Former Norwich City stars, Jerry Goss, Dean Ashton and Rob Newman, bowl blind for Norwich charity at Bowthorpe sports centre

One of them is famed for the greatest Canaries strike ever while the other made a name for himself by bowling over defenders, but both have found a different pursuit which was right up their alley.

Former Norwich City midfielder Jeremy Goss, whose stupendous volley against the mighty Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup tie in 1993 was voted the Canaries 'greatest ever' goal and former City striker Dean Ashton were among those trying their hand at blind bowling.

The dynamic duo were joined by another ex-Canary, Rob Newman, at a blind bowling tournament held in aid of the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) charity, which Mr Goss now works for as fundraiser.

The footballers, together with about 130 other people, including solicitors, bankers and accountants, bowled blindfolded to raise funds for the charity by competing against a team of blind and partially sighted bowlers in a ten-pin challenge.

In total the event, which was held at the Number 10 Bowling centre at Barnard Road, Bowthorpe, on Wednesday and included an auction, has raised more than �3,500. Mr Goss, who last year completed a 1300-mile bike ride to Munich for the charity, said: 'The simple message I would like to get out is that ability counts.


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'The focus is not on what people can't do but what people can do and if you are blind or visually impaired it doesn't stop you participating in sporting events.

'The event gave people an idea of what it is like to be blind and bowl.

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'It isn't easy to get by but there is plenty of help and advice available here at the NNAB.'

The event was organised by Elliot Symonds, Jarrold Training sales and marketing manager, who suffered sight problems and underwent two eye operations last year because of a rare genetic condition.

Mr Symonds, who runs a Norwich business networking group, 25:am, discovered the difficulties being blind or partially sighted presented when treatment for a previously undetected genetic condition caused the loss of sight in his right eye.

Doctors discovered his condition after his colleagues at Jarrold Training urged him to seek medical help for his debilitating headaches. He had surgery on both eyes last year.

During his treatment, he found out about the work of the NNAB and then got in touch with its fundraiser, Mr Goss.

He said: 'I'm a huge Norwich City fan and Jeremy Goss was my hero when Norwich were in Europe and I was a student in Aberdeen. Jeremy came along and spoke to 25:am about his bike ride and the NNAB.

'I wanted to do something further to support the charity and decided to organise a networking event that would be fun. Talking to Jeremy, I discovered that there was a 10-pin bowling team of blind and visually impaired people, so decided to organise a bowling event with them.'

Mr Symonds promoted the event through 25:am and was overwhelmed by the response. He said: 'We had 29 teams taking part, from big corporate companies to voluntary organisations, and we could have had more. The support was amazing.'

For more information about the NNAB call 01603 629558 or log onto www.nnab.org.uk.

Are you doing something unusual for charity? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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