Tributes pour in for 'much-loved' Norwich City fanatic Lil Kemp

Lily Kemp has been a season ticket holder in the lower Barclay at Carrow Road for decades 

Lily Kemp has been a season ticket holder in the lower Barclay at Carrow Road for decades - Credit: Contributed

A popular Canaries superfan who avidly supported the club for more than 60 years has died after battling illness in hospital.

Lilian Kemp, 91, of Tuckswood, had been attending Norwich matches home and away since she was 21 in the early 1950s. 

Tributes have poured in for the former Fan of the Season winner who was affectionately known as Lil. 

A statement by Norwich City Football Club said: "The club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of loyal supporter Lilian Kemp.

"A previous Fan of the Season award winner and follower of the team home and away for 60 years, Lil was a Canary through and through.

"Rest in peace, Lil." 

Lil Kemp with former Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke 

Lil Kemp with former Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke - Credit: Contributed

Lil was well-known for helping to run coaches for away supporters to attend matches over the years.

She was also a regular face following the club on tours, even appearing as an interviewee on Sky Sports Germany during Norwich's training camp in Harsewinkel in 2018.

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BBC Radio Norfolk Norwich City commentator Chris Goreham was also on the tour and met up with Lil and other fans during the trip.

He tweeted: "Sad to hear about Lil. Remember bumping into her in a German village in 2018 when Norwich were about to play a pre-season friendly.

"She was deciding which player name to get on her shirt for that season." 

Lil Kemp pictured with the late Pat Howard who would often go to Norwich City games together 

Lil Kemp pictured with the late Pat Howard who would often go to Norwich City games together - Credit: Contributed

Fellow BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Rob Butler said Lil was a regular on the show and a "much-loved Norwich City fan".

He added: "We will really miss the wonderful Lil Kemp.

"There will never be another like her." 

Lil initially supported Leyton Orient growing up in London, but she was invited to a Norwich game with her future husband Alfred, known locally as Steve, on a visit to the city. 

Norwich fan Lil Kemp is interviewed by Sky Sports Germany during Norwich City training at Hotel-Resi

Lil being interviewed by Sky Sports Germany during Norwich City training at Hotel-Residence Klosterpforte, Harsewinkel - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

She became an avid Canary from that point, and was named Fan of the Season twice.

Most recently, she was presented with her award on the Carrow Road pitch before a fixture against Cardiff City in 2018 with a beaming smile on her face.

Lil could often be seen wearing a Norwich scarf covered in badges on both sides, and she was a season ticket holder in the lower Barclay.

Norwich City superfan Lil Kemp has died

Norwich City superfan Lil Kemp has died - Credit: Norwich City FC

Hundreds of City fans commented on social media to show their appreciation of Lil with many fondly recalling their experiences of seeing the superfan at matches.

Among those was Stephen Lawrence, who said: "I went with her on my first away game. A lovely lady and always had time to talk to you about her Norwich City. RIP Lil."

Paul Drake added: "I went to many away games she arranged in her blue bus in the 80s." 

Callum Butcher said: "Rest in peace. I remember seeing you on away days here and there. Hopefully we can grab a couple of wins to give you a good send off." 

Chris Archer described her as "a legend and true fan," while Roger Martins called her "an amazing character". 

Norwich City fans on tour in Germany, Lil Kemp Picture: Tony Thrussell

Lil Kemp on tour in Germany - Credit: Tony Thrussell

Fellow fan, Russell King, said: "An absolutely lovely person and one of the most loyal fans I've ever had the pleasure to meet. RIP Lilian and thoughts to the family." 

Another comment from Julie Rust said she always talked about Norwich City with Lil when she came into her local shop. 

Lil would often attend games with her dear friend, the late Pat Howard with the pair being described as "Canary fans through and through" by Sallyann Dawes.

Other fans called on the supporters to give Lil a big cheer at the next game on Boxing Day.

Brooke Simmons posted in a Norwich Facebook fan group: "Today we have lost a true Norwich fan. Many of you may have known Lily Kemp. I was wondering if as a group we could sort something to be done in her memory either before or during the Arsenal game."

The Norwich City Football Club Supporters Page on Facebook has changed its cover photo to Lil in tribute. 

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