‘He was like a brother’ - City legend Keelan’s touching tributes to Forbes and Saunders

Duncan Forbes with great mates Dave Stringer, left, and Kevin Keelan Picture: The Forbes Family

Duncan Forbes with great mates Dave Stringer, left, and Kevin Keelan Picture: The Forbes Family - Credit: Archant

Norwich City legend Kevin Keelan has paid an emotional tribute to two of the club's greats.

Former goalkeeper Keelan, who has made more appearances for the Canaries than any other player, has spoken of former captain Duncan Forbes and manager Ron Saunders, who both died this year.

In an interview with ITV News, Keelan, who is visiting the county from his new home in America, has spoken publicly about the pair for the first time since their deaths in October and December respectively.

The ex-City stopper, who made 673 appearances for the club between 1963 and 1980, said: "I did get the opportunity of going to see Duncan when he was in a home. It was just an absolutely devastating thing for me. He was a great guy. Dunc was like a brother.

"He was a general on the field, a general at home and a great guy to be out with. We had a lot of fun."

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Former skipper Forbes died in October following a lengthy fight with Alzheimer's, living out his latter years in a Heartsease care home, where Keelan visited him.

He added: "I got more upset when I went to see him and he didn't know who I was. He just looked straight past me.

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"I'm sure he's in a better place now, rather than suffering the way he did."

Meanwhile, Keelan also spoke fondly of former boss Saunders, who was the first manager to lead the club in the top flight of English football.

He said: "Ron was good for me. He came at a very critical time in my career. I was enjoying life a little too much and he dragged me aside into his office and said 'so you're the international playboy?'. You're going to find things very different and it will be either my way or the highway. I said 'yes boss' and walked out and had the best season I had.

"He was a great, hard-working guy and everybody appreciated him. You know how many punches you could pull with him."

Forbes made 357 appearances for the club, from 1968 until 1980.

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