The loyal fans who love City from afar

PUBLISHED: 13:57 07 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:48 14 September 2010

Some might say Norwich City fans have been long-suffering since their relegation from the top flight two years ago, but they are also long-travelling. New figures show that of the 18,000 Canary season ticket holders 1,000, or 5.5pc, live outside the Norwich (NR), Ipswich (IP), or Peterborough (PE) postcode areas.

Some might say Norwich City fans have been long-suffering since their relegation from the top flight two years ago, but they are also long-travelling.

New figures show that of the 18,000 Canary season ticket holders 1,000, or 5.5pc, live outside the Norwich (NR), Ipswich (IP), or Peterborough (PE) postcode areas.

And while the club has a fan large army of travelling season ticket holders, so too it has an equally impressive band of members who are willing to travel long distances to see their team. Of the 10,000 members at Carrow Road 3,000 or 30pc live outside the East Anglian post code areas.

These numbers were announced by Norwich City's chief executive Neil Doncaster and sales and marketing director Andy Cullen when they met representatives of travelling supporters groups ahead of the 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Stoke.

Mr Cullen said most of these supporters, whether season ticket holders or members, were travelling in excess of 75miles to get to see their favourite team every week.

“That is another example of the dedication of supporters, and particularly season ticket holders, travelling to and from Norwich every other week, or twice a week if you look at last week,” he said.

“We're looking to work a lot more closely with some of the long distance groups - if these are strong that's got to be good for the club.

“We want to have a working forum with these groups and find out how we can better provide news and information for them.”

Mr Cullen, himself a former long-distance Canary fan who for 14 years travelled to Norwich from the Midlands where he worked, said the club was working on a number of ideas to try and make long-distance fans, at home and abroad, feel more a part of the club.

“We could run a big event at the football club around a home game and have the families come down and get the groups together - we could even organise a six-a-side game,” he said.

Mr Cullen said these and other ideas will be discussed in the coming weeks and raised again at another meeting of long-distance fans before City's game with Burnley on January 20.

Jack Frost, 48, a member of Hampshire Canaries, has continued to support Norwich despite moving from Swaffham to the south coast when he joined the Navy.

“I finished in the Navy eight years ago,” he said. “We're settled down here now, but my heart is still in Norwich. I don't do as many games as I used to but I get to about 20 a season home and away and would certainly be interested in anything the club can do.

“There's two of our group who are home and away season ticket holders. Last season they only missed two home games and they live in Southampton, that's some feat.”

As well as having fans' groups across the country, the club also has supporters groups in other parts of the world.

Tom Momork from Sandefjord near Oslo is one of about 75 members of the Scandinavian Norwich City Supporters' Club formed in 1983.

He makes the round trip to watch the Canaries about six times a season and has been a fan since the early 1970s.

Figures about Norwich's long-travelling army of supporters comes hot on the heels of news that Canary fans are top of the league when it comes to packing them in at home games.

As the Evening News reported last month an average of 24,627 fans pack into Carrow Road for every home game - a staggering 96.5per cent of the ground's capacity.

That is far above nearest challengers Luton, who stand at 88.1per cent, followed by Championship leaders Cardiff (82.3per cent), and the Championship's bottom club Southend (79.1per cent) whose promotion last season has clearly caught the Essex public's imagination.

Have you got a story to tell about life on the road as a Canary fan? Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on (01603) 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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