As I sit and pen this on the eve of my 40th birthday, a multitude of emotions are swirling around my inner conscience. Do I feel that old? Am I now in mid-life? Is the inevitable getting closer.
It really is a whirlwind.
The reality, if you remove numbers, is that I’ll be no different tomorrow than I am today. Yet the importance we attach to age, years and ultimately numbers means I feel bloody old.
I’m currently gazing wistfully out of the window, my son is next to me and has just done his first #2 in a potty, my daughter has just turned four months – many of you will recall an article I wrote on her actual birthday, the dog is lazing on the sofa and my newly arrived copy of ‘Glory’ is next to me on the sofa.
I’m only a few pages in so far, but boy it’s well produced. And amongst all of this whilst glancing at ‘Glory’ and realising that life is constantly moving, I realised that, parents and sister aside, the one constant in my life, the only thing that is always there and forever within reach, is the football team I support. And it will be there until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil (and long after).
And do you know what… I take a great deal of comfort in that. I don’t know any of the players or staff, I have a few friends who are fellow supporters, yet the club just feels so familiar. I see the crest and it’s as familiar to me as the picture in the mirror.
For those of you who haven’t read ‘Glory’, (I’d recommend it) it begins with a very brief history of the club – the more eagle eyed of you will have worked out I share a birthday with our club. Fate…? coincidence?
But then swiftly moves onto the last few decades from Walker through to Farke. Essentially my era of support. And it provides some lovely memories, of which, I’ve either witnessed first hand or have distinct memories of ‘where I was’ when the score/result came in.
There’s a lovely focus on the Worthington years, which given my supporting years began with the club’s Robert Chase inspired demise, became my first high point and a period of which I remember fondly. Before moving through Lambert, Neil and onto Farke. Cracking managers each in their own right.
But it also got me realising that there’s a whole generation of Norwich fans to whom the era of Worthington, Huckerby et al is as unfamiliar, just as Saunders and Bond were to me when I began my journey.
When you start to play around with years and you realise that Saunders/Bond is closer in time to my first foray into the Canaries than Farke currently is, the mind starts to boggle. It’s akin to the oft-quoted fact – that Cleopatra lived closer in time to the Pizza Hut that’s next to the pyramids, than the building of the first pyramid. Or that Will Smith is now older than Uncle Phil was at the start of Fresh Prince.
Time truly is a funny thing.
So I’ll try to steer this article vaguely towards Norwich City and away from the self-wallowing diatribe it’s become; and leave you with some of my favourite moments as a Norwich fan. I hope it’ll stir some memories.
- Goss 1 – Liverpool 0. Last game of the standing Kop
- The unveiling of Bruce Rioch – the first ‘big name’ manger we’d appointed in my time supporting.
- The signings of Anselin and De Blasiis at a time when foreign signings were becoming ‘de-rigour’
- Iwan Roberts brace v Ipswich at Portman Road.
- David Nielsen’s blazing first few games.
- The Wolves play off games.
- Huckerby – Boxing Day.
- Top of the league at Portman Road.
- Simeon Jackson (Derby and Portsmouth)
- Grant Holt v Liverpool
- Wembley. We painted it green and yellow.
- Vrancic v Sheffield Wednesday
- Todd Cantwell v Man City
Amazing memories and there are so many more.
Let’s hope there’s another 40 years in me of supporting! OTBC.