Norwich chief Webber explains dream of climbing Everest

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Released:
2:59 p.m. April 14, 2022

Updated:
6:10 p.m. April 14, 2022

It was a gamble that raised the eyebrows of some Norwich City fans when the club’s sporting director left for Tanzania during the January transfer window to climb Kilimanjaro while the side struggled at the foot of the Premier League.

But it’s clear that Stuart Webber’s passion for climbing the world’s highest peaks – including Mount Everest – will do little to get in the way as he revealed on his new podcast that he was “ready to die on the mountain”.

Webber spoke on the first episode of The Climb Podcast, a new series he has started to publicize his climbing achievements which he hopes will culminate in climbing the world’s highest peak and raising £1million for charity collect.

“You don’t just come and try it,” he said. “One thing that’s very close to my heart is: You can die on this mountain – I’m willing to die on the mountain, but I’m not willing to die or have anyone killed because of my lack of preparation.

“I hate when people are unprepared for things, especially when lives are at stake. So the leader I end up walking with, we have to be very comfortable with each other because I have to trust that I will believe them when they say up there “enough is enough you have to turn around now”. .”

Webber has taken on the Everest challenge to raise money for the Summit Foundation, which he co-founded with his wife – Norwich City chief executive Zoe Ward – to create opportunities and educational programs for young people.

The 37-year-old Welshman began training for promotion last year and spent 10 days climbing Kilimanjaro in January – a decision that drew criticism online from some Norwich City fans, who wanted to see more activity in the transfer window to help the Canary Islands in their tough fight to stay up.

Training climbs followed from Snowdon back home in Wales and are set to continue this summer with two mountains in Ecuador in June, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo.

Once the summer transfer window closes, a September trip to Mont Blanc is planned, with a November expedition to the Himalayas in November when the club season is suspended for the 2022 World Cup to conquer the 6,189m summit of Island Peak .

Ultimately, Webber hopes to attempt the 8,849m summit of Everest in the summer of 2023 or 2024.

He co-hosts The Climb Podcast with friend and City fan Jonathan Parramint, a writer and development producer in the television industry who is also a Trustee of The Summit Foundation

In the first episode, Webber discussed the motivations behind his off-field activities.

“The charity started when my wife and I spoke about social issues in Norfolk.

“We may now be looking at the lack of education among young people and how they can find a better life for themselves.

“We were fortunate in that we had ambition and were able to achieve some of our dreams, but I think there are so many young people now who are growing up in maybe not great families or schools that have too many kids in one classroom and teachers cannot spend enough time with these children.

“We wanted to do something where we might inspire young people, but we can also help them. For example, there may be a young person who wants to study but cannot afford it or does not have family support.

“You could maybe apply for a grant from the charity and that could help someone get out of a certain area, go to university or college, start a business or whatever it might be – and show them that they have a successful life.” being able to lead.

“Ultimately, the goal is for that person to go back into their community and help another person to really give momentum to educating people.

“We wanted to do our bit for our little corner of the earth, which me and Zoe have fallen in love with. We wanted to help and came up with this idea.”

Stuart Webber officially kicks off Run Norwich 2019 alongside his wife Zoe and son Sebastian
– Photo credit: Denise Bradley

The couple have a five-year-old son, Sebastian, named after Formula 1 star Sebastian Vettel – another interest of Webber’s.

HAPPIEST WHILE WALKING

The city boss revealed at the club’s annual general meeting in November that instead of signing a new contract, he would be on a rolling one-year deal from this summer and admitted his next job is unlikely to be in football.

While he loved the accomplishments he’s had with Norwich City – including two promotions – he’s happiest when he’s out walking.

“I’ve always had a dream of climbing Mount Everest. I love being outdoors, I love mountains and hiking is a passion,” he explained.

“If I got a call or a text from God tonight saying, ‘Buddy, you’re done tomorrow, you’re going to die,’ I would schedule a walk. Then I’m probably the happiest when I go.

“Everest has always been a dream so I’ve set a goal and would love to raise £1million with the help of many people until hopefully I get the opportunity to climb Everest.

“It’s a big dream and a big challenge, of course, but like everything in life – there’s no point in taking on an easy challenge.”

Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber at the launch of the Lotus Training Center and SoccerBot360

Norwich City Sporting Director Stuart Webber and Managing Director Zoe Ward at the Lotus Training Centre, Colney
– Credit: PA

Along with more details on his preparations, the Aberystwyth native also spoke about his journey from youth manager at Wrexham and rising through the ranks of Liverpool academy staff to first-team roles at QPR, Wolves and Huddersfield before arriving in Norfolk.

He also revealed that superstar manager Jose Mourinho had initially been an idol for him as a coach.

Future episodes of the podcast will feature guests including City’s joint controlling shareholder Delia Smith and former England defender Rio Ferdinand.

Visit thesummitfoundation.co.uk for more details.