Former Norwich City 59er Matt Crowe dies

Matt Crowe. Picture: Archant Library

Matt Crowe. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

Matt Crowe, who helped Norwich City reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup as Division Three South side in 1959, has died at the age of 84.

The Scottish wing half, who played in all 11 matches of the Canaries' famous run before helping them to promotion the following season, passed away in South Africa, where he had been living since the mid 1960s.

Born in Bathgate, West Lothian, Crowe joined the Canaries from Patrick Thistle for the princely sum of £500 in the summer of 1957 and went on to give five years of excellent service to the club.

After playing most of his football as a forward north of the border, he quickly settled down as a provider in the middle of the park at Carrow Road and was an automatic choice between 1958-59 and 1960-61, missing just two league games during an exciting period for City.

After ensuring his place in Canary folklore as a key member in the side who overcame the odds to get to within one match of a Wembley final, Crowe then had a promotion to celebrate the following season as Archie Macaulay's side finished second behind Southampton in Division Three.

The good times continued, with Crowe one of six ever-presents as the Canaries consolidated their new found status with an impressive fourth place in the second tier of English football in 1960-61 and he went to play 24 times the following campaign before moving on to Brentford.

Crowe left Norfolk with 214 first team appearances to his name, placing him 58th on the all-time club list, while he scored 18 goals.

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After making 73 appearances for the Bees over the course of two seasons the Scot, at the age of 32, decided to try his luck in South Africa and made a name for himself as a player with Port Elizabeth City before going on to manage the club. He later worked as a manager of a paint firm in Cape Province.

'Matt captained a successful team and became a household name and was always a gentleman on and off the field,' said former football administrator Dr Bruce Woolard in a letter to the South African Herald.

'He never bragged about his achievements and his unassuming persona masked the depth his leadership and strong character. He did us proud.'