Hucks calls it a day after hip op

Last updated : 17 September 2009 By John Maiden
Most footy fans experience moments of deep despair more often than moments of great elation. This has certainly been the experience of those of us who have supported the Canaries over the last decade. Darren Huckerby contributed to many of the high points and it is sad to learn that a hip injury, followed by surgery, has brought his playing career to an end at the age of thirty-three. 
One of my own moments of despair came when it looked as if we had seen the last of Hucks, after his initial loan spell had ended. This was followed by several agonising days before a moment of pure joy, which compared with the best Christmas present ever, when, on a Boxing Day to remember, it was finally revealed that the great entertainer had signed a permanent contract to play for Norwich.
There is no doubt in my mind that without the services of Darren Huckerby it is unlikely that the Canaries would have had their brief spell in the top flight. I am equally confident that if he had been a Norwich player last season, we would still be in the Championship. ..
However, we are where we are and right now Paul Lambert is probably our best chance of getting out of League One at the first attempt. Unfortunately, he seems to have no more luck with refereeing decisions than his predecessors. The referee missed a clear-cut penalty for a tug on Cody McDonald's shirt in the Walsall game. And the action replays on live television this week left little doubt in the minds of neutrals as well as City fans that the foul on Grant Holt was worth a penalty, which could have put Norwich 2-0 up inside the first twenty minutes at the MK Stadium.
However, Chris Martin deserves our sympathy more than anyone, except for his three colleagues who were injured and had to be substituted in the match, because he experienced the elation that comes from scoring a goal just seventeen seconds into the game; but was then wrongly punished when he made contact with the ball, rather than the man, only to see the assistant referee signal the award of a penalty that produced the winning goal for the Dons.
Let's hope for better luck and fewer injuries on Saturday for the visit of League One pace-setters, Charlton Athletic, which brings back vivid memories of deep despair at The Valley on our last day in the Championship. No predictions from me, but I am hoping to experience the elation of another Wycombe wonder, rather than a Colchester calamity!
Whatever the outcome, Mark Burchett and yours truly will be reporting from Carrow Road just as soon as we can after the final whistle.