How Norwich City striker Gary Hooper created a unique goalscoring record

Gary Hooper celebrates what he will hope is the first of many Premier League goal in Norwich City's comeback 3-1 win against West Ham. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Gary Hooper celebrates what he will hope is the first of many Premier League goal in Norwich City's comeback 3-1 win against West Ham. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, November 18, 2013
6:30 AM

As Gary Hooper smashed home his first Premier League goal for Norwich City he was not only kick-starting the Canaries’ season, but creating a unique record at the same time.

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Celtic's Gary Hooper celebrates scoring  during a UEFA Champions League Qualifying match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.Celtic's Gary Hooper celebrates scoring during a UEFA Champions League Qualifying match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

His equalising penalty against West Ham sparked City’s second-half charge to a hugely needed 3-1 win and opened his Premier League account in his fourth league start.

The goal has written him into pub quiz folklore as he has now scored in every league in English football, including the Conference and Conference South, as well as the FA Cup, League Cup and Football Trophy.

When combined with his three seasons in Scotland with Celtic, which saw him score in the Champions League, Europa League, Scottish Premier League and Scottish cups, it makes for a remarkable achievement.

None of it comes as a surprise to his first senior manager though.

Gary Hooper – goal machine

PREMIER LEAGUE

Norwich City - 7 matches, 1 goal

LEAGUE CUP

Norwich City - 2 matches, 2 goals

Southend United - 6 matches, 2 goals

Scunthorpe United - 4 matches, 1 goal

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Celtic - 7 matches, 2 goals

(plus 6 matches, 3 goals in qualification rounds)

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Celtic - 6 matches, 2 goals

SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP

Celtic - 95 matches, 63 goals

SCOTTISH FA CUP

Celtic - 13 matches, 3 goals

SCOTTISH LEAGUE CUP

Celtic - 11 matches, 9 goals

CHAMPIONSHIP

Scunthorpe United - 35 matches, 19 goals

LEAGUE ONE

Scunthorpe United - 47 matches, 24 goals

Southend United - 13 matches, 2 goals

Leyton Orient (Loan) - 4 matches, 2 goals

LEAGUE TWO

Hereford United (Loan) - 19 matches, 11 goals

FA CUP

Scunthorpe United - 3 matches, 2 goals

FOOTBALL LEAGUE TROPHY

Scunthorpe United – 5 matches, 2 goals

CONFERENCE PREMIER

Grays - 40 matches, 8 goals

CONFERENCE SOUTH

Grays - 29 matches, 12 goals

TOTAL

170 goals

Mark Stimson was the man to give Hooper his first chance, with non-league Essex side Grays Athletic, where he scored 20 goals in two seasons.

Former Gillingham manager Stimson, now in charge of Thurrock in Isthmian League Division One North, said: “I was working in the academy at Spurs at under-10 or under-11 and Gary was there but a couple of years older at the time.

“I took over the job at Grays and when Gary was released by Tottenham I took him over to Grays as a 15-year-old. He trained with the first team and didn’t look out of place.

“Then when he left school he signed for us and played in the FA Trophy final at Villa Park when he had just turned 17, which was a great achievement, and he progressed from there.

“When I first saw him he was at a young age and I first looked, as I still do to this day, at his first touch and at 15 he had a very good first touch.

“He wasn’t filled out fully at that age, as you would expect, but his touch was very good and in front of goal if your first touch is good then it sets up the second touch to test the keeper or score.”

Hooper was in good company at Grays, with team-mates such as Michael Kightly, Aaron McLean and Freddie Eastwood all to go on to play in the top divisions of English football.

Hooper followed Eastwood to Southend when the Shrimpers were in the Championship, after Stimson had moved to Stevenage Borough and unsuccessfully tried to take Hooper with him.

Southend did not work out for Hooper before he kick-started his career with successful loan spells in League One with Leyton Orient and then League Two with Hereford.

Those spells persuaded Nigel Adkins to pay £175,000 top take him to Scunthorpe United. Two seasons and 48 goals later Celtic handed the Iron £2,4m to take Hooper north of the border, where he plundered a further 82 goals.

Stimson, who was Norwich manager Chris Hughton’s boot boy as a trainee at Spurs, continued: “With forwards you are only as good as your service and if he gets that, he’ll deliver. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to go and watch Celtic v Rangers and Gary got a couple that day.

“He got a lot of chances in that Celtic side and would always finish nine out of 10 so if the Norwich boys can give him chances, he’ll score, that will never leave him.

“One thing he’ll do is work hard. He won’t get too high or too low because he has been brought up well, I think he will surprise a few people because he is quicker than he looks.”

Stimson got a close look at Hooper’s progress in May, when he managed him for a charity match played at Stevenage Borough.

The match was in memory of former Stevenage player and West Ham trainee Mitchell Cole, who died at the age of 27 in December 2012 because of a heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Stimson managed the Mitchell Cole XI, which featured several West Ham stars, as well as Hooper.

“Celtic were great and let Gary come down to play 45 minutes,” Stimson said. “In the team I managed were Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, Joe Cole and Andy Carroll, and they were like a club side, Gary slotted in with them perfectly.

“So I was looking at them and thinking why haven’t West Ham come in for him? But obviously Norwich were persistent and got him in the end.

“He got a couple of niggles and missed a few games but as long as he gets games and good service, and they’ve got a couple of good wide boys at Norwich in Snodgrass and Pilkington, he’ll score goals.”

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14 comments

  • Thank you, Mr Freezer, for the icy clarity of your report - so refreshing a contrast to the hormonal sweatiness of Davitt's droolings. Incidentally, I wonder if someone is spiking Padminia's cuppas with estrogen? As a practising English teacher for 30 years I have rarely come across such florid characteristics in male prose.

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    serinus mozambicus

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • I'm not often wrong, but I hold my hands up on this signing! I didn't want him @ the Carra but he's been a great player for us so far. Tough, quick + hard to knock off the ball he + Ruddy should be 1st names on the team sheet every week. PS: Any sign of that Dutch male model returning to the team after he stubbed his toe..?

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • If you set that one at your pub quiz you may have to rethink the question. He hasn't scored in every league in English football as there is no mention of him scoring in the Evo Stik Northern Premier League.Nor the Ryman League.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • there you go.give him the right servivce and he will score.are you listening hoots.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • .....now check out that lad Wells of Bradford City!....scored three yesteday....could make a good double actl.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • I'm assuming the "Football League Trophy" is the JPT? If not, the stats have missed something. Go straight to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred pounds.

    Report this comment

    Eddie

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

  • Full agreement Stew, not the first time I have seen him and always full of energy, persistently trying, for a little one he wins a few in the air as well. Has to be worth a shot in the January window and wouldnot be a lot of money. A good hat trick as well.

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • Indeed Stew + Dingo. My intuition tells me that Mr, Hoody-Hoody is regretting his decision to sign for City + he's dragging this "injury" out for as long as poss to avoid playing, hoping to be sold again come next summer. He's undoubtedly a talent, but as I've ventured to suggest on these boards before, he's the wrong sort of player for us. We need a Holty-Iwan type who can create his own chances, not wait for the ball to be placed in front of him 5 yds out. PS: Wish Hooper was a bit bigger + then he really would be a Holt replacement. Ho-hum... lets see what the country vicar can serve up in the next few games. Fair play we're out the relegation zone for now, but I've a nasty feeling we'll be seeing more of the bottom 3 places before this season's out !

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • JohnnyHowson - you certainly are narrowing it down. There is nothing worse than setting a pub quiz question only to find that it is open to dispute.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • How about this Steely Dan? Which professional English footballer has scored in more Domestic and European competitions than any other Englishman?

    Report this comment

    HowsonIsNow

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • Hey Timbo - the "male model" occasionally uses a well-known pub on Yarmouth Road near to where he is living. Hearsay dictates that when asked about his toe he tends to shrug, smile in a certain way and say... nothing. I'd like to say a bit more but I don't want to upstage Archant reporters, now do I?

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • I may be mistaken but I don't recall being introduced to a Mr Bill Punton's magnificent toupee. However, you wouldn't be suggesting that it's a game of two halves?

    Report this comment

    serinus mozambicus

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

  • …..You are not wrong Timbo!....I must admit that I had similar feelings about signing him....I put it down to all the media hype!...He certainly looks like a Holt mk2....Great work rate and positive enthusiasm ....Needs a buddy!.... and I have already suggested young Wells of Bradford City....but doubtful if Hoots can hear us.....and his Tea Lady has changed her name, so little info coming from that source!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Monday, November 18, 2013

  • Serinus, have we met before?

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Monday, November 18, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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