Roy’s a man of many colours – as long as they are yellow and green!

Roy Blower, seen here with his Norwich Sports Award 2011 for his lifetime commitment to sport. Pioto

Roy Blower, seen here with his Norwich Sports Award 2011 for his lifetime commitment to sport. Pioto: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant Norfolk 2011

You can't keep a good man down – and Roy Blower was quick to pick up the phone this week after memories were revived of Norwich City's famous 1959 FA Cup win over Manchester United at Carrow Road.

The 59ers' run is the stuff of legend – as is Mr Blower himself.

Roy has been in hospital for a few months now, but the love of all things Norwich burns brightly inside that hugely active brain of his.

Seeing the page in this newspaper on Tuesday about the 3-0 win over Matt Busby's famous team shows how long Roy has been on the scene – on the day in question he was a 15-year-old, renting out cushions to supporters for sixpence each.

'I was lucky that day,' he recalled.


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'This chap asked me where I was going to watch the game. 'The gangway', I replied. He told me his wife wasn't able to get to the game and would I like her seat – so I sat right behind the old directors' box, on the halfway line. It was fantastic.'

Fortunately, the long arm of the law hadn't caught up with Roy: he started work at the ground as a 12-year-old.

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'You were supposed to be 13, but what I would do is pay ninepence to get in the ground and it was refunded to me,' he said.

'I did everything from sell tuppenny on the ball tickets, to programmes and then the cushions – everything.'

Former speedway rider Trevor Hedge and ex-Canary Robert Fleck have popped in to visit Roy – great gestures.

'Loads of people just come for a chat about the football,' he said.

The picture on the right sums up Roy – it's all about the green and yellow, all about this fine city.

I am not going to get bleary-eyed because he is as sharp as a knife, but fans like Roy Blower – and they come in all ages – should never be forgotten.

Without them, our sports really are nothing.

The snow that landed for a short while yesterday reminded me of the folly of youth, when fishing was the number one hobby – no matter what the weather.

If I didn't take the bike, then my father would drop me off a few miles from home to fish the North Level Drain. I was usually there on my own and, in mid-winter, that could cause problems.

On one occasion the river was frozen, so in true Boy's Own style I went into a nearby barn and found some string and chicken wire and fashioned a 'net' into which I put some bricks. That was used to smash a hole in the ice. The only bites were frostbites.

The vacuum flask was usually emptied within minutes, so I fended off hypothermia by running up and down the bank. Not a fishing tactic I'd recommend.

And don't forget, there was absolutely no way of communicating with home to ask to be rescued from the Arctic conditions. No mobile phone, no i-Pad, no nothing. Fortunately, my father guessed I might need an early cut - but knowing my passion for fishing he gave me some time – five hours!

So that snow yesterday? It was nothing.

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