‘He would have found a way of getting in’ - Tributes to City super fan one year on from NDR death
PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:16 14 August 2020
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Friends of a Norwich City super fan who died on the NDR a year ago say “he would have found a way” of cheering the Canaries on through the coronavirus lockdown.
On August 14, 2019, City fan David Powell was killed in a crash on the Broadland Northway after stepping out of his car to check how damaged it was after striking a deer - only to then be hit by two oncoming cars.
A wildly devoted Canaries supporter, Mr Powell would follow the club any distance, whether it be a rainy Tuesday evening in Stoke or a pre-season tour of Germany.
And a year on from his death at the age of 49, some of his closest friends in the Norwich City community have paid tribute to him - with his passenger on his final day also urging people whose cars break down not to follow in his footsteps.
Lorraine Taylor, one of Mr Powell’s closest friends, he said: “I think he would have been in his element the past season, with there being so many talking points. I could picture him arguing with people on Twitter about VAR and certainly would have had lots of opinions about that.
“Funnily enough, that night we were talking about VAR coming in and I think he was actually in favour at the time, but everything for him was about Norwich so I think he definitely would have been against it by the end. Teemu Pukki’s disallowed goal [against Tottenham] definitely would have been the last straw.”
She jokingly added that she could picture Mr Powell having taken an interesting approach to Project Restart - which saw Premier League matches go ahead without fans in the stadium.
She said: “I was only just speaking to his mum about it and we both agreed that he would have found a way of getting inside the ground - that’s how devoted he was.
“In all seriousness though, I think he would have just detested the idea of Norwich City behind closed doors as he would follow them anywhere.”
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Mrs Taylor was the passenger in Mr Powell’s car on the night he died and is haunted by his death a year later.
She said: “I now only drive on the NDR if I really have to - I live in Thorpe Marriott and would rather weave through Drayton and Hellesdon than use it because I just keep replaying it over and over in my head,
“Ever since it happened I will tell anybody who will listen the same thing - if you break down on a main road and have to check your car always get out of the passenger side.
“The amount of people that have been sharing memories and stories about him on Twitter has really meant a lot.”
At an inquest into his death held in January, his mother Linda described how he was “married” to Norwich City Football Club and that the club was always his top priority and passion.
It led to area coroner Yvonne Blake raising concerns over the £205m road’s lighting with Norfolk County Council.
Mr Powell was a prominent of supporters group Norwich City Fans Social Club and was well known in the fan community through social media.
A Norwich City FSC group statement said: “A year ago our Norwich City Fans Social Club lost not only one of its regular supporters but also a dear friend, David Powell.
“He was a real character, an avid City fan & a friend to so many people and is missed by us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with all his family & friends today, RIP our friend, you’ll never be forgotten.”
Such was his love for Norwich City that mourners wore yellow and green to his funeral instead of the traditional black and his picture was shown on the big screen during the club’s home game with Chelsea last season.
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