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"Football is my life"

Lifelong Norwich City fan, Judy, has explained just how important her club is to the local community

26 October 2020

Judy is a lifelong supporter of Norwich City and has followed the club up and down the country, both home and away, for the last 55 years.

Under normal circumstances, she would attend home games at Carrow Road with her husband - who she met at an away game many years ago and is a steward on one of the coaches for away games - and a regular group of fellow supporters she has come to know over the years.

Speaking about her love for the Canaries and the impact of being unable to attend fixtures due to COVID-19, she said: “It’s my life and I’m completely lost without it. Virtually all of my friends are connected with Norwich City in some way and I don’t get to see them. Even the people you don’t know that well but you see week in, week out usually, I’m missing all of them.

“It’s not just about the football, though; it’s the social aspect that comes with it. The little things, like the coach pulling into a certain services on the way to an away game and seven or eight of us would also go over the bridge and have a coffee together. The fact I can’t do that made me suddenly feel really sad.

“My husband hasn’t been well since Christmas, and he’s not been able to go to any games since then, because of that. In the early part of his illness, when he was well enough to be on his own, actually going to games was my bit of normality.”

Judy also takes part in the Community Sports Foundation’s Extra Time Hubs, a programme which aims to engage men and women aged 55 plus in weekly physical and social sessions.

Although some aspects of the initiative were put on hold due to the pandemic, Judy says the work of the CSF within the Norwich community is vital for so many people.

“When I was coming up to retirement age, one of the other ladies I know at the club spoke to me about Extra Time Hubs," she added. "I went along and it was great; even when it stopped due to the pandemic, we’ve been in touch with each other via Zoom.

“I’ve been lucky, as I’m in a village so I get to speak to people, but some of the people in the group who have been totally isolated and not seen many people at all. I think it’s a great thing that the Hub has enabled us to continue to speak to each other and really keep people going.

“Some of the players and staff have reached out and delivered food parcels and it’s important to keep people involved. The club is so vital to the whole community, from young people right up to older people.”

When asked about what Norwich City means to her, Judy concluded: “I always say I’ve got two families: my family here and my Norwich City family. It is a very, very big part of my life. When people have been saying they want to see their family, I do, but I want to see my second family too.”

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