Carrow Road - Norwich City FC
Sunday December 26th 2004
Vs Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 3pm
By Ken Wigmore
My girlfriend Kathleen and I visited Carrow Road on December 26th 2004 to watch our team Tottenham Hotspurs.
Having flown directly from California USA, without tickets to the game and having not slept for 30 hours we were not sure what to expect from the fans or from ourselves. Once in Norwich, the ground is well signposted and easy to find. We observed a number of pubs near the ground and found one about 15 minutes walk from the ground (cannot remember the name of it). After a few pints we made our way to the ground and began our search for tickets.
We were not alone in being Spurs fans without tickets to the match and we soon realized that it was going to be impossible to get into this game at the away section. Hence, we began walking around the ground in the hopes of seeing if we could get into the Home areas of the ground.
The ground looks very modern and both sets of fans were mingling without problems before and after the game. The people of Norwich were terrific and many offered suggestions as to what to do in the hopes of getting tickets. We managed to get into the home supporters club (Scores) after telling the doorman we had flown from USA to watch Norwich (I forgot to say “play our team Spurs!”). After a few pints with the locals – telling whoever would listen about our sad story about not having tickets – the doorman who let us into the club came over about 10 minutes before kickoff and said his mate had let him have 2 tickets he was unable to use and we could have them both for 14 pounds!! I couldn’t pay him fast enough – and we drank up and were escorted by the club doorman to the appropriate turnstile to get in.
We were behind the goal at the River End, about 6 rows from the front and were pleased to observe great vocal banter between the home and away fans. The atmosphere was great and the Home fans where we were sitting seemed to be a bit quieter as there were many families and children watching from this stand. We were doing our best to keep quiet during Spurs’ attacks and had to sit on our hands throughout the game as we did not want our identity to be revealed and to get kicked out! The facilities were OK – not enough toilets versus the size of the crowd in my opinion – and the pies were all sold out by halftime! The beer we purchased was warm and in plastic bottles which did not taste too good. The stewards were helpful and friendly.
Spurs won 2-0 (with both goals being scored at our end) and it was all we would do to contain ourselves during the match (we wanted to sing the Tottenham songs) and at the end when we wanted to celebrate 3 points for our team. We kept quiet and returned to the home supporters club where we tipped our new friend the doorman and had a few more drinks. Even though Norwich had lost the home fans were still in good spirits and spoke about how they were lucky to be in the Premier League and were perhaps not good enough to stay there!
After leaving the club we walked around the ground and bumped into the Spurs players boarding the team bus. We managed to shake hands with most of the players and Kathleen got to tell Paul Robinson (Tottenham keeper) that she loved him! (What about me??). It did not take us long to get out of the area but this might have been due to the fact that the game had ended hours before we decided to leave!
It was a magical day out for us and I cannot say enough about the wonderful people of Norwich. There was not even a hint of trouble between the fans and all the banter was reserved for inside the ground and was in good taste and humour. I would imagine a visit to Carrow Road has to be top of any fan’s list as the Norwich fans are passionate about their team without forgetting their manners!
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