Iwan Roberts: These City lads know how to celebrate like class of 2004
- Credit: Action Images
If you’re going to win the title then go out and do it in style and that's exactly what the lads did last Saturday with their demolition of Reading.
Before the game there was no doubt in my mind that Norwich would win their second Championship title in three years. I’d seen Reading live twice in the last 10 days against Cardiff and Swansea and I’d left The Madejski less than impressed with what the Royals had served up!
You can’t pick and choose when you’re going to win promotion or the title, you simply have to grasp it with both hands when it happens.
The lads won promotion the other week without kicking a ball and you could sense the disappointment in some people that they hadn’t gone out and won it by winning themselves, but sadly football isn’t like that as we well know.
It makes me shake my head in disbelief when I hear people say “oh it's too early for us to be promoted” as if they can decide when that will happen. All I say to them is take it when it comes and enjoy the moment as it could be a long time before it happens again. Worry about next season when it starts but never say it's too early to be promoted.
I remember in the 2003-04 season we won promotion without kicking a ball as Sunderland lost away to Crystal Palace on a Tuesday night. Do you think it dampened our celebrations? Absolutely not, as soon as the final whistle went at Selhurst Park we all went over to Whitlingham Hall as a few of the lads lived there and celebrated to the very early hours of the Wednesday morning. Some of the lads jumped straight into taxis and went straight to training, luckily Nigel took one look at us and sent us all home. To be fair I have a feeling that he himself might have had one or two shandies that night celebrating.
We won the title on a Tuesday night up at The Stadium of light, even though we lost the game 1-0 to a Carl Robinson goal. West Brom were the only team that could catch us and lost 4-1 away to Stoke which meant we had an unassailable lead and the title was ours, although the celebrations weren’t quite as heavy that night as when we won promotion a couple of weeks before.
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We were flying back to Norwich from the North East and even though we landed just before midnight we all headed home and not into the City’s drinking holes. It’s probably the only time I’d have welcomed the 5–6-hour coach journey from The Stadium of Light back to Norfolk. I get feeling I’d have been carried off the coach when we got back to Colney!
It was great seeing everyone celebrating after the game on the Carrow Road pitch after the final whistle. That’s what it’s all about for me everyone involved celebrating a fantastic season and achievement together.
It brought back so many great memories of May 2004 and even though it’s nearly 17 years now since we won the title and had those mad celebrations it really does feel like only yesterday that we had the open top bus parade around the city when the streets were painted in yellow and green.
The lads I’m sure will have had a great week but there’s one game to go and we’d love them to go up to Oakwell and finish things off in style with yet another win away from home which would be their 16th of this campaign.
The lads already hold the record for away wins by a single team in a Championship season.