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Canaries fan in detention for Town snub

PUBLISHED: 16:19 15 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:50 03 March 2010

A NORWICH City football fan was put on detention after she refused to meet Ipswich Town players as part of a football in the community initiative.

Schoolgirl Esther Jacobs, seven, steadfastly refused to meet the top coach from the Premiership outfit who visited her school for a football skills training session.

P41 pic/story

A NORWICH City football fan was put on detention after she refused to meet Ipswich Town players as part of a football in the community initiative.

Schoolgirl Esther Jacobs, seven, steadfastly refused to meet the top coach from the Premiership outfit who visited her school for a football skills training session.

But the obsessed youngster ended up in detention after hiding two sets of gym kits because she did not want to be associated with Norwich's arch rivals.

Esther has become so obsessed with Norwich her father, Lee said it had become embarrassing to take her to Suffolk towns because she pulls faces at Ipswich fans wearing their team's replica shirts.

Postman Mr Jacobs, 38, himself a fan of Norwich for 30 years, said he was secretly proud of his daughter.

He said: "I said, 'You naughty girl' but I didn't really mean it.

"I was quite proud of her but I shouldn't admit it.

"She is getting a bit obsessive. It's Norwich this, Norwich that, all the time.

"She's been crazy about them since she was four. She'll only wear one of my old replica shirts as a nightie."

Esther secretly took her gym bag to Glade Primary School, Brandon, the day before Ipswich community coach David Llewelyn was due to visit and hid it in the cloakroom. Her parents managed to find her a spare kit but when she got to school, she hid her sports clothes again.

Esther had to sit outside the headteacher's office, but still insisted she did not want the players' autographs and posters which Mr Llewelyn had brought with him.

She said: "I love Norwich City Football Club. I don't like Ipswich - I don't even like the colour blue."

Headmistress Gill White said: "Esther was not keen to join in. We didn't realise at the time that was the reason. She was even unwilling to wear any other kit we could find.

"The school is half way between Norwich and Ipswich but we have never had an approach from the Canaries to come here. It was a popular day for the other pupils and her class enjoyed an hour outside training with the Ipswich coach. I am sure Esther would have done if it was with someone from Norwich, but she had to go and spend the time with a teaching assistant."

Mr Jacobs, of Elveden, near Thetford, said family commitments and financial pressures meant he could only get to games on an infrequent basis.

Esther first went to Carrow Road two years ago but in the five times she has seen the team play, they have always lost.

Norwich City spokesman Joe Ferrari said: "We would encourage all our young fans to do what they are told at school, but it is nice to know that we have such fanatical supporters, even at such a young age."

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