'Longest serving US Norwich City fan' returns to Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 10:15 24 December 2017
The self-professed “longest serving American Norwich City fan” has returned to watch his beloved Canaries.
Richard Crovitz, known as Dick, schedules his holidays so he can watch a game every season - though City could not repay the faith this year, losing 2-1 to Brentford.
Mr Crovitz was first introduced to “soccer” in 1966 when he was working in the UK for the United States Air Force.
His wife-to-be, Margaret, was from Kirstead and after being taken to his first Canaries game he became immediately infatuated with the club and the sport.
Mr Crovitz said: “I think I got caught up in the excitement of the World Cup win. There’s just something watching the games that grips me.”
The couple moved to Mr Crovitz’ home town of Carthage in New York state in 1983, but Mr Crovitz was disappointed by the lack of football in the town.
Despite a lack of appetite and plenty of opposition, Mr Crovitz established a youth soccer programme which has since grown enormously.
The teams he set up joined the American Youth Soccer Organisation and now compete annually across the country.
But while the beautiful game may have grown in the US, Mr Crovitz is not sure whether the same could be said of City’s fan base.
He said: “As far as I know I am the longest serving American Norwich City fan, but there aren’t a hell of a lot of Norwich fans around if I’m honest. Most guys in America are following the big clubs, the winners. When I tell them I am a Norwich fan they say ‘you gotta be kiddin’ me?’
“It’s easy to support the winners though. If you support a club like Norwich City then you’re a real fan. You experience the ups and the downs, the heartbreaks, the triumphs.”
Mr Crovitz thinks the game has changed over the past 51 years.
He said: “My favourite players used to be Hugh Curran and Ken Foggo. The game has changed massively since those days though.
“When I first started watching Norwich City they had two wingers zooming up the field and crossing it into the box and it was more offensively orientated.
“To me now a lot of teams are afraid of getting scored on, and to me the aim should be to get ahead, never mind whether or not you concede.”