Super Saturday – We Canary fans have not had many of those over the last couple of miserable seasons.
But this was more than football, much more, as the 4th of August 2012 has gone down as the greatest night in British sporting history.
And I was privileged to say ‘I was there’.
It was of course the luck of the draw, our names pulled out of the hat like a non-league minnow heading to Old Trafford in the cup. To be honest I didn’t think too much about it and I certainly had no sense of the momentous occasion I was about to experience when supping an early afternoon pint in a good old-fashioned East End boozer.
The sun was out, of course it was, and as we approached the Olympic Park and the crowds began to swell in size, it suddenly felt big. This was the Olympics the pinnacle of sport up there with the World Cup and no other. Not only that, it was a home game(s), seven years in the making, and a once-in-a-lifetime event.
As with all major tournaments, it helps that the home nation gets off to a great start and Team GB were no exception, dominating in cycling and rowing but, as yet, under-achievers in track and field.
After a few hours of enjoying the pre ‘match’ atmosphere (this was no quick pint and into the ground five minutes before kick-off), mingling with fans from all nations united by a love of sport, and maximising on the photo opportunities, we entered the arena.
First up was the expected gold in the heptathlon as favourite Jessica Ennis-Hill finished the job she had started early on the Friday (with an outstanding 100m hurdles) with a victorious 800m.
This was swiftly followed by the unexpected as Greg Rutherford long-jumped his way into the history books (and a place in sporting history to match that of his great grandfather Jock, who won three League titles and an FA Cup with Newcastle United).
For me though, the best was yet to come.
Whether it was the nature of the race or the electric atmosphere that was now vibrating around the stadium, Mo Farah’s triumph in the 10,000 will live forever in the memory. The last lap was something special – a noise I had never heard before; a constant roar from 80,000 people from all sides of the stadium.
And so, in the space of 44 crazy minutes, I had seen us bring home three gold medals.
It is largely forgotten but there were six GB gold medals on the 4th of August (the other three in the rowing and cycling of course).
It would be the climax of an amazing performance by Team GB who finished third in the final medals table. Beyond that, a united country basked in the feel-good factor that only sport can deliver.
I feel fortunate to have been there – a feeling that grows as time goes on – and the events of that evening remain unsurpassed.
Bringing it back to Norwich City, well we too were basking in sporting glory (or relative) having finished the 2011-12 season mid-table in the Premier League, the pinnacle of Paul Lambert’s memorable tenure.
As the Olympics’ passed Chris Hughton was in the hot seat and a couple of weeks after Super Saturday we kicked off the 2012-13 Premier League campaign with a thumping in London (5-0 at Fulham).
City would of course later feature at the Olympic Stadium as it swapped athletics for football and the new home of the Hammers.
Two appearances two defeats, no goals scored.
Not so super!