"Spectacular victories and demoralising defeats are common currency in both football and politics – and for Norwich City's new chairman, Ed Balls, the bitter disappointment of last May's general election was swiftly followed by the joy of seeing his beloved Canaries promoted at Wembley.
Balls was born in the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on February 25, 1967 – exactly one week after goals by Don Heath and Gordon Bolland gave second division Norwich a shock 2-1 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the FA Cup. He had actually been due the previous Saturday, so his zoologist father, Michael, had to make an agonising decision.
“There was a special train from Thorpe Station all the way to Manchester, and this big debate happened in our family as to whether or not my dad should stay in Norwich – because it was the day I was due to be born – or whether he should go to the game," he told 'The Canary'.
To read the full, exclusive interview with City chairman Ed Balls make sure you get your copy of 'The Canary' magazine, which is now available to purchase!
"In the end, after a big family discussion, it was decided that he should go to the football – probably because he'd make a bigger contribution there! So he, and two of my uncles, and Ian Gibson – who was a colleague of my dad's at UEA at the time – all went off and we won 2-1. That was a big giant-killing and then I was born a week later – so I sort of fitted in with the plan."
He was five when he made his first appearance at Carrow Road for an FA Cup third-round tie which ended 1-1 against mighty Leeds United on January 13, 1973.
"It's really hard to remember anything about it other than the size and the hugeness of it all, and 1970s football grounds were quite different from how they are today. It was quite a tough atmosphere, but the thing I remember was that at a certain point the ball came all the way over, and Kevin Keelan came from his goal all the way over to the touchline and picked the ball up and took it back – I think it must have been for offside.
"So I was two yards away from Kevin Keelan! And that's the thing I can remember most of all; just being really close and realising that actually he was a human being..."
The refreshed magazine also has in-depth features on Alex Neil, Robbie Brady, Russell Martin and Ryan Bennett, plus much more across its 140 pages for all Norwich City fans to enjoy.
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