Norwich City fan Ed Seaman’s column: Emotions run high for Wes
It has been nothing short of a privilege to watch Wes Hoolahan weave his magic in a Norwich City shirt for the last decade.
In the four years that I have been writing this column, this week has perhaps been the most difficult as I try and find the right words to do justice to a man who will go down in history as one of our club’s greatest players.
The statistics speak for themselves: 10 years, 351 games, 53 goals, 72 assists, three promotions, 10 East Anglian derbies (without a loss) and two East Anglian derby goals — one of which happened to be in arguably the most important derby of all time.
But for all the figures, what makes Wes so special is that he is simply one-of-a-kind – a player who no matter what the score plays football in such a joyous, elegant fashion that brings a smile to so many faces.
I don’t need to preach about his technique, skill and vision, but one of Wes’ greatest attributes was that ability to grab a game by the scruff of its neck and force City on to the front foot.
Of all the great moments, including scoring City’s first goal back in the Premier League, one of my favourite Wes performances actually came from the bench, against QPR at Carrow Road during that season.
With City having just been pegged back at 1-1, on came Wes to orchestrate City’s attack as he so often did, producing a trademark pinpoint cross for his greatest dance partner — Grant Holt — to nod in the winner.
Of course the Holt and Hoolahan days are long gone and when Wes steps out on to the Carrow Road turf for the final time tomorrow, it will mark the end of an era.
It is without doubt going to be an emotional afternoon for all concerned, but it will be one to saviour as we watch an absolute legend bid his farewell to the club.
All that is left to say is Wes, the pleasure has most certainly been all ours.