Norwich City legend Kevin Keelan pays emotional tribute to 'brother' Duncan Forbes

Norwich City legend Kevin Keelan has paid an emotional tribute to his former teammate Duncan Forbes and ex-manager Ron Saunders who both recently passed away.

Forbes, who captained Norwich to their first ever promotion to the top flight in 1972, died in October following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s, while Saunders, who was in charge of that team, died over the weekend.

Goalkeeper Keelan was another key member of the 1972 promotion-winning squad and is still the Canaries' record appearance holder having played for the club 673 times between 1963 and 1980.

Keelan, 78, now lives out in America but has returned to the UK over the festive period to catch-up with friends and family, as well taking the opportunity to watch his old team face Sheffield United at Carrow Road on Sunday.

He also dropped into the ITV News Anglia studio to chat to our sports correspondent Donovan Blake and admitted news of Forbes' and Saunders' deaths had hit him hard.

  • Watch an extended interview with Kevin Keelan

"I did get the opportunity of going to see Duncan (Forbes) and he was in a home. It was just an absolutely devastating thing for me," Keelan said.

"He was a great guy. Dunc was like a brother. He was a general on the field, a general at home and a great guy to be out with and we had a lot of fun.

"Ron (Saunders) was good for me. He came at a very critical time in my career. He was a great, hard-working guy and everybody appreciated him. You knew how many punches you could pull with him!"

Keelan saves a penalty against Aston Villa in the 1975 League Cup final. Unfortunately for the Canaries, Villa scored from the rebound! Credit: PA

Keelan remains a keen follower of Norwich and still watches as many games as he can on American TV.

Despite the Canaries currently being four points adrift of safety, Keelan remains confident they can retain their Premier League status.

"It's going to be tough, the Premier League is a tough, tough, league so Norwich are going to have to fight to stay in this division," said Keelan.

"As long as you can survive at home and get the odd result away from home, they've got a good chance. I think they'll hang in there.

"I'm very impressed with the goalkeeper there (Tim Krul). I've been to a couple of training sessions and he's a hard-worker and an extremely good goalkeeper so that's one position they don't need to worry about!"