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On The Ball, City sung in church as Norwich bids farewell to Roy Blower

PUBLISHED: 16:24 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:31 27 June 2019

James and Robert Blower singing On The Ball, City’ at the celebration of life service for Roy Blower at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

James and Robert Blower singing On The Ball, City' at the celebration of life service for Roy Blower at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

It was a fitting farewell to a true son of Norwich, as hundreds of people joined a chorus of 'On The Ball, City' to say goodbye to Roy Blower.

Roy Blower. Photo: Bill SmithRoy Blower. Photo: Bill Smith

St Peter Mancroft Church was packed for the celebration of the life of Mr Blower, who died last month at the age of 76.

Many of those who attended the thanksgiving service, led by the Rev Edward Carter, the vicar of St Peter Mancroft, wore yellow and green in recognition of Mr Blower's lifelong support of Norwich City Football Club.

The Carrow Road song 'On The Ball, City' is more usually heard on the terraces.

But, given Mr Blower's love for the Canaries, his sons led a rendition in St Peter Mancroft, with Mr Carter jokingly referring to it as "that traditional church hymn".

Roy Blower at his beloved Carrow Road Picture: ArchantRoy Blower at his beloved Carrow Road Picture: Archant

Mr Blower had a memorable spell as chairman of the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association at a time when fans turned against chairman Robert Chase. Former Sheriff of Norwich Derek James described Mr Blower as 'Mr Norwich City' and said he was "the voice of the supporters".

Mr Blower served as a county councillor and a city councillor. He represented University ward at City Hall from 2004 until 2011, when he stepped down a year after his Parkinson's Disease diagnosis.

Former city council leader Brenda Arthur spoke of Mr Blower's kindness and generosity.

She said: "Roy was so clearly proud to be a son of Norwich, and Norwich should be proud to have had him as one of its sons."

Beryl Blower at the celebration of life service for Roy Blower at St.Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodBeryl Blower at the celebration of life service for Roy Blower at St.Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Son James Blower paid an affectionate tribute to his dad, recalling with fondness his competitive nature, which came to the fore in his "exceptional" skill at 'guess the weight of the cake' competitions at fetes across Norfolk.

Mr Blower's liking for a well-worn joke was a recurring theme throughout the speeches.

A speech read on behalf of city council civic attendant Gavin Thorpe fondly recalled how Mr Blower would collapse in fits of laughter in the back of the civic car while trying to tell 'vintage' gags.

Singer Annabella Ellis performed Time To Say Goodbye, while attendees sang All You Need Is Love by The Beatles.

The celebration of life service for Roy Blower at St.Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe celebration of life service for Roy Blower at St.Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

A collection was made for Parkinson's UK, before Mr Blower's wife Beryl and family invited people to afternoon tea at "Roy's second home" - the Top of the Terrace at Carrow Road.

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