Saturday 17th March saw Anglian Home Improvements employees from across the country come to the Norwich FDC to represent the 20 teams currently playing in the Premier League. 38 games were played by each team, emulating the whole Premier League season in only 12 hours, all with the same goal of finishing the league in the highest position possible.
I was playing for the Anglian Marketing and Call Centre team, who were representing our home club, Norwich City. Playing in the green away kit, we had a strong squad of 12, plus guests and were hoping to perform better than the previous attempt, where we finished 16th.
It was a cold and miserable day with showers throughout, but it didn’t effect too many of the players as only 3 teams failed to finish the tournament, QPR, Blackburn and Newcastle. Former Norwich City player, Darren Eadie, former Norwich City manager, Nigel Worthington and former Wimbledon and Sheffield United manager Dave Bassett all came down to show their support to the guys and girls raising money for Sport Relief.
Everton and Swansea were early leaders of the Premier League, but after 16 games Norwich City took the top spot for a few games before Swansea regained the first place. Last year’s winners, Stoke City were not having the best of starts, as Norwich City beat them 2-0 in their 3rd game, but they managed to keep in the top 6.
For Norwich there were a lot of good games, great goals, acrobatic saves and silky skills on display, pleasing the crowd and the songs were ringing out across the pitches. Every goal we scored, the song “We are the City, we score when we want,” would be bellowed out, keeping up spirits of the team and with some NCFC banter. Jim Newman even brought his Spiderman mask for his famous web-slinging goal celebration.
The highlight for me was playing against Arsenal who had my childhood footballing hero Darren Eadie, playing for them. To play against him was a brilliant experience, but beating them 3-0 was even better, especially as Nigel Worthington was stood watching the game and it meant we earned another 3 points towards our title push.
It was a superb day of football with no major hiccups throughout the day. Everyone was in great spirit, playing with a smile on their faces in the knowledge that they were raising an incredible amount of money for Sport Relief. You will be surprised to see that Chelsea, Manchester United and City and Tottenham finished in the bottom half of the table with Aston Villa coming out worthy winners, Swansea were runners up and our Norwich City team finished in a respectable 3rd place.
The day was one of the most enjoyable and tiring days of my life, but it was an experience I will remember forever, be it for the aches and pains I am suffering now and for achieving a position Norwich City haven’t achieved since the 1992-93 season. I would like to send best wishes to Paul Kemmett who was playing for Norwich City, but unfortunately fractured his shoulder on Saturday!
Sport Relief is on BBC 1 this Friday from 7pm, but there is still time to donate to this wonderful cause. To show your support to Sport Relief and all the people that helped make the Premier League in a Day a brilliant event, please click here.