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‘The things he’s done for this club are unbelievable’ – Defender salutes City magician as spell comes to an end

PUBLISHED: 06:07 24 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:39 24 April 2018

Wes Hoolahan's contract at Carrow Road is up this summer. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Wes Hoolahan's contract at Carrow Road is up this summer. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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It will be the end of an era on Saturday when Leeds United visit – but Grant Hanley is just glad he got to sample life alongside a Norwich City legend in Wes Hoolahan.

The Canaries confirmed on Monday that Wes Hoolahan’s years of service with the club will officially end this season, and with a last hurrah at home to Leeds on Saturday – City’s final home game of the campaign.

The 35-year-old forward, who retired from Republic of Ireland duty earlier in the season and is out of contract come the summer, has spend almost nine years and 10 months at City, notching 351 appearances and 53 goals across the top three tiers of English football with the club.

And while Hanley knew all about Hoolahan’s ability before arriving at Carrow Road in August, he has a new appreciation for a true Canaries great.

“I don’t know if I really need to talk about Wes… He’s a legend isn’t he? The things he’s done for this club are unbelievable,” said Hanley.

“And credit to Wes. He’s a great lad, he really is. You can’t buy having characters like him around the football club.

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“He’s brilliant to have around and he’s a credit to himself, the way he conducts himself and the way he is in training. And I don’t need mention his quality, because you can still see the ability he’s got is unbelievable.”

Hoolahan was named City’s player of the season for the first time last May, having helped earn Norwich three promotions – two of them to the Premier League, where Hoolahan posted 112 appearances, 12 goals and 19 assists in the top flight.

Wes Hoolahan bows out for Norwich City this afternoon. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesWes Hoolahan bows out for Norwich City this afternoon. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

It’s fair to say he has lived up to Glenn Roeder’s billing that new heroes were needed at Carrow Road back in 2008, when the Irishman was signed from Blackpool for £250,000.

“Aye, you’d always look for his name on the opposition team sheet,” added Hanley, with a smile. “I hated playing against him. Whenever I saw his name on there… He’s the type of player I hate playing against because he’s so small and nippy.

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“You think he’s lost the ball and he’s still got it at his feet. Even in training now, you get close to him and think right, I’ve got you here – and then he nips away from you.

Grant Hanley has enjoyed being Wes Hoolahan's team-mate at Norwich City, much more than having to defend against him for their opponents. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesGrant Hanley has enjoyed being Wes Hoolahan's team-mate at Norwich City, much more than having to defend against him for their opponents. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

“Certainly I didn’t enjoy playing against him, and this will be the end of an era for him here. Since I’ve been here with Wes, he’s been a credit to himself.”

Hoolahan will sign-off against Leeds, making what will be his 352nd appearance for the club, placing him alongside Daryl Sutch as the Canaries’ 16th highest appearance maker.

For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…

Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

Michael Bailey on Facebook @mbjourno

Michael Bailey on Instagram @mrmichaeljbailey

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