Chris Goreham: You score the goals, Timm, we’ll provide the relevant words!
PUBLISHED: 10:38 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:38 19 February 2018
Stoppage time goals. They simultaneously thrill and crush supporters, they usually defy logic and they don’t half test the vocal range of commentators.
Most of all they live longer in the memory than any other type of goal and they get replayed a lot.
It doesn’t matter that Norwich City struggled to find anything like their best form against Ipswich Town at the weekend. It doesn’t matter that they failed to create many clear-cut chances and it doesn’t even matter that they conceded an annoying goal from a set-piece so late in the East Anglian Derby.
None of it matters because that match will always be remembered as Timm Klose’s Derby. That 95th-minute equaliser must rank as one of the sweetest strikes in recent Carrow Road memory.
Goals like that don’t come along very often, but when they do it’s down to those of us fortunate enough to be trusted with access to a microphone to try to find the correct words, or at least make the right noises. It’s not easy to keep it broadcastable when thousands of people around you are losing their minds as Mick McCarthy’s expletive-laden reaction to Luke Chambers’ goal when it looked like it might finally end Ipswich’s winless Derby run proved.
I have always admired the seasoned professionals who, in moments of such sporting drama, can keep a cool head and continue to describe what’s happening in front of them. “They think it’s all over” – but sometimes it isn’t and I have learned the hard way the lesson of always leaving yourself somewhere to go when it comes to shouting about late goals.
I yelled with the best of them when Sebastien Bassong leathered home a last-ditch equaliser to make it 4-4 against Liverpool in the Premier League two years ago. Seconds later that triumphant scream was proven to be premature when Adam Lallana restored Liverpool’s lead and Jurgen Klopp lost his spectacles in the celebrations that followed.
There are times when commentators gamble and declare a late goal as the winner. There was a temptation to announce that Chambers had “won the Derby” for Ipswich when he headed home that 89th-minute effort on Sunday, but if commentating on the Canaries has taught me anything over the past decade it is to expect the unexpected.
So it was that one Norwich City centre back would send in a 95th-minute cross for another of them to head home the most dramatic of equalisers. The screaming that followed on BBC Radio Norfolk may not have been poetic or descriptive, but the raise in decibel levels did at least capture the mood of jubilation and relief.
The feeling was very different on the other side of the ground from our privileged position on the South Stand gantry where our colleagues from BBC Radio Suffolk were calling the action to those of a blue and white persuasion. Only the Scottish speed skater Elise Christie can understand what it must feel like to fall on the big occasion as regularly as Ipswich have in recent years.
“How awful”, was the forlorn cry of my opposite number Brenner Woolley, the disbelief in his voice appealing to the cruel side of Canaries fans who enjoyed sharing the moment from a Suffolk perspective on social media. It can be excruciating listening back to commentary in its rawest form out of context days later. That goes for the good moments and the bad.
The words may not always come easy, but the power is with the players. We can only commentate on what’s in front of us and it would be nice to think there may be plenty more to shout about between now and the end of the season.
I took a trip down memory lane all the way to Milan last weekend.
What a thrill it was to return to the San Siro stadium, 25 years after seeing Norwich City take on Inter there in the Uefa Cup. The remarkable old place with its roof of red girders hasn’t changed a bit since 1993. I have, but seeing as I was only 11 back then, that is probably a good thing.
The purpose of the visit wasn’t to watch Inter Milan triumph 2-1 over Bologna in Serie A, although that was fun, but rather to see the visit through the eyes of Bryan Gunn who was a member of the travelling Norfolk party last week and played a much more significant role than I did back in ’93.
Gunny senior, as we must call him out of respect to Angus, is heavily involved in the showpiece friendly at Carrow Road in May which will see a team of Canary heroes take on Inter Forever, a side made of up of legends who have worn the famous black and blue striped shirts with distinction.
Microphones can open all sorts of doors for you and standing pitchside at the San Siro made me realise what a coup it is for Norwich City to have attracted such illustrious opposition for the charity match.
We marvelled at the reception afforded to Argentina star Javier Zanetti and spoke to the former midfielder Nicola Berti who had, until last Sunday, been just a head and shoulders in a Panini World Cup sticker album to me.
At one point I thought I had been rumbled when a fearsome looking Italian official marched over and started pointing at my microphone as I recorded the sound of the San Siro.
After we gesticulated in different languages for a few seconds it became clear that all she wanted was to take a photo of the BBC Radio Norfolk logo on the top of my mic. How nice, I thought, and I offered to pose for her as if I was interviewing someone so that she could take an action shot.
No need. She literally wanted a picture of the microphone without me in at all.
Moments like that will keep me grounded, even at the San Siro.