Memories of Norwich help Canaries supporter write first novel

Some of Norwich's most famous landmarks have helped bring a Norwich City fan's first novel to life.

The book, written by 36-year-old Nick Richards, is based around the world of football memorabilia and focused on the life of a fictional Canaries fan whose life has been heavily hindered by his son dying aged 26.

Mr Richards was born in Norwich, went to the Hewett School and lived in the city until he was 26, except for five years in Hingham between six and 11 and three years at university in London.

He currently lives in Bury St Edmunds after leaving Norwich to work in Ipswich for 10 years and is now a freelance writer doing mainly online work.

He is married but doesn't have any children so describes his inspiration for the loss of his main character, Jerry's son, as: 'A metaphor for losing a loved one; my own loss has been leaving Norwich and I was thinking of that when writing about Jerry losing his son. I am a season ticket holder at Carrow Road and my family still live there, but work and personal life has taken me to the dark side of Suffolk!'

The opening chapters of the book talk of birthdays spent at Captain America's restaurant on Exchange Street, of Jerry visiting his son's memorial plaque at the cemetery on Earlham Road and buying a copy of our sister paper, the EDP.

There are lots of local references for Norfolk readers to relate to and Mr Richards hopes there is also plenty for Norwich City fans too.

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He continued: 'The book was very therapeutic to write in that it looked at my personal relationship with Norwich in terms of it being a city I was born in, I love with a passion, but somewhere I haven't been able to call home for over a decade.

'The game mentioned in the book, Norwich v Everton in November 1984, was my first game and I started writing the book when it was the 25th anniversary of that game in November 2009.

'There's mention of being a ball boy at Carrow Road. I was a ball boy on my 10th birthday when Norwich played Sunderland in the league eight days before the Milk Cup final win in 1985.'

- For more information or to buy a copy of the book, published by Grosvenor House Publishing Limited, go to www.nick-sportsjunkie.blogspot.com

- Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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