Lucky Luca, nine, invited for private chat with Daniel Farke
PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:31 26 February 2020
While Norwich City’s 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Wolves on Sunday will not live long in the memories of Canaries fans, one young supporter will still remember the weekend fondly for a long time to come.
Steve Smith made the long trip west on Saturday with nine-year-old son Luca, who ended up experiencing "the best day of [his] life" after some good fortune saw the pair stay at the same hotel as the City team.
"It's half-term and the game was on a Sunday," said Mr Smith. "We were always going to go to the game. We made it an overnight trip and we picked a hotel that was a couple of miles from the ground.
"We thought it would be a quiet Saturday evening with probably and early night, but then I could see players arriving so I sent Luca to reception to see what was going on, and he came charging back to say 'I've just seen Alex Tettey'.
"He ran to his room - he had a little scrappy notebook - and wanted to get autographs. They were all having dinner, so he patiently waited outside the room and as they came out and went up to bed, he asked for an autograph.
"Everybody duly obliged, it was fantastic."
READ MORE: Norwich City player ratings after a 3-0 Premier League loss to Wolves
Lucky Luca, who lives in Cringleford with his parents, was able to get signatures from all the players and chatted with some of them, but as time went on and Daniel Farke still hadn't emerged by 9.30pm, his dad had a decision to make.
You may also want to watch:
"We were pushing the bedtime boundaries, said Mr Smith. "We knew they'd be here in the morning so I told him we would catch them then."
Little was Luca to know, he wouldn't have to wait so long.
Mr Smith said: "He went back to the room and he was cleaning his teeth, and there was a knock at the door. It was the receptionist, who said that if he wanted to go and grab the autograph then he could.
"Luca threw his toothbrush, grabbed his top and sprinted down the corridor. Daniel Farke and his two assistant coaches were in there. He asked Luca his name, signed his autograph and shook hands. He asked him whether he played football and if he was going to watch the match."
Norwich City's 3-0 loss to Wolves the following day wasn't the only footballing disappointment that Luca had to endure that weekend - his own team, Cringleford Lions u9s, had lost in the last 16 of a cup tournament in extra time on Saturday morning, meaning that he was already "a bit miserable" on the journey to the Black Country.
But nothing could spoil the nine-year-old's mood after hanging out with Daniel Farke the night before the Canaries' big game.
Mr Smith said: "After that chat and shaking hands with the City manager, he was absolutely buzzing. I'm surprised he went to sleep as quickly as he did.
"For us to be allowed to get autographs and for the player to be enthusiastic and willing to do it, it speaks volumes about our club.
"It was fabulous, a great experience."