It’s Monday February 28, 2005. Relegation threatened Norwich are drawing 2-2 at home to Manchester City as the half-time whistle blows.
There is a subdued atmosphere around Carrow Road. The hosts had raced into a two-goal lead inside 16 minutes, with Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie on the scoresheet.
However, Kevin Keegan’s men responded well with goals from Antoine Sibieski and Robbie Fowler putting them on level terms heading into the interval.
In an attempt to gee up the home faithful, celebrity chef and club shareholder Delia Smith took matters into her own hands – quite literally.
The Canaries fanatic grabbed a microphone on the pitch and from there on in she well and truly wrote herself into Premier League folklore.
Smith yelled into the public address system: “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!”
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Unfortunately for Smith, who took a lot of criticism over the impromptu rant, the speech didn’t spur Norwich on to victory.
In fact, they lost the game. Fowler’s injury-time goal consigned Nigel Worthington’s men to defeat. It’s also worth noting Norwich also got relegated that year. Sorry, Delia.
Following the half-time outburst Smith was also forced to categorically deny having had ‘too much wine’. Ouch.
The two sides meet against this Saturday evening, with the game LIVE on talkSPORT as part of our Gameday coverage, and it’s safe to say a repeat of Smith’s past rant is highly unlikely.
Below, talkSPORT.com takes a look at some of the other memorable speeches/rants of the Premier League era…
Kevin Keegan’s infamous ‘I’d love it if we beat them’ tirade
It’s April 29, 1996 and Keegan’s Newcastle side had just beaten won 1-0 at Leeds to close to within three points of leaders Manchester United with a game in hand and two to play.
Keith Gillespie’s goal gave them their third straight win, but instead of taking the opportunity to lap up the victory in an interview with Sky Sports after the game, Keegan went on one of the most infamous rants in Premier League history.
Sir Alex Ferguson had stoked the fire ahead of the match by suggesting the likes of Nottingham Forest – who United had just beaten 5-0 – might not try as hard against Keegan’s men as they did against his side.
That infuriated Keegan, whose side were due at the City Ground two days later, and he went on a tirade against United live on air saying “I would love it if we beat them… Love it!
Unfortunately for Keegan and co Ferguson not only came out on top in terms of mind games – but also in the title race – as the Red Devils finished four points clear of their rivals to win the title.
Ian Holloway on FIFA
The former Blackpool boss is never one to mince his words and during his stint at Bloomfield Road he went on a tirade against ‘useless’ UEFA president Michel Platini, Fifa president Sepp Blatter and the idea of a Winter World Cup in 2022. Enjoy!
Rafa Benitez rant against Alex Ferguson
Irked by the Manchester United manager’s observations about the fixture table back in January 20, Rafa Benitez erupted during a press conference with the former Liverpool boss stating a few ‘facts’ to his rival – the master of mind games.
John Sitton’s red mist
Sitten’s Leyton Orient 1-0 down at half-time against Sam Allardyce’s Blackpool in February 1995 and Sitton wasn’t best pleased with his side. He went on a extraordinary rant, sacking defender Terry Howard before offering to fight two of his players, Barry Lakin and Mark Warren. Yes, you read that right…
Joe Kinnear’s x-rated rant
An infamous press conference featuring the former Newcastle manager contained just the 52 swear words in five minutes. Kinnear later outdid himself on talkSPORT, when he returned to the club as director of football and refereed to Shola Amenobee, Yohan Kebab and Hatem Ben Afre rather than Shola Ameobi, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Harry Redknapp is not a ‘wheeler dealer’
Whatever you do, do not call ‘Arry’ a ‘wheeler-dealer’ or you will feel the full wrath of him.
Roy Hodgson doesn’t take any nonsense
The former England boss is normally a calm and collective character, but after one reporter wound him up with his line of questioning in an interview during his stint as West Brom he let rip!