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From the editor: A rags to riches story which shows the good football can do

PUBLISHED: 09:38 24 September 2016

A view of the Pirelli Stadium, Burton.  Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

A view of the Pirelli Stadium, Burton. Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

PA Wire

This is a day we never thought we'd see in the football-mad Powles household.

My better half and I got together more than a decade ago (I won’t risk estimating exactly when for fear of publicly getting it wrong) in the Midlands town of Burton-upon-Trent, where we both worked.

I quickly converted her (also known as brainwashing) into following my beloved team Norwich City, while she did the same with her side Burton Albion.

We spent several years following both teams all over the country, including a particular memorable FA Cup night for the Brewers at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United.

Then, after I dragged her kicking and screaming down to Norfolk to live, we became season ticket holders, still finding time to see the occasional Burton game.

Given that all those years ago there was at least half a dozen leagues between the two sides, we never imagined our dual support would become an issue.

But then the Albion started to get better...and better...and better.

So much so that, despite pulling in attendances of under 5,000 most weeks, they are now just one step away from competing in the Premier League.

And today they face Norwich City at Carrow Road for the very first time.

It’s staggering stuff and if anyone wants their heart warmed by a good old fashioned rags to riches tale then I’d recommend spending a bit of time today catching up with the Burton Albion story.

It’s also a timely reminder of the good that football can do in being a force for positivity and uniting a town.

Like so many places, the economy of Burton-upon-Trent and the area around it has struggled as the traditions it was built upon, in this case brewing, Marmite and mining, have found the going tough.

And while football won’t solve the problems these struggles create, it can certainly make them easier to deal with.

As always I’ll be desperate for the Canaries to gain three points today to aid their promotion push. But if this is one game where Norwich can only do enough to secure a draw, you might forgive me for not being too upset come tonight.

• If you have any news, views or feedback then please do drop me a line at david.powles@archant.co.uk

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