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Are Current Players Worthy Of Hall Of Fame Recognition?

Saturday 25th February 2012
Norwich City announced earlier in the week their newest additions to their hall of fame – the recognition of former players and club workers who have made in the club and fans opinion. Amongst the most recent additions are three current players – Adam Drury, Grant Holt and Wes Hoolahan – and the current city boss Paul Lambert.

In Drury it's only right that Norwich recognise such a servant, having spent over 10 years and played more than 350 games thus far for the club. A classy left back who captained Norwich to the Championship title back in 2004.

However in the others case, it brings about an interesting question - should current players be part of a hall of fame? It's a bit like Blur getting a Brit award for contribution to music when they're still writing and producing music. Surely it's someone's ultimate contribution that should be finally judged in such a way. Whilst current thinking may mean that they deserve such recognition, will it stand the test of time? If for example the Norwich bubble was to burst, would Lambert still be revered or would the fans one day be calling for his head? What if Wes or Holt decided to finish their careers god forbid in deepest darkest blue Suffolk?

The counter argument of course is look where the club has come from – their rise from the lower echelons of League One darkness to Premiership mid-table security in just over two years is truly remarkable in the modern game – and in Lambert, Holt and Hoolahan you have three of the main architects of the rise. Holt's talismanic return of over 60 goals during this period speaks volumes. Hoolahan's artistry and magic has enabled many of these; and in Paul Lambert Norwich have one of the game's most talented managers.

But whilst these maybe the headlines of Norwich's recent success, the other telling member of the hall of fame is Michael Fougler, a member of the Norwich City board. Foulger has personally proped up the Canaries a number of times in recent years as administration loomed, but it's perhaps the following which best sums up his own personal commitment to all things yellow. In Norwich's relegation from the Championship back in 2009, he pledged to match “pound for pound” any money not claimed by season ticket holders entitled to a rebate on their tickets. This ultimately gave the then Norwich manager, Bryan Gunn an additional £400,000 to spend on players. History will show that it was one of Gunn's better decisions. He spent the money on Grant Holt.

It's my opinion, given the meteoric rise that such entries will stand the test of time. However there is probably one person missing - David McNally –NorwichCity's chief executive and the man behind the power. It was his insistence and drive to get Paul Lambert in as manager, and his prudent financial control which has enabled continued investment in the squad, whilst bringing Norwich back from the brink of administration.

These individuals have played a massive part in putting a smile back on every Norwich City fan's face in the past two years. For that alone, they deserve recognition for years to come.

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