New football nostalgia group in Norwich to celebrate game’s history

Would the Norwich City team of today beat the Canaries' side that famously conquered Bayern Munich in 1993? Is Lionel Messi better than Pele? Would George Best have been a star if he was playing in the Premier League now?

These are the types of questions that will forever get football fans talking, whether it be over a beer before a match or at Sunday lunch with the family.

And it is these types of questions that have inspired a Norwich man to launch a new group, which he is calling The Football Nostalgia Society (FNS).

Gary Parkins, 44, who lives in the Dereham Road area of Norwich with his wife and their two young children, is holding the new society's first meeting this Friday.

Mr Parkins said: 'The idea is to have film nights, memorabilia swaps, talks and Q&As with professional players and managers past and present.

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'Fans hark back at nostalgia, especially with football.

'Sepia tinted memories of bygone eras, when players played with a smile on their face, cheats were not tolerated and fans talked about the match rather than how much a player earned. Players' agents were rare, and you could afford to go to games without taking out a second mortgage.'

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Although loyal to Watford FC by birth, Norwich City has become Mr Parkins' adopted team since 1990, when he met his wife Michelle at a match between Watford and the Canaries at Carrow Road.

He now proudly sits in the Snakepit area of the stadium for matches and is hoping to recapture some of the matchday banter, memories and fun with FNS. He continued: 'I just think there is an outlet, a niche for football to be discussed, that we can learn from the history of the game and tales from the past can be told, shared and passed on.

'FNS can be whatever we want to make it – a voice for fans, a place to hear football people who have done it, share their careers with us, to raise cash for good causes, and for people to make new friends.

'I do not know of anything like this, so thought I would give it a try.'

Anyone interested in attending the first meeting of FNS should go to Wensum Community Centre on Hotblack Road, Norwich for an 8pm start this Friday evening. It will cost �1 for adults and 50p for children, lasting until about 10pm, with a football quiz costing �1 per player to be held as well.

For more information, email

Are you starting a new group in the Norwich area? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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