Elliott Bennett is likely to still get a warm welcome at Norwich City – even if he does join Ipswich
- Credit: EDP / Archant 2003
Elliott Bennett looks set to test his popularity with Norwich City fans by making the difficult journey from Norwich City to Ipswich Town.
However, Bennett's reputation among Canaries fans might just survive that risky manoeuvre – for his potential switch would avoid the controversy of those who have gone before him.
Few City supporters will ever forgive Andy Marshall for his perceived betrayal in 2001, going from player-of-the-season winner to joining the Tractor Boys on a free transfer just weeks later.
The vitriol felt towards the keeper was made clear on his first return to Carrow Road in March 2003 – when the atmosphere was so angry and focused on him that a 2-0 Town win was just a sideshow.
Clearly Bennett, inset, moving to Portman Road would not be as controversial, some may even be happy to see the 27-year-old keep his career alive in the second tier.
The winger was signed from Brighton for around £1.5million in the summer of 2011 and proved popular in his first two seasons, before sustaining a serious knee injury on the opening day of the 2013-14 season.
Twelve appearances to help City gain promotion the following season saw Bennett tentatively start his Carrow Road career again but a Bristol City loan last season brought a permanent reunion with Paul Lambert at Blackburn for around £250,000 in January.
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With Lambert gone and Rovers signing Liam Feeney, the likeable wide-man could now join his former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy in Suffolk.
Others have crossed the divide before though.
Clive Woods joined City as his fine career with Town was winding down in the early 1980s and the rivals even agreed to a swap involving John Deehan and Trevor Putney in 1986.
Another famous 'transfer' between the clubs came in 1996 when Ian Crook had agreed to join the Blues following the end of his City deal – only to change his mind once Mike Walker offered him a new contract.
None can rival Marshall's move though, taking the route which would cause the most possible upset.
Bennett's career with Norwich was brought to an end though, so it is difficult to begrudge a man who has battled back so well from injury a chance to maintain a career in the Championship.
With a yard of pace seemingly missing after his rehabilitation, a brief flirtation with playing at full-back did not prove sufficient to City's needs and Bennett was sold with plenty of fond farewells.
Had he moved directly across the border, feelings may well have been different. Yet should he find himself wearing an Ipswich shirt against his former club and team-mates this season, you suspect the man who made 77 appearances for Norwich will still receive a warm reception from the Canaries faithful.