Norwich City fan puts £100 in his will to buy players a drink

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Sarah Greaves with her dad Barrie Greaves and sister Jane WardenImage copyright
Sarah Greaves

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Barrie was a Norwich fan for more than 70 years

“Grandad’s gone viral.”

The words of Lucas aged nine after lifelong Norwich City fan Barrie Greaves, 83, left £100 in his will for the players to have a drink on him.

His daughter Sarah tells Radio 1 Newsbeat her social feed is “just insane” and she’s heard from football fans as far away as Spain and Latin America.

Norwich City FC have tweeted a photo of the players raising a glass to Barrie who died on December 28.

“We’d had an amazing Christmas – he’d worn his Norwich City hat all day.”

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Sarah Greaves

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Barrie on Christmas Day with his grandchildren Samuel, Naomi and Lucas

Three days later it was match day. As usual Sarah and her children, wearing their club shirts and scarves, went round to see Barrie. But sadly he’d died while getting ready.

Sarah says she turned to her kids to ask them what they should do: “They just both looked at me and said, ‘Well, we go to the game, because granddad would want us to go’.”

“Knowing that dad and I spent so much time there together it was the place for the family to be.”

For Barrie family came first, but then, so did football.

Alongside his will was the first letter he ever wrote to his wife, Sarah recalls: “He talks about being a football fanatic, so he was fully warning her of this obsession with Norwich City Football Club!”

Sarah, 45, and her sister Jane Warden, 50, have been going to matches with their dad Barrie since they were little and even when Sarah grew up and moved to London they still returned to Carrow Road together.

Once Sarah started a family of her own, it was obvious they’d be Norwich supporters too.

“My first child went to her first game alongside my dad in her baby carrier age six weeks. And we just keep going and two of my kids are season ticket holders alongside myself and my sister.”

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Sarah Greaves

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Around four years ago at Carrow Road

Over the past couple of years Barrie hadn’t been able to get to games.

He was on dialysis for renal failure and had become too ill. But initially even that hadn’t stopped him.

“They’d rearranged his dialysis sessions so he could get to the football because he was annoyed to begin with, they were on a Saturday afternoon!”

“His last game was actually the day two of my kids were mascots, which is just a beautiful way to end it in a way for him.”

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Sarah Greaves

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Barrie with his granddaughter Naomi when he could still get to the football ground

He’d always joked about leaving cash for the players and Sarah says she “chuckled” when she saw the clause in his will.

“He specifically said it was to thank them for the entertainment – the good times and the bad times. And I think this sort of last year has been that, you know, the joy of promotion and now, the sort of fight for Premier League survival.”

Barrie’s funeral will be on January 20. His instructions? “Bright colours. A joyous celebration and definitely not on a match day.”

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