‘We have one last time together’ Wes Hoolahan on his special bond with Norwich City’s fans

Wes Hoolahan celebrates giving Norwich City the lead against Ipswich Town in the Championship playof

Wes Hoolahan celebrates giving Norwich City the lead against Ipswich Town in the Championship playoff semi-final at Carrow Road in 2015. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Wes Hoolahan expects the tears to flow when he signs off for Norwich City in Saturday's Championship home finale against Leeds United.

Hoolahan admits he has been a touch embarrassed by the scale of the reaction since the announcement he is set for his 352nd and last competitive appearance in the green and yellow.

The Dubliner revealed there will be a 40-strong contingent of friends and family in attendance in a Carrow Road crowd who will ensure his swansong is a memorable afternoon.

'It has been very surreal for me. Very emotional to get a lot of messages,' he said. 'It has been crazy and hectic this week and I am looking forward to the game now.

'Hopefully the fans will enjoy it and I have the family over as well. It has been an emotional week already and, yes, I will tear up.

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'That was probably my last training session with the boys (on Friday afternoon) and it was quite emotional. They have put up a lot of pictures around the dressing room with some dodgy haircuts from the last 10 years.

'Now we want to win the game.

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'I'm probably a little bit embarrassed about the attention. I really appreciate all the reaction. It makes me feel proud.

'I have had a great connection with the fans in the past 10 years. You feel like a part of the furniture. It will be emotional.

'They have been amazing to me. We have one last time together.

'One of my friends has got 10 Ireland flags ready to stick around the stadium so it will be nice to see that. It will be hard to take to say goodbye to everybody. I just want to say thanks very much to the fans.'

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Hoolahan has been an integral part of a tumultuous decade for the Canaries.

'So may ups and down. It has been one hell of a decade,' he said. 'The big thing was getting to the Premier League under Paul Lambert. He transformed everything. I don't think you could top Wembley either, with 45,000 fans and then to go home and celebrate.

'I'll never forget that day. Such a massive occasion.

'Middlesbrough were so disappointed and I now realise what they went through, after losing the World Cup play-off to Denmark.

'To be part of that team who bounced back, it felt like it was for the fans.

'It feels like the right time. I just wish the team were finishing higher up the league but this is a transition and it will take time.

'I couldn't imagine when I was at Shelbourne how my career would turn out. I probably thought back then that was me playing in Ireland for my career but Paul picked me out and brought me to Livingston and the rest is history.'

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