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Norwich City top 100 appearances: Steve Bruce (81)

PUBLISHED: 06:00 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:40 22 May 2017

A moment in time: Steve Bruce scores the winner to knock Ipswich Town out of the 1985 League Cup. Picture: Paul Hewitt/Archant

A moment in time: Steve Bruce scores the winner to knock Ipswich Town out of the 1985 League Cup. Picture: Paul Hewitt/Archant

Archant

We continue our look through the top 100 players in Norwich City’s appearance list, with Paddy Davitt recalling the inspirational Steve Bruce.

81 Steve Bruce 180 appearances 21 goals

Steve Bruce was a colossus of a defender and a pivotal figure in Norwich City’s first major piece of silverware at Wembley.

The rugged central defender was the supporters’ player-of-the-year in his first season at the club and that bond is still strong between the former shipyard worker and the club that gave him his first big break, before he went on to star in Manchester United’s renaissance under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Recall this moving tribute to former club stalwart Peter Oldfield after Aston Villa’s Championship win in April, delivered when Bruce had sought out the Norfolk media on the final whistle.

“It has really upset me because when I went there 35 years ago, Pete was there. And every time I’ve been back, he has never seemed to change,” he said. “He was always that jovial, nice man, that football clubs have and he was part of the set up at Norwich and part of the structure. He always used to do man of the match presentations and back in the day I used to get a few. He used to say ‘not you again’. Football clubs are built on people like him.”

Classy, modest and under-stated. That sums up Bruce who failed to add, perhaps intentionally, one of those man of the match awards came for his barnstorming role in the 1985 League Cup win over Sunderland. A sweet moment for the Newcastle United fan. Bruce stayed in Norfolk following relegation from the top flight that same season and played every minute of the promotion-winning response before replacing Dave Watson as captain to lead the resurgent Canaries to a fifth-placed finish on their return to the big time.

A sour climax to his City career, when a tough negotiating stance from Norwich threatened to wreck his dream move to Old Trafford, failed to dim the scale of his achievements or his impact at Carrow Road.

That iconic image of Bruce wheeling away in delight after scoring the goal against bitter rivals Ipswich Town in the semi final of the 1985 League Cup success will forever be etched in the memories of Norwich fans through the ages.

There would be another spine-tingling headed moment later in his career, with a brace against Sheffield Wednesday a landmark moment in United’s first league title since 1967, to spark a glut of trophies for Bruce and Ferguson.


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