Huge support for Canaries legends game surpassed expectations of charity’s organisers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 21 May 2018

Francesco Toldo of Inter Forever and Bryan Gunn of Norwich City Legends enjoyed their appearances at a sun-bathed Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Francesco Toldo of Inter Forever and Bryan Gunn of Norwich City Legends enjoyed their appearances at a sun-bathed Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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An impressive crowd of almost 18,000 for Sunday’s fund-raising exhibition at Carrow Road surpassed all expectations of the Community Sports Foundation.

Norwich City Legends and Inter Forever players. 
Pictures: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNorwich City Legends and Inter Forever players. Pictures: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

The fantastic levels of support for Norwich City’s official charity made for a memorable afternoon as Norwich City Legends took on Inter Forever.

As well as marking the approaching 25-year anniversary of the Canaries’ Uefa Cup run, the exhibition raised vital funds towards CSF’s new community hub, The Nest.

The attendance of 17,969 was higher than the average crowd of 10 Championship clubs this season, including the 16,250 Ipswich Town averaged.

“I am so, so pleased,” the charity’s head of development, Jackie Thornton, said. “I’m pleased for the football club, I’m pleased for the fans who have turned out and I’m pleased for the legends because the legends have been made to feel so welcome.

Grant Holt nodded a header just wide for City in the second half.Grant Holt nodded a header just wide for City in the second half.

“The fans have really got behind it and even Andy Marshall, got a little boo, but everyone got behind him in the end and he pulled off some amazing saves.

“So I’m really, really pleased with what’s happened and we’re really grateful for everything that’s happened.”

Funds raised will go towards CSF’s Build The Nest campaign, raising £2.5million towards the overall £10.9m cost of the new facility, being built on the former Anglian Windows Sports & Social Club site, off Holt Road, near Norwich Airport.

“When the idea was first brought about I thought ‘oh goodness, how big could this be?’ and no I probably didn’t think it was going to be as big and I’m delighted how everybody has got behind this,” Thornton added.

“The difference it is going to make is going to be fantastic.

“At least 12,000 people are going to use The Nest a year, on a regular basis, so it’s going to make a massive impact and we really hope that The Nest is ‘out there’ but this is just the start.

“It’s really important that the word is out there and we need the support to continue from everybody to make sure that everybody is still aware that we need to get all the money to make sure that we can build this.”

The match was won 2-1 by Inter thanks to a fantastic Marco Materazzi free-kick and an unfortunate John Polston own goal in the first half, despite Paul McVeigh pulling a goal back for the Canaries after the break.

REPORT & GALLERY: Fun in the sun as big Carrow Road crowd enjoys Norwich Legends taking on Inter Forever

“It was a good goal as well,” Thornton added of McVeigh’s strike. “I think Iwan Roberts had a big part in that goal but probably won’t get as much as credit, but it was great to see those people back here at Carrow Road and the fans really appreciated it.

“So thank you very much, thank you to the football club, to the fans, it’s been a beautiful day and just thank you for making this journey of The Nest really start to take shape.”

• For more about the Build The Nest campaign see thenest.org.uk

• If you would like to support CSF, donations can be made at communitysportsfoundation.org.uk or you can text ‘NEST11£5’ to 70070 to donate £5

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