Hughton steps down as Norwich boss
53-year-old diagnosed with cancer
Norwich manager Chris Hughton has officially resigned as manager of Norwich City, news that was confirmed earlier today by chairman Alan Bowkett at the Canaries' Carrow Road headquarters.
Like his Barcelona counterpart Tito Vilanova, Irishman Hughton has been diagnosed with parotid gland cancer, and will undergo surgery as well as a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Suspicions of cancer first arose during a routine health check-up for all club staff, and Hughton tested positive for the disease after a second check-up at a Norwich hospital.
"It's a devastating piece of news. Chris is a great person - it's terrible that something like this has happened to him." said City owner Delia Smith.
"Needless to say, Chris has the full support of Norwich City and everyone affiliated to the club. Our thoughts and best wishes are with him during this fight against cancer. We've already met with the fans' spokesperson and we have all decided to fund his treatment."
The former Ireland left-back spent most of his career at Tottenham Hotspur, playing 297 games in a 13 year spell.
During his time at the North London club, Hughton earned 53 caps for his country, becoming the first mixed-race player to appear for Ireland.
His first post as manager came with Newcastle United, and he brought the Tyneside club back to the Premier League on the first time of asking, quickly becoming a fan favourite. But soon after, Hughton was sacked, and after a year at Birmingham, Hughton joined Norwich 12 months ago, and lead them to a respectable 11th place finish in the league last season.
As of now, Norwich do not seem to be in a hurry to appoint their new manager.
"For the next week or so, we will be concentrating on helping Chris and his family. In times like this, we have to set football aside. There is still two months to go till the start of the season, so we have plenty of time to find a replacement. As I said, right now, we are solely focused on Chris." said the Norwich chairman.
However, sources believe that the board have already drawn up a list of possible successors, featuring Chelsea's forgotten man Roberto di Matteo and Porto boss Vitor Pereira. There are also suggestions that the Canaries might bring back former Charlton manager Alan Curbishley.
But it is clear that any announcement regarding a managerial appointment will after seven days at the earliest.