Canaries will be kings of Norwich castle
Peter WalshThey will officially be crowned kings of League One on Saturday and next week Norwich City's title-winning players will be kings of Norwich Castle - where they will be guests of honour at a civic reception.Peter Walsh
They will officially be crowned kings of League One on Saturday and next week Norwich City's title-winning players will be kings of Norwich Castle - where they will be guests of honour at a civic reception.
As the Evening News revealed yesterday Norwich City Football Club is to be honoured with a reception and open-top bus parade next Thursday after a triumphant season in which they sealed a return to the Championship at the first attempt.
Since securing promotion City fans have led calls for a parade in honour of their footballing heroes and today their wishes have been granted after it was confirmed a parade would be followed by a civic reception for the club and its staff at Norwich Castle.
Starting out from St Stephen's Street at 6pm on Thursday, the open-topped bus, with the title-winning team and trophy on board, will make its way along Red Lion Street and Castle Meadow.
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The event, which will not be held at City Hall due to the continuing refurbishment of the Memorial Gardens, means thousands of people will be able to enjoy speeches and see the League One trophy raised aloft from the top of the Castle Mound before the reception at the castle.
David McNally, Norwich City's chief executive, said: 'We're very, very happy that Norwich City Council extended the invitation to us and it took about a nanosecond to accept. We're delighted because it recognises the achievements of this fantastic group of players and the football management team.
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'For us the overwhelming message from supporters was to find some way of celebrating together and the decision to accept the invitation was an easy one. Overwhelmingly our supporters have told us they would like some means of celebrating with the players and our players overwhelmingly have said that they would like to celebrate with the supporters.'
Mr McNally said it was fitting that the event would be held at the castle rather than City Hall which is where the Norwich City team which won promotion to the Premiership in 2004 were treated to a civic reception.
He said: 'I think we're really, really lucky that circumstances have led us here - it's a tremendous venue and we have two iconic Norwich brands coming together.'
Delia Smith, Norwich City joint majority shareholder, said she too was delighted that a parade, which is being sponsored by club sponsors Aviva. was being held to help fans and players alike celebrate this year's success together.
She said: 'Paul Lambert has said all along that winning the title was all about the players and the fans being in harmony and what better way to recognise that than the civic celebrations planned.'
Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'It is absolutely fantastic that Norwich City to have won promotion back to the Championship - not only for the club and its supporters but for the whole city.
'We have invited the football club to attend a civic reception to mark that wonderful achievement and to give the fans and other people in the city who are proud of the team the chance to come out and celebrate. Things like this make the whole city feel proud and I would urge as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the party.'
It will not be the first time a successful Norwich City side has been invited to a civic reception at the castle. In May 1972 Ron Saunders' Division Two winning team attended a reception in the Castle Keep given by the then Lord Mayor of Norwich Don Pratt.
What do you think about the plans? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email email@example.com
The League One champions Norwich City will parade in an open topped bus with the trophy through the city from St Stephens' Street (roundabout) to Castle Meadow between 6pm and 6.45pm on Thursday, May 13.
St Stephens Street will be opened up as soon as the parade passes through and Castle Meadow at approximately 8pm.
Roads will be closed from 4pm so barriers can be put in place and to allow for the build up of people in the area.
Road closures between 4pm and 9pm on the day of the event are as follows:
St. Stephens Street
Surrey Street ( between St. Stephens Street and All Saints Green )
Rampant Horse Street
Red Lion Street
White Lion Street
St. Andrews Hill
Bedford Street ( between Little London Street and London Street )
Buses along St Stephens Street and Castle Meadow will be re-routed for the parade to take place and more details of this will be confirmed nearer the time.