When Norwich City need a goal, it’s time for me to leave

Some Norwich City supporters are often criticised for leaving Carrow Road early to beat the traffic.

But one season ticket holder is being actively encouraged to leave early for superstitious reasons.

The Canaries have gained 17 points in the dying embers of games so far in their exceptional push for promotion from the Championship this season.

But Kevin Cooke, from Upton, near Acle, has been missing most of the drama on orders from fellow supporters.

The 43-year-old director of Cookes Heating Ltd on Sweet Briar Industrial Estate in Norwich has found that when he leaves games early from his seat in Block E of the Barclay Stand, his beloved Canaries tend to score.

After the coincidence started becoming more common, Mr Cooke started leaving early in the hope that City would score a late goal, and he proved to be a lucky charm for Paul Lambert's men again this week.

With 85 minutes of City's crucial clash against Derby County gone, and the score standing at 2-2, Mr Cooke decided to make an early exit in the hope that his superstition would pay off again.

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He recalled: 'I went and stood outside after about 85 minutes until we scored and then as soon as I heard everyone go mad, I ran back in and everyone was really milking the moment. I had been getting texts from friends saying 'have you left yet?' and I thought I had better go.

'Some people might think it is silly, but it is completely and utterly true. I've always been one of the unlucky people who if I go to the toilet during the game, Norwich will score. In September, I had said if we were losing or drawing late then I was going to leave early this season because then we'll score.

'And it has worked 10 or 11 times now, but Monday against Derby was the best. I went outside and then heard all the noise and went back and everyone was hugging me.'

With the way City's rollercoaster season has gone so far, it will be of little surprise to supporters if promotion matters are not settled until the last few minutes of the final game of the season, at home to Coventry City on Saturday, May 7.

If that is what happens, lifelong fan Mr Cooke says he will once again try to repeat his trick. He added: 'I'll have to I suppose. I've said that I will continue to do it, and next season as well if I have to.

'And the way this season has gone, I do believe it will all come down to the 95th minute against Coventry. So if I have to leave early, then I will have to.'

Have you got an unusual superstition for Norwich City games? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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