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Carrow Road clock is back

PUBLISHED: 09:33 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 06 July 2010

The Carrow Road clock being lifted back into place.

The Carrow Road clock being lifted back into place.

It has been missing for almost 25 years but today a piece of Canary history is hoisted back into place.

The main stand clock was a familiar feature at the Norwich City ground up until a devastating fire on October 25, 1984.

It has taken more than 25 years but yesterday a much-loved piece of Canary history was finally hoisted back into place.

The main stand clock was a familiar fixture at the Norwich City ground up until it was taken down for maintenance in 1982.

Then a devastating fire on October 25, 1984, destroyed the stand, leaving the clock in the care of former groundsman Russell Allison and his family.

But now, thanks to the generosity of Canary fan Steve Clarke and the expertise of several companies, the restored clock was lifted back over the current Geoffrey Watling City Stand ready for the new season.

Mr Clarke, who lives near North Walsham, said: “I have been a season ticket holder since the 1970s and I was at a game with my older son Sam when he asked why there wasn't a clock. I asked the club and they mentioned the historical trust was trying to arrange to have the original mended and put back in place and I thought that would be a nice thing to help with.”

The father of two remembers the clock when it took pride of place above the old stand but, like many people, he thought it had been destroyed in the fire which also decimated the boardroom, the dressing room and a number of souvenirs.

S. Michlmayr and Co, of Ladysmith Road, Norwich, restored the clock while CLA Architecture, of Chapel Lane, Norwich drew up the plans for the new rooftop clock housing and DGT Structures Ltd, of Lenwade, built the structure and reinstalled the clock.

Kevan Platt, trust member and club secretary, said the restoration of the clock was the result of years of hard work.

“The Norwich City Football Club Historical Trust is extremely pleased to be able to have played a part in reinstating the old main stand clock back in its rightful place, above the players' tunnel here at Carrow Road.

“We have had many requests for its reinstatement or replacement and yesterday's events are the culmination of a long process and we hope that all of our supporters will enjoy the clock and its part in Carrow Road's history.”

It is one of many projects the historical trust, a registered charity, is undertaking to maintain and preserve all aspects of Norwich City's history for future generations of supporters.

Although Mr Allison has since passed away, his son still works at the ground and the trust extended its thanks to the family for keeping the clock safe.

An official unveiling will take place at a later date.

It was the year that saw Norwich City promoted to the old First Division, the equivalent of today's Premiership - with matches against giants of the game such as Arsenal and Manchester United.

However, it could have been a very different story for City had 1981-1982 not been the first season when clubs were awarded three points for a win instead of two.

Under the old system, which had been in place since the start of the Football League in 1888, Sheffield Wednesday, who won 20 of their games and drew 10, would have gone up.

But City won 22 games and drew five and, as a result of the new rules, were promoted.

Players such as former England keeper Chris Woods, who made his debut in 1981 and had a final tally of 43 caps, was in the side along with John Deehan, who returned to the club earlier this year as chief scout.

He netted 70 goals for Norwich which made him popular with players, supporters and with the then manager Ken Brown.

Martin O'Neill, now manager of Premiership Aston Villa, was another well-known name, as was Mike Channon, who made his debut in December 1982.

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