Spud Thornhill: Let's hope December was just a bad dream

Adam Idah of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by P

Racial abuse of Adam Idah was reported during the defeat at Crystal Palace - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

As we enter 2022, it will see me following this wonderful club for 40 years.

I think in that time I have seen most things - the good, the bad and the ugly. And the last month has definitely been the ugly, both on and off the pitch.  

I will always defend our club and always think of the positives. Yes, I know for sure that many people will say it’s blind faith, and I am sure on many occasions those people have been right. Despite that, I won’t change my ways. But I am struggling at the moment to think of positives at Carrow Road.

Back in the summer the club, especially Stuart Webber, were getting plenty of praise for our summer signings. As I’ve said before, there are a lot of fans who are a lot better than me on searching out the highlights of unknown players on the internet. 

A lot of fans said we'd made some class signings, or signings which showed a lot of ambition. We praised the board, Webber and our recruiting team. Now, some of those people say those players, the board, Webber and the recruiting team got it all wrong.  

Whatever the rights and wrongs - and, yes, there are plenty of wrongs - some of the abuse I have heard or seen has made me physically feel sick.  

For many, many years I have been proud to talk about the club and our supporter base. But yet again it’s the minority that is being heard the loudest.  

Most Read

I’m all for good-natured humour, but what has been happening is so awful and disappointing. First it was the sickening taunting of Manchester United fans, then at Tuesday's game at Selhurst Park. The racist comments and abuse both Adam Idah and Billy Gilmour received is so shameful and has not helped one bit. Those two players are very young men trying to make a name in the game.  

Billy Gilmour of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture

Billy Gilmour - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Last year, myself and a few other Norwich fans were affected by online abuse by a so-called Norwich City supporter who thought it was acceptable to abuse individuals who had done nothing but support the club. I remember it affected me on the day and I took it home, which then affected my family. That made it even more upsetting, and it was just not acceptable.  

By the next day I was over it, but it made me think. This was just from one individual and I am in my mid-40s. I questioned how people of a higher profile cope. I also understand it affects people's mental health. 

With both Idah and Gilmour being just 20 years old, they have had to endure this abuse and be expected to get on with it. Some people don’t understand what impact their actions can have on individuals, especially at a young age. 

The Gilmour situation reminds me of Harry Kane when he was at Norwich in 2012. Kane struggled - our football under Chris Hughton never suited him. I remembered many fans giving Kane a tough time here. So maybe with us struggling, Gilmour’s football struggles may be down to playing for a struggling side where he can’t play his natural game. 

Now I wonder what happened to that Kane guy? 

I would’ve thought as we enter 2022, racism would be the last thing I would be talking about, but sadly not. So let’s move away from this vile abuse.  

The only good thing is I know this is only aimed at a minority and the majority will keep the good name of Norwich City. With this weekend's game at Leicester being called off, hopefully by the time we play next weekend, things will have improved and December will go down as just a bad dream.