New Norwich City striker Gary Hooper is the man with the “goalden” touch
- Credit: Archant
One Norfolk man who knows new Canaries striker Gary Hooper well is EDP and Norwich Evening News reporter DAVID FREEZER, who previously worked as a sports reporter at the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
One word Norwich City supporters can look forward to hearing a lot from Gary Hooper in the future is 'goals'.
It is his obsession, his main focus and the reason that City have just parted with a reported £5m for his services.
'I have scored goals at every level I have played at,' Hooper said after signing his three-year deal at Carrow Road.
From the two seasons I spent watching Hooper, I'm sure he will continue to do just that.
My career as a journalist started at the Scunthorpe Telegraph in August 2008, just a couple of weeks after Hooper had joined Scunthorpe United.
The Iron, managed by Nigel Adkins, had just been relegated back into League One and had signed Hooper for £175,000 from Southend United.
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Two years later, Hooper had plundered 50 goals in 95 appearances for Scunthorpe to help them to two Wembley appearances, promotion to the Championship and then a swashbuckling survival campaign.
Celtic then came calling and in the last three seasons Hooper has scored 82 goals for the Hoops, played in the Champions League and been touted as having England potential.
Anyone who watched Hooper play for Scunthorpe will not have been surprised.
Standing at around 5ft 9ins, he has a low centre of gravity and a stocky frame. He is very much in the 'fox in the box' mould, like a young Michael Owen.
He is a quiet but friendly chap who always seemed to be a key part of team spirit at Glanford Park.
Henri Lansbury, who would later help Norwich get promotion to the Premier League, enjoyed a successful spell with the Iron while Hooper was there.
I remember Lansbury coming and asking the gathered media at the usual Thursday press conference if we had seen Hooper.
It emerged the former Spurs trainee had nicked the keys to Lansbury's new BMW while he was in the shower and moved the car to the other side of the club's stadium.
It is 'goals' that are my over-riding memory of Hooper though.
'I just want to score goals', was the standard answer to expect from him in those days, and no one complained because that was exactly what he was doing.
At just 25 years old, if Hooper can hit the ground running and score some early goals then Norwich could well have got themselves a bargain.
That England call would surely not be far away either and, with a World Cup on the horizon as well, you suspect Hooper's hunger for goals will only grow stronger.