Tributes to Norwich City’s ‘greatest and best-loved supporter’
- Credit: Archant © 2013
He was the little boy who stood on a milk crate to watch his first game at Carrow Road more than 70 years ago.
He grew up to become the voice of the fans - and one of the greatest and best-loved supporters Norwich City has ever had.
Roy Blower died this week at the age of 76, surrounded by his family on holiday in Suffolk.
He was the true "Mr Norwich City."
In recent years Roy had been living with Parkinson's and has been confined to a wheelchair but, with his beloved wife Beryl by his side, he rarely missed a game at Carrow Road where he was better known than some of the players.
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But it wasn't just the football which Roy was famous for. He devoted his life to helping others and serving the Norwich and Norfolk in so many different ways as a magistrate, a county councillor, a city councillor and one of the most popular lord mayors Norwich has ever had.
Roy "did you hear the one about..." Blower was also a great joker. He smiled in the face of adversity and never let his health issues get him down.
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Born in Lewis Street, Norwich, in 1943 he was a regular at city matches from the age of nine but times were hard at the Blower home when his father had tuberculosis and spent six months in a santorium.
He would knock on doors asking people for their old papers so he could sell them at Warminger's waste paper plant for a couple of bob so he could give it to his mum.
"We knew what poverty was all about," said Roy.
Down at Carrow Road he was working for the club selling two-penny On The Ball raffle tickets - the only commercial activity in those days.
He went on to have a number of different roles and much later became chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association.
Roy was the link between the club and its supporters and he was a great figurehead for some of the most loyal and devoted fans in the land.
At the age of 17 he joined the Labour Party and within four years was regional chairman of the Young Socialists.
In 1972 he was appointed a magistrate and as for some of Roy's other roles, where do we start?
- Ex-president of Horsford Cricket Club.
- Leading table tennis player.
- Governor at Earlham High School and Avenue Middle.
- A great speedway supporter and the man who led the campaign for Ove Fundin to be made a Freeman of Norwich.
- A man who has raised huge amounts of money for charity, people and good causes across Norwich and the whole of Norfolk.
- Lord Mayor of Norwich in 2007 - a year he described as "just phenomenal".
Away from public duties he ran his own roofing business. Married to Beryl - who also has devoted much of her life to helping others and was Sherriff of Norwich - they have children James, Verity and Robert and several grandchildren.
They were by his side when he died last Sunday. A husband, a father, a grandfather and a man who was known and loved by the people of Norfolk and Norwich.
Councillor Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: "We are all deeply saddened to hear about the death of Roy Blower.
"Roy was a force of nature, an amazing advocate of the city he loved. He served as a Labour councillor for the city and county councils, and I know that he was especially proud to have been Lord Mayor of Norwich.
"Our thoughts are with Roy's wife Beryl, their children and family. He will be sadly missed."
There will never be another Roy Blower. How we will miss him - and his jokes.
- In our Through the Decades supplement next Tuesday we will telling Roy's extraordinary life story in his own words.
- If you want to pay tribute to Roy, please leave your messages below.