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Darren Eadie is the latest in a long line of former Canaries to play non league football

PUBLISHED: 14:51 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:19 05 September 2018

Darren Eadie in action for Sherinham in their win over Wroxham Reserves. Picture: Robert Walkley

Darren Eadie in action for Sherinham in their win over Wroxham Reserves. Picture: Robert Walkley

Archant

Former Norwich City winger Darren Eadie became the latest ex-Canary to lace up his boots at local non league level when helping Sheringham to a 1-0 win over Wroxham Reserves at the weekend in the Premier Division of the Anglian Combination.

Jeremy Goss in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: John HocknellJeremy Goss in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: John Hocknell

The 43-year-old is the latest in a long line of former Norwich stars to have turned out for non league sides in the eastern region.

One of Norwich’s greatest ever players, Martin Peters, trod the path from pro to amateur when turning out for Gorleston in the Thursday Football League when, with the city closing for half a day each week, men would compete in what would become the Norwich & District Thursday League.

In the foreword to a book written by Paul Oxbury, The League of Forgotten Men. A History of the Norwich & District Thursday Football League, Peters explained why he was so keen to keep the football fire burning long after reaching the pinnacle of the game in 1966.

“At Wembley on July 30, 1966 I was fortunate enough to be able to realise the dream and my life was to change forever,” he said. “What did not change, however, was my unconditional passion for football. As such, many years later, when work brought me to Gorleston I was only too pleased to turn out and play in the Norwich & District Thursday League.

Peter Mendham celebrates with the FA Vase trophy after Diss Town's 2-1 win over Taunton. Picture: ArchantPeter Mendham celebrates with the FA Vase trophy after Diss Town's 2-1 win over Taunton. Picture: Archant

“What struck me most, though, was the fact that team-mates and opponents all shared the desire to simply play football. Whether they were postmen, policemen or train drivers they would do whatever it took to ensure that on a Thursday at 3pm they were on the football field.”

Peters wouldn’t be the last to not let retirement stop him from getting his football fix in Norfolk. Nine years after helping Norwich to their League Cup win over Sunderland at Wembley in 1985, Peter Mendham returned to the Twin Towers to score the winner for Diss Town to defeat Taunton 2-1 after extra time. Mendham had started his amateur football career with King’s Lynn as player-manager and took up the same role with Watton. He also enjoyed brief spells at North Walsham and Norwich United.

Dale Gordon hung up his boots in February 1997 but he would go on to player-manage at both Great Yarmouth Town and Gorleston, where he convinced former City striker Robert Fleck to lead the line for the Greens.

King’s Lynn have provided a home for former City players for years with Ryan Jarvis currently plying his trade for the Linnets in central midfield.

Robert Fleck and Dale Gordon in action for Gorleston. Picture: ArchantRobert Fleck and Dale Gordon in action for Gorleston. Picture: Archant

Simon Lappin was part of the Linnets side that went so close to promotion last season after signing alongside City legend Grant Holt, who left a few weeks later to sign for Barrow.

Lappin has since signed for Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side Wroxham this summer, where Adam Drury is assistant manager, whilst Holt has spearheaded Horsford Veterans’ attack this season after being given a part-time coaching role at Carrow Road with the club’s academy.

The Walks has provided a home for many former City players including the likes of Jeremy Goss, Phil Mulryne, Scott Howie, Daryl Sutch, David Bell, Trevor Benjamin, Shaun Carey, Adrian Coote, Andy Johnson, Kris Renton and Tony Spearing.

Cedric Anselin also played for Lynn and has become part of the non league furniture in the region, going on to play for Norwich United, Dereham, Diss, Lowestoft, Gorleston and Wroxham. He is currently player-assistant manager at Sheringham.

Dale Gordon in action for Gorleston. Picture: ArchantDale Gordon in action for Gorleston. Picture: Archant

Craig Fleming also briefly played for Lynn before becoming director of football at Lowestoft Town, which has also provided an avenue for ex-Canaries to continue their football careers in the amateur game.

Gary ‘Three Lungs’ Holt helped Lowestoft’s ascent through the non-league pyramid before going on his own managerial path, which currently sees him at Scottish Premiership side Livingstone.

Adrian Forbes, Rossi Jarvis, Robert Eagle and Michael Spillane all graced Crown Meadow while Fleming has recently stepped up to take on the assistant manager’s role with Southampton Under-23s.

Simon Lappin, pictured during his time with King's Lynn Town, was on target for Wroxham against Thetford Town Picture: ArchantSimon Lappin, pictured during his time with King's Lynn Town, was on target for Wroxham against Thetford Town Picture: Archant

Adrian Forbes playing for Lowestoft Town. Picture: ArchantAdrian Forbes playing for Lowestoft Town. Picture: Archant

Former Norwich City winger David Bell in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantFormer Norwich City winger David Bell in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Daryl Sutch in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantDaryl Sutch in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Scott Howie in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantScott Howie in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Ryan Jarvis in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantRyan Jarvis in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Jeremy Goss, far left, in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantJeremy Goss, far left, in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Grant Holt during his brief spell with King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantGrant Holt during his brief spell with King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Phil Mulryne in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantPhil Mulryne in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Craig Fleming in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: ArchantCraig Fleming in action for King's Lynn Town. Picture: Archant

Rossi Jarvis in action for Lowestoft Town. Picture: Shirley D WhitlowRossi Jarvis in action for Lowestoft Town. Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

Gary Holt in action for Lowestoft Town. Picture: ArchantGary Holt in action for Lowestoft Town. Picture: Archant

Martin Peters heads for goal during Norwich City's 5-3 defeat to Liverpool at Carrow Road. He would go on to play for Gorleston later in his career. Picture: ArchantMartin Peters heads for goal during Norwich City's 5-3 defeat to Liverpool at Carrow Road. He would go on to play for Gorleston later in his career. Picture: Archant

Martin Peters scores from the spot in Norwich's 5-3 defeat to Liverpool. He would go on to play for Gorleston later in his career. Picture: ArchantMartin Peters scores from the spot in Norwich's 5-3 defeat to Liverpool. He would go on to play for Gorleston later in his career. Picture: Archant

Grant Holt in action for Horsford Veterans. Picture: Horsford FCGrant Holt in action for Horsford Veterans. Picture: Horsford FC

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