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Norwich City top 100 appearances: Andy Marshall (56)

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:44 01 June 2017

Andy Marshall in action during the closing stages of his Norwich City career in 2001. Picture: Jon Buckle

Andy Marshall in action during the closing stages of his Norwich City career in 2001. Picture: Jon Buckle

219 appearances

Andy Marshall with the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy after being voted player of the year, in May 2001. Picture: Adrian JuddAndy Marshall with the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy after being voted player of the year, in May 2001. Picture: Adrian Judd

As our series looking at the top 100 players in Norwich City’s appearances list continues, David Freezer speaks to former Canaries goalkeeper Andy Marshall – and asks him about THAT move to Ipswich...

His exit for Ipswich Town will remain one of the most controversial in Norwich City history but perhaps that is a reminder of just how well Andy Marshall had performed during his Canaries career.

City supporters were hurt when the goalkeeper opted to leave on a free and sign for the Tractor Boys in the summer of 2001, just months after lifting the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy as player of the season.

Andy Marshall back at Carrow Road in February 2007 with Coventry City. Picture: James BassAndy Marshall back at Carrow Road in February 2007 with Coventry City. Picture: James Bass

While few have dared cross that divide, Marshall did so when he was playing his best football for Norwich – 16 years after he first signed for the club.

“I joined the club when I was 10 years old, went full-time when I was 16 and then stayed for another 10 years until I was 26,” Marshall said, reflecting on the portion of his career which leaves him 56th in City’s all-time appearances list.

“I was relatively fortunate, although I was born in Manchester, I was brought up around Peterborough so it was only an hour and a half away and the academy system was slightly different to how it is nowadays.

“You didn’t have to be there two or three times a week, it was more like once a week, so I was able to manage to commute from Peterborough until I was 16 and then I had to move away.”

Andy Marshall saves a penalty for Millwall at Carrow Road in 2005. Photo: Simon FinlayAndy Marshall saves a penalty for Millwall at Carrow Road in 2005. Photo: Simon Finlay

His opportunity came in December 1994, in unfortunate circumstances, replacing Bryan Gunn after the number one broke his ankle during a 1-0 Premiership defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Gunn’s injury ruled him out for the rest of the season and 20-year-old Marshall was chucked in the deep end, as City slipped towards relegation with John Deehan in charge amid financial meltdown.

“After coming on at Nottingham Forest for Bryan Gunn when he got injured it was a bit of a roller-coaster,” the former England U21 keeper continued. “Then Newcastle at home, my Premiership home debut (a 2-1 win), I got man of the match and went on to play 20-odd games that season, so that was a hell of a time. But I have many, many good memories of my time at Norwich, lots of occasions, not only with the first team but with the under-18s and the reserves.”

More than 200 appearances later though and the big decision arrived, choosing to join Ipswich. Sixteen years later, does he regret that decision?

“I don’t think you can have regrets,” Marshall said. “It was the right move at the right time, it was playing Premiership football, European football and at the time it was the right move.

“Everyone wants to better themselves, for their career and just in life and that gave me the opportunity to do that.

“Norwich was a club that at the time, while it was starting to get back on its feet, they couldn’t offer me that. I was coming into what could have been said was a prime time in my career and I didn’t want to be playing second tier football all my career.”

Fortunately for City, another academy product came to the fore in Robert Green – who went on to have quite the career himself.

Marshall had left for Ipswich in the hope of boosting his chances with England but never truly nailed down his position at Portman Road, with many Blues fans struggling to accept a former Norwich favourite.

He made 65 appearances across two seasons, with Ipswich dropping back down to the second tier in 2002-03 and Marshall playing superbly to keep a clean sheet in 2-0 win at Carrow Road.

The next season brought loan moves to Wolves and Millwall, eventually joining the Lions on a free in 2004 and playing in the FA Cup final, losing 3-0 to Manchester United in Cardiff. Marshall made 66 appearances for Millwall and 68 for Coventry before seeing his playing days out as cover at Aston Villa and Millwall and retiring in January 2014. The 42-year-old is now back at Villa coaching the club’s under-18 and under-23 keepers, gaining his coaching badges and enjoying bringing up his three children.

“Villa’s a fantastic football club, my boy has just been at the football club doing some training and he loves doing it,” he adds.

“The owner is a man who will get success, without a doubt, and if we can’t deliver it he will get someone else who can deliver it. So it’s down to us to make sure that the football club is going back in the direction that it should be.”

His coaching studies took him to the Football Association’s St George’s Park base in Burton this week – where he crossed paths with a former City team-mate.

“Funnily enough I’ve just been at a course at St George’s and I’ve seen Adrian Forbes,” Marshall adds. “So that was good to catch up and one of my best friends is from the Norfolk area so I still have close connections and still come over now and again – but I do still keep Norwich City close to my heart.”

• Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer or on Facebook @DavidFreezer1

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