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Craig Sayer

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  1. Craig Sayer

    Ricardo's report v Man Utd

    Was also in the toilet when the goal went in as had to take my son for a pee so pretty annoying. Was positive we had scored as we were in Wensum Corner so opposite end entirely to man u fans and it sounded far too loud for an away goal. Obviously very deceptive and as I don''t normally sit there wouldn''t have known what a home goal sounded like underneath the stand. Couldn''t believe it when we walked out and scoreboard said 0-1. Otherwise just not enough quality on final ball and could have been different if jerome header went in and bassong didn''t miss a simple clearing header. Don''t see any prospect of staying up but it''s my 7th relegation if/when it happens so nothing new. Think if we keep 3/4 of squad we''ll be pretty competitive in champion ship.
  2. As someone who is trying, quite successfully at the moment to keep his soon to be 6 year old son as a Norwich fan, the next couple of seasons are pretty crucial for me until he is fully indoctrinated. We live in NW London by the way and at my son''s school the only other child who supports neither Man U/Liverpool nor one of the big London teams (Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea) is a Villa fan and more of this later. Even the smaller London premier league teams like QPR, W. Ham, Fulham don''t get a look in. At the moment Project Canary is going well. He''s been to about 4 or 5 home games starting with Walsall (remember those days) and thinks it''s entirely normal that he supports Norwich in exactly the same way I do along with his grandad and we all go to the games together. Away games are out for the time being, as I tend to go and spend the day in the pub before and after and it''s probably a bit intimidating if you''re only 5 and can''t see the game properly anyway. As far as he is concerned Norwich is a big club, and let''s face it 26,000 people less a small number of away fans all in yellow and green is pretty impressive so he loves it at Carrow Road. He gets to wear his football kit at school for football which is on a Monday and let''s just say he had a great day after the Man U and Arsenal games as we know what little sods kids can be at times i.e. your team is rubbish etc. This is aside from my own views on what relegation would mean. I was depressed enough last weekend, let alone after the Charlton and Fulham debacles. I took some comfort from Wigan losing last night, but that''s our lifeline now which we have to follow up with a win on Sunday.

    Anyway back to the Villa fan above - his dad is from Birmingham by the way. Last time I saw the son the Villa kit had disappeared to be replaced with a full Chelsea kit. Whether this has anything to do with Villa''s form this season I don''t know. I did say to his dad that I wouldn''t allow my son to support Chelsea or at least I wouldn''t buy a strip for him or expect anyone else in my family to do the same, but at the moment I don''t have that dliemma thankfully. I was pretty much a fan for life by age 8 or 9 so only a couple of years to go. 


  3. Craig Sayer

    Hillsborough Report - Norwich Memories

    The release of the Hillsborough papers reminded me of that day back in 1989 and I thought I would try to remember my own memories of the day which as most of us will know also involved another FA Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park. I drove over with my dad from King''s Lynn, leaving probably about 9ish as my dad always liked to arrive early for games. This did mean we were at Villa Park at the ridiculously early time of about 12. I was 19 at the time and it was our second big away trip of the season after the previous round at West Ham.

    I seem to recall it was a gloriously hot spring day and we were in the Holte End, the large home terrace at the time which was all standing. Can''t remember if we had the whole end or not. The journey over saw us both in a really bouyant mood, with loads of other cars and coaches flying the yellow and green, scarves out of windows etc. All in all a day to really look forward to: my own first FA Cup semi-final and probably the biggest game for me since the Milk Cup Final in 85 which I''d been lucky enough to attend.

    We parked the car quite near the ground, at the Witton end as far as I can recall, which was the Everton end, and were slightly worried as I knew about the local kids who weren''t averse to keying your car if you didn''t give them some cash. I think we gave over a pound with a promise of another one at the end and this did actually work as we got back to find exactly what we had left.

    The game itself passed in a blur. We were really poor and with such high expectations, that was the worst part of the day, knowing we could have won the game and got to Wembley. I think it''s fair to say that getting to the F A Cup Final in 1989 was far more than it is now, being pre-Premier League etc. All the talk was of Robert Fleck''s absence and whether it made a difference. Who knows?   

    This was also in the days before social media. No internet, no I-phones etc. Some people had radios but information from Hillsborough was confused at best and limited to a few people. We even saw Everton fans after the game who didn''t know what was happening and were desperately looking for news. It was only on the journey home that we appreciated the full significance and after about an hour of the drive we really had to stop, find a pub and have a quiet drink. We got talking to other City and Everton fans and I can''t recall much talk if any about our game. It was all about Hillsborough, with the thought that a significant number of people has set off that morning exactly as we had and would not be returning home. Bear in mind also that the death toll was only in single figures initially due to the widespread confusion. Even when reaching home it didn''t seem to be anywhere near the 50s or 60s, let alone nearly a hundred. I remember getting back to Lynn about 9 and had never felt more miserable after a day out at the football. Even the worst away days can normally bring some black humour or moments to laugh about. This had none. Went out for a load more beers when I got home and the rest of the season didn''t have the same resonance for me. I know my dad took a long time before he felt comfortable going to away matches, and it was probably not until the Birmingham play-off final that we had the same sort of trip as memories had faded. We still talk about it though.

    Thoughts of others welcomed.



  4. Craig Sayer

    how many grounds have you done?

    Varies depending on whether you include only current grounds or new and old but in the 80s and I''m not yet 40!

    Looking forward to Exeter which is a new one and travelling back on the same train as the Capital Canaries.

    Premiership (20)
    Arsenal (x 2 means new and old)  
    Aston Villa
    Bolton (x2)
    Hull (x2)
    Man City (x2)
    Man Utd
    Sunderland (new only)
    West Ham
    Wigan (x2)

    Championship (23)
    Bristol City
    Cardiff (old only)
    Coventry (x2)
    Crystal Palace
    Derby (x2)
    Doncaster (x2)
    Leicester (x2)
    Middlesbrough (new only)
    Nottm Forest
    Reading (x2)
    Sheff Utd
    Sheff Wed
    Swansea (old only)
    West Brom

    League One (including Carrow Road) 20
    Bristol Rovers

    Carlisle - Not done
    Colchester (old only)
    Exeter - Not done
    Huddersfield (new only)
    Leeds United
    Leyton Orient 
    Millwall (new only)
    MK Dons (old only)
    Southampton (x2)
    Walsall (x2)

    League Two 20

    Accrington Stanley 
    Burton Albion - Not done
    Dag & Red 
    Darlington (new only)
    Lincoln City 
    Morecambe - Not done
    Notts County 
    Port Vale
    Rotherham (old only)
    Shrewsbury (old only)