Bellamy strike jogs the memory

On Saturday once again Norwich City found themselves facing ex-Canary Craig Bellamy. One commentator on the game stated that some of our younger away supporters would have little memory of the striker as it is some eleven years since he wore the yellow and green.

It had me thinking of a more distant past as a Canary fan. When as a child in the early fifties I remember all of those coaches bringing fans from the rural parts of Norfolk and parking alongside the river. The coach travellers were joined by those who had arrived by train.

The crowds were sometimes 35,000 plus and we young lads were passed overhead down to the front of the stand so that we could watch the game. The terracing was very basic and barriers were sparse in their number. There was much excitement but I have no memory of the crowds pushing forward and us being in danger.

However I am not suggesting that we go back to those days. Football crowd safety is rightly a top priority. The Anfield game was a reminder of the tragedies that are sadly part of football’s history.

Football does not live in the past. The financing of football through the involvement of corporate businesses is part of the modern game. Millionaire foreign owners of Premier League and Championship teams is a change fans in the 20th century would have hardly predicted.

A fan’s football memories are very personal. Canary supporters of a mature age will expound on the feats of the ‘59 Cup team. Others will tell you of how Ron Saunders took City into Division One for the very first time and how you could see the team training up and down Mousehold.

Long serving fans will tell of the exploits of their favourite players. Perhaps they will mention the sweet left foot of Graham Paddon, the contrasting styles of centre-backs Duncan Forbes and Dave Stringer, the genius of the dribble that was Colin Suggett or of the many goalkeeper legends that are part of City’s wonderful history.

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Such memories of long ago or the more recent past bring smiles to many a Canary follower with much to then discuss and debate.

The fans of today will have so much to share with the fans of tomorrow when they talk of the day when Paul Lambert came to our club and the amazing transformation that followed.

Long may the present Lambert revolution continue into this club’s future.