Goss heading back to Bayern for charity

LONDON - As the scorer of officially the greatest goal in Norwich City's history, Jeremy Goss has got used to mentally revisiting 'Munich '93' and now is about to retrace his steps on a marathon charity bike ride.

On October 20 that year Goss latched onto Lothar Matthaus's headed clearance with the sweetest 25-metre volley to put "little Norwich" 1-0 up at Bayern Munich in their UEFA Cup second round clash and they then won the first leg 2-1.

Norwich became the first English team to beat Bayern at the Olympic stadium and then managed to draw the home leg 1-1, when Goss scored again, to go through 3-2 on aggregate.

Though it proved the highlight of the club's one and only European campaign, as they went out in the next round to eventual winners Inter Milan, the tie remains a cherished memory for fans of the success-starved East Anglian club.

Goss is more than happy to recall his special place in the club's folklore, which he is reminded of on an almost daily basis as he still lives and works in the city.

"I've got absolutely no problem with being remembered for something as good as that," he told Reuters in an interview. "It was voted the club's best-ever by the fans so who am I to argue?"

In August, Goss is going 'back to Bayern', retracing the club's 1300 mile route to Munich on his bike to raise funds for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, the charity he works for as an events fundraiser.

"I've always fancied a big cycle challenge so I decided to retrace the route from that great night even though I've never ridden any sort of marathon distance before," he said.

"I've got to do 100 miles a day for 13 days so it's not going to be easy but I'm training hard.

"Hopefully, it has captured the imagination of local people and Norwich fans," added Goss who also plans to run a half-marathon blindfolded later this year as another fundraiser.

Goss's only issue with the sepia-tinged memories of his moment of glory is that people tend to exaggerate the gulf in class between Norwich and the now four-times European champions.

"It was treated as a big surprise by everybody but it wasn't to us as we always felt we could win," said Goss, a tireless midfield workhorse with a delicate touch.

"The season before we finished third in the first season of the Premier League and were so close to winning it. Manchester United ended up winning it by 10 points but we were top at Christmas.

"We played them in April and it was a real top-of-the-table clash. They played Ryan Giggs, Andrei Kanchelskis and Lee Sharp up front with Eric Cantona just off. They were brilliant and beat us 3-1, we couldn't live with them.

"But the European run was an extension to that season and we were unlucky to lose to Inter to a late goal by Dennis Bergkamp in each game.

"It was just a great time for me as I was also playing for Wales alongside Ian Rush, Giggs, Dean Saunders and Mark Hughes and the year after I scored the last goal in front of the Kop at Anfield when it was a standing terrace."

Things quickly went downhill for Norwich, however, with relegation in 1995 and, after a one-year return to the top flight in 2004, a drop to the third tier of the game in 2009.

Now, though, on the back of successive promotions, Norwich are again dining at the top table and Goss could not be happier.

"The city's buzzing, there's yellow and green in the windows, the whole area has got behind the team and the whole city will benefit from it next season," said Goss.

After leaving Norwich in 1996, he had spells at Hearts and Colchester before returning to Carrow Road to spend 10 years as a community ambassador then a brief spell as assistant coach.

"It has been exceptional for the fans to see back-to-back promotions and the players are going to have the best times of their lives next season in the Premiership because it's a fantasy world of football.

"I'm delighted for (manager) Paul Lambert too. He's such a winner, he's a driven man who strives to succeed. The players really respect him and they run for him and if you've got those two things you are more than halfway there.

"Having said that, they will need to buy in the summer if they are going to survive against the best in the world.

"Can Norwich respond to that, can they (the players) lift their games individually and as a team? It's a huge challenge but it's really exciting."