Norwich City FC
Ground Number: 146
Saturday 22nd August 2009
Norwich City 5-2 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca Cola League 1
TEN FACTS ABOUT NORWICH CITY FC
1: The club was established in 1902 and originally played in the Norfolk and Suffolk League. They moved to the Southern League in 1905. Despite a 7th place finish in their debut season, they were never a great success. They joined the Football League in 1920 as extra divisions were established. The first 40 years were spent in the bottom two tiers and in 1957, they finished bottom of Division 3 South. Fortunes improved in the 1960s and since that time, they've spent all but one season in the top two tiers. Their best finish came during the 1992/93 season when they finished 3rd in the Premiership behind Manchester United and Aston Villa.
2: Norwich City have reached the FA Cup Semi-Final on three occasions. The most notable of these runs came in the 1958-59 season whilst they were still a third division club. Ilford, Swindon Town, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United were beaten prior to a defeat in a replay to Luton Town. Ironically, Luton also provided one of the big FA Cup shocks of all time when as a Conference side, they beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road in a 4th Round tie in 2013.
3: The League Cup has been won twice in 1962 when they beat Rochdale over two legs and in 1985 when they beat Sunderland 1-0 at Wembley. The unofficial 'Friendship Trophy' following the friendship forged between the two sets of fans was launched and is contested whenever the two clubs meet. Sunderland are the current holders having beaten Norwich 3-1 in an August 2017 clash at Carrow Road - the game at Sunderland later that season having ended in a draw.
4: As a result of their record league finish, Norwich City played in Europe for the 1992/93 season. Vitesse Arnhem and Bayern Munich were beaten (the latter following a famous 2-1 win in Germany) before a defeat over two legs to Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup 3rd Round.
5: Norwich City should have also played in Europe for the 1985-86 season. However, fighting fans caused the death of 39 Juventus fans at the previous seasons final against Liverpool. As a result, English clubs were banned from European competition. To fill the void, the Screen Sport Super Cup was created and Norwich City reached the semi-final, losing to Liverpool. Other notable cup achievements include the Football League Trophy Southern Semi-Final in 2010 and the FA Amateur Cup Quarter Final in 1904.
6: Norwich originally played at the 10,000 capacity Newmarket Road from 1902 until 1908 and then at the 25,000 capacity 'The Nest' from 1908 until 1935. Due to the latter being deemed inadequate for large crowds, Carrow Road was built for the club, with construction taking just 82 days. The record attendance of 43,984 came for an FA Cup match against Leicester City in 1963. The ground has been host to a number of England U21 games and also concerts featuring the likes of Elton John, George Michael and Rod Stewart.
7: The club's main rivals are Ipswich Town and together they contest the 'Old Farm Derby' - a pun on the more famous game between Rangers and Celtic in Glasgow. In competitive games, Ispwich hold the upper hand with 45 wins to Norwich's 33 with 37 games ending in draws.
8: Norwich links with Wycombe include in management and coaching - Martin O'Neill. Paul Lambert, Paul Franklin, Steve Walford, Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa. Players to have played for both include Zema Abbey, Drewe Broughton, Clint Easton, Gary Holt, Russell Martin and Keith Scott. Norwich have won all three clashes between the clubs - one on the FA Cup in 1994 and two league games during the 2009/10 season.
9: Famous Norwich City fans include TV chef Delia Smith, comedian Stephen Fry, band 'The Darkness' TV presenter David Frost and singer Myleene Klass.
10: The city of Norwich sits on the River Wensum. The city itself has a population of 141,000. Famous people from the city include TV's Stephen Fry, politician Ed Balls, footballer Chris Sutton and Youtube celebrity Stuart Ashen. Also fictional football manager Mike Bassett and DJ Alan Partridge hail from the town. Norwich has a couple of non-league clubs, namely Norwich United and Norwich CBS, both who play in the suburbs of the city.
I'd originally intended to visit Carrow Road for a second time to redo my blog, but following the Coronavirus outbreak of Spring 2020, I set about updating some of the grounds I'd visited in more recent times, especially ones where I'd got a good set of pictures and noted down a decent amount when I initially launched this blog in the summer of 2011. I had actually been to Norwich before to look around the ground during a summer holiday near the area. This was in August 1995, a couple of months after Martin O'Neill has left Wycombe for the Canaries. The club made us feel really welcome and the former Wycombe coach, Paul Franklin, really liked Maisie, our Springer Spaniel who to be fair was a cracking dog. That was back in the day when I didn't actually groundhop as such but liked going around taking photos of grounds. I've got a few decent pictures of back then, though the cost and ease of getting pictures back then when you had to pay to have them developed. In between my visits, Norwich had upgraded the one tired-looking stand at the ground to a much smarter one.
Fast forward fourteen years later and Norwich City's fall from grace meant that we were set to play them in the league. It had been a tough start to the season with defeats to Charlton Athletic & Leeds United as well as a mediocre draw at home to Southend United. Added to that, we'd been thumped 4-0 in the League Cup by Peterborough United. As such, it was no surprise to see us in the relegation zone. Norwich themselves has been smashed 7-1 at home to Colchester on the opening day of the season - former Wycombe manager Paul Lambert making his way from Colchester to Norwich to help sort them out, shortly afterwards. As usual, I drove to the game and gave mates a lift. I did my usual thing back then of visiting Non-League grounds along the route to Norfolk. This time, the clubs that had the honour of my presence were Bishops Stortford, Stansted, Harlow Town, Saffron Walden Town, Newmarket Town & Mildenhall Town. They were all really decent and I've since been back to all but Mildenhall Town to see a game. We got to Norwich about 1 and found a good place to park. After a look around the City Centre, we made our way to the game.
It was former Wycombe manager Paul Lambert's first game in charge for Norwich and he got off to a winning start thanks to some ropey Wycombe defending in what was a decent game. Grant Holt, Korey Smith and John Otsembor put Norwich 3-0 up after 36 minutes and the game looked as good as over. However, Jon-Paul Pittman on 38 minutes and Matt Harrold on 46 minutes reduced the arrears to 3-2 to give the 800 Wycombe fans that had travelled to the game some hope. However, the 23,000 Norwich fans that were there were a lot happier when Berthel Askou headed home to make it 4-2 on 48 minutes. Gary Holt got his second on 71 minutes walking the ball around Scott Shearer to make it 5-1. Shearer then made a good save in the final few minutes to deny Holt a hat trick.
CARROW ROAD is an excellent all-seater stadium with a capacity of just over 27,000. The Norwich colours of yellow and green are in abundance and this makes for a really attractive stadium. The club used to make their own pies and these were decent and the choice of TV chef Delia Smith who is involved at the club. Nowadays it's just the same dull fare you get at other clubs. The stadium is in an excellent location, right on the edge of town and there are a good range of pubs and takeaways. My research tells me that the Rose Inn is the pick of these offering plenty of real ale and up to six real ciders. It also offers some great looking food in the evening including burgers and curries.