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A popular fixture to make your debut in Norwich v Newcastle has seen some deplorable middle-class hooliganism in the past and 20 goals in the last 3 games. Here's David 'Spud' Thornhill to warm your trivia cockles ahead of a Valentines night under the Carrow Road lights.
Newcastle travel to Norwich on Valentine's Day, sparking a flurry of arguments across NR postcodes as football fans across the county attempt to convince their partner this really is "the biggest game of the season" so they can attend. No doubt many will have to make it up to their loved ones at the weekend, by treating them to a train ticket to Burton. Alternatively, they could just be romantic on the other 364 days of the year and not just when Clintons tells them to.
The Magpies are hoping to claim another win in a season that looks like it'll finish with an instant return to the Premier League. However, local tradition in the form of our own Jack Valentine, dictates that they should arrive with gifts for their hosts and leave empty handed.
Lacking a gift for your host or Valentine? Here's some Norwich v Newcastle trivia which you can distribute to all your loved ones, free of charge. Lucky things.
The clubs first met at St James' Park on 29th September 1934.The hosts beat their newly promoted visitors 2-0.
City would fare better on their next three visits to the North East winning 2 (on Christmas Day 1936 and in April 1938) and drawing the other one. The good times essentially ended there, only winning twice on Tyneside since, both in 1988.
Following Norwich's relegation in 1939, it would be another 22 years until the clubs would meet again, this time in Division Two. It wasn't worth the wait and both games finished 0-0.
The following season Newcastle did the double over Norwich in the league, but met at Carrow Road for an FA Cup Fourth Round tie, which saw City record their biggest win over the Geordies winning 5-0. Terry Allcock stole the headlines, scoring in the fastest Norwich FA Cup goal in the opening minute, before adding another 3 and becoming the first player ever to score hat-tricks in the league (v Liverpool), League Cup (v Carlisle) and the FA Cup.
Newcastle were promoted to the top flight in 1965 and Norwich joined them in 1972. The first top-flight meeting came at Carrow Road, finishing in a 1-0 win to the visitors. An uneventful game was livened up by one of the most middle class examples of football hooliganism imaginable as fans in the City Stand hurled their cushions at the referee after he refused the injured City midfielder Graham Paddon treatment. Ban them all.
David Jones became the third City player to score an OG on his debut, putting past his own keeper at St James Park on the 18th October 1975. Norwich lost 5-2. Exactly 40 years later, we would lose 6-2 at St James Park. The 18th October has not been a good day for us.
In April 1978, Norwich travelled to already relegated Newcastle, where they were greeted by the smallest Tyneside crowd for over 50 years, when just 7,600 turned up. Mark Halsey made his debut for Norwich and became the first Norwich player to be sent off on his debut in a 2-2 draw.
More debuts would follow when the clubs met at Carrow Road in September 1987. In highly anticipated game, Brazillian Mirandinha made his debut, in front of 2,000 travelling Geordies. As excitingly, Simon Ratcliffe made his Canary debut. The game ended 1-1. As an aside, the first ever Brazilian to play in the English League was Norwich's Edward Laxton who was born in Brazil to British parents and made his City debut over 60 years earlier, at Plymouth on 28th August 1920.
The debuts theme continued on New Years Eve 1994, when Flappy McTraitor Andy Marshall made his full league debut, days after Bryan Gunn broke his leg at Nottingham Forest. Norwich started quickly and were 2-0 up after 10 minutes, following goals from Neil Adams and Ashley Ward. Flappy played well and despite the visitors pulling one back, City held on to win 2-1 and go into 1995 7th in the Premier League. Amazingly, Norwich would only win one more game for rest of the season and slumped down the league, into the drop zone and out of the top division for 9 years.
Last Saturday v Nottingham Forest we saw some cracking City goals, inspiring polls asking if Jonny, Wes or even Alex's strikes were among the best seen at Carrow Road. One of those mentioned came from the boot of Youssef Safri against Newcastle in April 2005. Norwich were fighting to stay in the Premier League when Newcastle arrived at Carrow Road. With the game 0-0, half way through the second half, Safri received the ball, from Thomas Helveg (remember him?!) about 40 yards from goal when he spanked one into the top left hand corner of Shay Given's goal. The excitement didn't end there as Newcastle grabbed an equaliser in the 89th minute only for Norwich's Dean Ashton to snatch a last minute winner.
Six months after Newcastle walloped us 6-2 at St James' Park the clubs met at Carrow Road in a relegation battle. Again Newcastle would snatch a late equaliser before another last minute winner, this time from Martin Olsson, put Norwich in leading position to stay up and Newcastle starring down the barrel of relegation. From a position of strength City would go on to lose to Newcastle's local rivals Sunderland and both clubs would go down while the Mackems survived again.
Last minute revenge would follow for the Geordies back in September 2016, with Norwich going into injury time 3-2 ahead. A first win on Tyneside since 1988 was not to be ours however as goals in the 93rd and 95thminutes, gave Newcastle a gutwrenching 4-3 win. With 20 goals in the last 3 meetings between the sides it might be an idea not to bet on 0-0 tonight.
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Along Come Norwich were passed information over the weekend confirming a recent applicant for the position of Chief Executive at Norwich City Football Club. Rather than just tell our mates down the pub, we thought we'd share the love. Luckily, we managed to acquire a copy of the application letter, enjoy....