April 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, October 6, 2012
The controlling Labour group at Norwich City Council changed their minds about giving former Carrow Road boss Paul Lambert the Freedom of the City, it has emerged.
According to former city councillor Roy Blower, a long-standing Canaries fan and founder of the recently wound-up Independent Norwich City Supporters Club, the council had been on the brink of handing Mr Lambert the accolade.
He said: “I had one to one meetings with Mr Lambert when I was a councillor. He seemed quite surprised that we were thinking about those lines. I knew he would leave eventually, but I thought he was worthy given his achievements at taking us from the bottom of League One back to the Premier League.
“I talked to him about it over a period of time, including after I stopped being a councillor in 2011, as it was me who started the ball rolling.
“The Labour group had voted on it, but I think certain people at higher levels got together and were not convinced.
“The complexion of the group changed and they did a u-turn, so it never made it as far as the council as a whole.”
Given Mr Lambert quit Carrow Road in the summer to join Aston Villa, the decision not to award him the honour, meant Norwich was spared the embarrassment of what happened in Portsmouth in 2008.
The south coast town decided to bestow the honour upon Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp after he guided the club to victory in the FA Cup.
But just days before he was due to receive the honour, Mr Redknapp quit the club to join Tottenham. So when he arrived to have the owner bestowed upon him, he was met with boos and cries of ‘Judas’.
Norwich City Football Club itself already has the freedom of the city. It was awarded in 2002 - the club’s centenery year, in recognition of their continuing contribution to the city. the lives of its citizens and their promotion of the city both nationally and internationally.