National League winner Norman Cesar.Picture: REG CLARKE.

FOOTBALL: Over the years, many things change in life; some for the better, some for the worse, writes Mark Hearle.

Situations and circumstances alter and the comfort of routine, along with familiar surroundings and faces, change either because you want them to, or more often than not, because they have to. 

Football is no different to any other walk of life, probably more so, as pressure often dictates a regular changing of the guard’ be it from manager to players, cleaner to bartender. 

At The Walks I have seen many people come into a variety of roles over the years, only to last a few months, weeks, or, in a few cases, days before they have moved on for whatever reason. 

However, throughout almost all of my association with the Linnets, there has been one figure who has been there to steady the ship in the roughest of waters and, on more than one occasion, been the voice of reason when some were ready to open their mouths before engaging their brains. 

The man in question is Norman Cesar, who this week, received the National League Volunteer of the Month award for February, in recognition of the work he does behind the scenes at the club. 

The award is long overdue and I raised a smile when I saw the official write-up for the awards. which stated, among other detail, “Norman, the club’s match day secretary”. Those of you who know the club will tell you that description doesn’t even touch the surface of the many functions Norman serves/has served over 20-or-so years. 

There probably wasn’t enough space on the official write-up to list: kit man, kit washer, cleaner, odd job man, mini bus driver, bar man, team coach drinks maker…

You get the picture I’m sure. 

Norman is best known for his service at The Walks recently but he has also been heavily involved in children’s football in The Woottons as well as also helping with swimming coaching a few years back. 

His first major involvement with the club was to supply ball persons for first-team matches, which then led to an involvement with the club’s youth team, in turn leading to his appointment as reserve team secretary, a job I know he absolutely enjoyed with the team managed then by Linnets legend Keith Rudd. 

I remember at that particular time the late Des Stewart, was also involved with the club’s reserve outfit and to hear two men, whose major passion in life was football, talk about the game was as memorable as it was some times funny. 

Since then, Norman has filled a variety of holes that needed filling because that’s him. In recent seasons the standard of the team’s coach travel has improved greatly, with tea and coffee-making facilities on board as well as a small kitchen area. All of that has seen Norman becoming ‘mum’ for the players, as well as keeping the coach clean throughout what are often long days. 

Even after the play-off win at Warrington in 2019, on the trip home Norman was still busy with his work when then manager Ian Culverhouse shouted: “For goodness sake [or something similar!] Norman sit down and enjoy yourself!”

Of course it was all in jest but that is typical Norman Cesar. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him if it’s for the benefit of King’s Lynn Town FC. 

Volunteering to do something for nothing, is becoming rarer then hen’s teeth, which makes Norman’s years of service look even more remarkable. 

I’m sure he is so proud to receive the accolade and I say ‘Well done!’ 

The recognition he has received is the very least that he deserves for all the hard work, dedication and passion he has put in over the past two decades.


Draws not enough to save Lynn

FOOTBALL: King’s Lynn Town continue to battle on gamely, collecting a couple of points from two drawn games this week. 

Manager Tommy Widdrington needs to add an edge to his attack.

The point collected at Solihull last weekend on the face of it looked a good one. However, the Linnets led by two goals on the hour mark but inspired home substitutions changed the game, allowing the hosts to grab a vital point for their ambitions of a play-off place. 

On Tuesday, at the third time of asking following two waterlogged pitches when they were due to visit previously, Woking finally made it to West Norfolk for a game that will not live long in the memory, ending in a 0-0 draw. 

I can only imagine manager Tommy Widdrington’s frustrations as he tries to get his team to play the full game required to collect maximum points. 

He has stemmed the heavy defeats that Lynn were taking earlier in the season but, however hard he tries, he just cannot get a regular flow of goals at the other end of the pitch to turn draws into wins. 

That is the only thing that can save his team from relegation. Draws are no good in this battle. 

The club have done some good business by extending the loans of Josh Coulson and Cam Hargreaves for another month. Coulson has provided extra experience to the back line with Hargreaves providing a different option at the other end of the pitch.