Face it! Both Norwich City and Ipswich Town belong in the Championship

PUBLISHED: 17:35 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:35 28 October 2019

Norwich v Ipswich is much missed. Liz Nice hopes it won't be long before our teams are back together Photo: Angela Sharpe

Norwich v Ipswich is much missed. Liz Nice hopes it won't be long before our teams are back together Photo: Angela Sharpe

Archant © 2007

Liz Nice says fans of both East Anglian teams will be much happier once the natural order of things has been restored...

Helen McDermott and puppet BC from ITV Anglia's Birthday Club. Picture: ArchantHelen McDermott and puppet BC from ITV Anglia's Birthday Club. Picture: Archant

Well, after my trip to Germany I have been relishing a healthy dose of schadenfreude - my favourite word in the world, as it happens, along with nincompoop, sadly rather rare these days, although there seem to be plenty of them about.

The schadenfreude comes, of course, from football, because at such Brexit-don't-expect-it-any-time-soon times, football is the best place in which to take refuge.

The game, of course, doesn't really matter at all but pretending that it does enables us to not mind so much about the things that actually do.

And so I found myself at the weekend, having animated discussions with my ex about VAR - we both agree that the game is the worse for it because when it is used seems to be a matter for debate and where do you draw the line? - and with a Norwich City supporting friend - about the state of my team, Ipswich Town's fortunes, and his.

Only a few months ago, Ipswich fans could barely show their faces in Norwich.

Indeed, whenever I got into the lift at work in our Norwich office, I would inevitably run into a kindly commiserater - their pity made it worse - letting me know that Ipswich would certainly rise again with Paul Lambert at the helm, while I endeavoured to win back some pride by assuring them 
that both of our teams would likely be back in the Championship by May 2020.

That prediction, it seems, is shaping up rather well.

Ipswich are flying high - despite a couple of lapses against Accrington Stanley and Rotherham which gave us all a bit of a wobble, while my Norwich friend says the Manchester United game was 'one of the most depressing sights I have seen in a while and I might not go back again for a bit.'

Of course, when I suggested that he might like to come and watch Ipswich with me instead, he changed his tune somewhat but his view that watching Norwich in the Premiership is just not anywhere near as enjoyable as watching them in the Championship is one I remember well from the days when Ipswich were pretty much the living definition of Iain Dowie's famous bit of neologism, 'bouncebackability'.

We're at it again now, albeit from a much lower perch, 
but I for one look forward to 
the day when our East Anglian teams are playing each other once again, and I suspect Norwich 
fans do as well.

One famous win against Manchester City is scant compensation for game after game of gruelling misery because what's the point of football if it doesn't lift your mood at least half of the time and give you something to rant passionately about the rest?

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Well all you do is lose, and lose badly, you can't even get worked up.

Call me a nincompoop if you like (I'd be delighted), but I reckon we all know that both of our teams are Championship teams, nothing more and nothing less, and the sooner that state of affairs is restored, the happier we will all be, don't you think?

Support for the 'legendary' Helen

Thanks to all of those who wrote to me after my column about Helen McDermott not being featured as part of Anglia TV's 60th celebrations alongside her old mate, BC.

Everyone seemed to agree that it was an outrage and our online poll asking readers whether Helen and BC should be brought back to Anglia permanently found that 62% of readers felt that they should!

One reader, Les, summed it up perfectly:

"I am an avid Anglia TV viewer and have been for many years, and I saw the 60th Birthday article on Anglia News the other day, and was really, really surprised that Helen McDermott wasn't invited on the show with BC. She should have been. Well, when I say surprised, I mean appalled really.

Having Christine Webber on the show was one thing, but not inviting Helen on with her was another, as they did so many Anglia TV shows together, they were like sisters and in my opinion, legendary together.

And as for BC? Well, if it wasn't for Helen, nobody would have heard of BC.

Having Chris Page doing that piece with BC was ridiculous, I doubt if he was even born when Helen started the Birthday Club with BC.

No, for me, that was a very poor decision by Anglia TV for not having Helen McDermott on with BC and with Christine Webber. Anyway, sorry to be such a moaner, but I just wanted to say how I felt."

Well, Les, I don't think you're a moaner at all. Helen should have been on there and I am yet to meet or hear from a single reader who says different. Meanwhile, I hear BC has had to go into a darkened room to recover. But the spirit of Birthday Club will live on in all of us who remember it, won't it?

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