blogAuthor: michaelcalvin | Filed under: Blog
Football needs its Rocky moments, where the underdog overcomes adversity. In an age in which players are mini-corporations, and clubs are global marketing tools, it needs people like Norwich City’s Steve Morison to prove they belong in the Premier League.
Paul Lambert, the Norwich manager, has no doubts. He sensed the potential of a man shaped by rejection, the hunger of someone who endured the drudgery of clocking on at 4am for nine hour shifts at a paper-shredding company. Morison is Everyman, but his man.
The striker is now a Welsh international. Morison was named man of the match on his Premier League debut at Wigan, where he set up Wes Hoolahan’s equalising goal and showed signs of forming a productive partnership with Grant Holt. Lambert, a hard task master, praised him for his resilience, in carrying on despite a bad facial injury.
At 28, Morison is making up for lost time. He cried bitterly when he was released at 16 by Tottenham, in a cameo of the game’s callousness. He was instructed to listen for his name, which never came, herded into a group, and told never to return.
Instead of being crushed by more rejection, by Northampton Town, he salvaged his career in suburbia, at Potters Bar, Bishop’s Stortford and Stevenage, where he scored 89 goals in 157 games. That earned him a £130,000 move to Millwall.
He initially struggled with the pace of League football: “It was like, wow. There were a million things going on. It was so manic I literally couldn’t catch my breath.” But he eased gradually into the zone, where chances seem to come in a slow motion dream sequence.
Morison scored 40 goals in two seasons at the Den. Norwich were so keen on his physical and mental strengths they had four bids rejected in a week before he was sold for £2.8million. He had arrived, but knows he has a long way still to go.
That’s why you wish him well. He’s a shining example to anyone who has been told he is simply not good enough. As the hoary old motivational slogan goes: “ Believe, and you can achieve”