‘It would have been blasphemous’ - former Norwich midfielder Russell on his Ipswich move that never happened

Former Norwich midfielder Darel Russell has been discussing a potential move to Ipswich Town in 2001

Former Norwich midfielder Darel Russell has been discussing a potential move to Ipswich Town in 2001. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: EDP pics � 2007

Former Norwich City midfielder Darel Russell has been discussing a potential move to rivals Ipswich Town, early in his career.

Darel Russell and Giovani Dos Santos battle for the ball in 2009. Photo: Nick Butcher

Darel Russell and Giovani Dos Santos battle for the ball in 2009. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant � 2009

Russell was linked with the Blues towards the end of the 2000/01 season, with manager George Burley pictured at Carrow Road and said to be watching the midfielder as well as goalkeeper Andy Marshall.

The latter arrived at Portman Road on a free transfer just a few weeks later, but crossing the Norfolk/Suffolk border wasn’t something Russell ever seriously contemplated.

“There was never a point in time that I thought I would ever move to Ipswich,” Russell said, during an interview with the Eastern Daily Press.

“Bearing in mind I’d been playing at Norwich since I was 13, we already knew what that rivalry meant from that early age.

Darel Russell shoots for goal against Ipswich at Carrow Road.
Photo: Nick Butcher

Darel Russell shoots for goal against Ipswich at Carrow Road. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: EDP pics � 2007

“In fact, the other day I’ve seen that Titus Bramble was at (Norwich’s) Colney training ground and it itched me. I said to him ‘what the hell are you doing there? You’re a traitor to Ipswich!’ and we had a bit of banter about it.

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“It was never a thought process but that’s the way I am. Others would have made that move and its personal decisions – if push came to shove and it was the only club out there, then you never know unless you’re put in that position. There wasn’t a moment in my career where I was put in that position where I had to make that ultimate decision about moving there.

“They were always a rival of ours and I had much respect for plenty of players that played for Ipswich but with that rivalry of Norwich and Ipswich, it was never a thought that I’d move to them. It was a blasphemous thing to do.”

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Russell began his career with the Canaries, coming through the academy and making nearly 150 appearances before moving on to Stoke in 2003.

He returned in 2007, making 39 appearances under current Ipswich boss Paul Lambert as Norwich won promotion from League One. He left that summer for Preston, finishing his career with stops at Portsmouth, Charlton and MLS side Toronto.

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