Norwich City top 100 appearances: Gary Doherty (52) – Ginger Pele played his part in Canaries’ renaissance
PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:31 02 June 2017
Focus Images 2010
227 appearances/14 goals
The man known as the ‘Ginger Pele’ amongst the Canaries faithful is remembered fondly by the majority of supporters.
Brought to the club from Tottenham by manager Nigel Worthington for the 2004/5 Premier League campaign he made a decent impression in the early days, scoring on his full debut in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle.
But he soon found himself out of the City starting XI and he was linked with newly-promoted Sunderland the following summer but opted to stay put in Norfolk.
It proved to be the right decision as Doherty established himself at the heart of City’s defence during what was largely an underwhelming campaign as the Canaries struggled to bounce back from relegation in the Championship.
The campaign did at least end on a high note for Doherty as he was named the player of the 2005/06 season.
The Republic of Ireland international signed a new two-year deal at Carrow Road in 2008 after being linked with a move to San Jose Earthquakes. He also changed his number from 27 to 12 for superstitious reasons as he looked to rediscover the goalscoring streak that made his name at Luton and Tottenham as a youngster.
Bryan Gunn made Doherty club captain at the start of the 2009 campaign but the City legend’s departure also looked like spelling the end for Doherty.
New City boss Paul Lambert dropped the defender immediately and told him to find another club.
Doherty knuckled down and forced his way back into Lambert’s first team thinking and became a vital part of the club’s League One title success. He formed decent partnerships in defence alongside Michael Nelson and Jens Berthel Askou, scoring seven goals in the process.
Doherty’s rehabilitation was almost complete when he came third in the player-of-the-season awards as Grant Holt took the first of his three Barry Butler Trophies.
However, he was released that summer with Charlton Athletic signing Doherty on a two-year deal. He went on to play for Wycombe before a knee injury forced him to retire in 2014 at the age of 34.
Doherty has remained in the game, doing some scouting and also working as an agent.
“It just keeps me in the game and allows me to get to matches still,” he said recently. “Obviously I still love football so I’m happy to be able to go to games and mentor young players.”
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