Norwich 1-7 Colchester: Where are the Canaries starting XI now?

Fans confront Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn

The 2009/10 season was one which ended in jubilation for Norwich City, but it began in humiliation at the hands of Colchester United.

Having been relegated to League One, Norwich's first taste of third tier football since the 1959/60 season, the 2009/10 campaign started in the worst possible way. A home tie at Carrow Road against a Colchester United team who had finished 12th in League One the previous season should have presented an excellent opportunity for the Canaries.

Instead, Bryan Gunn's men were humiliated in front of 25,217 supporters, as Colchester inflicted a crushing and humiliating 7-1 defeat on the divisions new boys. Regarded by many as the worst result in the clubs history, the scenes were ugly. Fans confronting the club's management, season tickets being thrown at the manager and hordes of supporters having left the ground on 40 minutes, with Norwich already 5-0 down.

In many respects, the game can now be looked at as a turning point. Change was required immediately, and the Canaries took the decision to appoint the man who had orchestrated their demolition, Colchester boss Paul Lambert. The former Champions League winner won back-to-back promotions to the Premier League in his first two seasons and guided the club to a mid table finish in the top flight. Seven years on, we take a look at where that Norwich City XI that lost 7-1 to Colchester is now:

Fans confront Norwich City manager Bryan GunnFans confront Norwich City manager Bryan Gunn during the game against Colchester

Michael Theo

Michael Theo, formerly Michael Theoklitos, played just one match for Norwich City, and unfortunately for him, it was the 7-1 defeat to Colchester. The Australian put in an abysmal display, as indicated by the fact Colchester managed to score 7 goals from just 10 shots on target.

Whilst Bryan Gunn was a big fan, his replacement Paul Lambert wasn't convinced, and the former Melbourne Victory shot stopper was immediately dropped. Now aged 35, Theo has been a Brisbane Roar player ever since his Carrow Road departure, racking up 119 appearances for the club.

Jon Otsemobor

A former Liverpool trainee, Jon Otsemobor was something of a journeyman, despite having a relatively short career. Norwich were only his fourth permanent club, and the team he played most of his football for, making 104 appearances over 3 years with the Canaries.

The right-back left the game of football in 2014, following a loan spell at Tranmere Rovers, hanging up his boots at the tender age of 31, reportedly moving into property management and development.  

Adam Drury

A Norwich City Hall of Famer, Adam Drury had many times to remember at Carrow Road, but this was certainly not one of them. The defender spent 11 years at Norwich, playing 361 games and captaining the team for two seasons. He also retired in 2014, and now works as an ambassador for Norwich City, hosting the club's match day lounge and carrying out some media work.

Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson of Norwich City scores a goal that is disallowedMichael Nelson heads the ball towards goal for Norwich City

A Hartlepool United hero, Michael Nelson made his Norwich debut in the capitulation against Colchester, and wasn't picked again until the Canaries faced his former club Hartlepool. With contrasting fortunes, in his second game, Norwich kept a clean sheet and Nelson scored an overhead kick in a 2-0 win.

Gary Doherty

Gary Doherty represented Norwich City in the Premier League, Championship and League One, during a 6 year stint with the Norfolk-based outfit, which saw him make more than 200 appearances for the club. A former Republic of Ireland international, Doherty was forced to retired through injury in 2014, at the age of 34, whilst playing for Wycombe Wanderers.

Matthew Gill

Former Peterborough United and Exeter City man Matthew Gill had a torrid time at Norwich City. As with Theo and Nelson, Gill made his debut in the 7-1 defeat to Colchester, and his first season with the club was plagued by injuries. He left for Bristol Rovers in 2011 having played only 12 league games. Gill has been without a club since leaving Tranmere Rovers in 2014.

Owain Tudur Jones

Another debutant on the opening day of the 2009/10 season, former Wales international Owain Tudur Jones joined Norwich from Swansea in 2009 for £250,000. He was on the books with the Canaries for the next 2 years, but made only 4 more league appearances in that time. 

The holding midfielder had a recurring knee injury which troubled him throughout his career, and in 2014, aged 29, he took the decision to retire from football on medical advice he had been given. Jones has done media work since hanging up his boots.

Simon Whaley

There could be a curse of having played for Norwich during their damning defeat to Colchester back in 2009 as Simon Whaley is another of that XI to have had his career ended prematurely.

The winger played the vast majority of his games for Bury and Preston, whilst Norwich were one of a number of clubs Whaley made only a handful of appearances for. He retired in 2011 at the age of 26, following a spell with non-league Chorley. He has since made a move into coaching.

Wes Hoolahan

Norwich's Wes Hoolahan (L) and Kemal Izzet of Colchester in actionWes Hoolahan in action for Norwich against Colchester

The only man from Norwich's starting XI against Colchester on that day to still be at the club, Wes Hoolahan went on to have an exceptional season in 2009/10, scoring 11 goals from midfield and being a real creative force as the Canaries went on to lift the League One title.

Currently in his ninth season at Carrow Road, Hoolahan is just 5 games short of reaching the 300 appearance milestone for Norwich and is still a regular for the club.

Grant Holt

Powerful forward Grant Holt made his Norwich debut against Colchester, but went on to have a great career with the Canaries. He bounced back from that defeat to score 30 goals that season, 24 the following campaign and even a highly creditable 15 in his first Premier League season.

Norwich City sold their talisman in 2013, as the former Shrewsbury man joined relegated Wigan Athletic. Since then, Holt has struggled to revive his career, and now aged 35, he made a move to the SPL in the summer, joining Hibernian. 

Chris Martin

In Grant Holt and Chris Martin, Norwich City had a top class League One strike force, and Martin himself bagged 23 goals that season, 17 coming in the league.

The Scotland international has continued to score regularly since departing Carrow Road, and is currently on-loan at Fulham from Derby County, although he is yet to find the back of the net so far this season. 

What are your memories of Norwich's 7-1 defeat to Colchester?

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