PICTURE the scene: it’s half-time in a vital match in your struggle against relegation and you’ve just seen your side throw away a 2-0 lead. As the club’s joint major shareholder you should probably stay in your plush executive box, have another drink and let your manager rally the troops.
That’s not how Delia Smith rolls. Today in 2005 everyone’s favourite television chef-cum-football executive staggered out onto the pitch, grabbed the microphone from a bemused stadium announcer and sought to gee up the Carrow Road crowd.
“This is a message for possibly the best supporters in the world. We need a 12th man. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be having you! Come on!” she slurred in front of 24,302 spectators that looked on with a mixture of embarrassment, amusement and, in some rare cases, admiration.
Delia had seen her charges waste a two-goal lead as Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie’s early strikes were cancelled out by goals from Antoine Sibierski and Robbie Fowler to leave the sides level at half-time. The motivational speech did not have the desired effect, as Fowler’s would grab another goal as the Citizens would go on to win 3-2 as Norwich’s survival efforts were doomed to failure.
Delia’s outburst was caught by the Sky Sports cameras and received more press coverage than anything else the Canneries could cook up that season, as she was splashed across the front pages of the nation’s newspapers.
The next day she would issue a statement defending her actions that sounded more like the kind of hungover apology that your dear narrator has to give to his mates following a messy Saturday night: “My message to the fans was a totally spontaneous appeal from the heart, aimed at trying to do everything we could to get behind Nigel Worthington and the team,” she offered.
“Maybe in the heat of the moment I didn’t choose the best words.”
Still, what would the crazy game of football be without a bit of passion? Fair play to you Delia, you wouldn’t catch Nigella doing that.
Also on this day Fifa were preparing up a feast of their own, so click here for that.
Unlike Delia’s cooking, we’ll be repeating on ourselves tomorrow, so make sure your back here for more of the same. In the meantime why not join the Twitter revolution by following OTFD here.