Adam Drury Testimonial
Norwich City 2-0 Celtic (Vaughan 19, Lansbury 68)

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 

 

 

The two teams and match officials give the left-back a deserved guard of honour as Adam Drury enters with his two children close by

 

 

It was a night of celebration and remembrance for long-serving Norwich City defender Adam Drury in his testimonial match at Carrow Road against Celtic.

The Norwich City faithful combined with the vociferous supporters of Celtic created a special ambiance inside the stadium as fans united to make it a memorable evening for the Canaries' "Mr Consistent"- left-back Drury- who has spent eleven years at the club. A crowd of 18,508 packed into the ground to witness a special match involving some of Norwich's past and present stars including Henri Lansbury, Michael Nelson and Darren Huckerby.

The 33-year old joined Norwich from Peterborough United in March 2001 on a pre-contract agreement having made 150 appearances for the London Road club scoring two goals during six seasons. He was voted Norwich's player of the year in his second season at the club (2002-03) while he was appointed club captain by boss Nigel Worthington at the beginning of the following campaign. The defender was inducted into the Norwich City Hall of Fame in March. Drury has made 328 appearances for the club scoring four goals in the process.

It was a party atmosphere as kick-off approached with the near 3,000 raucous Hoops fans loud in their voices whilst the Norwich fans were chanting "There's Only One Adam Drury" and "There's Only One Paul Lambert". Some old faces came back to join in the occasion with Dani Pacheco and Arsenal midfielder Lansbury returning having had loan spells at the club during their remarkable Championship season of 2010-11 when they clinched Premier League promotion. Club legend Darren Huckerby put on the Norwich shirt once again for his old team-mate while current Kilmarnock central defender Michael Nelson, who left Norwich in the summer after five years at Carrow Road, also took to the field again for the Canaries.

Russell Martin, John Ruddy, Andrew Crofts, Simeon Jackson and Steve Morison were excused due to international duty commitments although they sent their best wishes to the veteran defender via messages which were read out in the dressing room before the game. Club captain Grant Holt, although not wearing the armband in the game, played despite handing in a formal transfer request at the end of last week.

In addition, former Celtic team-mates Paul Lambert and Neil Lennon did battle in the dugouts for the first time. The first goal came just after a Mexican wave had travelled around the stadium when Wes Hoolahan found some space on the left hand side and played a great pass through to James Vaughan who finished well from ten yards firing home first time.

Drury himself was taken off just after an hour gone in order for him to get changed ready for the post-match activities on the pitch receiving a standing ovation from everyone inside the ground. There were emotional farewells too for Kyle Naughton, who has enjoyed a superb season at the club on loan from Tottenham, as he was withdrawn on 52 minutes to a rapturous applause to be replaced by youngster George Francomb in his final appearance before returning back to White Hart Lane. And Aaron Wilbraham, leaving the club after his contract expires having it been announced he will not be offered a new deal, entered off the bench for his last game.

It was a vibrant display from Norwich although it took them until the 68th minute to double their lead with Henri Lansbury collecting an astute pass from fellow substitute David Fox before scoring from a tight angle on the second attempt as his first effort was blocked well by Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster- also making a return to Carrow Road having spent an entire season on loan during their successful League One title-winning promotion campaign three years ago.

Tony Watt brought a routine save out of Declan Rudd late on for Celtic while Darren Huckerby, sent on with fifteen minutes to play, linked up well with Andrew Surman but saw his goalbound effort well stopped by Forster.

A teary-eyed Drury addressed fans at the end of the match on the pitch thanking them for making the evening such a special one while reflecting and evaluating upon his time as a Norwich City servant since 2001.

He told the club's official website: "It's hard to put it into words to be honest. Obviously I had heard from the gaffer and some of the Scottish lads about the atmosphere that the Celtic fans create during games but you really have to see it and experience it to believe it. They were incredible and I cannot thank them enough for being so nice with me. The Norwich fans were unbelievable as they always have been during my time here and I will never forget them. It will take a while to sink in- it was such a good feeling to be out there tonight. I hope I have a few more years at this wonderful football club still to come."

Paul Lambert thanked Celtic and Neil Lennon dearly for bringing a squad and their sensational supporters down from Scotland for the match while also commenting on the Celtic fans saying: "I think they are extra special, they always have been to me as well during my eight years there as a player."

He added about Drury: "He is a player who deserved an evening like that, a game like that and an atmosphere like that. He has been excellent with me during my time here- he helped me to settle in and I will never forget it. It was a special night all about him and he fully deserves it for serving this club so brilliantly for eleven years. He is a true professional who will never be forgotten by this club in a hurry that's for sure."

 

Norwich City:   Steer, Naughton, Ward, Barnett, Drury (C), E Bennett, Howson, Johnson, Hoolahan, Holt, Vaughan.

Substitutes and second half team:  Rudd, Nelson, Lansbury, Pacheco, Surman, Huckerby, Fox, Wilbraham, Smith, R Bennett, Francomb, Pilkington, Lappin

Celtic:    Forster, McGeough, K Wilson (C), Findlay, Blackman, Ibrahim, Commons, McCourt, Watt, Stokes, Hooper.

Substitutes:  Fraser, Loovens, Rasmussen, Lindsay, Kidd

 

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)
Assistant Referees: Darren Cann and Mark Scholes
Fourth Official: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

Attendance: 18,508

 

 

James Vaughan steers in the opening goal for Norwich City on 18 minutes at Carrow Road

 

 

The honourary Adam Drury leads the celebrations with the rest of his colleagues after James Vaughan's goal

 

 

Grant Holt (pictured above) played in the testimonial despite handing in a transfer request to leave the club last week 

 

 

Norwich City left-back Adam Drury has been at the Suffolk club since 2001

 

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