July 31 2014 Latest news:
Derek James, feature writer
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
It’s a year since the much-loved broadcaster and Norwich City fan Roy Waller passed away. Derek James pays tribute to a special man who touched the lives of so many.
Amid all the excitement of Norwich preparing for life in the Premier League our thoughts turn to one man who would have savoured every minute of the build-up.
And although many of you will never have met him, he was still a good friend – his name was Roy Waller and it was a year ago today when he lost his fight for life. He was 69.
Roy would have been in his element, bringing us the latest news from the football club he loved with such a passion as the tension builds for the exciting season ahead.
He was a young fan who grew into the voice of Carrow Road and thousands of people tuned in to listen to his reports at home and away on the fortunes of the Canaries. The good times and the bad times.
Today our thoughts are with his widow Sylvie and members of his family.
There was far more to Roy than being a football commentator, thanks to his fun-filled afternoon show and his Saturday country music programme, he became part of Norfolk life.
There was no other radio presenter quite like him.
He was a household name. People of all ages and from all walks of life loved listening to the man who described himself as “the daftest broadcaster in the world.”
Norwich born and bred Roy, a Mile Cross boy, started work with an estate agent before going to Norwich Union but he then moved to the AA where he presented radio reports and that led to hospital radio broadcasts from Carrow Road – the home of his beloved Canaries.
When Radio Norfolk came along in 1980 he used all his charm to persuade them to take him on as their football commentator – and the rest is history.
That led to daily shows which thousands of people across the county, and later all over the world, loved.
Remember when he got gunged by Noel Edmunds on his hit TV show Noel’s House Party?
He helped to put the station on the map and he also helped many young entertainers on the road to stardom – especially country musicians.
Roy’s Saturday morning show Rodeo Norfolk was a way of life for so many and when it came to country music, Roy knew his stuff. He was highly regarded by those in the business and they had a lot to thank him for.
His greatest honour came when he was made Sheriff of Norwich in 2008/9.
“I am so proud to represent the city I love. My city,” he told me.
Norwich Cathedral was packed for a service to celebrate his life following his death where former Norwich City chairman Robert Chase said: “Roy was a fine man who loved serving the community.”
He certainly was.