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‘The reason I joined’ - Tributes continue to pour in for former City chief executive Gordon Bennett

PUBLISHED: 12:16 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:16 18 September 2020

Former Norwich City chief executive Gordon Bennett. Picture.  Simon Lunt

Former Norwich City chief executive Gordon Bennett. Picture. Simon Lunt

Tributes have continued to pour in for former Norwich City chief executive Gordon Bennett.

Former Norwich City chief executive Gordon Bennett, at a press conference announcing his departure from the club in 1999. Picture: Keith WhitmoreFormer Norwich City chief executive Gordon Bennett, at a press conference announcing his departure from the club in 1999. Picture: Keith Whitmore

Mr Bennett, who spent 11 years at the club between 1988 and 1999, is widely credited for steering the club through some of the most testing financial times in recent memory.

He began his career at the Canaries in youth development, before taking over as chief executive in 1996 - and some argue that during this period he saved the club from almost going under.

Norwich City itself has paid tribute to the Hall of Fame member, in a statement published on the club’s website, which says it is “deeply saddened” by the news.

It reads: “He was widely known for his dedication and commitment to youth football and played a key role in bringing the likes of Craig Bellamy, Jamie Cureton, Chris Llewellyn, Andy Johnson and Darren Eadie to the club.

“He was widely credited for guiding the club through a challenging financial period.

“He was the driving force behind several supporter-led schemes, one of which helped generate a significant sum of money that would be invested back into the club’s academy.

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“The thoughts and condolences of everyone at Norwich City are with Gordon’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

One of these schemes was the Friends of Norwich City Youth, which raised more than £350,000 for the club’s academy across 16 years.

John Landamore, who served as its chairman, said: “Gordon was instrumental in forming Friends Of Norwich City Youth and it was my privilege to serve as its chairman.

“FONCY raised £364,000 and Gordon’s enthusiasm must go a long way to the success we enjoyed. Back in 1995 Norwich were in very real danger of going into liquidation but cometh the hour, then cometh the man.

“To say we could be looking at a very different Norwich City today had it not been for Gordon Bennett might seem a rash statement but those fans around back in the day will bear witness to that. It was a privilege to have known him.”

Among those to also pay tribute are two members of the club’s successful UEFA Cup squad from 1993 - Darren Eadie and Ian Crook, both of whom have written about him on Twitter.

Mr Eadie wrote: “So sad to hear the news Gordon Bennett has passed away. That man was the reason I and many others joined Norwich City.

“So many funny memories of Gordon, I will be forever grateful for his tireless dedication to the youth of Norwich City.”

Mr Crook added: “So sad to hear of Gordon Bennett’s passing, not many people know but he was the reason I stayed at NCFC for so long, thanks for not releasing my registration documents my friend, I will be forever grateful.”


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