With the news of the Rowdies new partnership with Norwich City FC, we reached out for a introduction of the club to Rowdies fans, by a Canaries fan. Andy Lawn of fansite/podcast Along Come Norwich graciously provided us with this:
Hello from your new football friends across the pond.
Not being one of the regular Champions League “glamour” clubs and having only really given the MLS Darren Huckerby (plus Robert Earnshaw and Carl Robinson if we’re being honest with ourselves), the news that the Tampa Bay Rowdies announced an official partnership with Norwich City, has likely raised a few eyebrows and a “errr who?” or two.
So, who are we?
The boring, potted version is that we were founded in 1902 and spent the majority of our early years drifting around the lower divisions, only really coming to national prominence in 1959 when, as a Third Division side (now known as League 1), we reached the FA Cup semi-finals, beating Matt Busby’s Manchester United plus Tottenham Hotspurs and Sheffield United (then a much bigger side) en route. The fairytale ended in a replay, when a deflected goal gave Luton Town a 1-0 win.
To this day, Norwich remain FA Cup bridesmaids, having never made a final and lost 3 semis.
The lower divisions remained our home until the 1970s when we first made the leap up into the top-flight, remaining in the top 2 divisions for almost all of the time since, briefly dropping back into the third tier (League 1) in 2009/10.
That relegation, followed by an opening day hammering (7-1) at home to Colchester United, saw us pinch their manager (Paul Lambert – who is now in the process of relegating our arch-rivals Ipswich Town to League 1) and sparked a revival that saw us clinch 2 promotions in 2 seasons.
More relegations and promotions followed, but you join us sitting pretty in the promotion race from the Championship (the second-tier) and back to the Premier League.
That’s the history, but there is much more to Norwich City than history.
First, we are the proud owners of the world’s first ever football chant. Our club anthem; On The Ball City dates back to the 1890s, which I appreciate is more history, but what a gift we gave the world. OTBC still rings out at every home and away game, despite the liberal use of arcane language which nobody really understands. Sample lyric; “Have a little scrimmage.”
Second, we are owned by a celebrity chef, Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones. Delia and Michael brought the club way back in 1997 and are unquestionably the best owners in English football. You only need to look at the sorry state of almost every other club who have welcomed hugely wealthy individuals into the boardroom (hello Ipswich) to realise how lucky we are to have fans in charge.
Ipswich are public enemy number 1. Based 40 miles down the road, Ipswich’s glory years (and to be fair they did win some fairly big trophies) ended before most of their current fans were born, but that does not stop them banging on about it. Better news; ahead of next weekend’s derby at Carrow Road, City are unbeaten against the blues for approaching a decade. Plus, Town sit bottom of the league and look doomed to relegation.
Our manager is a handsome, luscious haired German called Daniel Farke, who was once pictured drinking beer from a stein and riding a horse. Since his appointment in the summer of 2017, he has built a hugely talented young squad, featuring a number of his compatriots. That squad, struggled in Farke’s first year, but despite the loss of our best player (James Maddison who went to Leicester City for £20m) pre-season, are playing some wonderful football this year. At the time of writing City are in second and could go top tomorrow if we beat league leaders Leeds, in the evening kick off (lunchtime Tampa time).
Essentially, you’re joining us at just the right time. From here until May, anything could happen. Welcome to the ride.
OTBC – COYR