Two weeks ago, we published some letters to our ten year old selves. In the last part, we opened it up to our wonderful readers, Here are Ffion Thomas and Darren Wiseman with their brilliant and poignant efforts. Enjoy.
Happy birthday! It’s the middle of June, and you’re 10 years old today. Unfortunately, this being an odd-numbered year, your birthday party will have to be themed around something other than an international football tournament.
But there’s still plenty to look forward to: the summer holidays, FIFA 2000 for the PC, the new Norwich kit. You were there at the Bristol City game back in December, when at half time we all held up our green or yellow pieces of card to vote for what colour the shorts should be. Democracy in action! You’ll vote on other issues in your life, but none more critical than this. Green shorts! It was the will of the people.
You won’t get that new kit until Christmas, by the way, but that’s OK, it will still have a year and a half to go. Enjoy the kit being biennial while it lasts. I had to Google ‘biennial’. You know what Google is, right?
Dad can phone up and get tickets in the Barclay on a Saturday morning whim – “What time is kick-off?” he asks. “What time can you get here?” they say – but it won’t always be so easy. You might be a kid for a quid now, but you’re also an acquiescent cog in a long-term marketing strategy. Soon enough there’ll be a season ticket with your name on it, and you’ll be in this for the long haul.
It’s a hard knock life in the Waveney Valley. This is the hinterland, where you run the gauntlet of Ipswich fans every day. I’m not going to lie to you, the next couple of years at school are going to be a rough ride with that lot flying high – but chin up, and believe me, we’ll have the last laugh.
Keep the faith,
What can I tell you about the future little man? Well, 29 years have gone by for me/you and they have shown me that things change. A LOT. But there is something reassuring about loving NCFC, and that is it can act as a constant for you. The fortunes on the pitch change, but the routine of going is comfortably repetitive.
Why do I tell you this? Well mate, I can’t sugar coat it for you, but your dad is going to be taken from you next year. Suddenly. Now, you are going to be sad, and that routine will become an uncertainty. You will wonder, one day, who would take me kite flying! But don’t. Kite flying is pants. Total cast iron pants.
Luckily, NCFC and Carrow Road will be a strange kind of comfort blanket for you moving forward. You know how you look for Dad when he is picking up the gate money for Securicor and his hand appears in the opposite corner to the family enclosure five minutes before half time, waving and you wave back? Well, to begin with, you will look and him not being there will hurt, but soon that hurt becomes a smile as you feel him there rather than see him.
Norwich will take you on a rollercoaster in the years ahead. When Simeon Jackson scores a goal against Derby you will feel happier than Trevor Putney scoring against Liverpool! Unbelievable, I know. And we go to Wembley again, AND we win!
And when all these great ups and downs happen, just out the corner of your eye, you’ll see Dad, spring in his step, celebrating with you. And one day, you’ll be the Dad, doing your best to pass the same feelings down to your sons.
Thank you to both Ffion and Darren.