Leon McKenzie: Canaries' United win my greatest day

Norwich City 2-0 Man Utd
The scoreline at Carrow Road on Saturday 9 April, 2005

Of the 105 league goals Leon McKenzie has scored during 15 years of senior football, one stands above the rest.

His 66th-minute strike against Manchester United, who had Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo in attendance, sealed a 2-0 win for Norwich City the last time the sides met.

This weekend, when the Canaries face up to United for the first time in six years, that goal is still fresh in his memory.

"It was Rooney who lost the ball, Youssef Safri stole the ball from him, played it out wide to Huckerby," 33-year-old McKenzie told BBC Look East.

"Huckerby did the thing he does on the wing, slipped it through to Dean Ashton, Deano put in a great ball across the box and I volleyed it home."

McKenzie, the son of former British light welterweight boxing champion Clinton McKenzie and nephew of charismatic flyweight Duke McKenzie, has relived that day at Carrow Road over and over again.

"I remember in the tunnel, having a little look at Rio Ferdinand, and I was saying in my head 'I'm going to give him some today'," he explained.

"You just want to go out there and compete with them, some people go out and freeze, but I'm from a boxing family so I rise to certain expectations and when it's your time it's your time.

"It was my time on that particular day and I took my opportunity.

"I'd say it was the greatest moment of my career."

The result sparked hope that Norwich could mount a late bid for survival in the Premier League, but they fell short on the final day of the season.

Fast forward seven seasons and City are attempting to go one step further.

They have started better this time around, taking eight points from their first six games, but a trip to Old Trafford lies in wait.

"I think City have done fantastically, they've got a good squad," said McKenzie, now at Blue Square Bet Premier side Kettering Town.

"I really do think, the way things are going, they've definitely got a chance to stay up.

"And I wish them the best of luck on Saturday, it could be back-to-back wins against Manchester United.

"You just never know, nobody would have backed us to win last time."

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