Norwich City Profile
|Major Honours||Championship/Second Division (5), League One/Third Division (2), League Cup (2)|
Norwich City are a professional soccer club who play in the Premier League, having won the Championship in 2020/21.
The club were founded in 1902, with their best-ever league finish coming in 1992/93 when they finished third in the inaugural season of the Premier League.
The club were formed after a meeting in the Criterion Cafe in June 1902. In September of that year, they played their first competitive game against Harwich & Parkeston.
Within three years, they had become a professional organisation and were deemed ineligible for the amateur game. In 1905, Norwich elected to play in the Southern League, while in 1907, the club's chairman, who was a keen breeder of canaries, changed their strip to yellow and green and dubbed the team "The Canaries".
In December 1917, the club went into voluntary liquidation and were officially reformed 14 months later in February 1919. In 1920, they became a founding member of the Football League Third Division, playing their home matches at The Nest.
In the 1933/34 season, Norwich beat Coventry City by a club record 10-2 and earned promotion to the Second Division.
Due to an increase in attendance and mounting concerns from the FA about the safety of The Nest, the club moved to Carrow Road in 1935, deciding against renovating their old ground. Carrow Road has been the home of Norwich City ever since. The Canaries ran out 4-3 winners against West Ham United in the opening match at the ground on August 31, which set a new attendance record of 29,779 fans.
In the final campaign before the Second World War, Norwich were relegated to the Third Division. Soccer did not resume until the 1946/47 season, but their poor form continued and the club were forced to apply for re-election to the league after finishing in 21st place over two successive seasons.
The end of the 1950s saw a change in fortunes for City. In 1959/60, they were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second behind Southampton.
In 1962, Norwich won their first-ever trophy, defeating Rochdale 4-0 on aggregate in a two-legged final to win the League Cup.
In 1971/72, Norwich City earned promotion to the First Division for the first time in their history. They reached the League Cup final in 1973, losing 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Two years later, they made an appearance in the final again, going down by the same scoreline to Aston Villa.
In August 1981, Norwich made history when their striker Justin Fashanu became the first black footballer to be sold for £1million when he moved to Nottingham Forest.
The 1984/85 season was one of mixed fortunes for the club as they won their second League Cup, but were also relegated to the second tier of English soccer. This made them the first English club to win a major trophy and get relegated in the same season, a feat that has only been achieved since by Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic.
Due to the Heysel Stadium Disaster, Norwich were denied their first chance to play in Europe. However, they did secure promotion in the 1985/86 campaign and subsequently spent a club-record nine consecutive seasons in the top flight. The ban on English clubs playing in Europe persisted for five years and Norwich lost out once again, having achieved a high enough league position in the 1988/89 season to have secured European qualification.
Premier League era
In the inaugural season of the Premier League, Norwich finished third. This was and remains their best ever finish, but it was tinged with disappointment as they had been serious title contenders before faltering in the final weeks of the campaign. However, this did guarantee them European soccer and with English clubs allowed to play in Europe again, they took full advantage.
Norwich beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the UEFA Cup on October 19, 1993, making them the first British team to beat Bayern in the Olympic Stadium. However, they were knocked out of the competition by Inter Milan in the third round.
Their nine-year stay in the top flight ended in 1995 and a year later, lifelong fan and TV cook Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn-Jones took over the majority of the club's shares.
Norwich won promotion back to the Premier League in 2003/04 by winning their third title in England's second tier. However, they endured a poor campaign in the top flight and were relegated the following season.
Over the next five years, Norwich had mixed fortunes in the Championship. There were a couple of close scares, particularly in the 2007/08 season when they only guaranteed survival by beating Queens Park Rangers 3-0 in the penultimate game of the season.
The yo-yo years
Norwich were relegated to League One, English soccer's third tier, at the end of the 2008/09 season and suffered their heaviest-ever home defeat in the opening game of the following campaign, losing 7-1 to local rivals Colchester United. This prompted the dismissal of coach Bryan Gunn, with Paul Lambert coming in. This was an astute move as Lambert guided Norwich to promotion.
There was real momentum with Norwich now and Lambert made it back-to-back promotions by finishing second in the Championship in the 2010/11 season. They finished 12th in the top flight in their subsequent campaign, but Lambert resigned towards the end of the season and was replaced by Chris Hughton.
Hughton guided Norwich to Premier League survival for the second season, finishing 11th in the league, but their third straight Premier League campaign ended in disappointment as they finished 18th and were relegated. Hughton was dismissed.
Another promotion and relegation followed, with this pattern enduring to this day.
In 2017, the club appointed German coach Daniel Farke, who became the club's first non-British manager in their history.
Norwich won the Championship in 2018/19 but were subsequently relegated from the Premier League. This was the fifth time they had been relegated from the Premier League, a record. Undeterred, they then gained promotion in the 2020/21 season, again by winning the title.
However, a poor start to the 2021/22 Premier League campaign saw Farke relieved of his duties with Norwich bottom of the table. In November, the recently departed Aston Villa boss, Dean Smith, was chosen to succeed Farke at Carrow Road.
Norwich's main rivals are Ipswich Town, with the two sides playing in the East Anglian Derby. The head-to-head record is very evenly matched as Norwich have won 41 times, Ipswich 40 times and the two sides have drawn 22 times.
Their first match-up came in September 1946 when Ipswich ran out 5-0 winners. In fact, Norwich did not beat Ipswich until the fourth time of asking in 1948, winning 2-1.
Norwich City's fans
Much of Norwich's fanbase is local and there is a fierce rivalry with Ipswich. However, the club do have supporters clubs in London and Scandinavia, as well as in the UAE, Hong Kong, Thailand, Bermuda, Australia and the USA.
Norwich also have a number of celebrity fans, including the aforementioned Delia Smith. Stephen Fry is also vociferous in his support for the club, while actor Hugh Jackman, Myleene Klass, Philip Pullman and former Labour politician Ed Balls also count as supporters.
Norwich City's stadium
Norwich City started playing at Newmarket Road, spending their first six seasons there. Their record attendance was 10,366 for an FA Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday. They moved to The Nest shortly after but due to safety concerns relating to increasing attendances, City moved to Carrow Road in 1935.
The stadium was built in just 82 days and was referred to by club officials as "the eighth wonder of the world". Since 1935, the club have only played their home games at Carrow Road.
In the inaugural match at the ground on August 31, 1935, the Canaries ran out 4-3 winners against West Ham, with a new attendance record of 29,779 being set.
The biggest ever crowd at Carrow Road came in 1963 when 43,984 people watched an FA Cup match with Leicester City. However, due to the Ibrox disaster in 1971, safety licences were required by clubs and the capacity was reduced to 20,000.
Due to the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, further safety measures were introduced and the stadium was converted to an all-seater. Today, Carrow Road has a capacity of 27,244.
Norwich City's top players
In the current team, the side boasts some top English talent such as midfielder Todd Cantwell and the highly touted right-back Max Aarons.
They also have former Championship player of the season Teemu Pukki in their ranks. The Finnish striker has twice passed 25 goals in the Championship but only netted 11 times in his debut campaign in the top flight.
In 2008, supporters voted to determine the greatest-ever Norwich City team. The team included players from England, Scotland and Wales and reads: Kevin Keelan, Ian Culverhouse, Steve Bruce, Duncan Forbes, Mark Bowen, Darren Huckerby, Ian Crook, Martin Peters, Darren Eadie, Chris Sutton and Iwan Roberts.
Norwich City News
- Dec 11, 2021