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Spud Thornhill: Norwich City fans are close to reaching Fever Pitch

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 November 2018

Tom Trybull and Daniel Ayala in action during the game against Middlesbrough - things have looked up since Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tom Trybull and Daniel Ayala in action during the game against Middlesbrough - things have looked up since Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

In the 1990s there was a football book called Fever Pitch, written by Arsenal supporter Nick Hornby based on his lifelong support for the Gunners.

Spud’s teaser: Which former Canary scored the last ever goal at Swansea’s previous home Vetch Field?

(Answer at bottom)

Teemu Pukki and Jordan Rhodes celebrate after the win over Middlesbrough Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdTeemu Pukki and Jordan Rhodes celebrate after the win over Middlesbrough Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

In the 1990s there was a football book called Fever Pitch, written by Arsenal supporter Nick Hornby based on his lifelong support for the Gunners.

It’s probably my favourite non-Norwich City book – there so many stories I can relate to, including the bizarre behaviour of a passionate fan.

Following its success, a play and a film were produced based on the book. In the film, the main character was played by Colin Firth and I’ve used a lot of the many great quotes from it when I’m talking about football, mainly Norwich City.

One of those quotes is ‘Don’t know if life is great because football is great or if life is **** because football is ****’. Well I’ve definitely been saying life is great at the moment. Ever since we beat Middlesbrough 10 weeks ago, life has felt all the better during our superb run. Even with the international break, England have produced some exciting football with two late goals. Gareth Southgate’s side went from pending relegation to qualifying for the European Nations League finals in the final moments of last weekend’s game.

With all the success that Norwich and England are having on top of what’s going on down in Suffolk with Ipswich, life is just wonderful.

This column was written before last night’s game at Portman Road when Ipswich hosted West Brom. But whatever happened last night, we are still top and they are still bottom. That’s just the 22 places. Life doesn’t get much better, does it?

Some of the football Norwich have played since the Middlesbrough game has brought back memories of why I fell in love with City. A lot of brilliant, controlled football, passion and excitement – something I was brought up on in the 80s and early 90s. It’s the type of football on show in our last game, the 4-3 home win over Millwall.

Going back to Nick Hornby’s book, he wrote a chapter on an infamous game when we lost 4-3 to Arsenal back in November 1989. It was a game where we led 2-0, then 3-2 before losing to an injury-time winner from a second controversial penalty which led to a little bit of a scuffle on the pitch. Hornby wrote of how he enjoyed those sort of games more than one they won comfortably.

We may not have had any scuffles on the pitch a couple of weeks ago against Millwall – but we had everything else. That type of game is easily better than a 7-1 win over Reading.

I was at that Arsenal game nearly 30 years ago and I know it’s still talked about by many football fans I’ve met over the years. I am sure we will be talking the same way about the Millwall game, just as Hornby does.

As I left Carrow Road a fortnight ago after Teemu Pukki started the post-match party, you could feel the vibe around the place. Everybody in yellow and green was buzzing and so happy. Even on social media, there was a lot of positivity. I would like to think people have started to see that extra positivity really does help.

So, we head off to foreign lands today and South Wales for our longest away league fixture of the season at Swansea City – just the 596-mile round trip. But I’m sure the Canary faithful will be out in force in numbers and voice. I would love to be there, but sadly I won’t be.

But whilst we are top of the Championship, there will be plenty of teams wanting to beat us. Hopefully, life will still be a wonderful place after another win, but if not, we’ll still be in a happy place, as with this team, I’m sure it’ll only be a slight knock-back.

So, for all the canaries in South Wales today it’s...

Ar y Bel y ddinas

Peidiwch a poeni am y peregl

That (if you don’t know your Welsh) is On The Ball City, Never Mind The Danger.

Spud’s teaser answer: Adrian Forbes

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