African village will be wearing yellow and green of Norwich City

Norwich City are hoping promotion to the Premier League will bring them many new fans around the globe this season, but one island village off the coast of mainland east Africa looks certain to be backing the Canaries already.

The local team of a village called Wingwi Njuguni on the island of Pemba, near Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, will be wearing the yellow and green of Norwich City from now on.

The team, called Vijana Leo, competes in the first division of the Pemba League, one rung below the Zanzibar Premier League.

They will be wearing their Norwich City kit thanks to Canaries fan Archie Matheson.

Mr Matheson, 24, got in touch with Norwich City, who offered shirts from the 2009/10 League One title winning season and he bought shorts, socks, shin pads and boots to take with him on his trip.


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Mr Matheson lives in Newbury, Berkshire, but has supported City since he was five years old as both sets of his grandparents live in Norfolk, one just north of Bungay and the other between Fakenham and Swaffham.

He is studying for a masters at the University of London's School of Oriental and African studies and is learning the Swahili language. Mr Matheson said: 'They were thrilled to get the kit and said it never happens there, even when I was handing it over there was over 400 or 500 people that turned out.

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'One person in the village has got a television which will have Premier League games and they said they will watch all the Norwich games now.'

Yussuf Hamad, who runs the Vijana Leo team, wrote to thank Mr Matheson and said: 'I want to thank Norwich City Football Club for their help to us, and I wish them all the best in the Premier League this season.

'We are joining hands with them, and they have more supporters right now in Pemba, and especially Wingwi. We are all supporting Norwich; previously people were supporting clubs like Manchester, Liverpool and Chelsea, but for the first time we have some supporters of Norwich City.'

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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