The story of how one Norwich City fan travelled to Wembley by coach - all by himself
Archant Norfolk 2015
For one Norwich City fan, the trip to Wembley for the Championship play-off final was a little different.
EDP columnist and Twitter’s very own @BigGrantHolt Jon Rogers documents his day at Wembley - including a rather unusual journey.
8.15am: Here we go. Oh…turn the corner to find the County Hall coach queue is longer than the toilets at OneBigWeekend after Taylor Swift. Time I get on a coach, I think I’ve walked to Wembley. I just so happen to be the only one on my coach so looks like I’m being chauffeured to Wembley. Kind of.
2pm: Arrived. Yellow everywhere! Hear reports that Boro’s team have only just arrived too. Can understand why, the surrounding roads are terrible. Sure I see some Derby and QPR fans still trying to get out from last year.
2.30pm: I enter the ground for the first time and my heart nearly stops. £7 for a programme! SEVEN.QUID. Still, at least my view is incredible. Inflatables bounce, balloons flitter and flags-are-a-flapping. Both sets of fans are up for this. Hope the players are.
3pm: KICK OFF. We start brilliantly. Closing down every ball. We want it more. Oh boy, do we want it more.
3.10pm: Bradley J hits the bar! Incredible effort. So close. Keeper beaten.
3.11pm: They hit the bar. Lucky shot, completely shinned it. Ruddy had it covered anyway.
3.14pm: GOAL! Just like at Portman Road, Jerome steals the ball off the centre back, bombs forward and whilst the Norwich end screams for him to pull it back, he nudges it in the goal. ERUPTION. Simple move, simple finish, simple goalkeeper. If only we can hold on until half-time.
3.18pm: GOAL! Oh, better than hold on. To end an incredible passing move, Redmond cuts in and slashes the ball home. If you thought the celebrations were crazy after Jerome’s goal. WOW. WEE. I run up the stairs and crunch into a manhug with a chap I’ve never met before. The stuffing is well and truly knocked out of Boro’s fans and players.
3.47pm: Half-time. The atmosphere in the bar area is bouncing. Impromptu bursts of various chants. The scoreline twists my arm to bite the bullet and buy a programme. £7. SEVEN. QUID.
4.25pm: Nothing has happened since...well half-time. Alex Neil and his team have KILLED this game, which is perfection. Amazing management. It’s what those good teams do. We cheer each clearance and Boro mistake, which is frequent. HOLD ON NORWICH.
4.50pm: Ref blows the full-time whistle. If the floor weren’t concrete I’d have sunk to my knees. Fire balls, streamers, disco music and grown men in tears. Sounds like a typical Tuesday for Delia as she strides out onto the pitch. She looks so proud and joyful. She is one of us.
5.30pm: Wave bye to the Wembley arch and get on the coach. LET’S GO HOME.
7pm: Still in car park. Oh. And battery’s gone on phone.
7.30pm: Aaaand still in car park. Ok. I want to go home now.
8.02pm: WE’RE MOVING. Slowly. Very, very slowly.
1am: Home. Wow. What a day. What a week. What a SEASON. I can’t help but think of Neil Adams. He helped build this ship, Alex Neil sailed it home and WE ARE PREM AGAIN!
I hope I will never ever forget today. I’ll see you at the Hamilton Academical’s pre-season friendly!