Why being part of Norwich’s 1985 League Cup win against Sunderland tore me apart

Norwich celebrate at Wembley in 1985
Norwich celebrate at Wembley in 1985
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My former club Norwich City pride themselves on being a friendly, community-based club and I think anybody with connections to the Canaries would endorse that view.

The people are warm and welcoming, but the passion for the club in the city is huge and I’d be very surprised if they don’t sell out their allocation for Saturday’s game.

Norwich's winning team - minus the injured Gary Rowell

Norwich's winning team - minus the injured Gary Rowell

My time at Norwich was brief, getting a serious injury in the first pre-season game wasn’t the start I’d hoped for and it caused me to miss the vast majority of the campaign.

However, it was a season that will always be remembered at Carrow Road, thanks to a League Cup victory over of all teams Sunderland.

Norwich are a club who don’t win silverware every year, so lifting a major domestic trophy in 1985 was a big deal and remains so to this day.

When I was a Sunderland player, I knew we were never good enough to challenge for the title, but I always felt a cup win was possible and after seeing the great 73 Wembley win, it was always my dream to emulate that great achievement.

So to finally be part of a club that lifted a major trophy at Wembley – against incredibly the club I was a part of for so long – tore me apart.

It was a surreal experience and got even more so a couple of days later when along with players like Steve Bruce and Mick Channon, the team went on an open top bus ride through Norwich, ending at the town hall where the squad and coaching staff showed off the cup to thousands of fans packed outside.

My season at Carrow Road may have been wrecked by injury, but for professional footballers, they happen and you have to live with it.

But it was a remarkable season for Norwich and I always remember my time in East Anglia.