Kind touch by Gunn to Fab

FABIAN Wilnis has vowed he will never do an 'Alan Lee' despite a kind touch from Norwich City boss Bryan Gunn.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

FABIAN Wilnis has vowed he will never do an 'Alan Lee' despite a kind touch from Norwich City boss Bryan Gunn.

Even during the depths of despair as the Canaries plunged towards relegation, the City boss found time to send a gift to Wilnis as part of his testimonial year.


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The Dutchman received a signed yellow and green City shirt, complete with number two and 'Wilnis' on the back of it, with a letter from Gunn.

The letter, signed by Gunn, referred to the 'run-ins' Wilnis has had with Norwich City over the years but wished him well for the future and hoped his testimonial would go well.

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After appearing more than 350 times for Ipswich Town, Wilnis finished his playing career with non-league Grays last weekend and is unlikely to be lured out of retirement, especially by Norwich.

He laughed: “Fair play to Bryan Gunn and Norwich City it is a lovely gesture, especially with all they are going through, and I'm very grateful.

“I won't be wearing the shirt though. Maybe I could still do a job but I could never do an Alan Lee and play for Norwich.”

An already popular Blues player, he scored the opener in a derby day win Carrow Road, Wilnis rose to Town hero status after a scathing interview with the EADT moments after a defeat at Carrow Road, when he warned City would be relegated from the Premier League.

He was proved correct and a terrace chant declaring him a true Blue has been a popular refrain around Portman Road ever since.

Wilnis' testimonial match will now be between an Ipswich Town side, where he hopes to bring back many of the 20000 promotion side, and Colchester United, to be played at Portman Road on July 25.

He also hopes Roy Keane and Jim Magilton will don their boots for the match.

Wilnis' testimonial year, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity, has already seen him involved in a successful fashion show, a VIP party, complete with auction and he has a book due out this summer.

Signed by George Burley from de Graafschap in January 1999 he helped Town win the play-off final at Wembley then finish fifth in the Premier league the following season, which included his memorable goal against Manchester United at the beginning of the campaign.

Wilnis was voted Supporters Player of the Year in 2006 but left the club in the summer of 2008.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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