The Watling Way
Geoffrey in Symphony racing in 1951/2 on Oulton Broad.
Geoffrey had a love of sport. In the 30’s he ran with his brother, the St Lawrence Thursday league football club, the strip was the original Norwich City blue and white one. In the 50’s, he had 3 speed boats which he raced at Oulton Broad.
At the age of 40, he reached the Norfolk Amateur tennis final. That’s all before he became involved with Norwich City football club.
Geoffrey’s father, Charles, travelled to New York on the maiden trans-Atlantic voyage of the Queen Mary liner, Geoffrey followed him on the first post war voyage of the Queen Mary. Thereafter Geoffrey spent ever-increasing times travelling and seeing the world. For many years he spent almost half his time abroad until his health deteriorated which forced him to curtail his travels.
Geoffrey bought Felthorpe Hall and lived there until his death in 2004.
Geoffrey married Pearl in September 1941 and their only child Carol was born in 1947. Carol following her father’s love of travel, spent many years at sea working on the Canberra. Sadly Carol died in 1992.
Following Carol’s death, Geoffrey set up The Geoffrey Watling Charity as a way he could be remembered by supporting local charities.
With his death in 2004 the residue of his estate was passed over to the Charity and so to this day he continues to promote and support the city and county he loved.
On 17th November 2004, Geoffrey Watling died peacefully at the age of 91. Norwich City Chairman at the time, Roger Munby quoted…
“Everyone is deeply saddened – were it not for Geoffrey, this club may well not be in existence now.” For someone who was a huge part of the club for over 40 years, the death was incredibly hard for some supporters; especially those who had grown up and seen the impact that he had made on the club – even when you see how he put his hand in his pocket to save his beloved football team. That’s something that not every person would be willing to do, and it shows how much of a humble, ambitious, and charitable man he was.
“He was loved by all Norwich City fans – he touched all our hearts - a true legend”
The Geoffrey Watling Charity
8a Ber Street, Norwich, NR1 3EJ
Registered Charity Number 1025258
The Object of the Charity is to pay or apply the annual income of the Charity’s funds to such charity or charities or for such charitable purpose or purposes as the trustees shall from time to time in their absolute discretion determine.
1,902 grants made to December 2023.
£9,726,080 total value