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Spud Thornhill: Nothing better than getting to grips with a late Norwich City goal

PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 February 2018

Having hugged Spud Thornhill, match winner 
Mathias Svensson prepares to celebrate with Darren Huckerby. Picture: Archant

Having hugged Spud Thornhill, match winner Mathias Svensson prepares to celebrate with Darren Huckerby. Picture: Archant

Archant © 2004

Spud’s teaser: Who scored a last-minute winner against Bolton in 2015?

Luke Chambers  not at all celebating like he'd 'won the cup' - fortunately his joy lasted just a few minutes. Picture PagepixLuke Chambers not at all celebating like he'd 'won the cup' - fortunately his joy lasted just a few minutes. Picture Pagepix

Bolton trot into the fine city today and it’s another game that brings back happy memories of one of my favourite goal celebrations.

Back in December 2004, Norwich were struggling in the Premier League when they came up against Bolton. We won 3-2 and when Matthias Svensson scored City’s first, he headed for the Snakepit. I was at the front celebrating when I noticed he was heading straight for me and we embraced each other like long lost friends.

Oh, I loved the joy of that goal – even if Svensson did receive a caution for his celebrations. Later on that evening watching the highlights on Match of the Day, I saw my small cameo appearance and the joy between both players and fans of celebrating a goal.

People who know me well, know I love a good goal celebration, from Robert Fleck climbing up the Barclay fence and hugging me after Mike Phelan had scored a late winner against QPR in September 1988 to Simeon Jackson’s winner at Portsmouth to win promotion in 2011, where I must have hugged every one of the 3,000 Norwich fans there that night.

This leads me on to last Sunday’s game against Ipswich and, most importantly, Timm Klose’s last-minute goal.

When Luke Chambers scored I was gutted, but after so long without beating us, I suppose it was their time. I glanced over at the blue side of Carrow Road celebrating and was just glad I was sitting in my City stand seat so I couldn’t really hear them or see their faces full of joy.

For six minutes, those Ipswich fans were actually celebrating something for the first time in nine years.

But then came that moment as Grant Hanley chased a lost cause when most players would’ve given up. Hanley got the ball and crossed it for Klose. The rest as they say is history.

When the ball hit the back of the net I was like the other 25,000 Norwich fans inside the ground, plus the ones outside. I went crazy. My wife, Hayleigh, who was sitting next to me, joined in.

Really, the real reason I celebrated was that our long unbeaten run against them continues. I knew that every single one of those Ipswich fans would be truly gutted. And gutted they were.

Even some of their fans were saying it was the best six minutes of their lives. I think that statement really does sum up how depressing it must be following Ipswich Town.

And I’ve enjoyed social media this week. I didn’t realise how bitter they would be. Or Luke Chambers!

So, here’s just a few things for our friends from down the road to take on board:

I can remember when you got a last-minute goal against us in 2002 – your celebrations were similar to ours last week. And yours included a pitch invasion confronting Norwich players.

And to Luke Chambers – we hadn’t won the cup, but yet again, you don’t know about that feeling of being successful in an East Anglia derby.

On Wednesday against Wolves we got another last-minute goal celebration. I didn’t shout like I did last Sunday – but that was mainly because I had my baby girl asleep in her room next to my lounge. But I did jump up and down like crazy. Not because, as Chambers would say, we had won the cup, but it was another point gained from the clutches of defeat.

Unless you think you have something very important to go to, I would stay until the final whistle today. We may have known this already, but the last two games have confirmed it – you don’t leave until the referee has blown the final whistle.

Hurrah, We’ve Scored A Goal!

Spud’s teaser answer: Gary Hooper

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