In the second of our Canary Citizens series meeting fans who support the team from all over the world, we spoke to Paul Standley from the German Canaries group about his life-long love for the Yellows.
Founded in 2002 by Hans-Jurgen Zell and his friend Patrick after a trip to Carrow Road, the group has members based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
And Paul, 53, who lives in Sankt Augustin near Cologne, got involved with German Canaries soon after it was up and running.
He said: “In the 1980s Hans-Jurgen had been to Bury St Edmunds on a school exchange and seen a match in Norwich against Manchester United. Ever since then he has been a fan and started the group having returned in 2002.
“I had been involved with the Friends of Norwich City Youth at the time and Hans-Jurgen found me through our website as a Norwich fan in Germany.
“I am from Norfolk originally and moved to Germany in 1989. I have been a fan since I was a young lad. My first match was Motherwell in the Texaco Cup in 1973 and my first real memory is the League Cup semi-finals against Chelsea just before that in the same year.
“The various members of German Canaries have different reasons for being Norwich fans. Quite a few know the city from school exchanges or holidays on the Norfolk Broads. Others have family or friends who either originally come from or have settled in Norfolk.”
Paul uses Norwich’s iFollow service to stream the games and watch his team in action.
He said: “I try to see as many games as I can with my iFollow subscription and try to get to Carrow Road four or five times a year. Obviously, the pre-season tours to Germany have given me a great opportunity to see the team live too.”
As a former member of the Friends of Norwich City Youth, Paul said he loves seeing Academy players progress through into the First Team, and when asked why he loves Norwich so much he simply said: “It’s in my blood!”
Paul added: “It is a great time to be a Canaries fan in Germany at the moment with such a link to Germany at the Club. We are now also starting to see Norwich getting more coverage in German media.”
The German Canaries have been represented several times at Global Canaries Day, but due to the Easter break they are planning to visit Carrow Road a week earlier this year.
“In 2019 we plan to be at the Queens Park Rangers game on April 6 rather than the Easter game when many of our members prefer to be nearer home,” Paul said. “But if that changes we will let you know!”
This year’s official Global Canaries Day will take place on Saturday, April 19, when City take on Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road.
To read our first Canary Citizens interview with Brazilian fan Lucas La Torre, click HERE.