Norwich City’s top 100: Clive Payne

Clive Payne

Clive Payne - Credit: Archant

Today we kick off a new series looking at the players whose names are on Norwich City's top 100 appearances list.

Clive Payne in his playing days. Photo: Archant Library

Clive Payne in his playing days. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Clive Payne

150 appearances/3 goals

Clive Payne could hardly have asked for a better start to his Norwich City career.

As a teenager he was plucked out of the reserves and into the first team for a home game in the cup against the old enemy, Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

A Hugh Curran hat-trick helped City to a 4-2 win – and Payne's name was written into the history books of Norwich City Football Club.

That was way back in September, 1968, when the Aylsham schoolboy made his first appearance as a pro at the age of 18, three years his performances for the county had earned him a trial.

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As is the way of footballers, he remembers footballing matters, although the emotions of the tie's rivalry have faded over the years.

'I didn't realise what the rivalry was like I think,' he said. 'It sort of goes over your head.

'I do remember on the way there that a few of us were interviewed by Danny Blanchflower, who at the time was a big big star for me. He interviewed us at the back of the bus.

'What do I remember from the match? I remember the things we did right and the things we did wrong.

'But it was a good start - and then we played at home to Sheffield United on the Saturday and won 2-0.'

A right back, who 'loved a tackle', Payne was a member of the team which won the Second Division championship in 1972, playing every one of the 42 games.

'It was brilliant,' he said. 'You didn't want to rest then because you were tired, or your manager thought you might be tired. I can't believe what happens nowadays.

'You just wanted to play every game back then. I preferred playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday – you didn't have to train as much and you were doing what you wanted - playing.'

If that title win was a highlight, so was getting to League Cup final at Wembley in 1973, despite losing 1-0 to Spurs.

'We didn't really do ourselves justice on the day,' said Payne.

Payne left City for Bournemouth in 1973, but an ankle injury sustained playing for Canaries eventually ended his career. Now 67, he set up the Aylsham Windows business, but is now retired – and still living in his home town.