"We only hate Wolves and Ipswich". So the chant goes, but why? Is it just that hideous Kevin Muscat challenge that wiped out Craig Bellamy? Or Steve Bull headbutting people? Or that it took until 1995 for us to win there? Or that their goal fell on Kevin Keelan? Or any of a plethora of other reasons why we were never going to be mates.
David 'Spud' Thornhill reveals all...
The swinging sixties saw Norwich make lots of new friends, with the switch to a national division seeing us meet lots of new clubs for the first time and Wolves are another of those who we would first make acquaintances with in the decade.
The first meeting came on 2 October 1965 when Wolves came to Carrow Road and, never one to be polite, won 3-0. They started as they meant to go on in terms of being jolly dislikeable and completed the double that season, repeating the feat the following season. Two years later they beat us 4-1 and clinched promotion back to the top flight. We were never going to be besties after a first impression like that were we? The bastards.
A four year gap between games gave the men in gold a chance to think about what they’d done. They used it to think of ever more inventive ways to be disagreeable. For example, the 1973 meeting at Molineux saw a Derek Dougan shot sneak past Kevin Keelan who chasing back, managed to keep the ball out only to end up in the back of the net with the goal collapsing around him. People ran to the injured Keelan's aid but the damage was done and our keeper was stretched off, only to return once the goal had been repaired 15 minutes later. The host’s meanness wasn’t done however and Wolves ended up winning 3-1. The bastards.
A year later, they would slap us again as the clubs met three times in 8 days. A 1-1 league draw at Carrow Road on the Saturday, was followed by the same result 3 days later in the League Cup Semi Final 1st leg. Cementing their reputation as chief tormentors of the Canaries, Wolves won the second leg at Molineux on the Saturday and headed to Wembley. The bastards.
After 13 attempts, Norwich finally got a win over Wolves when two Martin Peters’ goals helped Norwich to a 2-1 home win over Wolves. Yay. They probably left the changing rooms messy though. The bastards.
City wouldn’t win at Molineux until September 1995, when goals from Andy Johnson and Ashley Ward gave Norwich a 2-0 win. It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops though as Wolves striker Steve Bull didn't take kindly to losing and headbutted Ward, getting himself sent off. The bastard.
It would be another 14 visits before Norwich won again at Wolves and that was last October with our hard-fought 2-1 win that suggested we’d got the Newcastle game out of our system. The bastards.
In April 1997, a new striker was coming through the ranks and dubbed the new Chris Sutton; Drewe Broughton made his first start for City after a few sub appearances and scored his only goal for Norwich. However it would be the Wolves number 9 who would go on to become City’s next goalscoring hero; Iwan Roberts. Here big Iwan scored the winning goal for Wolves, in what would be his last for the club, before heading to Norfolk just under 3 months later. Even Iwan hurt us when in gold. The bastards.
An amusing twist of fate saw Iwan make his City debut on the opening day of the 1997/98 season in the glorious sunshine against Wolves at Carrow Road. However, it would be another striker making his debut that day who would steal the headlines and have a fantastic career with goals and cartwheels. 17 year old Robbie Keane marked his debut with both goals in a 2-0 win for the Wolves. The bastards.
In December 1998, Wolves defender Kevin Muscat who two years previously had viciously wiped out Darren Eadie with an awful tackle while playing for Crystal Palace, left his mark on another Norwich youngster, this time Craig Bellamy, ruling him out for almost a year. The tackle was so bad, that hatred for Muscat has never wavered among City fans. The bastard. It also had a huge effect on the game as a visibly incensed City, would surrender a 2-0 lead, as Wolves came back and drew 2-2. The bastards.
At the end of 2001/02 season, the clubs would meet in the end of season Play Offs Semi-Final. Wolves had looked like certainties for automatic promotion but fell away and ended up 3rd, losing out on 2nd place to their arch rivals West Brom. Hahahahaha.
Meanwhile we were on a fantastic run, unbeaten in 7 games winning 5 of them. The Midlanders were still favourites but Norwich had the momentum. Wolves took the lead early in the first leg, but Norwich would fight back and won 3-1 at Carrow Road, in a game that included a Paul McVeigh header. Really. 4,500 Norwich fans headed to the Black Country for a deafening second leg, but despite losing 1-0 on the night, City held on. Memorably it prompted some Wolves fans to display their innate optimism holding up a pre-prepared banner reading; 'You've let us down again’. Hahahahaha. The bastards.
In 2008/09, it would be a successful season for Wolves as they won the Championship while Norwich, who had beat Wolves 5-2 at Carrow Road earlier in the season, headed for League One. The bastards.
While Wolves have achieved 6 doubles over Norwich, Norwich go into Saturday's game with the opportunity of achieving their first ever and at a time when with only one defeat in our last eight games we’re in the midst of our best spell over them.
Let's hope it continues as Paul Lambert returns to Carrow Road for the fourth time, winning on his last three visits. The bastard.