Tuesday, 3 May 2011
It is the ninth time in the history of Norwich City that the club have been in this magnificent position, the eighth in my lifetime, though on the first of those eight occasions I was less than one year old. But I have lived through and cherished all of the other seven. Today, and less than twenty four hours after the final whistle was blown at Fratton Park, I have wondered where the feats of Paul Lambert's team of 2010-11 fit into the grand scheme of things. Just how great is the achievement ? But that assessment can wait. Frankly it is not something I want to get my head around, on this day of all days. For now, it is the greatest of them all, because it is the latest
What I would say, is that there is a huge feeling of bewilderment within the NCFC community, which is maybe just a little surprising in itself, given that promotion had increasingly been a possibility as the weeks went by. I think few doubted the ability of the team to pull it off. But it was an unlikely dream that most fans did not dare to believe. I can honestly say that of all of my promotion experiences, this one was more nerve racking than any other. It really should not have had that affect on me. Why could I not buy into the idea that whatever happened, we had seen a magnificent season? No, as each match came and went, I found myself unhappy at the prospect of a mere play off place. I wanted this. I wanted it badly.
Never in my Canary supporting life, had I needed to see my team succeed quite so much. It wasn't for me. It wasn't for my fellow fans. It wasn't because of the recent dark days that saw the club fall to their lowest ebb for fifty years.
I wanted them to win this promotion for two reasons.
Firstly, money. Today, Norwich City find themselves with the greatest opportunity imaginable to secure their immediate future, to survive, and then to rebuild back to former heights.
And secondly, because the players, managers and owners truly deserved it. No promotion or trophy is ever secured without huge effort. But this group you fancy, have worked overtime. Their belief, pride, and application has taken them over the line. Their football has been consistently efficient, and often joyous.
They deserve their applause today, not just from us, the fans, but also from the wider footballing world. Promotion to the Premier League is said to be worth £90 million, and you cannot help but think that they have put Norwich City Football Club back on the map.