Life’s a beach as Paul Chick adjusts to retirement

Paul Chick is suffering local football withdrawal symptoms days after quitting Norwich United for a place in the sun.

'On Saturday at three o' clock I didn't know what to do with myself. I ended up in a bar watching football,' said the ex-Planters boss, 59, who has retired to Playa Flamenca in south east Spain.

Paul's affair with the beautiful game can be traced back to 1969 as a player with Norwich City A team and went on to include stints with Gothic, Thetford, Gorleston and Yarmouth.

But it is for a managerial partnership forged with trusty sidekick Donny Pye some 30 years ago that Chick has been best known, as the duo operated in tandem at the helm of Wroxham, Lowestoft, Norwich United, Diss, Yarmouth, and the Norfolk representative team.

'It's been a wrench but everybody has their time and it's time for other people to do their bit,' said Chick, basking in 24 degrees sunshine from a beachside vantage point on Monday – as the dank gloom of autumn descended on windswept Norwich.

Although he is savouring the new environment, Chick admitted he had been in touch with Pye and United chairman John Hilditch to check on the team's progress since he left.

The last game of his third spell at the club was a 1-1 Thurlow Nunn Premier Division draw with Walsham Le-Willows 11 days ago.

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'I shall miss the partnership I had with Donny. His enthusiasm for the game is amazing.

'He is 70 and he is as enthusiastic today as he was when we got together all those years ago. It was a sad day for both of us. We have been together a long time and had some good times and some not so good times.

'Both Donny and I consider ourselves very lucky to have been employed by some of the clubs at the level that we were and we were very fortunate to have won a couple of things as well.

'We could have gone to King's Lynn at one point, Wisbech, Ely and Fakenham and I'm very grateful for the interest those clubs showed in us at the time.'

Chick said he was very gratetful to have worked with some top-notch players including David Jones, Luther Blissett, Paul Warnes and Clive Woods, as well as many hundreds of talented and hard-working individuals over the years.

He was involved in selecting his successor – former Wroxham manager Damian Hilton – and he backed him to lead Norwich United onwards and upwards in due course.

'I am sure one day Norwich United will rise to a higher level and hopefully Damian will be the man to do it – he certainly has the experience,' said Chick, who was a partner in a Stowmarket-based industrial insulation and sheet metal company.

He added: 'Norwich United is a super club and John Hilditch is a chairman as good as any I have worked with.

'Without being disrespectful to any other club, I can say Norwich United is the best club I have worked with.'

As for the immediate future, he said: 'I am looking forward to playing some more golf.

'At this moment I am house hunting and car hunting.'