Monday, November 19, 2012
From Carrow Road to Chinatown in Singapore, the Yellow Army is beaming with pride today after Norwich City’s sensational 1-0 win against Manchester United.
The football giants arrived in Norwich with the warning they would be stepping into Cauldron Carrow Road.
Canaries fans vowed to sing their hearts out, loud and proud.
And with ears still ringing and smiles firmly fixed on faces yesterday, it was clear something special had happened.
Anthony Pilkington’s header in the 60th minute sealed a famous win against the 12-time Premier League winners and former European Champions.
Almost 27,000 fans packed into the stadium and many more chose to watch the game in pubs, or follow it at home.
They enjoyed Norwich’s second win against United in 15 games –and their first since a 2-0 home win in 2005.
Norwich boss Chris Hughton hailed the result as the best of the season and thanked the “excellent” supporters for their noisy backing.
He said: “Yes, it was certainly our best, simply because it was Manchester United. They tested us more perhaps than anybody we have played against this season.
“It doesn’t come any bigger than United coming here. What pleased me most was that I thought over the 90 minutes we deserved what we got. I thought it was such a resilient performance, we limited them to really minimal chances.
“It always is noisy here but Manchester United is a special occasion for the supporters because of what they are as a club, as a manager and as a team. You would expect your support to rise to that and I thought they were excellent.”
Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong also praised the crowd, which included England manager Roy Hodgson, describing the atmosphere “amazing as usual”.
Lower Barclay Stand season-ticket holder Melissa Rudd, 23, of Hellesdon, said she was lifted up in the air by her uncle to celebrate the goal and also the full-time whistle.
She said: “That doesn’t normally happen and the game was a bit special. I also saw random blokes in front of me just hugging each other.
“It was more emotional at full time than when the goal went in as you know when playing United they could bring it back and it finishes 4-1.
“This win was better than the last time we beat United, as then we were fighting a losing cause and we thought we would get relegated. That was a time I felt we got lucky.
“But this time I’d been saying all week at work we could get a result. I think the atmosphere was better too.”
Dawn Hopkins, landlady of the Ketts Tavern, in Ketts Hill, Norwich, said her ears were still ringing yesterday from the cheers of those watching the game in her pub. She said: “Everyone in the pub was absolutely delighted. I’ve never heard so much noise ever in the pub.
“The cheering and the singing was absolutely amazing. The goal went in and everyone was really pleased, but you could see the sense of waiting for something else to happen.
“It was a bit tense – you could see it on people’s faces and everyone was looking at the clock, and when they stuck four minutes of extra time on, and they played nearer five, everyone was saying ‘come on, come on’. There were some tense-looking faces.
“When the whistle blew it was fantastic.
“There was lots of noise and drinking and we had the fans come back from the game too in good spirits.”
And while Manchester United may be renowned across the world with fans in many countries, Canaries supporters based around the globe also joined in the celebrations.
One City supporter, who wishes to be known as Singapore Canary, said he watched the game with a handful of Manchester United fans in Chinatown in Singapore.
The season-ticket holder, who makes it back to Norwich when he can, said the game started at 1.30am in the morning and the post-match interviews finally finished at 4.45am.
He said: “As the goal went in the adrenalin flowed and any tiredness disappeared and a little part of Chinatown was Carrow Road.
“The quality of the goal was commented on in a favourable manner by the United fans about.” But he added he thought the goal had come 30 minutes too soon, with United’s recent comebacks, which include a 3-2 win against Aston Villa, in his mind.
He continued: “The last half hour was a rollercoaster of emotions as the game was really end-to-end, then when you thought it may happen for us they brought on [Paul] Scholes and [Danny] Wellbeck.
“But there is a new resilience this season and Norwich defended as a team.”
And the overseas fan said the victories against Arsenal and Stoke proved the result was no fluke.
He added: “What does it mean to beat United? As the pundits and the manager would say it is the three points that count, which is true, but it gives you that lift of having beaten what is arguably the best team in the Premiership, even if they did not have [Wayne] Rooney.
“The fortunate thing out here is that the people I watch football with are very passionate about their team but they are also football fans and win or lose we all give each other fair comments. Also more and more people now recognise a Canary shirt!”
BBC Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey was also among the fans abroad, and he took to Twitter to share his delight from Austin, Texas, where he was covering the US Grand Prix. Mr Humphrey wrote: “Sometimes being an #NCFC fan is the greatest thing in the world. Think it would be rude not to eat a massive Texan cheeseburger to celebrate.”
Stephen Fry was among the famous Canaries tweeting, as he took time out from his part in a new stage version of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. He tweeted: “Oh joy unparalleled! Well done City! What a result. Now back to the play – #otbc #ncfc #TwelfthNight.”