In mid June 2001, Norwich signed goalkeeper Paul Crichton from
Burnley for a fee of £150,000. Crichton would act as back-up to
Robert Green following Andy
Marshall's departure. Manager Nigel Worthington had interrupted
his holiday to agree the fee for the 32-year-old, who may cost
Norwich a further £50,000 depending on appearances. Crichton signed
a two-year contract, with the option of a further year. Worthington
knew a great deal about the keeper's abilities from his brief
spell on the coaching staff at Turf Moor himself.
Crichton began at Nottingham Forest, although he made his league
debut across the Trent at Meadow Lane whilst on loan at Notts
County (5 apps). He moved on to Peterborough (51 apps), and then
to Doncaster (77 apps), Grimsby (133 apps) and West Brom (32 apps).
Loan spells have also been spent with Darlington (8 apps), Swindon
(4 apps), Rotherham (6 apps), Torquay (13 apps) and Aston Villa
but he made no appearances for Villa. Joining Burnley during the
1998/99 season, he was first choice at Burnley in their promotion
season of 1999/2000. He lost his place at Burnley in 2000/01 to
Greek goalkeeper Nik Michopoulos.
Paul made his Norwich debut against Millwall on 20 January 2002
and finished the season with 6 appearances to his credit. He signed
a new one year contract at the end of March 2003. On 29th April
2004, Norwich announced that he would not receive a new contract
for the 2004/5 season. Nigel Worthington thanked him for his commitment
to the team spirit that had helped Norwich to the Premiership
Paul joined Conference new boys York City on trial at the beginning
of July 2004 with view to that if he signed, it would be in a
player-coach role. He signed a weekly pay-as-you-play contract
with York but was shown he door after an alleged clash with supporters
during the Conference clash with Gravesend in August 2004. Whilst
waiting for resolution or an apology from York, Crichton was in
talks with Scarborough after Gareth Downey quit the club leaving
the Seadogs with Leigh Walker as the only keeper on their books.
Instead, he signed for Conference North side Stafford Rangers
making his debut on 18th September 2004 against Gainsborough Trinity.
He left Stafford after a week stating that he was seeking to join
a club closer to his home in Norfolk. Whether that statement was
just an excuse to escape Stafford one doesn't know but in early
October 2004, Paul signed for Leigh RMI. "I'm delighted
Paul has agreed to sign and I'm confident he will make a
difference to the team," said Leigh boss Phil Starbuck.Paul
moved again on 19th November and made his debut for Accirngton
Stanley on 20th November in a 3-0 defeat to Barnet. He quit Stanley
at the end of March 2005.
In July 2005, Paul joined Rob Newman's
cash-strapped Cambridge United on trial playing against Mildenhall
and Ipswich. He was expected to sign for Cambridge but was offered
a part-time role with Gillingham. This became confirmed on 30th
August 2005 with Crichton signing for the Kent League Two side.
On 26th June2006, Crichton left Gillingham to return to Cambridge
signing for United as a player-coach.
After a run-in with supporters following Cambridge's 3-1 defeat
at Rushden during January 2007, Paul was disciplined and allowed
to join Kings Lynn on loan until the end of the 2006/7 season.
He has since returned to the Abbey Stadium
Paul was released by Cambridge at the end of the 2006/7 season
and Lynn began to make enquiries about him returning to The Walks.
This was agreed on May 15th 2007 but on a non-contract basis.
Paul left the club on 15th July 2007 joining Brighton's coaching
team although he had also been approached by West Ham.
Crichton returned to Carrow Road on 9th February 2009 replacing
Tommy Wright as goalkeeping coach.
Paul left Carrow Road in mid February 2010. "It was done
amicably and it has happened," said manager Paul
Lambert, who did not expand on the reasons for Crichton's
departure. "It's one of those situations which happened.
Paul then joined Sheffield United as goalkeeping coach although
he was also registered as a player in case of emergency. Crichton
and Sheffield United were relegated to League One on 30th April
2011 following a 2-2 draw with Mark Robins'
Paul is currently the goalkeeping coach of Football League Championship
side Huddersfield Town being appointed on 19th July 2012. He left
this role at the beginning of May 2014.
At the end of June 2014, Crichton joined Conference side Grimsby
as their goalkeeping coach. Days later he moved to Blackpool to
take up a similar role there. and However Blackpool were the first
team in the Football League in 2014/15 to be relegated folloiwng
a win by fellow strugglers Rotherham against Brighton on 6th April