Darren Huckerby, a rare breed of footballer
Whilst wearing a different hat this week, and attempting to devise a market-leading loyalty scheme for a financial services company, as usual more interesting distractions became all too alluring.
A quick flick onto the most addictive website in the world, Newsnow, and it was soon easy to find a suitable alternative to the hefty To Do list staring back at me. Darren Huckerby`s book is being serialised in the Evening News and a quick read of some of the former-talisman`s prose served as an interesting and not totally irrelevant diversion.
There were many interesting and insightful anecdotes from the time towards the end of his Norwich City career and also confirmation of a few rumours, Damien Francis hold your head in shame. However, what stood out was something that is contrary to all we are told to think about the modern game. If your surname is Tevez, Gyan, Tarrabt, Rooney or even Campbell then please look away now.
When Norwich City were relegated in 2005, Huckerby turned down the chance to speak to both Liverpool and Celtic, because as he says, "the club was more important to me than anything else". The man also took four pay cuts to stay at Carrow Road, and that was before the idea of an age of austerity had even been conceived.
As the game has 'progressed` in the last few years to that of the playroom of rich, greedy, disloyal prima donnas, how refreshing is it to read these words of one of the greatest players ever to play for the club?
Hucks always seemed like he was bossing his agent around, that winter of 2003. When the said agent, Phil Smith went direct to the press and said, "Norwich can`t afford Huckerby", "No-one in Division One can", Hucks fought back with a very political, "I make my own mind up where I play". However, now we now know that the divisions between the two parties ran even deeper than that.
Not only did he take a personal financial hit to play for us, he turned down moves to two of the most successful and famous clubs in the world. He took pay cuts, he stayed faithful during the myopic Roeder years and by the sounds of it turned down even more offers (even from those who shall not be named) once the club had seen fit to embarrassingly kick him out.
Suddenly £18.99 for a copy of our hero`s hard back doesn`t sound so expensive. Darren Huckerby is a prime example of true genuine loyalty in the promiscuous greedy world of football, and much easier to write enthusiastically about than the equally greedy world of financial services.
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