Gary Hooper backed to be a Norwich City hit - by Gary Hooper senior
- Credit: Bill Smith - Archant
Gary Hooper's father has backed his son to become a fans' favourite at Carrow Road on his way to firing his way into Roy Hodgson's World Cup plans.
Hooper senior, also called Gary, believes his son will provide Norwich City with the goals they were missing last season following his £5m move from Celtic.
The move could also provide the ideal platform for the 25-year-old to make his mark on the international scene according to Hooper senior.
'I know for sure he will be a success at Norwich,' said the 47-year-old lorry driver.
'I think he will be a real fans' favourite, just as he was at Celtic. All fans love a good striker and Gary is certainly that.'
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Norwich supporters know only too well how a prolific frontman can be overlooked after Hodgson ignored calls for Grant Holt to earn a call-up to the Euro 2012 squad despite a successful 2011/12 campaign.
However, Hooper senior has no such fears with Hodgson crying out for a striker with the kind of predatory instincts his son displayed during a goal-laden spell at Celtic.
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'I think he's got a very good chance because there are not many England strikers around,' he said. 'Gary has scored goals wherever he's been and if he keeps doing that, and I'm sure he will, then I don't think he can be ignored.'
Hooper's rise from Spurs reject to Norwich's latest big money signing has not come as a surprise to his father.
The former Scunthorpe man has been on a mission since being released by the Lilywhites to prove he has what it takes to make it at the highest level and is about to fulfil that burning ambition.
'I'm really proud of him – the whole family is,' he added. 'I don't think it's really sunk in for any of us yet.
'In 2009 he did an interview when they asked where he saw himself in five years time and he said playing in the Premier League pushing for an England call-up. Well he is a year ahead of that now.'
The Hooper clan, which also includes mother, Carol and younger sisters Samantha and Laura will be following their son the length and breadth of the country next season just as they did when he was at Celtic.
'We will be following Gary home and away,' said Hooper senior, who is based in Epping. 'We went to every home game when he was playing for Celtic and we very rarely missed a game of his growing up.
'We've worked hard for Gary as well, running him around to training sessions and matches. He cost us a fortune! But seriously it's all worth it now.'