How Norwich City fan turned his garden into a matchday terrace

Michael Brigham (second left) watching Norwich City in his garden

Michael Brigham (second left) watching Norwich City in his garden - Credit: Michael Brigham

The Covid-19 pandemic has left football fans scrambling for new ways of capturing that match day feel, with supporters still in exile from grounds.

Amanda and Michael Brigham, at the last Norwich City game they attended together

Amanda and Michael Brigham, at the last Norwich City game they attended together - Credit: Michael Brigham

Over the past year, Norwich City supporters have explored different ways of enjoying the team's promotion charge, having to get used to the life of the armchair fan.

For 48-year-old Michael Brigham, living miles away from Carrow Road in York, he is more used to being away from the action than others.

Michael Brigham's garden terrace

Michael Brigham's garden terrace - Credit: Michael Brigham

However, this has not stopped the project planner from using his expertise to create a matchday experience of his own - which he will be recreating when the Canaries attempt to clinch the Championship title against Watford this evening.

Having made the most of the club's iFollow offering over the course of the season, Mr Brigham, whose family lives near Acle, was keen to also take advantage of the easing of lockdown to create his own fan experience with his son Jude and fellow City supporting friend Peter Norton.


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But with restrictions preventing him from bringing terraces into his living room, he brought it to his garden instead.

The Ben Godfrey Stand, in Michael Brigham's garden in York

The Ben Godfrey Stand, in Michael Brigham's garden in York - Credit: Michael Brigham

Using some leftover MDF from a previous project and four yellow and green plastic chairs he sourced online, he managed to convert his garden into the next best thing to a seat in NR1.

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He said: "I didn't used to get to too many games anyway because of the distance and probably go to more away games than home, but like anyone else I was missing that matchday feel.

"We were looking for a way to watch the matches together I knew we would be able to have people round outdoors, so set about finding a way of doing that."

Michael Brigham even went as far as to make pretend tickets for each game

Mr Brigham even went as far as to make pretend tickets for each game - Credit: Michael Brigham

From that thought, the Ben Godfrey Stand was born - named after the former Canaries defender, who arrived at the club from York City.

The avid supporter kitted out his garden with a big screen, chairs, flags, banners and other decorative touches to make it feel as close to a stadium as a garden in Yorkshire can.

He said: "I've shared a few pictures on social media and have had a really great response. Twitter is generally nothing but negatively, but nobody has had a bad word to say about this."

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