Like many others we at the Canaries Trust were shocked and saddened to hear of the death this week of Roy Blower.
Although Roy was probably Norwich City’s best-known supporter, you didn’t have to be a football fan to know of Roy. Prominent in local politics he became Lord Mayor in 2006, probably the proudest moment of his life. He also involved himself with lots of other sports and causes, ran his own business and raised thousands of pounds for various charities. Ironically one of those was Parkinson’s research, the disease which eventually claimed his life. Roy had raised large sums of money for this excellent cause well before he found out that he too was suffering from it.
I have known Roy for almost twenty-five years and saw how he gradually became ill. I always felt however that the disease was no match for him. True it became gradually debilitating and affected his mobility, but it never claimed his humour or his zest for life. Right up to the end he would turn up unexpectedly at events in his wheelchair. He joined in everything as far as was physically possible. He came to the football club AGM in February and even managed to get to watch his beloved Canaries in action as recently as April 6th against Queens Park Rangers, a treat organised for his 76th birthday by his family.
When Roy was chairman of NCISA he always was helpful and encouraging of the Canaries Trust. Although the two organisations were quite different, he recognised that supporters Trusts had been vital at other clubs and always supported our fundraising activities and competitions. Whenever we needed information or advice, he was always there at the end of the phone ready to help.
Anyone who has ever met Roy will know that he has an endless stream of anecdotes about the Canaries and also Norfolk life in general, and this year after much badgering from friends and family he was persuaded to write a book about his life. In April he asked me to write the foreword to it. I was immensely proud an honoured to be asked. I’d never done anything similar before and was very nervous about presenting him with my efforts. When I took it round to show him, he was very pleased with it but we agreed that it sounded rather like an obituary. We both had a good laugh about it. Sadly, it turns out that it will be but it was typical of Roy that he should find it so funny. He was the most self-deprecating man I knew and always happy to have a joke at his own expense.
We will miss Roy very much and send our heart felt sympathies to his family and friends. RIP Roy. Very much one of our own.