Norwich City Top 100 appearances: Greg Downs (60)
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:54 29 May 2017
60 Greg Downs
206 appearances/8 goals
Greg Downs is one of those rarities: a striker turned defender.
Downs, now 58, started his career as a centre-forward, having joined as an apprentice in March 1975, but it wasn’t long before he was switched to left-back – by reserve team boss Mel Machin. Before he was established he had loan spells at Connecticut Bicentennials in the US and Torquay, where he made his league debut.
It was in the 1979-80 season that he began to make an impact. He was player of the season in 1981-82 and played every game in the 1983-84 campaign, but was in and out of the side in the early months of 1985 and was left out of the Milk Cup semi-final games against Ipswich and the final victory over Sunderland.
It proved to be his final season at Carrow Road – the Nottinghamshire-born Downs joined Coventry City in July, 1985 and more than made up for the disappointment of missing the League Cup final. His greatest moment came in the Sky Blues colours when he won an FA Cup winner’s medal in 1987 after City’s surprise 3-2 win over Spurs.
Downs had the unenviable task of marking wing wizard Chris Waddle: ““He caught me with a Cruyff turn in the corner. I thought he was going to go the other way but he somehow just pulled the ball back and I suppose sometimes you have just got to take your hat off.”
Downs made 146 appearances in five years at Highfield Road, heading to Third Division Birmingham in 1990.
His career – playing, coaching and managing, then took him on quite a journey: Hereford was his last league club, before he retired from that level.
But his non-league CV is worth a look, if only for the length of it: Raunds, Redditch, Kettering, Merthyr Tydfil, Worcester, Forest Green, Bridgnorth, Malvern, Great Yarmouth, managed by former team-mate Dale Gordon.
Downs, who joined the Norfolk Constabulary, also played for Mulbarton United and Blofield and then became assistant at Dereham before signing for North Walsham Town. He was also assistant to Wroxham boss Damien Hilton.
He hung up his playing boots at the age of 45.
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