Technology – The Exiles’ Saviour

I started supporting Norwich City in 1985, after watching them lift the Milk Cup.

All the other lads at school were supporting the winning teams at the time – Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton were the main areas of support at my school, along with the inevitable throng of Leeds United fans (for those that don’t know me I was born and bred in Leeds and, for the moment, still reside there).

So, to buck the trend (and to be honest I was attracted to the bright yellow shirts!) I started to support Norwich City. Now it’s not very often you see “Norwich City” and “Glory Hunting” in the same sentence, but that was me!

Boy, it was hard. The national press didn’t report much – my only way of following was either seeing the vidiprinter on Grandstand on Saturday tea-time, or reading a two-paragraph match report in my father’s copy of “The Sunday People”.

We holidayed in Lowestoft religiously as a family until about 1998 – the same caravan, same fortnight in August every year (at the now derelict site next to the pea factory!).This allowed me to fall in love with Norfolk, Norwich and the surrounding area and got the chance to finally visit Carrow Road. By now football in this country was hitting new popularity levels and media coverage nationally was getting much better.

Now, fast forward to today, and the “Exiles” like me or the many thousands scattered around the globe have a feast of information at our fingertips! When I’m not at Carrow Road, or at one of the many away games I manage to get to, I can follow the games in any number of ways. There are lots of options to follow games on the internet, text updates, twitter, facebook and the multitude of fan sites on the www.

I have at least two apps on my mobile phone that give me score updates within seconds of a goal being scored, and the wonderful Jeff Stelling and the boys on Soccer Saturday too. All that just while the game is being played.

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The rest of the week, we can now still be inundated with information, gossip and news about our club, our next opponents or even our “friends” down the road if we are so inclined. Gone are the days of only discussing football with your neighbours, your workmates, the blokes down the pub or the other kids at school. We can now communicate opinion with anyone willing to listen or read – regardless of location. In fact, it is through using this very website that I first became involved with NCISA .

Technology is wonderful for us fans, we have embraced it with open arms. It has certainly enhanced my love of football and now perhaps is taken for granted.

Next time you’re sat at Carrow Road, spare a thought for the thousands who can’t be there but are following somehow, somewhere. Put yourself in their position for a moment and imagine trying to follow Norwich City without today’s technology.