Meet Wes Canoelahan! Canadian Canaries fan's tribute to club legend

Norwich City fan Jonathan Thurston aboard Wes Canoelahan

Norwich City fan Jonathan Thurston aboard Wes Canoelahan - Credit: Jonathan Thurston

A Norwich City fan living in Canada has unveiled a surprising tribute to one of the club's most popular former players.

Jonathan Thurston moved to the picturesque Canadian town of Whistler in 2012, where he is surrounded by mountains, lakes and ski slopes.

Jonathan Thurston, while building Wes Canoelahan

Jonathan Thurston, while building Wes Canoelahan - Credit: Jonathan Thurston

But while he left Norfolk behind, he took his love of the Canaries with him and still follows the club from his new British Colombian home.

And now, he has paid tribute to one of City's all-time greats in a way it's likely nobody else ever has. 

The City supporter has restored a canoe in canary yellow and named it after club legend Wes Hoolahan.

Wes Canoelahan, a canoe named after Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan

Wes Canoelahan, a canoe named after Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan - Credit: Jonathan Thurston


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Meet Wes Canoelahan, a restored fibreglass craft named in honour of the midfield wizard, who scored 53 times for the Canaries in 351 appearances across a decade with the club.

Mr Thurston said: "Where I live a lot of places aren't accessible without a canoe, so I picked one up on Craig's List which was a good deal, but was pretty run down, so set about restoring it.

Wes Canoelahan was in a bad way before being restored

Wes Canoelahan was in a bad way before being restored - Credit: Jonathan Thurston

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"I spent many, many hours sanding it down and fixing it and thought about a few different ideas for how to decorate it and a friend of mine suggested I turn it into a Norwich City boat. I thought 'what a brilliant idea'."

After convincing his girlfriend to back the colour scheme, he then set about finding a name, enlisting the help of his fellow Norwich City fans the BBC's Rob Butler - who put out an appeal through the fanzine show the Scrimmage.

The 34-year-old, who is originally from Wymondham, added: "There were quite a few great ideas - I nearly called it Carrow Row'd and Malky Mackayak was another good one - but as soon as somebody said Wes Canoelahan, I knew that was the one.

"I do miss Carrow Road, my family and some simple home comforts like English cheese, so it is nice to have this little bit of Norwich with me." 

And in a nod to the now Cambridge United playmaker's Irish background, Mr Thurston said there was only one beverage appropriate for its official naming - a pint of Guinness.

Meanwhile, the former City season ticket holder is preparing to attend his first home game in more than four years while on a three-week visit back to England. 

The Canaries are still without a league win this season, so Mr Thurston is hopeful he can prove the club's lucky charm when Brighton visit on Saturday.

He added: "I don't think I can actually remember the last game I went to so I am very excited. If they win perhaps I'll have to move back."

Mr Thurston can be heard speaking more about Wes Canoelahan on the Scrimmage podcast via BBC iPlayer.

Meet Wesley Hoolahound

Wesley Hoolahound, who is also named after the Norwich City great

Wesley Hoolahound, who is also named after the Norwich City great - Credit: Peter Raven

Mr Thurston is not the only person to find inspiration for a name from City's former midfield wizard.

Meet Wesley Hoolahound, a five-and-a-half-year-old miniature schnauzer.

The salt-and-pepper-coloured pup belongs to City fan Peter Raven, of Thorpe St Andrew and weighs in at a health 10kg.

Mr Raven, a Carrow Road season ticket holder said Hoolahan and Hoolahound were kindred spirits because they were both "miniature legends".

He added: "He's named after Wes because he's the greatest Norwich City player of all time - but it's also a very cool name for a dog."


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