Former Carrow Road stars and MPs share in joy of Canaries’ promotion

The feel-good factor has well and truly spread around the city following Norwich City's glorious promotion celebration on Monday.

Canaries supporters were having to double check that it hadn't all been a dream when they woke up yesterday morning, but there was no nasty surprise in store, City really had been promoted to the Premier League.

Supporters, former players and high-profile City fans were all keen to get in on the act as plans for a proper celebration at City's final game of the season at home to Coventry on Saturday were put into place.

City's former flying winger Darren Huckerby, who inspired City's last promotion to the top tier in 2004, was happy to heap praise on the class of 2011.

He said: 'It's difficult to compare with a team who won the league with 94 points and eights points clear, but when you consider the back-to-back promotions this team have managed then it is at least the same, if not bigger.


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'People questioned whether they could make the step up, but it has been like a perfect season.

'I watched both the Norwich and Cardiff games on TV and I was just in shock at Cardiff getting beat. They had two games left and had to win one home game to keep in the race.

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'Then in the Norwich game there was only one team to win it. It was Portsmouth's last game of the season and it was in front of the TV cameras, but Norwich showed the resolve that has got them so far this season.'

Former club captain Iwan Roberts was also surprised to see Cardiff, from his native Wales, fall at the final hurdle but was delighted that it was to Norwich's advantage. He said: 'I thought the pressure was off them a bit after Cardiff had lost, but they still had to pass the ball and get in the right areas to win the game.

'I think it has been a massive achievement by Norwich this season, I really, really do. Before the start of the season I thought they could maybe sneak into the play-offs.

'But I think Andrew Crofts summed it up best when they said to him on TV that no one had thought they could do it, and Croftsy just said 'we did'.

'That belief in the players has been unbelievable and it has brought a massive achievement.'

Former Canaries star Jeremy Goss has singled out assistant manager Ian Culverhouse, a team-mate of his during City's glory years in the Premiership in the early 1990s, for extra praise.

The pair played together during the famous UEFA 1993 Cup run, but former full-back Culverhouse is now very much Lambert's right-hand man.

Mr Goss said: 'I'm delighted for Ian because he organises the day-to-day stuff for the players and, together with Paul Lambert, they are destined for bigger things at bigger clubs.

'That is not to say Norwich aren't a big club, because they are, but they have the very top of the tree in their sights and we are very lucky to have them here now.

'I had no doubt at all that they would do it because I had the pleasure of working with Paul Lambert for three months in the reserves with Ian Crook when he first came here.

'And I could see then how driven he was and he is a winner, he has got the hunger for success and he has got that winning mentality into the players.'

The shadow chancellor Ed Balls, originally from Norwich, also weighed in with his support of the Canaries, saying: 'Like everybody we were so shocked to see Norwich so professionally win.

'For most it is only just sinking in that next season we are back in the Premier League.'

He wasn't the only politician celebrating though, with North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb praising Lambert's management, saying: 'It's the most remarkable achievement and Lambert has been an inspirational leader. It's been an objective lesson for managers in any walk of life.'

Meanwhile, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith is looking forward to the economic effect that Norwich will feel from its football team's success.

She said: 'I think it will bring more tourism into Norwich, more away fans coming into the city, so it is good news all-round.'

Are you planning a big celebration of City's promotion glory? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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