Michael Bailey: Regardless of the next five months, Carrow Road is set for a special clash of the legends
PUBLISHED: 06:09 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:00 12 December 2018
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Goodbye, thank you for the memories and here's to raising a packet - MICHAEL BAILEY reflects on the prospect of another party in the sun for two City sons, Russell Martin and Wes Hoolahan.
Sorry to bring it up at such a wonderful time for Norwich City, but the second half of last season did little to grab the attention or create enthusiasm for what might come next.
That final point probably tickles the funny bone, given the season currently playing out.
But in the early 2018 gloom there were two shining lights.
The phenomenal goodbye for a Canaries legend in Wes Hoolahan will live long in the memory – perhaps longer, now City and opponents Leeds appear to have moved on from that game and become impenetrable Championship forces.
Hoolahan’s legacy will live long. That Saturday did it justice and now there’s the prospect of another chance to say thanks and goodbye.
The other was the visit of Inter Forever, as Norwich City Legends took on their inaugural fixtures in aid of the Community Sports Foundation’s Build The Nest project – a post-season celebration of City’s successful past.
Both events did one thing: made everyone there feel good about the club they support and the effort and time they channel into supporting it.
So first and foremost, regardless of where Norwich City find themselves as they head back from their final Championship skirmish at Villa Park, enjoying another Canaries special on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6 promises to be fun.
OK, so Russell Martin being a few months short of his decade of service means no one is allowed to call the 2019 special ‘a testimonial’. But as a celebration match, Team Hoolahan versus Team Russ is going to have more than enough going for it to ensure it’s an enjoyable occasion.
Who plays – and maybe more keenly observed, for whom – will be all part of the fun. Raising money – again for CSF as well as the chosen causes of Hoolahan and Martin – is the serious, brilliantly worthwhile bit.
As already alluded to, Hoolahan has enjoyed a fantastic goodbye with that Leeds win and a South Stand mosaic all to himself.
So I find myself thinking of Russell Martin. A man whose final first-team City appearance at Millwall saw him booed off – despite not being directly at fault for any of the four goals conceded that day.
More importantly, he is also a man who gave so much to the club and the wider community, who lead City to the most meteoric rise and then a memorable Wembley successes.
Wes should probably let him win – but you imagine it won’t work like that!
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