Norwich City old boy Mark Bowen remembers the good times at Carrow Road
- Credit: PA
Norwich City's visit to Stoke this weekend allowed Potters' assistant boss and Canaries' stalwart Mark Bowen to wallow in some nostalgia ahead of a memorable anniversary of one of Norwich's greatest days.
Bowen famously scored what proved to be the winner against current Champions League holders Bayern Munich in a 2-1 Uefa Cup success against the Germans 20 years ago next month. The Welshman was happy to reminiscence about that historic victory which is usually remembered for Jeremy Goss' stunning long range volley rather than Bowen's looping headed finish.
'We had a free-kick and Ian Crook hit a 30-yard diagonal ball. Chris Sutton was going to jump for it and I screamed to him to leave it,' said Bowen. 'I got behind their full-back Jorginho and headed it into the far corner. Everyone goes on about Jeremy's goal that night, but I'd like to think mine was just as good. They were wondering 'who are these upstarts?' but we beat them comfortably.
'I've been lucky enough to have had a good reception whenever I've gone back. In some ways, that seemed to be a golden era for the club, but it's good to see them back in the Premier League these days and doing well. But not this Sunday we hope.'
Bowen still looks back fondly on his Carrow Road spell during a productive period for the club in the upper echelons of the English game.
'I had nine happy years there and we were a very good side,' he said. 'We did get relegated from the Premier League in my ninth year, but in the previous eight we were finishing third, fourth, fifth, sixth.
'I remember being at Carrow Road when we were drawing 0-0 against the likes of Manchester United and we would be almost booed off the pitch because they expected us to take the game to the big teams and beat them. There were no real stars in the team. We had a young Sutton when he first burst on to the scene and Steve Bruce was there. We had a lot of talented players like Crook, Robert Fleck, Dale Gordon and Ruel Fox rather than superstars. We were far ahead of our time in terms of training and doing things like playing in triangles.'
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Norwich's memorable European adventure came after Mike Walker's squad had pushed United and Aston Villa all the way until the closing weeks of the inaugural Premier League title race in 1993.
'We were seven or eight points clear by mid-January and then tailed off, but we were still in front of United when they came to Carrow Road in the March.'
Bowen was part of a seam of talent at Carrow Road schooled in good habits at Tottenham.
'They had a good scouting policy back then. Four or five of us were ex-Spurs lads, players who had played 15 to 20 games for them and had been brought up well,' Bowen told the Stoke Sentinel. 'It wasn't so much the coaching at Tottenham, it was working with players like Ossie Ardiles, Glenn Hoddle, Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks. They were good professionals and every day you had to do things right or they would let you know.'