Jo Cartwright is not a football fan, despite the very best (and consistently unrelenting efforts of Andrew Lawn), however just occasionally football gets through

Something happened to me this morning that I never thought would happen.,I started thinking about one thing and ended up thinking about football.

It’s no secret that I struggle to care about football. Being shown ‘incredible goals’ on YouTube week after week, or copious photos of deformed limbs as a result of football injuries, strangely hasn’t turned me into an avid football fan, nor has every non-football related thing in my life being made into a football analogy.

I was out walking the dog who lives in my house this morning at a public park, and I came across the remnants of a load of firework casings and spent sparklers on the grass. My catastrophising brain quickly took me to the image of a dog choking on an old rocket or a small child impaling their eyeball on the end of a sparkler, so I detoured and started to pick them up and put them in the bin about three metres away. It wasn’t a huge detour.

I reasoned that the firework lighters were wise not to dispose of them immediately, and that I had a garden full of firework shells to clear up on my return home, now that they were cold and damp.

Not long after I started my clean up mission a woman with her dog walked past and grumpily stated how disgusted she was that this litter had been left and that all fireworks should be banned; a bandwagon that appears to be building momentum.

I replied that I’m a big lover of fireworks, but for a number of reasons feel they should be limited to a 2 hour window on the eve of November 5th, and that I didn’t mind clearing up after a Nov 5th firework shindig to save the dogs and the children from what had turned in my mind into certain death and a very graphic front page of the EDP. She then started to pick up the firework casings too, and within a few minutes all that was left was the slight whiff of gunpowder, and a pile of spaghetti filled vomit that her dog was snout deep in.

A third dog walker came by and said ‘you’re not clearing up after those bloody kids are you – a total menace, they should be clearing them up themselves, not leaving them in that state’. I stayed quiet on this occasion, and the first dog walker piped up and said ‘well, kids will be kids and we’re just making it safe for the dogs – only takes a minute – get your face out of that vomit Fido’ (name changed to protect his dignity).

I jogged off feeling slightly smug and my mind, bored of the dead children and dogs skewered with sparkler detritus, took me to a tweet I saw on Friday describing the complete lack of atmosphere at Carrow Road (I might check twitter once or twice during a game, but not because I care you understand).

By not joining in with the moaning and jumping on the ‘teenagers are dickheads and fireworks should be banned’ bandwagon, and taking four minutes out of my day to put some rubbish in the bin, two people in that field made a positive impact and didn’t add to the general malaise and moan, and one fat middle aged moaner wasn’t indulged. By taking a step back, thinking before we act and speak we can be the change that makes the world a less miserable place.

Norwich City didn’t get promoted on the merits of a team of footballers, a manager and a coach, they got promoted on the merits of those people plus the 27,000 people in the stands who believed they could and stopped moaning and started supporting.

I don’t care if Norwich get relegated next season (much), I do care that there isn’t a blanket ban on fireworks, but ultimately I care that we all think a bit more before we moan and criticise and in doing so I think Carrow Road and the world will be a much more pleasant place to inhabit, while we still can before the fireworks and single use plastic send us spiralling into the sun.


  1. Good read – and love love love the super inclusive image!

Poor old Ffion braved the wind and rain on the South Coast. She wasn't rewarded for her endurance....

Punt, Lawn and Parsley are joined by ACN away day reviewer and all round good egg, Ffion Thomas. They chat through the merits of Mario, possible plummets, missing Zimbo and loads more. Also contains a factually accurate quiz for the first time ever.