
There were tremendous victories against Liverpool at Carrow Road in 1950-51 and more famously, at Highbury in 1953-54, by 2 goals to one, Tom Johnston scoring both goals.

The return of Tom Parker as Manager in 1955-56 coincided with Ralph Hunt's Club record haul of 31 league goals in a season, but financial storm clouds were gathering on the horizon.

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will always be regarded as a major turning point in Norwich City's history. The season started well enough, but a spell of one win in twenty-eight games saw them struggling at the foot of the table.

Carrow Road's floodlights were installed and opened with a prestige friendly against Sunderland. However, the £9000 cost of the lights plunged City into financial darkness.
City were stunned by non-league Bedford Town in the FA Cup First Round, losing 4-2 at Carrow Road and soon after it was revealed that the Club could not meet it's weekly wage bill of £500. The Norfolk News Company lent the Club money and an Appeal Fund was launched under the Chairmanship of the then Lord Mayor, Arthur South, its target, to raise £25,000.

The next three seasons proved momentous as the Club took great strides forward both on and off the pitch. The Appeal Fund target was reached and the team seemed to to take great heart

With the Football League planning a new Fourth Division for 1958-59, it was imperative that City finished the 1957-58 in the top half of Division Three (South). Something they comfortably achieved by placing 8th, whilst this otherwise unremarkable campaign also saw the arrival of 'legends to be' Barry Butler and Terry Allcock.

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The 1958-59 season remains as one of the truly great periods in Norwich City's history. It all began quietly enough with the Canaries maintaining a mid-table placing through the season's early months. In the First Round of the FA Cup, City trailed 1-0 at home to non-league Ilford, but recovered to win 3-1. Swindon were beaten, after a replay, in Round Two, but City's league form through November and December was patchy to say the least.

As 1959 dawned it was if Norwich City were transformed. Litcham-born Terry Bly returned to the side to score 29 goals in 30 games, as the Canaries embarked on a fantastic run of form, losing just 3 of those 30 matches.
It was the FA Cup run which acted as the catalyst for this startling form. Matt Busby's Manchester United were beaten 3-0 at Carrow Road on a snowbound surface in Round Three. Then it was Cardiff City, 3-2 at home in Round Four, with Norwich drawn away at Tottenham in the Fifth Round.

By now the footballing folk of Norwich and Norfolk were totally caught up in City's fortunes. An estimated 20,000 City fans were at White Hart Lane to witness Spurs last gasp equaliser to deny City a famous victory, but they were not to be denied and in the Carrow Road replay Norwich proved worthy 3-2 winners.

An away tie at Sheffield United in Round Six followed. The Blades took an early lead before Canary Keeper Ken Nethercott dislocated his shoulder early in the second-half. He bravely continued and remarkably kept United at bay whilst Bobby Brennan netted a well deserved equaliser. The replay proved equally dramatic as City again won through by 3 goals to 2, to become only the third ever Third Division team to reach an FA Cup semi-final.

Canary Cup fever had now taken over the nation as City's fantastic exploits won them admirers and media coverage from every corner. Only Luton Town stood between City and a visit to Wembley.

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The Canaries had the better of a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, as was the case in the replay at St Andrews, before Billy Bingham's 56th minute strike broke thousands of Canary hearts - a dream shattered.
That was City's first defeat since December 27th, a run of 19 games. Archie Macauley's team were shooting up the league, playing three games a week regularly. The team's character was unbelievable as after that semi-final replay defeat they went undefeated in their next nine games.
Eventually though their backlog of games took its toll and City missed out by four points and two places on promotion to Division Two.

Just one defeat in the first eleven league games of 1959-60 set out the Canaries' stall and that seam of consistency remained and promotion to Division Two, as runners-up to Southampton, was achieved.

That momentum was almost maintained and the 1960-61 campaign saw City achieve their highest ever league placing, of 4th in Division Two, but they were always just on the fringes of the real promotion battle.

1961-62 saw the departure of Manager Macaulay to West Brom; a fantastic FA Cup victory at League Champions-elect Ipswich Town; and Cup success as the Canaries become only the second winners of the Football League Cup, a competition still shunned by the country's top clubs. The final was a two-legged affair against Fourth Division Rochdale. City won 3-0 at Spotland and 1-0 at Carrow Road to enable Ron Ashman to cap his long and illustrious playing career with the honour of lifting a national trophy.

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The 1960's saw Willie Reid, George Swindin, Ron Ashman and Lol Morgan all given the opportunity to lift Norwich into Division One, but a best finish of sixth, in 1964-65, was the nearest they came.

The FA Cup continued to provide occasional highlights.

In 1962-63, one of the harshest winters in memory, City's five match Cup run was condensed into 26 days and included 4 goals for Terry Allcock in a 5-0 home win against Newcastle and a Club record attendance of 43,984 for the Sixth Round visit of Leicester City, a tie Norwich disappointingly lost 2-0. That season also saw Terry Allcock score 37 goals in all competitions, another Club record.

Then, in 1966-67, City again shook the footballing world, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford in a season in which Manchester United won the Championship and swept all before them.

Off the field the South Stand's roof was completed in stages and in August 1969 Ron Saunders was appointed Manager; the next chapter in Norwich City's history was about to begin.

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