WHERE ARE THEY NOW? THE 2002 PLAY OFF FINAL TEAM; PART 3

01/02/17

Andrew Lawn's concluding part of his look at the 2002 Play Off final squad. Here he looks at the bench and the manager. Tell us if you actually believe his wild boasting about him nutmegging Worthy...

The 2002 Play Off Final team were the first Norwich City XI Andrew Lawn fell in love with, so we indulged him a trip down memory lane by looking at what happened next for the squad who went to Cardiff's Millenium Stadium to face Birmingham City.

We covered the goalkeeper and back 4 (as well as the referee and forgotten TV pundit Robbie Earle in part 1.

Midfield and strikers were covered in part 2.

Now for the bench and Worthy.....

Manager - Nigel Worthington

Worthy initially joined the club as Assistant Manager to Bryan Hamilton following an illustrious playing career, mainly at Sheffield Wednesday and a two year spell as Blackpool player-manager, resigning with the club in the Second Division relegation zone. Taking baby steps, Worthy was handed the reigns temporarily as caretaker boss in December 2000, before being confirmed permanently just shy of a month later in January 2001. Results were excellent and First Division survival that season was followed up by the majestic run to Cardiff. While disappointment awaited here, two years later Worthington led us to an emphatic title win. Relegation followed, as did an underwhelming Championship campaign in which we finished 9th. A disastrous start to the following season and a 4-1 home defeat to Burnley saw him leave the club after just shy of 7 years at the helm. After leaving City he was appointed caretaker manager at Leicester, losing to us in his first game, but ultimately saving them from the drop. Martin Allen pipped him to the full-time gig. Having missed out on the Leicester job, Worthington was appointed Northern Ireland manager in June 2007, staying for 3, ultimately unsuccessful qualifying campaigns. Two years out of the game followed, before Worthy appeared again, this time as manager at League Two York City. Again Worthington would secure survival in his first season and then repeat the trick of a run to the play-offs the next, but York would fall to Fleetwood Town in the semi-final and results faltered leading to his resignation in October the following season.

Like many before him Worthington was captivated by Norfolk and has returned to live in the north of the county, only remaining in football thanks to the occasional punditry work. His other claim to fame is that he met me at a BBQ a few years ago, during which an impromptu game of 5 aside began, where I nutmegged him. I was too shocked to shout "Nuts" and I assume he thanks me for this courtesy to this day.

Subs

GK - Paul Crichton

Signed as a back-up keeper, Crichton made 6 appearances for City between 2001-4, before leaving for York City. Beginning at Nottingham Forest and finishing at Sheffield United, Crichton retired aged 42 in 2011, having made 480 appearances for a massive 23 clubs. He moved into coaching and was goalkeeper coach at QPR (who weren't one of the 23) in January 2016.

RB - Daryl Sutch

A City hero for some, the name Daryl Sutch still leaves me with a deep feeling of dread. I just didn't get him. I still to this day don't know what his strengths were beyond turning up every week and having luscious hair. Born in Beccles and seemingly more able to resist the lure of the local drinking establishments better than Chris Martin, Sutch would make 302 City appearances, one of which was here when he replaced Paul McVeigh in the first period of extra-time. It wasn't the happiest of showings and he would ultimately miss the penalty that allowed Darren Carter to win it for Birmingham. Sutch stayed at the club for another 12 months, before leaving for first Southend United and then Boston. Following his retirement from football Sutch used his locks and continued to add to the reasons why I might not like him, becoming an Estate Agent after a brief spell flogging used BMWs.

ST - Iwan Roberts

What might have been had Iwan been fully fit that day? Our goalscoring talisman, once he'd gotten over that first season... Roberts guaranteed his Canary Hall of Fame place with 96 Norwich goals, including the opener from the bench here. An urban myth suggests both Iwan, the players and some fans believed the game was to be decided by Golden Goal and the reaction in the yellow half of the Millennium Stadium was duly rapturous. Sadly it was not to be, although for the record Iwan scored his penalty in the shoot-out. Popular wherever he went Iwan scored 202 goals through his career, which included successful spells at Watford, Huddersfield, Leicester and Wolves before retiring in 2005 following a brief joint-caretaker manager at Gillingham. Despite being capped 15 times for Wales, Iwan surprisingly never netted for his country. After football he did his coaching badges and is a UEFA A qualified coach, but is better known for his work with BBC Radio.

ST - Alex Notman

Another case of what might have been. A prodigiously talented youth captured by Championship Manager where he developed into a world beater, Notman began his career under Sir Alex at Manchester United. The Alex connection saw him make his professional debut on loan at Aberdeen. A further loan spell at Sheffield United saw him grab his first professional goals, before he joined City permanently in 2000. His potential was clear, but he struggled to fulfil it and only notched once in 54 games for City, before he sustained a career ending ankle injury blocking a free-kick at Portman Road. A brief tour of local football followed his professional retirement including spells at King's Lynn and Wroxham. What happened next is surprisingly unclear, but a LinkedIn profile which shares connections with ex-Chairman Roger Munby, Communications Chief Joe Ferrari and EDP journos Michael Bailey and Paddy Davitt suggests he is now a Project Engineer at an oil and gas firm in the city.

ST - Marc Libbra

Norwich have Manchester City at home and as the second half wears on they bring on a mysterious, handsome French striker who had over 100 appearances for Marseille to his name for his debut. Minutes later that same Frenchman would control a difficult pass, flick the ball over the defender and reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne at Euro '96 volley City ahead. It was breathtaking. So breathtaking that my friend memorably remarked on the way home from the game that if Manchester United offered lb10million for him there and then, he'd reject it. Marc Libbra was our Eric Cantona. A week later Libbra would score again, this time a winner away at Wimbledon and it looked like my mate might be on to something. Alas, that was pretty much it in terms of Libbra's City contribution and he would depart at the end of the season on a free transfer, not to Old Trafford but to US Creteil, having scored 7 goals in 34 games. Since retiring from the game in 2005, Libbra moved his handsome face onto French TV where he works as a pundit.

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