Dad would be proud of win
PUBLISHED: 10:19 05 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:08 14 September 2010
What an emotional rollercoaster of a day Tuesday was. Meeting family and friends and making sure we got there on time. We had problems on the journey, and thought that at one stage it would be a disaster.
What an emotional rollercoaster of a day Tuesday was.
Meeting family and friends and making sure we got there on time. We had problems on the journey, and thought that at one stage it would be a disaster.
There was a delay in getting started, but after it was finished, a sense of togetherness and relief swept over us as at last it was over.
If you thought I was referring to Tuesday evening at Kenilworth Road you would be mistaken, although there are several similarities to my day and how Norwich scraped and battled their way to a nerve shredding victory against fellow relegation strugglers Luton Town.
My journey from Kenton to Norwich started on Tuesday morning when my brother picked me up from my home at 9am.
My Dad was also on this journey, but his journey had started over two years earlier on Tuesday 8th February.
He had not been at all well for a long time and his health had been deteriorating rapidly since his admission to Paddington Hospital early in 2005.
When I received a very concerned call at work from my brother who was already travelling to Paddington, I feared the worst, and on my arrival at the hospital, I was greeted by the doctor who told me the bad news.
In his youth, Dad was actively involved with St John the Baptist Church, which is now the Catholic Cathedral, in Norwich. Dad and Mum were married there. My brother and I were baptized there, and it was both Dad's and Mum's wish that his ashes were to be laid to rest there in the Columbarium, the restoration of which was completed towards the end of last year. After a short service at St John's Cathedral, which had been delayed due to travel mishaps on the A11, Mum's wishes were finally granted and Dad was where finally he wanted to be, in the Cathedral he loved in the City that he grew up in.
Reflecting on what had been a very emotional day for all the family, the game at Luton was going to be an anti-climax.
How wrong I was as I witnessed yet another away game littered with defensive mistakes and flashes of excellent attacking play.
The game was more notable though for some gutsy performances from several Norwich players and the renaissance of three words that we believed had been removed from our vocabulary. At last we could use the words “set” “piece” and “goal” in the same sentence. Twice.
We were treated to a great comeback, some last minute nerves, but ultimately the right result.
My Dad is the reason I started to support Norwich. He took me to Carrow Road for my first game in April 1971, and twelve months later, we were at Vicarage Road to see the boys, playing in red that day, win the Second Division Championship.
One of his most treasured possessions was a fixture card from that season, which had the result of each game written in. I remember him proudly pointing out that we did not lose a home league game during that season.
He made sure that Norwich City would be my team, just as I have done with my eldest daughter Gemma.
Winning the way we did at Luton on Tuesday night was his sort of fixture.
I remember Dad as a pessimistic supporter, always fearing the worst from each game. He would have thrived on the ninety minutes of fret and worry, contemplating about relegation and the possibility of next year's away trip to Brentford, before finally seeing a last minute victory, which we contrived to almost throw away.
Dad would have approved of the way we won on Tuesday. It was just the way he would have wanted it.