Norwich City top 100 appearances: Darel Russell (29)
- Credit: Alex Broadway/Focus Images
271 appearances/19 goals
It always felt like Norwich City was never in a position to truly get the best out of Darel Russell.
During his first stint at Norwich when he came through as a promising youngster the club was bumbling along in the second tier of English football.
He left for Stoke in the summer of 2003 and missed out on all the Premier League 'fun' under Nigel Worthington. When he returned from Stoke in 2007 the club slumped into another spell of mediocrity under Peter Grant and Glenn Roeder.
He perhaps speaks volumes about the state the club was in that Russell, an all-action midfielder, was deployed as a striker by Roeder in the 2008/09 season to be a 'physical' foil for Jamie Cureton or Arturo Lupoli.
And some fans think the current Norwich City is in trouble...
To be fair Russell certainly didn't let the Canaries down, scoring several important goals. But it is perhaps indicative of the chaotic nature of the club at the time that of course ended with relegation to League One.
- 1 Mysterious 'large black animal' spotted roaming in fields near city
- 2 46-cabin holiday park proposed for Norfolk countryside
- 3 Two women in hospital with serious injuries after A47 slip road crash
- 4 Afternoon tea at Norwich tea room named one of best in UK
- 5 Woman 'alarmed and distressed' after man made lewd comment
- 6 Dereham coach firm closes after more than 50 years in business
- 7 Dental woes worsen as town's troubled surgery closes permanently
- 8 Pub plans store and Post Office after village's only shop closes
- 9 Rare sighting of Northern Lights captured above Norfolk
- 10 Organisers of Norfolk festival 'gutted' after cancelling due to fire risk
Russell played his part in the club's rebirth under Paul Lambert and David McNally despite initially looking like he would be heading for the exit door.
But after failing to secure a move away Russell played 39 matches, scoring twice, as City marched to the League One title.
But that summer saw the end of Russell's second spell as a City player as he failed to agree a new contract with the club before eventually signing for Preston meaning that, again, Russell missed out when times were really good at Carrow Road. He would never make a Premier League appearance with City or any of his subsequent clubs.
Russell moved on to Preston where he once again suffered relegation to League One at the end of the 2010/11 season.
He made just 27 appearances for the Lilywhites before being given a free transfer by then Preston boss Graham Westley, who didn't last long himself at Deepdale.
Russell went on to Portsmouth on a month-to-month basis before eventually signing for MLS side Toronto where he played alongside another former Canary in Robert Earnshaw.
He left Toronto in December 2013 and signed a two-year deal at Tampa Bay Rowdies where he made 25 appearances, scoring three goals.
He's no longer active as a player but not officially retired but has a big property portfolio here and in the USA.