Saturday, July 25

East Anglia trips awaits reserves

They have already seen off AFC Fylde and Rochdale in their pre-season preparations and today at 15:00, United's reserves will travel south east to take on Norwich City.

To give us a taste of what Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's men have to look forward to today, here's a guide to Norwich - and its football team - from lifelong fan Mike Reynolds.

Mike is a retired electronics design engineer and Norwich City Supporters Trust secretary.

Despite his age - he has a concessionary season ticket - he sits with his partner in the lower Barclay Stand, which is the rarely seated, always noisy, part of the ground.

Norwich - a centre of culture in the agricultural wastelands of East Anglia.

Travelling from the north, you cross fenlands where you can see for miles and barely a human being in sight (supporters from this area are locally called Fen Gibbons).

From the west, you travel through forest and heathland and fans from this area are called Londoners because that’s where they came from and their first choice teams remain Arsenal, West Ham or Spurs.

From the south, well that is Suffolk home of our dear friends Ipswich (politely referred to as The Scum). But at least they are moving upwards.

And from the east, well there is only Great Yarmouth and you will meet lots of fans from there in their Manchester United shirts whenever one of your teams hits Carrow Road.

For those visiting Norwich there is much to see. The ancient city centre castle, market and Norwich Cathedral are ten minutes' walk from the football ground and well worth a quick visit.

If you haven’t got much time. the Riverside area between the train station and the ground has all the usual suspects - Frankie and Bennys, JD Wetherspoons and sundry other franchises as well as a small retail park.

But if you have a lot of time, may I recommend a visit to the Fat Cat Pub ( for a real ale treat?

Unfortunately this may mean missing the match as many an away fan has fallen to the temptation of “drinking through the card a half at a time”

Having said all that, we would be most grateful if visiting fans could spend all their money on Norwich City catering.

Our downward progression from the Premiership (yes, we did actually beat you at Carrow Road) into the old Third Division has left us extremely short of cash.

This, of course, need not be the usual football food fiasco as our majority shareholder Delia has created two excellent eateries at the ground (

On the surface our football club appears in rude health: A fine stadium, unwavering support (18,000 + season tickets sold) and a training complex, oft quoted by new signings as the reason they signed (what - not for Third Division football?!!!).

But the truth is for the likes of Norwich, Charlton and Southampton and Leeds before us, life outside the Premiership is a gamble and we are not holding the winning hands.

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