Poll: Who is Norwich City’s greatest ever goalkeeper?

Is Kevin Keelan your greatest Norwich City goalkeeper of all time? Is Kevin Keelan your greatest Norwich City goalkeeper of all time?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
10:27 AM

Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy has been Mr Reliable all season, but who is the Canaries’ greatest No.1 of all time?

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His commanding presence added to the organisation of those in front has seen the Canaries go more than five and a half hours without conceding a Premier League goal.

A prolonged stay both at Carrow Road and at the top of the game could propel Ruddy alongside the likes of City keeping greats Sandy Kennon, Chris Woods and Robert Green who all had more than 240 City outings to their name.

Other contenders for the title of Norwich City’s greatest ever goalkeeper include:

Ken Nethercott

City career: 1947-1959

Appearances: 416

International caps: 1 (England B)

A fearless goalkeeper, who deserved to win more international honours than the solitary England B cap he gained. Played last 30 minutes of FA Cup sixth round tie against Sheffield United with a dislocated shoulder – it was his last appearance for City.

Sandy Kennon

City career: 1958-1965

Appearances: 213

International caps: 0

A member of the Norwich team that got to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1959 as a third division team. Also played a major role in winning promotion to the Second Division the following season after taking over from Ken Nethercott.

Kevin Keelan

City career: 1963-1980

Appearances: 673

International caps: 0

Dubbed by Ron Ashman as “the bargain of the century”, Keelan twice won the club’s player of the year award. Helped Norwich to the First Division twice, played in two League Cup finals and was a League ever-present in five seasons.

Chris Woods

City career: 1981-1986

Appearances: 267

International caps: 43 (England)

Signed by City for £225,000 from QPR and went on to become firm Carrow Road favourite. Part of the Canaries side that won the Milk Cup against Sunderland in 1985. Went on to join Rangers and went 1,196 minutes without conceding a goal – a record at the time.

Bryan Gunn

City career: 1986-1998

Appearances: 477

International caps: 6 (Scotland)

The £100,000 paid to Aberdeen to secure his services turned out to be a snip after the 12 years of service he gave to the Canaries as a player. An excellent shot-stopper with sharp reflexes.

Robert Green

City career: 1999-2006

Appearances: 241

International caps: 12 (England)

Took over as Norwich’s first choice keeper in 2001 and never looked back. Played key role in City’s run to the play-offs in 2002 and in the club’s championship winning season in 2004.

36 comments

  • He was not being the Cool Cat there, bogbog! Great `keeper. Great character.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, November 23, 2012

  • I think the votes so far illustrate the demographic...graphically!

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Perhaps it is my memory that deceives me but I was there during a game in which a left hook felled the player which I thought was against Northampton. If I remember correctly as they both came down from trying to get to a cross at the river end, so the left hand came up. The other team did not protest and Kevin was not sent off because the ref did not see it. The player took a few minutes to come round. KK always did have excellent reactions.

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    andy

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • It's KK for me. I was amused to see the photo accompanying this article. It was taken at the end of a heated 2:2 draw. A Leeds forward kicked Keelan in a melee before he grabbed the ball. Incenced, Keelan put the ball down and stalked over to have it out with him. However, the ref hadn't blown, so the forward simply kicked it into the net and the ref allowed it. Keelan, the rest of the Norwich players and crowd all went berserk!

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    bogbog

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • Got to agree that the worst ever has got to be Simon Tracey - having been there for his non-appearance at Everton in the FA Cup he even made Theogreekname look competent. Keelan got to be the best.

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    Lord Horn

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • ...and the worst ever was?????

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    Pondlife

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • after the war it was nethercott ,sound positional awarness nothing flamebouyant then came keelan.a highly rated keeper dominated the six yard box ,all high crosses he cut out always went up with his leg out his length of service 17 years will never be betted

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    AOTWAY@BTINTERNET.COM

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • What about Andy Marshall? Has a special place in any discussion about city keepers

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    norniron canary

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Worst? Peter Vasper. Don`t think he played many games. Keelan`s `Games Played` record is an indicator of how good he was. I seem to remember him using pugilism vs a Northampton forward & got sent off, Pondy. The follow up line to that song was "And Bolland is better than Eusebio and Ipswich are in for a thrashin`". I use Ipswich only as an example, of course!

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Keelan, without a doubt. But not the day he got the PotS award before Bristol City game, presented by a hot-panted honey, and was presumably still dreaming about her when a long-range shot sailed over his head.

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    keelan

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • ps - interesting there is no mention of Fraser Forster, an excellent goalkeeper, and to whom poor John Ruddy was always compared unfavourably in his early days. Now JR is the hero (rightly so) but FF doesn't get a mention. Strange folk us Norwich lot! OTBC.

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    Les Lee

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • It`s inevitable that one`s choice will be influenced by the halcyon days of youth, so Sandy Kennon and Kevin Keelan have a head start for me. It has to be "The Cat".

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Anyone done a caption for the photo yet? How about KK to Ref; "Where DID you get that dreadful rug?"

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • So was KK sent off or not? Different memories have different....memories! I think Fraser would have ranked if he had been able to stay with us. It`s worked out fine in the end for both him and JR. Timbo, KK was often referred to in the media as "Calcutta born...". I wonder in those unenlightened days that was the reason he never got a sniff of a deserved England Cap?

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • Agree with Mad Brewer being influenced about halcyon days days. So for me it is Ken Nethercott. Of course he wont win as there are so many supporters who will be voting and never saw him play.

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    Adelaide Canary

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Hi cduadelaide. I remember listening enthralled to that match on the old Bush wireless (not telegraph!). What a hero Mr. Nethercott was. Sadly I never saw him play, my watching days were mostly in the Kennon\Keelan eras.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • Complete no brainier there will never be another Kevin Keelan

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    jackie freeman

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Kevin Keelan. Felled Pop Robson of Northants. I was there. The ref gave a free kick to Norwich, as were the rules when a player got sent off.

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    Les Lee

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Engelbert Humperdinck`s career never suffered from his Anglo-Indian background. Our ears in turn suffered for that!

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • Has to be "The Cat".Not only was he a great keeper I remember an excellent right hook he had too-used if I recall against Northampton when he was sent off.Super punch though.

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    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I think for me it has to be Clive Baker,if the Hobbits had a team he would have been perfect,but on a serious note Keelan is hard to beat,The Grobbelaar of the 70's,City have mostly always been blessed with good keepers,Gunn on his day was very good,but if we can hang on to Ruddy I think he will be up there with the likes of Keelan, OTBC

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    ncfcforever

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Pondlife - I beleive Simon Tracey wasn't it?

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    shefcanary

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Keelan`s got to be the one to beat. Nobody will ever play that many games for our club again, surely?

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I would like to add to my previous comment this extract about Ken Nethercott. He played the game against Sheffield Utd for the last 30 minutes or so with one arm making courageous saves. This performance was spoken about all over the country, no substitutes in those days. "Nethercott began his career as an amateur with Cardiff City before signing a professional contract with Norwich City in 1947. He stayed at Carrow Road for 12 years, making 416 appearances for the Canaries; 378 in the league.[1] His final match for the club was on 28 February 1959 in an FA Cup 6th round match against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Nethercott was injured during the match and played the last 30 minutes with a dislocated shoulder. The match was part of Norwich's legendary 1958-59 cup run, when they reached the semi-finals as a third division side. Nethercott was replaced in the team after his injury by Sandy Kennon. He won an England 'B' cap in 1953"

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    Adelaide Canary

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • I remember seeing all the keepers listed and Kevin Keelan was not just the best, he looked the best as well. Even easy saves were made to look spectacular.

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    Richard Caston

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Worst; Roger Hansbury had some shockers, I seem to remember.

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    jharding

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Chilly, Theoklitos was that bad he has actually altered his name to hide from the shame of it even in his native Oz- he now goes by the name Mike Theo. Dreadful keeper. (btw - Tony Warner is also playing in the A league for Wellington Phoenix)

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    Soglio Star

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • No mention of Michael Theoklitos?! Surely one of the best of all time?

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    Chilly62

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I was there as a young impressionable boy as well Les, I remember it well.

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Can't help but think Keelan in that picture looks like the actor Lou Ferringo, whom you may recall played the part of the Incredible Hulk. In the picture I reckon he's saying; Don't make me angry, you won't like me if I'm angry!!

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    jharding

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

  • Based on football alone, Keelan's appearance record is outstanding so out of a collection of very good goalkeepers he gets my vote. Two things about Gunn though are 'great' in a different way. Firstly his grace and admirable charity work in light of personal tragedy. Secondly, the picture of him with his hands round the neck of Bayern Munich's Lothar Matthaus and giving him the finger at the same time is the stuff of legend!

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    Tartan Canary

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • He had the odd eccentric moment but, despite his showy style, was a very steady goalie in every aspect, specially commanding his territory and taking crosses. Why did he never get a chance for England? I bet he would now, in these more enlightened times.....

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • Complete no brainier there will never be another Kevin Keelan

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    jackie freeman

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I believe that I saw Keelan in his first game at Carrow Road . Brilliant keeper .

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    dragonfly

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • I recall Keelan used to jump for crosses with his leg out horizontallly. It discouraged forwards form getting near him. Had a good left ho0k which got him sent off a couple of times in the days before substitue goalies on the bench. "Aye Aye Aye Aye - Keelan was better than Yashin......" was the chant

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    Pondlife

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

  • The great Kevin Keelan. I think we were the only league team fielding an Asian player in the 70's with KK as wll.

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    Timbo

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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