Girls giving Canaries a boost

PUBLISHED: 09:05 04 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:47 14 September 2010

The Canaries are supported by probably the best-known female football fan in the country.

And the good news is that more and more women are joining Delia Smith in the stands.

The Canaries are supported by probably the best-known female football fan in the country.

And the good news is that more and more women are joining Delia Smith in the stands.

Almost a quarter of the club's 30,000 season-ticket holders and members are the fairer sex and the number of female followers of the Canaries is growing.

In the 2003/04 season, 19 per cent, or 6,000, supporters were female. Now females account for 23pc, or 7,000, of season-ticket holders and members at Carrow Road, and they have increasingly contributed to high attendances in recent years.

The trend has been reflected at football clubs across the country, with the official England supporters' association reporting a 54pc boost in female membership since the 2002/04 period.

Clare Williamson, 31, from Diss, has been attending Norwich City matches since she was 10.

She said: “I grew up with football really as all my family support Norwich. It was a case of if you can't beat them, join them.

“I still go with my dad. Where we sit in the City Stand there were hardly any women when I first started going. Now there's a lot more.”

England and Norwich super fan Myra Hawtree started her love affair with the Canaries in the 1950s and she will mark her 68th birthday with a carvery meal in Delia's restaurant.

The Sprowston grandmother-of-four, who has just booked flights to go see England play in Tel Aviv, said: “Once you have got the bug you don't lose it really.

“You can really notice there are more women because there always seems to be a queue for the toilets! We really noticed it last week at QPR - there were only two female toilets for our section. It's because it is an old ground which was built when not many ladies came to the football.

“I think Delia with her profile has given Norwich City something special and I would definitely say she has encouraged more ladies to support.”

A spokesman for Norwich City FC said: “Norwich City is committed to ensuring that coming to Carrow Road continues to appeal to all its supporters, young and old, male and female.

“It's great we have so many female supporters who have increasingly contributed to the healthy crowds at Carrow Road in recent years.”

Are you a fanatical Norwich City fan with a story to tell? Write to Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or email eveningnews@archant.co.uk.

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