Tettey fights back the tears after emotional City farewell
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Tettey was fighting back the tears after the final match of his long Norwich City career – joking that everyone had been trying to make him cry all week.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that Tettey and Mario Vrancic would not be getting new deals, bringing an end to 35-year-old Tettey’s City spell at the end of his ninth season.
It started in midweek with giant photos of the duo’s Canaries career appearing in the hallways at the Lotus Training Centre and continued with late notice that he would be starting at Barnsley, as captain.
The former Norway midfielder received a rousing reception from all of the City players and staff at Oakwell as he was replaced in the 87th minute of the 2-2 draw, with Tim Krul coming out of his goal to give his team-mate a big hug.
Then after his 263rd and final appearance, he was encouraged to share trophy lifting duties with skipper Grant Hanley, as the dominant champions concluded a superb promotion season.
Asked if his colleagues have been trying to make him cry, an emotional Tettey joked: “They have! I’m not joking about it. They have and they have succeeded today.
“Me in the dressing room, that was tough.”
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The defensive midfield stalwart was struggling for words as the reality of his final appearance started to soak in.
“It’s been tough, guys, it’s been tough,” he admitted. Before the game, I was coming into the dressing room crying all over the place like a baby. Emotionally, it’s been tough.
“It’s been hitting me all day but coming off and knowing that’s the last time, it’s tough, very tough.”
Signed from Rennes for £3million by Chris Hughton back in 2012, Tettey is the only Norwich player to have been promoted to the top flight three times and leaves sat in joint 32nd in the club’s all-time appearances list.
“I need to be careful but I’ve played in teams, Rosenborg coming up as a kid means a lot, going to France – this club, I wouldn’t say has taken half of my heart, almost every part of my heart,” he continued.
“It means a lot, a lot to me. The fans, the people and how I’ve been taken care of.
“The fans, how can they vote me for Player of the Month?! That tells you all you need to know about the fans and this place.
“For people to appreciate me, I have no words, no words.”
Unfortunately, most of Tettey’s final year with City has been without supporters but it’s expected he will return to say a proper farewell once full stadiums are allowed again next season.
“I wish they were here,” he added. “I will definitely come back next season to hear them again at Carrow Road.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and the team. I just want to say a massive thank you, it’s a massive club, it means a lot to me and I’m looking forward to seeing the team play next season.”