Home gates set to break through half million mark

League One leaders Norwich City had half a million reasons to be cheerful as they took on bottom-of-the-table Stockport County today. Another bumper crowd for the Easter Monday fixture was set to take total attendances at Carrow Road this season in all competitions past the 500,000 mark.

League One leaders Norwich City had half a million reasons to be cheerful as they took on bottom-of-the-table Stockport County today.

Another bumper crowd for the Easter Monday fixture was set to take total attendances at Carrow Road this season in all competitions past the 500,000 mark.

Despite playing in the third tier of English football for the first time in 50 years, the Canaries' level of support is still the envy of most clubs outside the Premier League - and quite a few in the top flight.

Visiting managers and journalists are frequently left dumbfounded by the sight of a packed stadium that greets them at Norwich.


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Before this afternoon's game, gates for the 19 league matches and two cup-ties played at home in 2009-10 totalled 493,671.

With home league games alone pulling in 468,786, City boast League One's best average home gate of 24,672, more than 400 higher than Leeds' figure of 24,247, and nearly 4,000 better than Southampton's 20,856, the third highest average in the division.

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City's average home league attendance is also better than their last three seasons in the Championship, and in fact rates as the best since the 1970s with just one exception - the 2005-06 campaign.

In that first season after relegation from the Premiership, 23 home league fixtures brought in crowds totalling 571,169 at an average of 24,833.

Four full houses in the last four home games, however, might just give City a chance of nudging past that 2005-06 total and ending the season with their best league aggregate and average for well over 30 years.

Manager Paul Lambert has been quick to pay tribute to supporters after virtually every game, and after Friday's 3-1 defeat at Tranmere, he insisted that he wanted promotion for the club and its fans rather than for personal glory.

He said: “It would be terrific for the club and the city. I think that's more important than myself. I've never been one to worry about myself. I just worry about the club and the fans, that's always the case. For me it's different but for the people of Norwich, that's who I want to do it for - for them.”

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