If you had the chance, what would you tell your ten year old self about Norwich City? We asked all the LYBP writers and with each one, similar themes cropped up. First up, Clare Thomas and Zoë Whitford talk to themselves when they were little.
You are ten. Life is simple right now, happy and carefree. Saturdays are about dance class, shopping and Dukes of Hazard. In the future you will look back at this time and try and remember what it felt like not to care. Norwich City are not part of your world, and it will be almost impossible to recall. In about five years’ time, football will consume you. Saturdays become about thermals, three o’clock and Eden Hazard. Your life will be planned around it, determined by it. It will dictate your mood. I urge you, whatever that innocent feeling is- bottle it. In a GIANT bottle. And label it CAREFREE. You will pine for it on several occasions (ok, more than several, but I don’t want to scare you).
Words of advice; those first few years of being a Norwich fan, don’t take them for granted. We won’t always be challenging for the league title (well we will, but a slightly different league. Or two). And we won’t always be playing in Europe (well we will, but in July). Anyway, I digress. Just really, truly absorb it. Stick that feeling in another GIANT bottle, labelled SUCCESS.
There will many times you question why you do it. Mostly when you’ve travelled hundreds of miles to watch ninety minutes of football. And Norwich lose. That thirty three hour journey from Perth to Carrow Road-don’t do that one (it’s not worth it, Clare). Put that in a smaller bottle labelled MISERY. Football will make you angry, sad, morose. You will experience moments when your heart feels like it will beat out of your chest, or sink to the pit of your stomach. But you will also experience such highs, such joy, where your heart soars. Men called Simeon and Martin will make your knees turn to jelly. Cameron and Nathan will make you lose your senses altogether. It is these moments that make it so worth it. Every hour of travel, every penny spent. To be there at THAT moment; there is nothing quite like it. They give you the drive to keep going, the hope that on that day you will be a part of something great. Stick this in the biggest bottle of all and name in HAPPINESS.
I could tell you to run a mile. Don’t let football into your world. Life would be much less stressful without Norwich City in it. But trust me, all the energy and effort will be totally, utterly worth it. They will take you on an emotional version of Nemesis Inferno, but it will be the making of you. Norwich City will give you so much more than just the game.
So, stick that potent little bottle of MISERY right at the back of the cupboard. The sweet smells of HAPPINESS and SUCCESS, they need to go right at the front. And that bottle of CAREFREE- that’s top shelf, just for emergencies*.
*there may be several**
You’ve only just started watching Norwich City, and you’re enjoying it right now aren’t you? It helps that we’ve just beaten Bayern Munich. I’m afraid it’s not going to get much better than that, maybe not ever, but luckily people aren’t going to stop talking about it any time soon.
Don’t let me make you think it’s never going to be good again, though. Norwich City will give you days of unimaginable joy. They’ll also disappoint you, make you angry, and take up an extraordinary amount of your time. But you love them, and I’m afraid you’re always going to love them, so the dark days are forgiven almost immediately.
Can you believe you’ll still be a season ticket holder in over 20 years? They rebuild the South Stand, and you won’t have to queue for the ladies toilet anymore, because there will be more than two for the whole stand. I’ll let you into a little secret, as long as you promise not to panic: you move to Yorkshire in six years. But somehow it will make your relationship with Norwich City stronger, because you’ll understand the effort you are willing to put in, to sit in your seat, to go to new grounds, to be with your dad.
One last thing: when you go to Wembley (I won’t tell you when it is!), make sure you relax. It’s one of the most comfortable, organised, skilful performances you’ll ever see. Don’t let your nerves tell you it’s not happening.
PS: Your yellow and green brace is NOT a good look.
Write your own one, keep it under 300 words. send it to TheLYBP@gmail.com and the best three will be published on the site!