Norwich Away - Being bitten by the bug.
Posted by rakey_lfc on September 30, 2012, 09:43:15 PM
First away game of the season, last one since this fixture last season. Living where I do I struggle to get to Anfield every year, even an away a year because of the costs. Luckily for me Norwich City got promoted and stayed up, so for two years I get to at least one fixture. Now for many match going reds this is bit of smaller game and maybe one to avoid but for me I was buzzing for two weeks when I got the ticket.
The day started with lots of excitement, my little boy must’ve have shared the excitement as he woke at 6am. Brilliant. However, it only added to the frustrations that the clock wasn’t moving quickly enough for me. I started going over songs in my head ensuring I reminded myself of them and hoping it would speed up the process. Next came the first dilemma of the day, I haven’t bought the new top yet. Do I wear the old one or no colours at all? Last year I’d gotten some abuse on the train home from some Norwich City Fans, plus pushed into a car outside the ground for no apparent reason so I wasn’t sure what to do. Fuck it, red!
Just as I was about to leave, the phone rings and my mum offers me a lift over to Norwich with her and my step dad (both Norwich fans). We chat and have a bit of pre match banter until we arrive at City Hall car park. We wonder towards the ground and all I can see is yellow and green, even as we walk into riverside. I say bye to them at Frankie and Bennies as I go to meet my mate at the train station.
Waiting alone in a busy station I start to see more and more flickers of red and the familiar scouse accents. As I’m watching all these people come through the gates but not my mate, my mind flicks to Hillsborough and the thought of waiting at the train station waiting for loved ones on that day. I can’t really imagine the feeling but I get a lump in my throat so I get some money out to distract my thoughts.
Despite living in the local area and knowing Norwich well I couldn’t remember the name of the pub I was in last season but I knew it was only on the bridge. So I wandered through and met my mate lives in Norwich and who I was going to be sat next to. First thing KFC. Second thing lager. KFC was busy but quiet. There was no sense of real atmosphere? We eat up desperate to get in the Complete Anglar. Takes ages to get a pint then we go out into the sun. Few lads there getting some songs going like “were gonna get a tan” and other random songs which make us smile.
First pint when down without even touching the sides so we go back inside. Being the bright sparks we are we realise how busy it is so we get two pints each to save going back so soon. A few more songs start inside, the usual Poor Scouser Tommy, Liverpool and Justice songs. Despite them I’m not feeling it. The atmosphere doesn’t seem brilliant. Was it because last year was a later ko and we were all drunker? I’m starting to wonder if it was worth the £50 and if it’s going to be a poor afternoon.
We head to wetherspoons along riverside and the moment we walk in I get hit by the LFC BUG. It’s full of Norwich fans and then a corner of LFC fans which seem louder than the home fans despite being outnumbered 4 to 1. The old bill come waltzing in and with typical scouse humour “we’re the best behaved supporters in the land” start up. One copper stops and tries to have a laugh by asking if this is a Mexican standoff? Before I could answer some scouser behind me shouts “nah, they’re just unhappy because we’ve robbed their tractors”#
The pub empties pretty quickly and we walk to the game. The atmosphere quietens again until were inside. We get a quick final pint before KO. We walk up the stairs just as the minutes applause starts. I couldn’t tell you what we sung first but it was deafening. A real sense of believe and an almost Fuck you, this is our win today.
Minute in and Suarez scores. The crowd erupts and the atmosphere increases. Then the penalty appeal turned down. I think we’re singing the Maggy thatcher song until I hear the people around me singing “When Suarez gets a pen” Great chant and very relevant too. The moment of the day for me happened next. Suarez gets put through and miser an absolute sitter. The whole of the Barclay end erupts while the Liverpool fans fall quiet thinking how on earth did he miss that. “Wanker, Wanker” and the usual “we know what you are” loud and proud until bang Suarez robs Turner then embarrasses him and bends it into the far corner.
Absolute fucking eruption. I’ve never heard noise like it. The pure irony as the Barclay end looks on as embarrassed as turner. “We know what you are!” The game plays out and I miss Sahin’s goal because I wanted a beer. Twat. Until the end and even after the final whistle the songs are non-stop. I honestly can’t remember a time where we weren’t making noise? YNWA was sung loud and proud about five mins from the end. The final whistle goes and the crowd is belting out “Luis Suarez, we know what you are!” to which I think Luis was very grateful for.
What amazed me was how we knew when to play, when to get rid, when to hold our shape and when to press the ball and more importantly how it was done throughout the team. Joe Allen was standout for me though.
Me and my mate sit down in hope to watch the team come out for a cool down but we get ushered out by the stewards. We walk back to spoons and get refused entry, fuck it didn’t wanna go in anyways so we continue back to the Anglar. Full of reds again. The atmosphere was silent, but you could tell there was a sense of believe from what we had all just witnessed. We carry on drinking and two loud cheers go up when spurs score. I say hello to Sir Harvest fields politely this year after last year I pretty much jumped on him.
Then the drink must have kicked in because the songs start going again for twenty minutes. We carry on drinking until we realise we have less than a minute to catch our train. By this time I’m feeling pretty shitfaced, eyes as red as my top. I catch the train as the door close and I find a quiet seat by myself as I start to struggle to stay awake and more importantly don’t be sick. I start to think about how good a day it’s been and how sores my throat. I start to think how money becomes irrelevant when you’re watching the team you love. I start to appreciate how lucky I am to have what I have in life and wonder what sacrifices some reds make to follow the boys everywhere.
To be honest, from here on I can’t remember too much. I know I got Pizza because the box was on the side this morning. I think I walked home from the train station. I’m not sure if I fell over as I’ve got a massive bruise and sore wrist this morning? However, the one thing I do remember is walking in to the missus and just hearing those words “god, you’re smashed” haha priceless. She tells me my response was to start singing about Luis Suarez.
What a day, money well spent and definitely my best ever away game. I’ve got the bug back, that addiction of not being able to get songs out of your head, the wanting to go back to the next game. I didn’t even know I’d posted on RAWK until this morning!
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