|Ground Carrow Road|
Chairman Ed Balls
Arena/Stadium Carrow Road
Location Norwich, United Kingdom
League EFL Championship
|Ground Capacity 27,244|
Manager Alan Irvine
Director Delia Smith
Chairperson Ed Balls
|Full name Norwich City Football Club|
Nickname(s) The Canaries Yellows The Citizens (before 1907)
Founded 17 June 1902; 114 years ago (1902-06-17)
Norwich City Football Club (also known as The Canaries or City) is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk. The club currently plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football, having been relegated from the Premier League in 2016. They were first promoted to the top flight in 1972. Norwich have won the League Cup twice, in 1962 and 1985. The club has never won the top flight, but finished third in 1993.
- Early years
- Move to Carrow Road and an FA Cup semi final
- League Cup glory and a place in the First Division
- The John Bond era
- Promotion silverware and more cup runs
- Early success in the Premier League era
- The Division One years
- Return to the Premier League
- Relegation and revival since 2009
- Colours and crest
- Statistics and records
- Club sponsors
- First team squad
- Out on loan
- Notable players
- Greatest Ever Norwich City XI
- Players of the Year
- In popular culture
- Norwich City Ladies
The club was founded in 1902. Since 1935, Norwich have played their home games at Carrow Road and have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town, with whom they have contested the East Anglian Derby 134 times since 1902.
The fans' song "On the Ball, City" is regarded as being the oldest football song in the world which is still in use. The club plays in characteristic yellow and green kits and are nicknamed The Canaries after the history of breeding the birds in the area.
Norwich City F.C. was formed following a meeting at the Criterion Cafe in Norwich on 17 June 1902 and played their first competitive match against Harwich & Parkeston, at Newmarket Road on 6 September 1902. They joined the Norfolk & Suffolk League for the 1902–03 season, but following a FA Commission, the club was ousted from the amateur game in 1905, deemed a professional organisation. Later that year Norwich were elected to play in the Southern League and with increasing crowds, they were forced to leave Newmarket Road in 1908, moving to The Nest, a disused chalk pit. The club's original nickname was the Citizens, although this was superseded by 1907 by the more familiar Canaries after the club's chairman (who was a keen breeder of canaries) dubbed his boys 'The Canaries' and changing their strip to yellow and green. During the First World War, with football suspended and facing spiralling debts, City went into voluntary liquidation on 10 December 1917.
The club was officially reformed on 15 February 1919 – a key figure in the events was Charles Frederick Watling, future Lord Mayor of Norwich and the father of future club chairman, Geoffrey Watling. When, in May 1920, the Football League formed a third Division, Norwich joined the Third Division for the following season. Their first league fixture, against Plymouth Argyle, on 28 August 1920, ended in a 1–1 draw. The club went on to endure a mediocre decade, finishing no higher than eighth but no lower than 18th. The following decade proved more successful for the club with a club-record victory, 10–2, over Coventry City and promotion as champions to the Second Division in the 1933–34 season under the management of Tom Parker.
Move to Carrow Road and an FA Cup semi-final
With crowds continuing to rise, and with the Football Association raising concerns over the suitability of The Nest, the club considered renovation of the ground, but ultimately decided on a move to Carrow Road. The inaugural match, held on 31 August 1935, against West Ham United, ended in a 4–3 victory to the home team and set a new record attendance of 29,779. The biggest highlight of the following four seasons was the visit of King George VI to Carrow Road on 29 October 1938. However, the club was relegated to the Third Division at the end of the season. The league was suspended the following season as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War and did not resume until the 1946–47 season. City finished this and the following season in 21st place, the poor results forcing the club to apply for re-election to the league. The club narrowly missed out on promotion under the guidance of manager Norman Low in the early 1950s, but following the return of Tom Parker as manager, Norwich finished bottom of the football league in the 1956–57 season.
The 1958–59 season saw Norwich reach the semi-final of the FA Cup as a Third Division side, defeating two First Division sides on the way: Tottenham Hotspur and Matt Busby's Manchester United.
League Cup glory and a place in the First Division
In the 1959–60 season, Norwich were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second to Southampton, and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1960–61 season. In 1962 Ron Ashman guided Norwich to their first trophy, defeating Rochdale 4–0 on aggregate in a two-legged final to win the League Cup.
Sixth place in the league was the closest the club came to promotion to the First Division again during the 1960s, but after winning the division in the 1971–72 season under manager Ron Saunders, Norwich City reached the highest level of English football for the first time. They made their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1973, losing the League Cup final 1–0 to Tottenham Hotspur.
The John Bond era
Relegation to the Second Division in 1974 came after Saunders had departed and been succeeded by John Bond, but the board of directors kept faith in Bond and were quickly rewarded. A highly successful first season saw promotion back to the First Division and another visit to Wembley, again in the League Cup final, this time losing 1–0 to Aston Villa.
Promotion, silverware and more cup runs
Bond departed to Manchester City in the autumn of 1980 and the club were relegated six months later, but bounced back the following season after finishing third under Bond's successor Ken Brown. Norwich had also been the beneficiaries of one of English football's first million-pound transfers when they sold striker Justin Fashanu to Nottingham Forest in August 1981.
The 1984–85 season was of mixed fortunes for the club; under Ken Brown's guidance, they reached the final of the Football League Cup at Wembley Stadium, having defeated Ipswich Town in the semi-final. In the final, they beat Sunderland 1–0, but in the league both Norwich and Sunderland were relegated to the second tier of English football. This made Norwich the first English club to win a major trophy and suffer relegation in the same season; something which was not matched until Birmingham City also suffered relegation the season they won the League Cup 26 years later.
Norwich were also denied their first foray into Europe with the ban on English clubs after the Heysel Stadium disaster. City bounced back to the top flight by winning the Second Division championship in the 1985–86 season. This was the start of what remains in 2012 a club-record nine consecutive seasons in the top division of English football. High league placings in the First Division in 1986–87 and 1988–89 would have been enough for UEFA Cup qualification, but the ban on English clubs remained. They also had good cup runs during this period, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals in 1989 and again in 1992.
Early success in the Premier League era
During 1992–93, the inaugural season of the Premier League, Norwich City quickly emerged as surprise title contenders, before faltering in the final weeks to finish third behind the champions, Manchester United, and runners-up Aston Villa. Their top scorer that season was Mark Robins, who had been signed from Manchester United the previous summer. The following season Norwich played in the UEFA Cup for the first time, losing in the third round to Inter Milan, but defeating Bayern Munich. Winning 2–1, Norwich were the first British team to beat Bayern Munich in the Olympic Stadium. Mike Walker quit as Norwich City manager in January 1994, to take charge of Everton and was replaced by 36-year-old first team coach John Deehan who led the club to 12th place in the 1993–94 season in the Premier League. Norwich began the 1994–95 season well, despite the pre-season loss of top scorer Chris Sutton to Blackburn Rovers for a national record £5million, and by Christmas they were seventh in the league and a UEFA Cup place was a realistic possibility. However, Norwich then went into freefall, won only one of their final 20 league games and slumped to 20th place and relegation, ending a nine-season run in the top flight.
The Division One years
Shortly before relegation, Deehan resigned as manager and his assistant Gary Megson took over until the end of the season. Martin O'Neill, who had taken Wycombe Wanderers from the Conference to the Second Division with successive promotions, was appointed as Norwich City manager in the summer of 1995. He lasted just six months in the job before resigning after a dispute with chairman Robert Chase over money to strengthen the squad. Soon after, Chase stepped down after protests from supporters, who complained that he kept selling the club's best players and was to blame for their relegation. Chase's majority stakeholding was bought by Geoffrey Watling.
English television cook Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn-Jones took over the majority of Norwich City's shares from Watling in 1996, and Mike Walker was re-appointed as the club's manager. He was unable to repeat the success achieved during his first spell and was sacked two seasons later with Norwich mid-table in Division One. Nigel Worthington took over as Norwich City manager in December 2000 following an unsuccessful two years for the club under Bruce Rioch and then Bryan Hamilton. He had been on the coaching staff under Hamilton who resigned with the club 20th in the First Division and in real danger of relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time since the 1960s. Worthington avoided the threat of relegation and, the following season, led City to a playoff final at the Millennium Stadium, which Norwich lost against Birmingham City on penalties.
Return to the Premier League
The 2003–04 campaign saw the club win the First Division title, finishing eight points clear of second-placed West Bromwich Albion and returned to the top flight for the first time since 1995. For much of the 2004–05 season however, the club struggled and, despite beating Manchester United 2–0 towards the end of the season, a last day 6–0 defeat away to Fulham condemned them to relegation. The club finished in ninth place in The Championship in the 2005–06 season and, as results in the 2006–07 season went against City, manager Nigel Worthington was sacked in October 2006, directly after a 4–1 defeat by Burnley. On 16 October 2006, Norwich revealed that former City player Peter Grant had left West Ham United to become the new manager, and in February 2007, Grant replaced assistant Doug Livermore with his fellow Scot, Jim Duffy. Grant's side struggled for most of the season and made a poor start to the 2007–08 season, with only two wins by mid October; following a 1–0 defeat at fellow-strugglers Queens Park Rangers, Grant left the club by "mutual consent" on 9 October 2007. On 30 October 2007, former Newcastle United manager Glenn Roeder was confirmed as Grant's replacement. Roeder kept Norwich in the Championship with a 3–0 win over Queens Park Rangers, Norwich's penultimate game of the season.
Relegation and revival since 2009
On 14 January 2009 it was announced that Roeder had been relieved of his first team duties after 60 games in charge, and just 20 victories. A week later, Bryan Gunn was appointed as manager until the end of the season, but he was unable to prevent the club from being relegated on 3 May 2009, after a 4–2 defeat away at already relegated Charlton Athletic. Following their relegation, their first game of the season resulted in a shock 7–1 home defeat against East Anglian rivals Colchester United. This was the club's heaviest ever home defeat, succeeding a record that had stood since 1946. Two fans entered the pitch and ripped up their season tickets after just 22 minutes when the team were already 4–0 down, and Gunn was sacked six days later.
On 18 August 2009, Paul Lambert was announced as the new manager, leaving his post at Colchester, and nine months later led Norwich to promotion back to the Championship as League One Champions, after a single season in League One. The following season saw Norwich promoted to the Premier League, finishing second in the table behind QPR and completing the first back-to-back promotions from the 3rd tier to the 1st since Manchester City in 2000.
The club finished in 12th place in their first season back in the Premier League. Manager Paul Lambert resigned within a month of the season's close to take up the vacant managerial spot at league rivals Aston Villa, and was replaced by Chris Hughton. The 2012–13 season started poorly with a 5–0 defeat to Fulham and a bad run of form that was followed by a club record unbeaten run in the Premier League. A 1–0 home defeat to Luton Town on 26 January 2013 resulted in Norwich becoming the first English top-flight team to lose a FA Cup tie to a non-league side in 24 years. Norwich secured their third year in the Premier League with consecutive victories in the last two games of the season, to finish 11th in the league. However they were relegated back to the Championship after finishing 18th in the 2013–14 season. After a mediocre first half of the 2014–15 season, Neil Adams resigned which paved the way for the appointment of then Hamilton Academical manager Alex Neil in January 2015. The appointment reinvigorated Norwich's season and after narrowly missing out on automatic promotion back to the Premier League, victory in the 2015 Championship playoff final secured an immediate return to the top division of English football. This was only temporary relief, however, as at the end of the next season they were relegated again to play season 2016/17 in the Football League Championship.
Colours and crest
Norwich City's nickname, "The Canaries", has long influenced the team's colours and crest. Originally, the club was nicknamed the Citizens ("Cits" for short), and played in light blue and white halved shirts, although the halves were inconsistent; "the blue was sometimes on the left hand side of the shirt and sometimes on the right." The earliest known recorded link between the club and canaries, comes in an interview recorded in the Eastern Daily Press with newly appointed manager, John Bowman in April 1905. The paper quotes him saying "Well I knew of the City's existence... I have... heard of the canaries." "This as far as we can tell is the first time that the popular pastime of the day ie... rearing... canaries was linked with Norwich City FC... the club still played in blue and white, and would continue to do so for another two seasons." But the city of Norwich had long connections with canaries owing to its 15th and 16th century links to Flemish weavers who had imported the birds to the Low Countries from the Dutch colonies in the Caribbean.
By February 1907, the nickname Canaries had come more into vogue; thoughts that an FA Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion (nicknamed "Throstles" after a bird) was "a bird -singing contest" were dismissed by the polymath C.B. Fry as "humbug" but Bowman and Fry's colleagues in the national press increasingly referred to the team as Canaries.
The following season, to match the nickname, City played for the first time in Canary livery; "yellow shirts with green collars and cuffs. One paper produced the quote 'The Cits are dead but the Canaries are very much alive'." Apart from the obvious colour link, a canary may seem an odd choice; however, many English football clubs have adopted small birds as emblems that symbolise agility and deftness around the field.
While the home colours of yellow and green remain to this day, the away colours have varied since introduction. For example, the away kit for the 2012–13 season was black shirts and shorts.
A simple canary badge was first adopted in 1922. The current club badge consists of a canary resting on a football with a stylised version of the City of Norwich arms in the top left corner. For the club's centenary celebrations in 2002, a special crest was designed. It featured two canaries looking left and right, and a ribbon noting the centenary.
Norwich City F.C. played at Newmarket Road from 1902 to 1908, with a record attendance of 10,366 against Sheffield Wednesday in a second round FA Cup match in 1908. Following a dispute over the conditions of renting the Newmarket Road ground, in 1908, the club moved to a new home in a converted disused chalk pit in Rosary Road which became known as "The Nest". By the 1930s, the ground capacity was proving insufficient for the growing crowds and in 1935 the club moved to its current home in Carrow Road. The original stadium, "the largest construction job in the city since the building of Norwich Castle... was "miraculously" built in just 82 days... it was referred to [by club officials] as 'The eighth wonder of the world'" An aerial photograph from August 1935 shows three sides of open terracing and a covered stand, with a Colman's Mustard advertisement painted on its roof, visible only from the air. Another photograph, taken on a match day that same season, shows that despite the era's limited car ownership, a parking area was provided at the ground.
Floodlights were erected at the ground in 1956 whose £9,000 costs nearly sent the club into bankruptcy but the success in the 1959 FA Cup secured the financial status of the club and allowed for a cover to be built over the South Stand, which was itself replaced in 2003 when a new 7,000 seat South stand, subsequently renamed the Jarrold Stand, was built in its place.
1963 saw the record attendance for Carrow Road, with a crowd of 43,984 for a 6th round FA Cup match against Leicester City, but in the wake of the Ibrox disaster in 1971, safety licences were required by clubs which resulted in the capacity being drastically reduced to around 20,000. A two-tier terrace was built at the River End and soon after seats began to replace the terraces. By 1979 the stadium had a capacity of 28,392 with seats for 12,675. A fire in 1984 partially destroyed one of the stands which eventually led to its complete demolition and replacement by 1987 of a new City Stand, which chairman Robert Chase described as "Coming to a football match within the City Stand is very much like going to the theatre – the only difference being that our stage is covered with grass". After the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 and the subsequent outcome of the Taylor Report in 1990, the stadium was converted to all-seater with the corners being filled. Today, Carrow Road is an all-seater stadium, with a capacity of just over 27,000.
While much of the support that the club enjoys is local, there are a number of exile fan clubs, notably in London and stretching from Scandinavia to countries further afield such as the United Arab Emirates, Bermuda, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia and the United States.
The fans' song, On the Ball, City, is the oldest football song in the world still in use today; the song is in fact older than the club itself having probably been penned for Norwich Teachers or Caley's FC in the 1890s and adapted for Norwich City. Although the first use of the tune and song is disputed, it had been adopted by 1902 and it remains in use today in part if not the whole. The chorus is:
Locally, much is made of the informal title "Pride of Anglia". Fans variously claim the title for either winning the East Anglian Derby, finishing highest in the league, having the better current league position, having the more successful club history or for reasons without any apparent logical basis. The club's main local rival is Ipswich Town. When Norwich and Ipswich meet it is known as the 'East Anglian Derby', or, informally, as the 'Old Farm Derby' – a comic reference to the 'Old Firm Derby' played between Scottish teams Celtic and Rangers. Over the 134 matches played against Ipswich since 1902, Ipswich has the better record, having won 45% of the matches to Norwich's 37%. Another commonly employed measure for "Pride of Anglia", and one that encompasses all of the East Anglian teams is to dub the side finishing as the highest placed East Anglian team in the Football League as the Pride of Anglia.
The club also maintains a healthy celebrity support with celebrity cook Delia Smith and comedian Stephen Fry both having moved from fans of the club to running it. Actor Hugh Jackman is also a fan of the club, having been taken to Carrow Road as a child by his English mother, though he turned down an opportunity to become an investor in the club in 2010. BT Sport Presenter Jake Humphrey, who was born in Peterborough but moved to Norwich with his family at the age of nine, is another celebrity supporter. Also Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas, who is Vice-President of the Norwich City Supporters Trust, Norfolk-born musician, model and media personality Myleene Klass, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Labour ex-politician Ed Balls. Journalist and broadcaster Sir David Frost OBE also declared his love for The Canaries during his lifetime.
Norwich City FC is a public limited company that, in 2003, comprised approximately 8,000 individual shareholdings. Since purchasing their shares from Geoffrey Watling, Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn-Jones have been joint majority shareholders.
At the 2006–07 Norwich City FC Annual General Meeting (on 18 January 2007) Smith and Wynn-Jones announced that they would be open to offers to buy their majority stake-holding in the club. However, they made clear that any prospective buyer would have to invest heavily in the squad, with regards to team improving.
On 8 May 2007 the football club announced that Andrew and Sharon Turner had bought out all 5,000 shares belonging to former Board member, Barry Skipper and had given the club an interest-free loan of £2m. Mr and Mrs Turner are owners and directors of personal finance company Central Trust.
During July 2008 Peter Cullum declared that he was interested in a takeover of the club, and pledged that he would invest £20m for enhancement of the playing squad. On 8 July the EDP reported that Delia Smith and the board had invited Peter Cullum for talks. Reports later stated that the talks had been terminated with immediate effect, and no deal was to be reached.
On 2 September 2008, Andrew and Sharon Turner announced that they were leaving the football club's board of directors. This left a £2 million hole in Norwich City's budget. On 4 September 2008, Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones announced that they would be injecting £2 million, avoiding financial problems for the club.
The 2011 Annual General Meeting, attended by over 500 shareholders, saw joint majority shareholder Delia Smith and Stephan Phillips re-elected as directors and new director Stephen Fry formally re-elected having joined the Board the previous August.
On 27 December 2015, former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was appointed Chairman.
Statistics and records
Kevin Keelan holds the record for Norwich appearances, having played 673 first-team matches between 1963 and 1980. Ralph Hunt holds the record for the most goals scored in a season, 31 in the 1955–56 season in Division Three (South), with Johnny Gavin the top scorer over a career – 122 between 1948 and 1955. Mark Bowen holds the club record for most international caps, with 35 for Wales.
The club's widest victory margin in the league was their 10–2 win against Coventry City in the Division Three (South) in 1930. Their heaviest defeat in the league was 10–2 against Swindon Town in 1908 in the Southern Football League.
Norwich's record home attendance is 43,984 for a sixth round FA Cup match against Leicester City on 30 March 1963. With the introduction of regulations enforcing all-seater stadiums, it is unlikely that this record will be beaten in the foreseeable future.
The highest transfer fee received for a Norwich player is £10 million, from Southampton for Nathan Redmond in June 2016, while the most spent by the club on a player was the signing of Ricky van Wolfswinkel for £8.5 million (€10 million) from Sporting Lisbon. This transfer fee was then equaled by the signing of Steven Naismith from Everton in January 2016.
The club's highest league finish was third in the FA Premier League in 1992–93. The 2015–16 season was Norwich's 25th in the top flight of English football. The club has won the League Cup twice (most recently in 1985) and reached the FA Cup semi-final three times, most recently in 1992. Norwich have taken part in European competition just once, reaching the third round of the UEFA Cup in 1993–94 and are the only British side to beat Bayern Munich in the Olympic Stadium.
Between 2006 and 2008 the club was sponsored by airline Flybe but on 26 April 2008, it was announced that the company was stepping down as the main sponsor. On 29 April 2008 it was announced that Aviva which has offices in the city and is the parent company of the former Norwich Union, would be the new shirt sponsor, having signed a three-year contract. In 2009 the deal was extended until the end of the 2011–12 season. It was further extended in 2012 by four more years to the end of the 2015–16 season.
First-team squadAs of 1 February 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable playersPast (and present) players who are the subjects of Wikipedia articles can be found here
During the club's centenary season, a "Hall of Fame" was created, honouring 100 former players chosen by fan vote. Further players have been inducted into the Norwich City Hall of Fame in 2003, 2006 and 2012.
Greatest Ever Norwich City XI
In 2008, supporters cast votes to determine the greatest ever Norwich City team.
Players of the YearFor a more detailed list of these winners of the Barry Butler trophy, see Norwich City Players of the Year.
For a list of Norwich City captains, see Norwich City captains
ManagersAs of 10 March 2017. Not including caretaker managers. Only professional, competitive matches are counted.
Norwich City have won a number of honours, including the following:
Football League Second Division/First Division/Championship (Level 2)
Football League Third Division/One (Level 3)
Each time they meet, Norwich and Sunderland contest the Friendship Trophy, an honour dating back to the camaraderie forged between fans of the two clubs at the time of the 1985 League Cup final that they contested. Sunderland are the current holders having beaten Norwich 3–0 at Carrow Road on 16 April 2016 in the 2015-16 Premier League.
In popular culture
In the 2001 film Mike Bassett: England Manager, the eponymous hero, played by Ricky Tomlinson, rises to prominence as a result of success as manager of Norwich City, having won the 'Mr Clutch Cup'. The celebratory scenes of the open-top bus ride around the city (right) were actually shot in St Albans, Hertfordshire, rather than Norwich.
In 1972 the Children's Film Foundation released a movie called The Boy Who Turned Yellow, about a boy living in London who supports Norwich City. In the film, he and everyone and everything else on his tube train are turned yellow. That night he is visited by a yellow alien called Nick, short for electronic, who teaches him all about electricity. The link to the football club is used to explain why the boy already has so many yellow things in his bedroom.
Norwich City Ladies
Norwich City Ladies is the women's football club affiliated to Norwich City. They are managed by Scott Emmerson and compete in the Women's South East Combination League, in the third tier of English women's football. According to Norwich City, "They are the official women's team of Norwich City Football Club and are linked to the Girls' Centre of Excellence programme". Consequently, 95% of the club's players have progressed from the youth ranks. Norwich City LFC play their home games at Plantation Park, Blofield, Norwich.