His luckiest goal and when winning meant the world - Hoolahan happy to say goodbye in style
PUBLISHED: 09:06 29 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:01 29 April 2018
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Winning was the only option as Wes Hoolahan said goodbye to Norwich City on a teary Carrow Road goodbye, beating Leeds 2-1 in the process.
Winning was the only option as Wes Hoolahan said goodbye to Norwich City on a teary Carrow Road goodbye.
The Canaries legend did his bit for the fairytale ending, scoring City’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time with his final kick of the ball towards the Barclay – before assisting Josh Murphy with his second-half winner to dispatch Leeds.
All that before City’s skipper for the day was withdrawn on the 84th minute to a heroic reception that entirely did justice to a 10-year Norwich servant and what will be a truly enduring legacy.
“I feel very emotional, but happy,” smiled Hoolahan. “Happy we won the game, to go out on a high, score and then make one for Josh.
“To be fair, I said to the boys before the game I just want to win it. That’s all that matters. No one really remembers defeats. OK it’s the last game and fair enough, but it matters more if you win. You can enjoy it more.
“So I said to forget that it’s my last game and the boys were terrific. They were on fire. Josh played really well, James (Maddison) again was on flames.
“I may come back for a legends game or something, but knowing that I’ll never step out at Carrow Road again, to score and get an assist in my final game, it couldn’t have worked out any better.”
Hoolahan is now also the proud scorer of one of City’s luckiest goals on home turf, as his deflected looping effort make sure it kept everyone guessing.
He added: “It took an eternity to go in, bounced off the posts and then going across the goal, I thought it was staying out. I think 27,000 fans were cheering it on. They sucked it right in, and it was great to see it go in.
“Yes, that was the luckiest of all my goals here – 100pc the luckiest and given I don’t normally shoot from outside of the box, it was nice to see it go in.
“We needed it too. First half we didn’t really start that well but in the second half we were on it and we showed how good we are.”
The scenes continues right through to the final act, as Hoolahan led his City team-mates’ lap of appreciation and said his final goodbyes.
“It was great,” he said. “It was my wife’s idea to sign a lot of shirts for the fans and throw them in, because they’ve supported me through the last 10 years. So it was a nice touch.
“It meant everything. The walk around and especially with the boys here. We’ve had a good season, especially with all the players we’ve lost, the transition, the young players coming in.
“The likes of Angus Gunn having a tremendous season, a lot of clean sheets. Harrison Reed has been tremendous. He looks like he’s been part of this team for the last four or five years and his attitude is spot on. So it’s been a great season.”
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