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You are in: Norfolk > People > Profiles > Gunning his way to success

Bryan Gunn (Photo: EDP)

Bryan saw a 4-0 victory (Photo: EDP)

Gunning his way to success

Bryan Gunn, goalkeeping legend of Norwich City FC, has been announced as the permanent manager of the club. On Monday, 19 January, 2009, Bryan spoke to us about his first super Saturday in charge of the 4-0 win over Barnsley.

Bryan Gunn is a household name for many a Norfolk football fan. He has been involved with Norwich City FC for 22 years as a player, coach and backroom staff.

On Saturday, 17 January, 2009, he received one of the greatest honours of his football career to date. At 3pm, in a packed Carrow Road stadium, Bryan took temporary charge of The Canaries as manager.

The players responded with a 4-0 thrashing of Barnsley FC, making a turbulent week for The Canaries end on a glorious high.

Preparing for a super Saturday

Bryan tried to stay as calm and collected as possible before his first game in charge by leading a normal day.

"I took my son for his haircut at 8 o'clock in the morning before taking him to football training at 9 o'clock at the training ground at Colney, which is where my office is," he said.

"I then got the opportunity to sit down and get final team in my head, go over the crucial set plays and let the players know their job. It was just a normal build up to a normal coaching team," he added.

Bryan Gunn

Bryan is the new manager (Photo: EDP)

Support from Sir Alex

One of the best pieces of support on Bryan's famous Saturday came in the form of a phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United FC and one of the most successful managers of all time.

Bryan has been a friend of Sir Alex's since his footballing career began in Aberdeen, where the fellow Scotsman was his manager.

"It was very exciting. Sir Alex Ferguson, as I probably thought he would, contacted me. I asked him 'What do I say to my players?' and he mentioned togetherness and playing as a team," said Bryan.

"If the best manager in the world is telling that to his players, I thought I would pass it on to our lads. It obviously worked as I really thought they played as a team and they were together," he added.

Thrashing the Tykes

The moment Bryan stepped out onto the sideline, he had achieved one of his greatest ambitions.

"Just standing on the touchline for the first time in the dugout and technical area with the support from the crowd was amazing. It was a fantastic atmosphere and one that the players responded to," he said.

"It's a great club Norwich City and I've been very fortunate to be a part of it for 22 years. That privilege I was given on Saturday will live with me forever, nobody can take that away from me now," he added.

Bryan Gunn

Bryan was a goalkeeping legend for City

A goalkeeping legend

During his tenure as a player, Bryan made 477 first team appearances for Norwich City FC. The Scotsman, having also played for Aberdeen, Hibernian and the Scottish national team, retired from football back in his home country in 1999.

Bryan, who lives in Framingham Pigot in south Norfolk, was awarded the honour of Norwich City player of the year in 1988 and 1993, where in the latter he helped The Canaries achieve their highest ever Premiership finish of third place.

In 2000 he was made Sheriff of the City of Norwich, a role currently held by BBC Radio Norfolk's Roy Waller.

Outside of football, Bryan has been actively involved in fundraising for medical research to cure Leukaemia. His daughter Francesca was diagnosed with the disease and died in the early 1990's.

last updated: 21/01/2009 at 15:11
created: 19/01/2009

You are in: Norfolk > People > Profiles > Gunning his way to success

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