Michael Bailey: Be it Norwich City or Norfolk sport – thank you for the ride
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Norwich City correspondent and sports journalist Michael Bailey signs off after almost 12 years with the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and pinkun.com with one final column.
It was the most exciting call I'd ever received - but only after I digested what it was about.
Monday, October 29, 2007 was the evening. I remember the date because the following morning, Glenn Roeder was unveiled as Norwich City's new boss.
I was getting a new job too. My first in journalism, on a sportsdesk no less, with the chance to help cover the Canaries for the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and pinkun.com - titles I delivered as a schoolboy around Spixworth and always dreamed I could work for.
Since then I've seen the Canaries fall and rise and rise and stabilise and fall and rise and fall and rise; and spent four months banned by the club from reporting on them at all.
But it's never just been about Norwich City.
There was the legal minefield of the Lotus-Caterham years in Formula One; the NRF1 Podcast still continues now.
I was probably the most fortunate journalist at the London 2012 Olympics - not only covering the entire event alongside top photographer Nick Butcher, but getting to pick and choose which events to take in on any given morning.
Four years as sports editor of Mustard TV was as wacky as it gets - but you won't find anyone more proud of what we achieved, developing from scratch sports coverage the city of Norwich deserved.
Maybe it's just been luck. The first football match I covered was Lowestoft Town's FA Vase fifth-round tie against Dunston Federation at Crown Meadow. The Trawler Boys won - and took us all the way to Wembley, long before Norwich City would get there.
Actually, there's no doubt I've been lucky.
I've had so many fantastic colleagues I've enjoyed working with and learning from. So many opportunities to learn new skills and try out new platforms - most of which you will have been exposed to, probably before they were ready for public consumption!
And what a way to sign off from Archant: enjoying with Paddy Davitt, Dave Freezer and Tony Thrussell the most incredible Canaries ride I've witness in my time as a journalist, season ticket holder and supporter rolled into one.
The good news is I won't be going far away - but that's for another day. For here and now, it's just a big thank you for making my time writing on these pages the pleasure I always hoped it would be.
On the ball, City.
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