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Norwich City A-Z: T is for turf wars, but how green will the new grass be at Carrow Road?

Steve Stone, right, NCFC managing director, with John Hewitt, managing director of Hewitt Sportsturf, at Carrow Road as Norwich City Football Club have the pitch renewed for the first time in 14 years Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Steve Stone, right, NCFC managing director, with John Hewitt, managing director of Hewitt Sportsturf, at Carrow Road as Norwich City Football Club have the pitch renewed for the first time in 14 years Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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As summer work on the Carrow Road pitch continues, our Norwich City alternative A-Z series continues with T for turf wars, as David Freezer explains...

Cristiano Ronaldo in action at Carrow Road in 2005 
Photo: Nathan ClarkeCristiano Ronaldo in action at Carrow Road in 2005 Photo: Nathan Clarke

It’s supposed to be a football pitch but the green rectangle which the stadium at Carrow Road is built around has seen much more than the beautiful game over the years.

Norwich City have spent in excess of £500,000 to completely relay the playing surface this summer, for the first time since 2004, to renew the part-synthetic turf for between 12 to 14 years.

If that turf could talk, boy would it have some stories.

From Rod Stewart to Take That and Elton John to George Michael, Carrow Road has brought music mega stars to the music masses in that time.

Gareth Bale celebrates scoring for Spurs at Carrow Road in 2013 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesGareth Bale celebrates scoring for Spurs at Carrow Road in 2013 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

It is, of course, the football that has brought the real memorable moments though.

Some of the biggest names in global football have graced the NR1 grass since then: Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez, Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, Ryan Giggs – they’ve all strutted their stuff there.

Most of them scored, the sight of a young Ronaldo and Rooney sulking after Manchester United were beaten in April 2005 was especially sweet.

Norwich City A-Z: S is for shirts – It’s the memories that matter

Elton John playing live at Carrow Road in 2005 
Photo: Tim DoyleElton John playing live at Carrow Road in 2005 Photo: Tim Doyle

Just six matches have finished 5-4 since the glitz and glamour of the Premier League arrived in 1992. Two of them were at Carrow Road, one before the pitch was relaid in 2004, a defeat to Southampton in 1994, and the other another thrilling loss to Liverpool in January 2016.

Several pitch invaders have earned landed themselves in trouble with the football authorities, including a Nottingham Forest fan who dropped his trousers to his knees during a 0-0 draw in March, before being tackled in what Darren Huckerby dubbed ‘the worst pitch invasion ever’.

While two supposed City supporters landed themselves in hot water when they charged at Bryan Gunn to throw their season tickets his way during the 7-1 humiliation against Colchester back in 2009 – being halted by security staff and a certain Paul Lambert.

Norwich City A-Z: Play to the whistle... it’s Reffin’ Hell

Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Liverpool won 5-2 at Carrow Road in September 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesLuis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Liverpool won 5-2 at Carrow Road in September 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Police horses made it on to the pitch in 2015, being deployed to calm the pitch invasion after play-off victory over Ipswich spilled from the stands and on to the pitch amid the Wembley anticipation.

Late winners, wonder goals, damaging defeats during relegation campaigns, superb charity games and promotion joys – it’s seen it all, but how green will the new grass be?

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