Video: Get on the ball and join Dion Dublin to help charity
09:56 19 January 2014
It’s been a while since Dion Dublin had a ball at his feet during the twilight of his illustrious career at Carrow Road – but one of Norwich City’s favourite sons is swapping the leather variety for the charity version next month.
Dion Dublin’s footballing career ended in May, 2008 – but he is far from retired; a well-known face on Match of the Day, Premier League TV and MUTV, Dublin has also been able to indulge his love of music.
“I have a couple of companies, a shop fitting company and I have got my percussion drum, the Dube, and I manage a few bands,” he said.
“There is a lot of music in the blood – I have three brothers and a sister and my dad who all play musical instruments. It was something that was always going to come out; I think it was lying stagnant while I was a player, now I have a chance to do that. I am just trying to achieve as much as I possibly can away from football as well.”
Two decades with the Prince’s Trust goes down under the heading “achievement”, so it is fitting that Norwich should be at the forefront of such a huge venture as the Ball of Sound Tour.
“I have always felt comfortable here in Norwich,” he said.
“People have always been good to me, and I have always said this about the Norwich fans – they are probably the most sincere fans. If you are having a bad one they will tell you, and if you are having a good one they will continue to tell you. So I just thought it was the perfect place to start.”
Dublin’s made more than 700 appearances, during which he scored more than 200 goals and commanded transfer fees approaching £9m.
It all started at Norwich and, 18 years later it all ended there – which is why the 44-year-old is eager to ensure that the celebration of his 20 years as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust should begin at Carrow Road.
A lifelong passion for music is reflected in the title of his 2014 extravaganza – The Dion Dublin Ball of Sound Tour – which kicks off at Carrow Road on Valentine’s Day. It is one of five black tie events at venues which are close to his heart – Cambridge United, where he first rose to prominence; Aston Villa; Wembley; and Manchester United.
But for now, thoughts turn to Norwich, which holds a special place in his heart.
“This is my 20th year and I wanted to give something back,” said Dublin. “I normally do one a year, but this time I am doing five, and I just want to try and make that much more money, just to help those young people who are just not as fortunate as you or I to have food and drink and have a job and get up in the morning.
“I just want to make as much money as possible in certain regions that I know reasonably well, and I know the people of Norwich will help me and the people of Cambridge will help me and I am going to Villa and I am going to Wembley and I am going to Old Trafford in early December.
“I am just trying to give a little bit back – I wanted to start here because I started my career here.”
It was back in 1988 that Dublin was at City as a trainee but, without making an appearance, he moved on to Cambridge United, where his goals began to raise a few eyebrows.
Sir Alex Ferguson paid £1m for him, but Dion suffered a broken leg and, when he returned to fitness, Fergie had added a certain Eric Cantona to his squad.
There was no way back in for Dublin, but he remains popular among United supporters – and with Ferguson. Big money moves to Coventry and Villa followed before spells at Leicester, Celtic and, finally, Norwich, where he became Nigel Worthington’s final signing in September, 2006.