A Fakenham man who has provided first aid duties at more than 1,700 Norwich City matches received a special thanks on Saturday.
Michael Segon, 74, was entertained in the Aviva box at Carrow Road during Norwich City’s Premier League clash against Manchester United.
Staunch Canaries fan Mr Segon, a retired bank manager, has worked voluntary for the British Red Cross for 60 years and the weekend was the first time he didn’t have the responsibility of looking after 27,000 fans.
“I had a very enjoyable time – I felt very appreciated and Aviva were lovely hosts. It was just a little disappointing that the result went the wrong way.”
Mr Segon is stoical about his lifelong club’s relegation, saying: “They’ll be back soon, don’t worry,” he states, confidently.
He joined the Red Cross as a cadet on January 28, 1957, aged 14.
He first attended Carrow Road as a first aid volunteer was on January 24, 1959.
Over the years he’s treated people for everything from broken bones to heart attacks and witnessed some historic sporting moments in the process.
“I’m doing two things I love at the same time. I love watching Norwich City and I Iove being on first aid duty,” said Mr Segon.
“I’m really interested in the football but first aid is the absolute priority and when I get a call on the radio to help someone the football gets forgotten.
“We’ve had a few occasions where people need first aid but are so fanatical they refuse to leave the stands until the match is over so you have to be tactful and sensitive.
“Some of my best memories include the 1959 fourth round of the FA Cup match against Cardiff when Terry Bly was falling over backwards and kicked the ball over his shoulder into the net to score the winning goal in a 3-2 victory.
“In the 1980s, during a match against Manchester United I had the busiest match I’d ever had for first aid and must have watched no more than 15 minutes of football but amazingly managed to witness all three goals.”
Mr Segon is a huge advocate for volunteering, saying it keeps him active, especially now he’s retired.
The Red Cross is recruiting for volunteers at the moment so he urges anyone inspired by his story to get in touch.
“I love volunteering and, now I’m retired it’s even more important. There’s only so much gardening you can do,” he said.
“We have a team of around 23 people on duty for each match. We work in pairs and the new recruits have all the support they need as they learn the ropes from the established first aiders. It’s great fun and a great skill to have.”
Mr Segon, is part of a first aid team that attends a wide range of events in the Norwich area from the motor racing at Snetterton to the popular Christmas Spectacular shows in Thursford and being a first aid volunteer is also how he met his wife.
Michael and Barbara are coming up to their Golden wedding anniversary in September and theirs was one of five Red Cross marriages that year.
The couple have three children and their oldest – Andrew – has carried on the family tradition by also marrying Red Cross first aid volunteer Christina, while their son Matthew, 15, is also training as a first aid volunteer.
Unfortunately Michael is dealing with his own health problems at the moment.
In March he suffered a heart attack at home and was rushed to hospital where a stent was fitted. He resumed volunteering duties at the match against Watford on Wednesday, which City won 4-2.
During his star treatment on Saturday, Mr Segon met legendary Norwich players Terry Allcock and Bill Punton.
“I reminded Terry of the time I’d carried him off the pitch with a broken leg, back in 1960,” said Mr Segon.