Honouring a Canary Centurion
Herbert Witard celebrated his 100th Birthday on 28 September 2020. Herbert was a life long Canary and lived for more than 70 years in the Unthank Road area of Norwich, before moving into a care in Saxlingham Green during 2019.
Herbert worked all his life for Balley Shoes in Norwich, where he was a costing manager.
Herbert was born into a family of Canary supporters and remembered the first match he went to. That game was at Nest when Norwich lost 5-0 to Corinthians in the FA Cup when he was 9 years old.
He also recalled his first attendance at Carrow Road was on 31 August 1935 - the day the stadium opened when Norwich played West Ham. He says “ the King & Queen were visiting Norwich for the opening of the City Hall and they went to the match at Carrow Road later that day. Herbert saw them there although he says they did not stop long.”
Herbert’s Uncle (H.E Witard) who was Lord Mayor of Norwich in 1927 is listed as one of the official guests for the opening of Carrow Road.
A crowd of 29,779 watch Norwich’s first match at Carrow Road, against West Ham in 1935.
Photo Courtesy of NCFC
The Matchday Programme Cover
Herbert said “he used to buy his tickets on a week by week basis and went to matches by himself until his daughter bought her first season ticket, she persuaded him to buy one as well and they sat together in the City Stand.
His appearances at Carrow Road ended in 2015 when he found it too difficult to get there but he still followed them keenly on the radio and television whenever he could.
Everyone at the Canaries Trust were saddened to hear of Herbert's passing, and send our warmest regards to his friends and family.