Eight Norwich City legends discuss the modern game during reunion

From left, Bill Punton, Peter Mendham, Dave Stringer, Peter Silvester, Ken Brown, Phil Hoadley, Terr

From left, Bill Punton, Peter Mendham, Dave Stringer, Peter Silvester, Ken Brown, Phil Hoadley, Terry Allcock and Kevin Keelan during their lunch at the Georgian Townhouse. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Between them, these eight men have 75 years of Norwich City experience.

Seven of them donned the yellow and green jersey, two called the shots from the touchline – one even did both.

An octet of City legends met for lunch yesterday, among them record-holders, club stalwarts and iconic figures in Canaries history.

Terry Allcock, Ken Brown, Phil Hoadley, Kevin Keelan, Peter Mendham, Bill Punton, Dave Stringer and Peter Silvester are all names that resonate with City fans of a certain age.

When the group met, at the Georgian Townhouse, Norwich, there was the type of debate, reminiscing and analysis one might expect at a round table of philosophers.

Of course, the beautiful game was at the forefront of the conversation, how it was, how it is now, and how it has changed over the years.

But these men are clearly connected on a greater level than just sharing a profession, as they recall stories of lives off the pitch as well as on it,

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They discussed the camaraderie they shared as team-mates, as well as the bond they all felt with the devoted Norwich City faithful.

And despite some having flown the Norfolk nest, this connection is not something that has withered.

Former player and manager Mr Stringer said: 'We look at things a bit different to the supporter and are critical in the way we look at the game, but ultimately we are the same as the fans, we all want the team to do well and are as disappointed as anybody when they don't.'

Throughout the reunion, the group jostled back and forth, sharing jokes, stories and even poking fun at one another – the table was almost transformed into a dressing room.

Mr Allcock, for example, was keen to remind Mr Keelan of one of the very first times the pair had played together.

He recalled: 'We were away at Cardiff and it was very early in his Norwich career. We were attacking and one of our forwards was found offside.

'John Charles lumped it forward and immediately their strikers were yelling because it had gone miles over their heads.

'Kevin came out for it and the ball bounced straight over his head and into the net. We thought 'what kind of player have we bought here?''

Mr Keelan, City's record appearance maker quipped: 'I was like Cinderella – late to the ball!'

Between the eight men sat at the table, was a wealth of footballing knowledge, a true love of the game, and most crucially, a bond time could not break.

The changing nature of football

Members of the group were in agreement that the game they played is worlds apart from the one played today.

Each legend shared thoughts on today's game – both on and off the pitch. They spoke of how the game has changed tactically, the pace of it, the approach to it, and the way the footballer has changed over the years.

Terry Allcock said: 'Some footballers are not as strong nowadays – somebody coughs then they fall over.'

Bill Punton added: 'We were playing Wolves and somebody kicked me and split my boots. I went off, got stitches, replaced my boots then played on.'

The current Canaries also came up – with the departing Nathan Redmond getting a mention, as well as City manager Alex Neil, 35.

Former boss Ken Brown said: 'It would have been unusual in our day for a manager to be young – lots of us played to that age. However, if he has the skills, he is old enough.'