In many ways, John Ruddy defines an era at Norwich City.

The goalkeeper was one of few to play a part in both the Paul Lambert-led Championship promotion and subsequent play-off win four years later. 

He exited almost as soon as the Stuart Webber era began, becoming the main name in a series of householders let go seven years ago this summer. He still remembers that conversation to this day.

"When I was coming to the end at Norwich, Stuart Webber had a conversation with me probably six weeks before the season finish," Ruddy recalled.

"He just said: 'Look, we're not going to renew your contract. It's up to you if you want to continue playing, if you want to see the games out.'

"I think we had three or four left, and I was like: 'Yeah, I still want to play. I'm not just going to duck out because you're telling me I'm not here.'"

The former Everton and Wolves goalkeeper still left Carrow Road with plenty of happy memories, however, especially against local rivals Ipswich Town.

He was between the sticks as they were beaten on the way to that play-off win, as well as in six other East Anglian derbies. None were losses.

The 37-year-old has played in a number of notorious rivalries throughout his career, but says that City's is one of the most underrated.

The 37-year-old was unbeaten in eight East Anglian derbiesThe 37-year-old was unbeaten in eight East Anglian derbies (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

"I think it surprises people how intense that derby is actually," he said. "You've obviously got Norwich as a city and Ipswich as a town, so you don't mingle with each other.

"A second-city derby, or a Manchester derby, a Liverpool-Everton Merseyside derby, even the Old Firm derby, you're going to cross paths with those supporters on a daily basis. You very rarely see Norwich fans in Ipswich and Ipswich fans in Norwich.

"Norwich have the upper hand, I think it's 14, 15 games they're unbeaten against them at the moment, which considering what Ipswich have done this year is incredible. That's adds a little bit of spice to it as well.

"They never let me forget it either. Even when I went there this year they had a couple of nice words for me. It's all good fun at the end of the day, you take it on the chin and you understand it's part and parcel."

The recollection of that Wembley win also remains fresh in the memory for Ruddy, who describes it as the best way to go up. He says a lot of it was thanks to the club's preparation, which was meticulously planned.

"We did it really well, the club did amazingly for us," he told the Fozcast. "We beat Ipswich in the semi-finals, two games of high intensity and very fierce, but we came through that.

I think there was nearly two weeks to the final, and they gave us a few days off before saying we were off to London.

"We were only there for one night, but we drove down to Wembley so that the lads who had never been there could step out on the pitch and see the stadium, so that come game day they weren't in awe of it.

Ruddy and Norwich were successful at Wembley in the play-off finalRuddy and Norwich were successful at Wembley in the play-off final (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

"The day before the game we stayed at the Hilton in Wembley. The best thing the club did was stay at that hotel. I woke up that morning, opened the curtains and the stadium was just there.

"There were fans starting to congregate around the stadium. Amazing day, and you're just going 'yeah'. When we drove there we went through Middlesbrough fans, our bus was getting pelted by bottles and cans.

"I just remember me and a few of the other lads, Bradley Johnson and Cameron Jerome, just going, 'take this all in lads, because they're going to be fuming when we beat them in a couple of hours."