City finally got their man when Gary Hooper signed for them on
26th July 2013, for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be £5.5million.
He signed a three year contract. Norwich had first bid for him
during the January 2013 transfer window.
Hooper joined the Tottenham Hotspur youth team at the age of
seven. When he was 14 he played 20 minutes of a trial game and
was then released by the club. After this he had trials with Northampton
Town and Luton Town. These proved unsuccessful and he started
playing non-league football with Maldon Town before being signed
in the 2003/4 season by Conference side Grays Athletic.
He helped them win the Conference South title in 2004/5 scoring
12 goals. He started for Grays in the 200405 FA Trophy Final
against Hucknall Town, but was substituted towards the end of
extra-time. The match went to penalties and Grays won the shoot-out
65. The following season in the Conference, he scored eight
times in 40 league appearances but was released at the end of
In July 2006, after his release by Grays, Hooper went on two
trials. Firstly to League Two side Barnet, then to Championship
club Southend United, where he was given a one-year contract by
manager Steve Tilson the following month. He made 18 appearances
in the Championship with Southend but on 15th March, Hooper joined
League One side Leyton Orient on loan for the rest of the season.
Hooper made 18 appearances in League One for Southend during
the first half of the 200708 season, scoring twice. On 28th
January 2008, Hooper signed a new 18-month contract to extend
his stay with the club. He then moved on loan to League Two club
At the start of the 200809 season. Hooper, along with three
other strikers, was listed for transfer as Tilson looked to re-build
his attack. Hereford had a bid accepted for Hooper after his successful
loan spell, but could not afford to match the larger transfer
fees offered by other teams. Cheltenham Town had a bid accepted
but Hooper eventually decided to move to Scunthorpe United. The
fee was £125,000, rising to £175,000. He had scored
four goals in 44 appearances for Southend.
He scored 30 goals in all competitions throughout the 200809
season and was Scunthorpe's Player of the Season. QPR had a £1million
bid rejected whilst Coventry were also interested. He scored 20
goals in 39 appearances in all competitions in the 200910
season, including 19 in 35 in the league, where he finished as
third-top goal scorer
On 26th July 2010, Scottish Premier League club Celtic signed
Hooper for £2.4 million. He had made 95 appearances for
Scunthorpe, scoring 50 goals. On 4th August 2010, Hooper scored
on his debut for the club, against Portuguese Primeira Liga club
Braga in the Champions League third qualifying round. He went
on to make 138 appearances for Celtic, scoring 82 goals and finished
leading scorer in the Scottish Premier League in 2011/12. He won
two Scottish Premier League titles and the Scottish Cup twice.
He made his first appearance for Norwich in a 1-1 friendly draw
at Brighton on 30th July 2013 before scoring a brace against Braga
in a friendly on 2nd August 2013. Injured in a pre-season friendly
against Panathinaikos, he did make his full City Debut until he
came on as a substitute in the 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa
on 21st September 2013. Hooper got his first Norwich start on
Tuesday 24th September away to Watford in the Capital One Cup
and scored twice in a 3-2 win for Norwich.
He made 33 appearances, scoring eight goals in the 2013/14 season
in which Norwich were relegated from the Premier League. At the
end of the season, it was reported that he wanted to leave Norwich
with QPR quickly linked with him. Transfer speculation at the
end of August 2014 saw Hooper linked with QPR, West Ham and Crystal
Palace even though he had not played in the Championship for Norwich
due to injury.
In October 2014, Hooper was linked with a loan move to Bolton
now managed by his former Celtic boss Neil Lennon.
Hooper scored his first hat-trick for Norwich in the 4-0 home
win against Blackpool on 7th February 2015. He ended the season
with 12 goals in 34 appearances as City won promotion back to
the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.
He was linked throughout August 2015 with moves to Sheffield
Wednesday and Fulham, reportedly having a medical at Fulham on
transfer deadline day (1st September) but the move was not completed
as Norwich hadn't secured an alternative striker. On 27th October
2015, he was loaned to Sheffield Wednesday until January 2016
as he was fifth choice striker in Alex Neil's
plans. He scored six goals in 12 appearances on loan. Soon after his return to Carrow Road, he joined Wednesday on 22nd January on a three and a half year deal for an undisclosed fee.
After a missing a year out through injury, Hooper returned to playing action in March 2019 but was released two months later.
On 8th October 2019, reports from Iranian and Middle Eastern football writer Sina Saemian suggested that a proposed move to Bristol City had collapsed and that Hooper was in Turkey ahead of talks with Esteghlal of Tehran who play in the Persian Gulf Pro League, but have not won the title since 2013. However he then signed for Wellington Phoenix on 17th Octobe r2019. The New Zealand side compete in Australia's A-League. He is their marquee signing. Coach Ufuk Talay said "The wait has been worthwhile. With all the players we've gone through, we've gone through all their attributes and also their personalities to see how they would fit into the team environment, and Gary fits that mould. I'm very excited to have Gary here and look forward to getting him on the field. He fits into the way we want to play. We play with two strikers up front and Gary is very prolific in front of goal. If you look at his CV he's played over 400 games and scored close to 200 goals, and that's what we need in this team; someone who is going to score goals up front and also give us leadership. To have a player of his quality here is exciting not just for Wellington Phoenix but for the A-League, and I'm very happy that he's here"
After scoring eight goals in 21 appearances for the Phoenix in the 2019/20 season, he left them in September 2020 and was linked with a move to the Indian Premier League with the Kerala Blasters named as offering a one year contract. Their rivals Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC also displayed interest in Hooper, according to reports in India
Earlier in his career, he was included in the England Under-21
squad but had to pull out.