WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
We catch up with Norwich City’s 1974-75 promotion team
RELEGATION AND pro- motion to and from the top flight of English football has been a familiar theme for the Canaries over the last 40 years.
After being relegated from the First Division in 1974, they immediately bounced back in third place behind Manchester United and Aston Villa.
Since then, they have dropped out of the top flight, only to win promotion at the first time on three other occasions, in 1981-82, 1985-86 and 2014-15.
Dave Stringer was the defensive rock back in 1974, playing all but the last three games of the season alongside Duncan Forbes and helping the club finish five points behind Aston Villa under John Bond.
Stringer was ruled out of the season run-in because he was suspended under the totting-up procedure. He admits that the goal of immediate promotion was never discussed.
“That was something that was understood,” he said. “Every team in the division was trying to get promoted, but, having just come down, we had a good set of players.
“We were experienced, so were more likely to come back up, but of course we had to work hard for it, I think we got promoted at Portsmouth in the penultimate game of the season.
“Because I had gone over the suspended threshold towards the end of the season it made it a bit of an anti-climax for me.
“Not being involved with the team, though I went to the games and travelled with the team, is not the same as when you take part.”
It was a season that will live long in the memories of the older generation of Carrow Road faithful for, as well as promotion, they also reached their second League Cup Final in three years.
After needing replays against Bolton Wanderers, West Brom, Sheffield United, local rivals Ipswich Town and then a twolegged semi-final against Manchester United, they faced Villa at Wembley.
It was the first time that two sides from the Second Division had been in the final and, as with two years before, was settled by a single goal, this time from Ray Graydon.
It was hard luck on Norwich’s Kevin Keelan, who became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in a Wembley cup-final from Graydon, only to be beaten by the rebound.
“Being in the League Cup definitely detracted from our league form,” he said. “We didn’t have the biggest squad and it can take the edge off your game.
“I remember the semi-final against Man Utd more than I remember the two games against Ipswich. We drew at Old Trafford and then won at home.
“Ron Saunders, who took us to the first final and then a semifinal the season afterwards, was then in charge of Villa, so it was a strange situation.
“The final was a damp squib. It wasn’t such a good game because we were still wrapped up in fighting relegation.
“Whenever you lose a cup final at Wembley, you just want to troop off the pitch and let the winners take all of the accolades.
“It was a great time to be involved with the club because there was always something happening: promotion and relegation, two cup finals and a semi final. It was a good period,” he recalls.
1. Mel Machin: A midfielder who managed Man City, Barnsley and Bournemouth. His last job was assistant manager at Huddersfield until retiring. 2. Doug Livermore: A midfielder who held various coaching positions, including joint manager of Tottenham. He then worked as a consultant to a firm of football agents.
3. Peter Morris: A midfielder who entered management with Peterborough and also took charge of Crewe, Southend, Boston, Kettering and King’s Lynn.
4. Dave Stringer: A central defender who joined the coaching staff as youth coach, became first team manager and was then assistant director until retirement.
5. Mervyn Cawston: A goalkeeper who lives in Norwich and worked in financial services and then for a food distribution company. 6. Kevin Keelan: A goalkeeper who settled in Tampa, Florida. He worked for a contact lense manufacturer for more than 20 years and then ran a coaching school. 7. Duncan Forbes: A central defender who joined the commercial staff and then became chief scout before his retirement. He is now battling Alzheimer’s. 8. Colin Prophett: A central defender who returned to Sheffield to work in insurance before becoming an area sales manager for a woodworking company. 9. John Benson: The midfielder managed Bournemouth, Man City and Wigan and held a number of administrative and scouting jobs before his death in October 2010. 10. Colin Sullivan: Full-back who worked as a postman before becoming a landscape gardener from his base in Titchfield, Hampshire. 11. Steve Grapes: The midfielder went into the fitness equipment industry and now works in Wales for Life Fitness. 12. Colin Suggett: A midfielder who settled in his native North East, coaching at Newcastle United. He has also scouted for a number of clubs, including Norwich. 13. Billy Steele: A midfielder whose son Aaron was a Norwich City schoolboy. Now technical director of the Toronto Lynx Soccer Academy in Canada. 14. Trevor Howard: A midfielder who settled in Cambridge, where he was a British Gas meter reader for 17 years before becoming a taxi driver. 15. Ted MacDougall: A striker who ran sports bars and pubs before becoming a property developer in Canada. Now works in football administration in Florida. 16. Phil Boyer: The England striker settled in his home town of Nottingham, where he became a bank courier until retirement. He has also scouted for a number of clubs. 17. John Sissons: The winger now lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where he became partner in a successful motor products and warranty firm.
NOT PICTURED 18. Geoff Butler: Full-back who managed Salisbury City for 18 years, before setting up his own home improvement company. 19. Steve Goodwin: A midfielder who settled in Gjovik, Norway and worked in an Adidas factory until retiring. Daughter Britt represented Great Britain at handball at London 2012. 20. Roger Hansbury: A goalkeeper who worked in a sports centre but then opened his own greeting card shop in Solihull. 21. Paul Kent: A full-back who became a hairdresser, opening the Paul Kent Hair Studio near Carrow Road. 22. Mick McGuire: Midfielder who worked for the PFA for many years and is now UK sports managing director for James Grant Group. 23. Martin Peters: England World Cup-winning midfielder managed Sheffield United until spending 17 years working in the insurance industry. He also had a spell as a Tottenham director. 24. Harry Redknapp: The midfielder has spent more than 23 years in management and is also a popular figure for media work.
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