May 22 2013 Latest news:
Friday, January 25, 2013
Tomorrow’s FA Cup clash between Norwich City and Luton Town has already been won for two Carrow Road season ticket holders.
For Keith and Ann Bray are going into the match in something of a win-win situation, as they have their feet in both camps.
That is because Ann, who is assistant secretary of Norfolk County Cricket Club, is a Hatter at heart and was born and raised in the Bedfordshire town.
The couple, both 74, who live in Recorder Road in the city centre, have had season tickets at Carrow Road since 1999 and have sat in the Geoffrey Watling City Stand ever since the old South Stand was demolished.
Although the high-flying Canaries of the Premier League are now the first love of the well-known couple, Ann admits she still has plenty of affection for her hometown team.
“It’s a win-win situation for us but we would definitely prefer the Canaries to win,” Ann said. “I just hope Luton put on a good show and have a good day. Whatever the score I hope they enjoy the day because playing in front of 26-and-a-half or 27 thousand people, for most of them, is going to be the biggest day of their lives.”
Keith will be well-known to many local sportsmen as he is not only a past president and life member of Norfolk County Cricket Club but he was also a football referee and linesman and a Minor Counties cricket umpire.
He also holds a rare double of having umpired at Lord’s, the home of English cricket, no less than six times, and having run the line in a Wembley football final, during the 1975 FA Trophy tie between Scarborough and Matlock.
Keith, who used to go to matches at Carrow Road when he was not officiating on a Saturday afternoon, added: “Luton is always the second team we look for when we see the results.
“But I hope the Norwich players don’t just turn up expecting to win. I hope they go out there to win the game and show what they can do.”
There is also a further quartet of Norfolk-based Luton supporters hoping for a giant killing - at County Hall in Norwich.
Four Norfolk County Council workers - Matt Howard, John and Sally Connor and Dale Wilder - all follow the fortunes of the Bedfordshire club and are eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s match.
Mr and Mrs Connor, who live near Bungay, came to Norfolk 18 years ago but have not converted to the Canary cause and are still hoping for a cup upset.
Mr Connor, 55, said: “We haven’t got a huge chance, we have got to be realistic, but we have got a couple of strikers who could cause Norwich problems - it’s just our suspect defence that could be the weak link.
“I just hope we play 4-4-2 because if we play one up front, then we could be in trouble!”
Norwich City officials confirmed on Monday night the release of ten players from the club – headlined by the departure of Canadian international Simeon Jackson.