Norwich City’s top 100 appearances: Kevin Drinkell (100)
150 appearances/57 goals
After scoring 89 goals in 272 appearances for Grimsby, it convinced Norwich City to take the plunge on a young muscular striker named Kevin Drinkell.
City parted with a fee of £105,000 for the forward and it proved to be a very shrewd piece of business by manager Ken Brown.
He was an instant hit with fans at Carrow Road and his 22 goals in his first season in Norfolk helped the Canaries to the Division Two Championship in 1986.
Good in the air, with a decent turn of pace, Drinkell established himself as one of the shining lights for the Canaries and helped fire his side to promotion from the Second Division. His performances also helped him win the club’s player of the season award in his debut season.
He didn’t find goals hard to come by in the First Division either as he helped City to an impressive fifth-placed finish. It was also enough for fans to vote him the club’s player of the season once more.
It was at this time that Manchester United started to cast envious glances at the striker tearing it up at Carrow Road. However, having just finished in fifth place, Drinkell felt his career prospects would be better served at Norwich.
He was later linked with a move to Tottenham but the deal fell through due to then chairman Robert Chase apparently adjusting his valuation of the striker after a £500,000 deal had initially been agreed.
Drinkell did eventually move on to Rangers in 1988 as part of the revolution Graeme Souness was instigating in Glasgow. He later moved on to Coventry, Birmingham on loan, Falkirk and Stirling. However, his 57 goals during his time at Norwich were enough for him to be inducted into the club’s hall of fame in 2002.
He also holds the distinction of helping the Canaries to their last win at bogey ground Craven Cottage as his last minute header secured a 2-1 win at Fulham on January 1, 1986.
“I still get a good reception when I return to Norwich and they are still a club who I hold close to my heart,” he said. “That was why I was humbled to be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2002. It is a great honour to be named among some of the club’s greatest ever players. I had some of my best career moments at Carrow Road.”
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