Football inspired farewell for lifelong Canaries fan Michael

Andreanna and Michael Brookman at the Bell pub in Cawston.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Andreanna and Michael Brookman at the Bell pub in Cawston.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Lifelong Norwich City fan Michael Brookman avidly supported his beloved club through good times and bad. So now friends and family have decided to turn his home village yellow and green in a fitting finale for the popular publican.

Andreanna Brookman with a Norwich City shirt belonging to her late husband Michael. Picture: MILES J

Andreanna Brookman with a Norwich City shirt belonging to her late husband Michael. Picture: MILES JERMY - Credit: Archant

Mr Brookman, who died earlier this month aged 60, ran The Bell Inn at Cawston with wife Andreanna for more than two decades.

A football themed funeral is planned for the grandfather of three who was a season ticket holder in the lower Barclay Stand. It is hoped Cawston will be decorated in Norwich City colours for the funeral procession on September 8.

Mourners are being invited to wear football shirts during a celebration of Mr Brookman's life at Greenacres Colney near Norwich. The Match of the Day theme and rendition of the iconic Canaries anthem On The Ball City will be played during the service.

Mrs Brookman said: 'Michael had been a devoted Norwich City fan since he was a teenager. Everyone around Michael loved him so much and I wanted to make this a football based tribute to him.

Andreanna and Michael Brookman at the Bell pub in Cawston.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Andreanna and Michael Brookman at the Bell pub in Cawston.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

'We are going to have the hearse decorated in yellow and green. I will be wearing his old football shirt and his mum has got a Delia Smith style scarf.

'We are asking mourners to come in their team's shirt, even if they support Ipswich Town.'

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She added: 'I loved the time we had together, the longer I knew him the closer we got. He was my soulmate and we were inseparable.'

The couple ran The Wildfowler at Terrington St Clement near King's Lynn before becoming landlords of The Bell in 1995. They gave up responsibility for the pub after Mr Brookman was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January.

Family friend Raffi Coverdale said: 'If you cut Brookie in half he would have Norwich City running through him.

'The club was so supportive and as his health deteriorated he was able to swap his seat for one in the disabled section where Andreanna could accompany him.'

She added: 'Over the years running the pub he supported a pigeon club, book club, darts and football teams, nothing was too much trouble.

'We hope that everyone who knew Michael in the village will put up some green and gold in his memory.'

The funeral service will take place at Greenacres from 1.30pm followed by a private cremation. The family are asking for donations to the Oncology Department at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

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