Darren Huckerby admits regret at manner of Norwich City exit

Darren Huckerby celebrates scoring for Norwich City
Darren Huckerby, in 2004, as Canaries fans will remember him best, celebrates a goal in the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road

Darren Huckerby played the last of his 203 games for Norwich City in May 2008, but to many fans it is still a sore point that he did not get a proper chance to say goodbye.

Two days later Glenn Roeder, Norwich manager at the time, announced the two-time Carrow Road player-of-the-season would not receive a new contract that summer.

The forward, who spearheaded the Canaries' Division One-winning promotion to the Premier League in 2003-04, has told BBC Radio Norfolk how the news was broken.

"I got called into the office, 10 seconds later I was gone, that's how it was, 10 minutes after that it was on Sky Sports News, before my wife and family knew," he said.

"It could have been handled better, let's put it that way."

A spell in the MLS with San Jose Earthquakes followed, but his family stayed in Norfolk where they have remained since his 2009 retirement from football.

Huckerby has largely held his own counsel on the tumultuous times following their 2005 relegation back to the Championship, but with Norwich back in the top flight, and with an almost completely different board and management team in charge, he has opened up in an autobiography, Hucks: Through Adversity To Great Heights.

"It wouldn't have been right for me to come out after I left, I wanted the club to do well," he explained.

"People would have seen it as sour grapes, and I didn't want that, the facts are the manager went a different route, I think he got it completely wrong."

A promising teenager at Lincoln, Huckerby earned a move to the Premier League with Newcastle at just 19 years old.

Spells at Coventry, Leeds and Manchester City followed, before he was shipped out to Norwich on loan.

"When you haven't been playing, and you come somewhere where you are playing, that's a massive buzz for a player," he said.

"I felt straight away that I'd found somewhere I wanted to play football, even after two or three games on loan, I'd decided that I wanted to play for Norwich."

After four years in the top-flight, Huckerby admits he had to prioritise his desire to play over and above his bank balance.

"It sounds stupid, but I took four pay cuts, truthfully, to come to Norwich and every time a new contact came round I took a cut to stay here, obviously my agent was not happy at all," the winger added.

Huckerby also revealed that in 2005 he rejected opportunities to leave Norwich for some of the giants of European football.

"I got two calls from two separate agents, who didn't work for me, saying they could get me a move to Liverpool," he continued. "I said I wasn't interested.

"After the season Gordon Strachan rang me up, he was at Celtic then, offering Champions League football.

"I knew him pretty well [from Coventry], but I said I wasn't interested at all, he didn't speak to me for six months."