‘I had a book as a kid and now I’m collecting my mates!’ - Darren Huckerby joins Norwich City sticker collecting craze
- Credit: ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2004.
The Norwich City Sticker Album contains some of the greatest names in the club's history - CHRIS LAKEY takes a look at some of his personal favourites, beginning with Darren Huckerby
Why do Norwich City fans still love Darren Huckerby?
It's an easy answer... he's one of their own.
Norwich City's love affair with Hucks began in the period between a successful loan spell in the opening half of the 2003-04 season, and his eventual signing in the December.
The Christmas gift nature of it all simply adds some tinsel to the story, coming as it did after a protracted transfer chase during which time Huckerby's sound bites endeared him to the yellow and green faithful on an almost daily basis.
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Hucks bucked the trend of players dancing to their agents' tune. He refused to entertain a move to West Brom (they'd reappear in the Darren Huckerby story) and headed for Carrow Road, only for the two parties to fail to reach a deal. City fans were mortified, Huckerby suggested City Norwich didn't really want him ... the heart strings were being tugged like a violin's.
And then, before the Boxing Day game against Nottingham Forest, out he walked, alongside owners Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones, the ink still drying on a full transfer.
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The place went wild - and it's been like that ever since... no wonder Darren Huckerby was a shoo-in to be featured in our Norwich City Stickers Book. And no wonder he's already started his own sticker hunt!
On Twitter he said: "Got sucked in to buying a sticker book by @iwanwroberts - had one as a kid, now I'm trying to collect some of my mates! #Ncfc"
Hucks was a hero for all his five years, for helping City to promotion in 2004, for every one of his 203 appearances and each of his 48 goals. He was courted by bigger clubs but when he heard Gary Megson sugegst his wage demands were what stymied a move to West Brom he hit back, saying "Just after I signed for Norwich, Gary Megson rang me up out of courtesy really because his club had made an offer for me. And at no stage did we ever talk about money. I was very honest with him and I said to him that I didn't like the way he coached, I didn't like the way he shouted at his players all the time and I didn't like the way he treated seasoned professionals like 15-year-olds. But at no point did I ever discuss money with him."
We loved him for it.
And we loved him when he got the rough end of the stick from manager Glenn Roeder who dispensed with his services without the courtesy of a proper farewell.
Hucks finished his playing career in the States, before returning and taking up roles at City as an Academy coach and, now,
club Ambassador. And still we love him...
Want to join the Sticker Book revolution? Go to www.pinkun.com/stickers