In part two of our 'If you had the chance, what would you tell your ten year old self about Norwich City?' letters, Seb Ward, Richard Jeffery, and Jon Rogers write what they would say to their idiot ten year old self. For some, it wasn't that long ago.
Hello young me from 1981. This is you from 2017 here to ‘Talk Norwich City’ with you. That’s a joke, you see it’s the name of a YouTube channel. What’s YouTube? It’s a social media platform which allows people to upload videos. You can watch it on the internet either on your mobile or tablet, laptop or PC. What’s a…? Oh you’ll pick it up as you go along, never mind.
You start supporting Norwich pretty much in the middle of a long spell in Division One (a couple of one season dips into Division Two notwithstanding). You’ll get a victorious trip to Wembley in a few years’ time, a couple of FA Cup Semi-finals, finishes in the top three or four of Division 1, and the Premiership, which is what they call Division one when they change its name. You’ll travel to watch Norwich play in Europe as well, it’ll be wunderbar.
It won’t always be like this though. We’ll have some long lean years; we’ll even dip down into League 1, which is what Division 3 is called now. But we do get back to the Premier League, which is what the Premiership changed its name to, only to go down again to the Championship, which is what they call Division 2 now, and then get promoted straight back again by winning the play offs at Wembley. What are the play offs? Oh, you’ll see.
On the way you’ll have many heroes, one of the biggest will come as you near my age, he’s a striker and you’ll love him even more than you love Justin. Oh by the way, I have to tell you. Justin’s, oh never mind.
By the time you are the current me and taking your boys to Carrow Road like Dad takes you, football will have changed so greatly as to be almost unrecognisable and not all for the better. So will Carrow Road and the area around it for that matter.
It’s a journey, but along the way you’ll meet great people and have great times. Even when the team’s not doing so well, stick with them. Players and managers come and go, but you’ll always have that little leap in your heart when you climb the steps to your seat, yes we all sit now - long story, and catch sight of that lovely green pitch (and it is lovely and green all season long now).
You’ll be here before you know it.
Hello there Seb,
10 years old, hey? By now you’re probably pretty keen for a bit of The Norwich™. That is now that the annoying older sister has lost interest. Yes — that’s right — you won. You started liking football and she pissed off. Textbook.
For you it’s all still a big laugh. A day out every other Saturday with Dad. You treat those players like celebrities, but I’ll tell you now: though Robert Eagle and Michael Spillane may look like footballers, dress like footballers, and play for your football team, they’re not actually very good. Nor will they ever be. Spoiler.
Not that that matters. Heck, it’s not going to stop you wearing the full yellow and green shebang to Stockport Vikings U9s training, is it? No, and rightly so. And be glad you don’t support United or City — it’s one less thing to fall out over with future friends.
So far, following Norwich probably hasn’t been that successful. Relegated at Fulham, deconstructed and then relegated at Charlt— oops — spoiler again — we’re not quite there yet. It’s coming lad, and you’ll be there when it does. Sorry.
Nevertheless, I hope you’re keeping that diary full — you know — the one where you predict the team on the way to the game and write in your own little match reports afterwards. The one in which you stick the match day ticket and the betting slip that’s inevitably returned fruitless. Turns out you might be on to something there, you know, with that writing lark. I seem to recall those reports consisting of phrases such as ‘the referee was an idiot’ and ‘Robert Earnshaw can do backflips making him the coolest person ever’. Just the sort of thing The Little Yellow Bird Project are more than willing to publish.
So yeah, in case you missed the hint, Norwich are going to drop into League One before long. It’ll be sad, it’ll be scary, but it’ll be okay. Dad will moan and groan. He’d seen it coming for ever since Huckerby was taken off at Sheffield and wouldn’t get the chance to say goodbye. Spoiler. For you though it’s all rather new. Heck — it’ll be the biggest geography lesson you get. Tranmere? Where’s the hell’s that? Don’t worry — Grandad knows — and he’ll make sure to get you there so bloody early in fear of traffic you’ll have seen far more than you bargained for.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better, that’s all I’m going to say. And then it’ll be good. Really good. Amazing. Wow wow wow I love football amazing. For about three seasons you’ll think Norwich can beat anyone. And while that may not be true, they will in time beat both United and City. So hang on in.
Invest in Apple.
I could stop there and you'd get to throw a flying fucky (I know, I know - I said the eff word – get used to it, son) at the niggling yellow and green nonsense you invest in most of the year, as you’d be driving quad bikes around a yacht the size of Sheringham.
Or could even purchase the club, and then buy Teddy Sheringham.
But...would you be happy? Oh much, much happier - but stick around anyway. It's something to do.
I hope you had a good time being mascot few days ago. I know you’re really upset you never got to score a goal against Bryan Gunn during the warm up. I know you practiced it, and I know you were looking forward to it, but these things happen. Still, a 0-0 draw with Manchester City. Not the worst result. To be honest, that would have been a more than decent result nowadays, but don’t worry about the soul destroying pitfalls of foreign investment in football. That train won’t arrive at our station. And surprising as it sounds; we do get better players than Rob Newman soon.
What I’m writing to you needs to be told now before you do something you regret. There’s good news and bad news.
Bad news first. I know you play football every day, and then daydream about playing football when you aren’t playing football but the simple fact is - you aren’t going to be a footballer when you get older. Not even close. So, accept it now. You're not going to score in the last minute in front of the Barclay. I’m afraid you’re not just aggressive enough. Physically, or mentally. Trust me, no-one will have paid money and be happy they're watching a twenty year old crying as 35,000 fans shout WAAAYYYY as you just passed it straight out of play.
But the good news is – you get to see probably some of the best moments of Norwich City’s history ever, with your very own eyes. Enjoy Bayern, YES BAYERN! Enjoy Inter. YES! INTER! Laugh like a drain at the fifth goal verses Colchester. Oh, and get on the pitch much, much earlier after Ipswich. I promise that head steward won’t ban you from Wembley. YES! WEMBLEY! See, starting to make that yacht seem like a moldy old rowing boat now.
And finally, you know you like doing your music and singing those silly little songs. Well, ignore everyone else. Keep going. Because, long story short, those silly songs you love singing will eventually give you the chance to score that goal against Bryan Gunn (albeit a rolled up sock, which chairs as goalposts), but beggers can’t be choosers. Not with your lack of aggressiveness.
So, sing on, sing on, sing on…you little weirdo. The best is yet to come.
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!