Let's not skimp on saluting our heroes
PUBLISHED: 12:37 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:56 02 July 2010
'You have to make the most of the good times, because you never know what is round the corner.' The sands of time mean I can't remember where it has come from, but this is a mantra I have followed throughout my lifetime - and it perfectly sums up how I feel about the possibility of some sort of civic celebration should we successfully wrap up the League One title.
“You have to make the most of the good times, because you never know what is round the corner.”
The sands of time mean I can't remember where it has come from, but this is a mantra I have followed throughout my lifetime - and it perfectly sums up how I feel about the possibility of some sort of civic celebration should we successfully wrap up the League One title.
For those who have missed it there is currently a debate ongoing over how, or even whether, such an achievement should be marked.
Some claim that, were we to secure the title with as little as a point from our last three games, the traditional end of season trot around Carrow Road after the Carlisle game would suffice.
This argument normally proceeds along the lines of “we shouldn't be in this mess, so why the heck should we celebrate getting out of it?”
Like my Evening News colleague David Cuffley, I couldn't agree less.
Do you know how many times Norwich have actually won something during its 108-year history?
This would be only the seventh time. We were named second tier champions in 1972, 1986 and 2004, third tier champions in 1934 and League Cup winners in 1962 and 1985.
We even lost the Norwich Hospital Cup to our bitter rivals Ipswich Town the last time it was played in 1989.
That's an average of one winner's trophy every 15 years.
This will be only the second time I have tasted such a success as a fan since I first watched my first Norwich game 24 years ago.
Some will argue that this is all well and good but that, with two home games left, there is ample opportunity to celebrate at Carrow Road. Again, I don't agree.
We all know this club stretches beyond the players, staff and the 25,000 sat in Carrow Road for home games.
I wouldn't be able to predict the club's total fan base, but I'm sure, had we the space, an extra 10,000-plus could regularly be accommodated at Carrow Road on match-days. Some sort of civic event would give everyone the chance to celebrate as one. But it is not just that Norwich fans deserve such a celebration after what has gone on before - our city and county as a whole could do with it.
We all have, at some point or another, probably bemoaned an apparent diminishing sense of community in this county.
Well what better way to harness it again than having thousands gathered to celebrate a success story? It would also provide a much-needed morale boost during these cash-stricken times, as well as a timely financial leg up for the city's struggling pubs and restaurants.
I'm not saying it needs to be an open bus tour or anything extravagant and lavish.
Just some way for Norwich City Football Club to thank its fans for staying loyal during the tough times - and the fans to thanks the players and staff for hopefully pulling us out of the mire.
Because, as history has shown, as far as Norwich City is concerned we really should make the most of this good time, because we haven't a clue what is round the corner.
t FIVE OF THE REST
1. What is it about success that makes you as giddy as a child? Perhaps I have tasted it so little following Norwich that come 5pm on Saturday I didn't really know what to do with myself. It would explain parading my Canaries scarf out of the car window, something I haven't done since I was eight, and honking my horn at any City fan on the road back to our fine county. But worse occurred when, an hour or so into the journey, I clocked the team bus (cleverly disguised with a Lancashire address on the back). Cue yet more honking as I pulled the Seat Ibiza (classy) alongside Lambert and co - much to the shame of the missus - sat in the passenger seat and not too happy she was the one having to endure the stares of bemused players.
2. The Leyton Orient defeat may have been rendered pointless by the valiant efforts four days later - but I do think the performance probably provided food for thought for Paul Lambert as he faces up to life in the Championship - and deciding exactly where strengthening will be needed to ensure we keep on the upward spiral.
3. “See you next year” said the optimistic, and surprisingly cheerful, Charlton steward as I left The Valley on Saturday evening. “I blinking well hope not,” was my equally cheerful, but stern, reply. I have nothing against Charlton but I am not exactly busting a gut to go back. Three seasons ago I was among those gathered as we lost 2-0 on a Tuesday night. Last year a wedding the night before meant a bad hangover only got worse with our dismal relegation and even on Saturday we could not fully enjoy the occasion until after the final whistle due to the waves of attacks on our goal. Oh and I'm also doing my bit for female equality. I'm reliably informed there are too few female loos, and by the time you get to the end of the long queue, you wish you hadn't.
4. We saw the multi-ball system in operation at both the Leyton Orient and Charlton games. Basically the ball boys are each given a ball so the match can be quickly resumed. There's no doubting it speeds up the game, but I have already seen how this system can be abused by quick-thinking fans who, spotting their opponents might benefit from a quickly taken throw in, do their best to throw the other ball back on to the pitch, forcing the referee to stop play.
5. Thank goodness promotion is secured - we can all stop wasting our time on the BBC web predictor trying to work out how many points Norwich need and when the promotion securing game would be. For the record I predicted in this column we would need 91 points for promotion and the title and Leyton Orient would be where it happened, so I wasn't too far out.