Thursday 11 July 2013
Premierleague.com profiles all 20 Premier League venues, continuing with Norwich's home ground, Carrow Road.
Year built: 1935
First League match (Second Division): Norwich City 3-2 West Ham United, 31 Aug 1935
Norwich City have played their home matches at Carrow Road since 1935, when they moved out of their previous ground, "The Nest", due to limited capacity and the failure to meet FA requirements. The Canaries quickly located to a new site and it took just 82 days to build Carrow Road, located just south-east of Norwich city centre.
After several changes to the ground that consisted of one seated stand and open terraces elsewhere, more than 43,000 fans packed into Carrow Road for an FA Cup match in 1963, which remains their highest attendance to date.
The ground was converted into an all-seater in the early 1990s and, after some redevelopment of the South Stand, now known as the Jarrold Stand, it holds over 27,000 spectators.
The Norwich faithful have also enjoyed a remarkable rise up the Football League ladder over the past few years, with regular sell-out crowds witnessing back-to-back promotions. The Canaries were plying their trade in League One in the 2009/10 campaign but, under the guidance of manager Paul Lambert, secured a return to the top flight in 2011.
The club have preserved their Barclays Premier League status since, and progress has continued under the management of Lambert's successor Chris Hughton. Prior to 2011, Norwich had played four seasons in the Barclays Premier League, including a third-place finish in the 1992/93 campaign.
24 March 1993: Norwich 1-0 Aston Villa
The Norwich naysayers had this fixture pegged as the one that would spell the end of the Canaries’ unexpected title tilt. Mike Walker’s third-placed charges welcomed an Aston Villa side sitting pretty at the top of the division and unbeaten in six matches, but on a famous night under the floodlights defender John Polston popped up with nine minutes left to end a tense affair and thrash in the winner that took Norwich above Manchester United and top of the Barclays Premier League in Villa’s stead.
It was a special occasion night for Polston, whose son was born on the same day, and a memorable night for the supporters, who left an electric evening at Carrow Road daring to believe that their East Anglian heroes might win the title. Ultimately, the Canaries fell short but an overachieving side finished third to set up a memorable European adventure the next season, when the mighty Bayern Munich were put to the sword in the UEFA Cup.
22 Jan 2005: Norwich City 4-4 Middlesbrough
Norwich scored three goals in the last 12 minutes to complete a remarkable comeback in an eight-goal thriller at Carrow Road. Without a victory in four matches, and a clean sheet since October, the Canaries lay two points from safety and in urgent need of points. Despite taking the lad through Damien Francis, however, they found themselves 4-1 down on 78 minutes following two goals apiece from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Franck Queuedrue.
Somehow the hosts mounted a spirited revival as Dean Ashton fired in his first goal for the club following his move from Crewe Alexandra. With full-time looming Leon Mackenzie dived in to score what appeared to be a consolation goal, until club captain Adam Drury met Darren Huckerby’s corner to trigger delirium on the terraces. Unfortunately, Guardian reporter Paul McInnes’s words proved prescient: “If this kind of match provides excitement that only the Premiership can offer,” he wrote, “these kind of results are sending Norwich swiftly back to the Football League.” By the end of the campaign Norwich did succumb to the drop.
12 May 2013: Norwich City 4-0 West Bromwich Albion
With two matches of the season left Norwich supporters were still fearing the worst. Having lost three of their last four matches Chris Hughton’s side teetered just two points above the relegation zone, but a victory would secure a second successive season in the Barclays Premier League. Fortunately for the home fans when it mattered most, it was the Norwich that had beaten Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton at Carrow Road this season that showed up, as opposed to the one that had conceded five to Liverpool, twice, and Fulham.
Before a tension-filled packed stadium, only five short of its all-seater record attendance, Robert Snodgrass broke the deadlock from close range on 25 minutes. Norwich were playing well, but required a 62nd-minute miskick by goalkeeper Ben Foster to extend their lead, as Grant Holt finished into an empty net. Three minutes later Gareth McAuley’s own goal enabled Norwich fans to breathe a sigh of relief and Jonathan Howson’s last-minute curler sparked frenzied celebrations in the stands.
"Everyone who comes to Norwich knows that they're playing in front of a very partisan crowd, a crowd who believe in their own, a crowd that really want to see their own doing well - a family in a way. Any club that comes here, whether they're Manchester United or Reading, they will know they've got one heck of a fight on their hands when they come to Carrow Road."
England manager Roy Hodgson (November, 2012)
For a 3D tour of Carrow Road and a video profiling Norwich and their home ground, click here >>