Former top referee - Carrow Road “most aggressive atmosphere that I’ve ever encountered”

Norwich City fans celebrate play-off glory over Ipswich Town at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterto

Norwich City fans celebrate play-off glory over Ipswich Town at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Former referee Keith Hackett has described an East Anglian derby at Carrow Road as the most aggressive atmosphere he has ever encountered.

Former referee Keith Hackett. Picture: Glenn Ashley.

Former referee Keith Hackett. Picture: Glenn Ashley. - Credit: Glenn Ashley

In an article for you-are-the-ref.com listing his top 10 football stadiums in the world, the former FIFA and Premier League official said: 'As for the most aggressive atmosphere that I've ever encountered, believe it or not it was at Carrow Road for Norwich City v Ipswich Town.

'There are certain derby fixtures that you always know are going to be highly charged, but the East Anglian derby tops the lot.'

Hackett, who spent three decades as a top-flight referee, continued: 'The players came out of the tunnel as if they were ready for a boxing match. The noise was intense and aggressive.

'During the game Mich d'Avray, who was playing for Ipswich, collapsed after accidently heading his opponent. You could see he was in trouble so I ran over and his tongue appeared to be blocking his airway, so I flicked it aside to help him. Mich was taken to hospital but he recovered and later he called me to say thank you.'

Most Read