‘Didn’t realise how much I missed it’ - Norwich City fans return to Carrow Road for away match

PUBLISHED: 09:39 18 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:39 18 October 2020

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Neil Didsbury/Archant 2020

Norwich City fans have described the “perfect” atmosphere as they once again returned to Carrow Road.

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil DidsburyCarrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Around 200 fans were back at the football club to watch Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Rotherham United.

But instead of sitting in the stadium, which is banned due to coronavirus, they watched Canaries stars on televisions in two of the ground’s lounges.

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil DidsburyCarrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The event, which sold out in under an hour, saw fans seated at socially-distanced tables in the Gunn Club and the Top of the Terrace lounges after temperature checks on arrival.

As well as the match, fan were also treated to a question and answer session with City defender Christoph Zimmermann.

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil DidsburyCarrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

It is the second time since lockdown that fans have been back at Carrow Road, after the Norwich City vs Preston North End match in September which had a trial audience of 1,000 season ticket holders.

And they all shared their delight at watching the game at the club.

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil DidsburyCarrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

For Richard Bland, from Sheringham, who has not been back at the football ground since before lockdown, the match has renewed the fan community.

The 65-year-old said: “I felt really isolated, through no fault of the club, but by not being able to watch games with everyone due to the pandemic.

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil DidsburyCarrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“The atmosphere is excellent and it has enabled me to reconnect with my football friends. There really is only one way to watch football and that is in a stadium.”

Donna Lelean, from Great Yarmouth, a retired civil servant, said she did not hesitate to buy tickets.

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil DidsburyCarrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“It was an absolute must-do,” the 62-year-old said, “Even just to get back into the stadium. It feels perfect being back and it almost feels like any other game.”

Season ticket holder Paul Murrell, 58, from Hainford, said he would normally never miss a match.

Carrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil DidsburyCarrow Road open up two lounges for a handful of Norwich City fans to watch a socially-distanced live beamback of NCFC's match away to Rotherham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Mr Murrell said: “I’m really excited to be here. I hadn’t realised how much I missed it until I came back here today.”

Ben Kensell, chief operating officer at Norwich City Football Club, said: “We share fans’ frustrations that they can’t watch games outside in the stadium, but we’re delighted to have them back at Carrow Road to watch the away match today.

“There is a real sense of togetherness between the club and the fans.”

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