And so 2010 draws to a close with our wonderful club in as fine fettle as it has been for a good few years.
It’s been a truly wonderful 12 months to be associated with things Yellow and Green, and with the promise of even greater things to come, these do indeed feel like heady old days.
After a number of years of dissecting the failings of a seemingly endless run of inept managers, woeful players, dismal performances, bizarre tactics and a fan base increasingly split assunder by the turmoil, Stan couldn’t resist a look back over a year.
A year that has finally brought joy, laughter and the odd tear as we’ve followed the boys in yellow as a unified army once more.
Partly buoyed by our present position and partly inspired by that reflective mood that seems to overcome the media at this time of year, I’ve decided that a series of awards should be made to the shining stars of 2010….. and, yes, I know Chris Goreham has already done this!
So here we go, pray silence…. Drum roll please…. The 2010 Golden Drinkells are awarded as follows (please forgive any overtly excessive displays of man-love):
Barrel-Chested, Occasionally-Moustachioed Hero the Year Award:
There can only be one winner here, the man himself, step forward Mr Grant Holt.
The great man is my six-year-old’s first, footballing hero and thus his image adorns his bedroom walls; if Mrs Stanley would let me he’d also adorn the living room, kitchen and dining room as well.
Quite simply Holt is a Norwich legend, which is quite something after little more than 60 games for the club. His goal scoring exploits alone would be enough to clinch this status, but there’s a swagger and a touch of mischief about the man that warms the cockles of the most frozen of Canary hearts.
He runs until he drops, chases lost causes, fears no one, is a master of ‘gamesmanship’ and has an uncanny ability to produce a goal celebration even more rubbish than his last! Grant Holt, Stan loves you!
Formally Jinxed Supporter of the Year Award
Please be upstanding for Mr A Millar; the man formally known as Jonah.
When an ill-starred, late 80’s trip to Selhurst Park ended in the tragic running-over of a cat on the South Circular, and an inevitable defeat, an apparent jinx was cast on our good friend and fellow Canary fan.
Subsequently ‘The Man Formally Known as Jonah’ embarked on a 22-year odyssey that took him on an emotional journey to approximately 2,792 matches in the capital without seeing a single City victory.
Last season’s trip to Leyton merely fuelled everyone’s fear that humiliation would undoubtedly follow at The Valley where we were all due to travel again later the same week.
At some point between that Tuesday evening and the Saturday morning of the Charlton match ‘The Man Formally Known as Jonah’ must have struck a deal with the Devil, because beneath the clear blue skies of that famed London spring day we all witnessed not only a win, but promotion too.
Has the moment of victory ever felt better? I’m not sure it has.
New Polymathic NCFC Director Award
That’ll be Mr Steven Fry then. He’s an institution they say, and now what’s even better is that he’s OUR institution.
Whilst we are often blasé about the national profile that Delia brings to the club, it would be foolish to underestimate the potential exposure that the affable genius can bring to us.
Also I’d be inclined to take with a pinch of salt his assertions that he’s no expert on the running of a football club.
If even 10% of his unique ability at self-promotion rubs off onto NCFC he’ll be worth millions to us. This in addition to the fact he’s a bloody nice bloke and one hell of a presence to have sitting on the board of a football club like ours.
Sadly Missed by All Award
He was like Norwich’s Uncle Roy, an ever-present at all our ‘family’ gatherings. Generous, infuriating, funny, passionate, loyal, but above all he was one of our own.
Undoubtedly each of us will have a raft of little memories of Roy that will have helped form our own Norwich-supporting autobiographies.
Roy Waller RIP… and thank you.
Man of the Year
Paul Lambert. Enough said.
Happy and successful New Year everyone. I promise to try and stay in touch in 2011!