Cookery guru Delia Smith surprised supporters at Norwich City on Monday by seizing a mic and exhorting them to get behind their team.
The multimillionaire chef – and Norwich City Football Club’s chief shareholder – was dismayed by her beloved team’s performance, throwing away a 2-0 lead against Manchester City.
So at half time she grabbed a microphone, took to the pitch and addressed the 24,000 strong crowd.
According to eyewitness reports in the Guardian newspaper the 63-year-old screamed, ‘This is a message for possibly the best supporters in the world. We need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin you! Come on!’
In the second half Norwich went down to ten men after one of their players was sent off. They eventually lost 3-2 after letting in a shot from City’s Robbie Fowler in injury time.
Smith is a hero to the majority of Norwich supporters and the club itself – but there was some speculation that the wine had been flowing freely in the directors’ box before the game.
‘She’s an interesting character, and it sounds like one or two glasses had been flowing more than they should have done,’ Rob Emery of the Norwich Supporters Consultative Group said.
Smith herself said, ‘Maybe in the heat of the moment I didn’t choose the best words, but as I said last night and have said many, many times before, our supporters are the best in the world.
‘My message to the fans at half-time last night was a totally spontaneous appeal from the heart aimed at trying to do everything we could to get behind Nigel Worthington and the team.’
Rob Blower of the club’s supporters’ association told the Guardian, ‘She wears her heart on her sleeve and she’s got a heart the size of a barn door. She has given up her income to be at Norwich. She’s done everything but walk on water.’
Written by Adam Lechmere