'It was a mistake': Delia admits regret at famous Norwich City rally cry

Delia Smith speaks at the Top of the Terrace at the Norwich City Football Club stadium to invite din

Delia Smith speaks at the Top of the Terrace at Carrow Road. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Norwich City's joint majority shareholder Delia Smith has admitted it was a "mistake" to shout encouragement at the fans during a famous half-time outburst.

The 80-year-old chef, who has been a member of the City board since 1996, made her way on to the pitch during Norwich City's 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in February 2005. 

The Carrow Road crowd had been stunned into silence after letting an early two goal lead slip thanks to goals from Antoine Sibierski and former Liverpool favourite Robbie Fowler.

And taking it upon herself to encourage the fans to make some noise, Delia took to the pitch and grabbed the microphone.

She shouted into the public address system: "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 having you! Come on!"

Reflecting on the incident, which happened 17 years ago today (Monday, February 28), Delia told the MailOnline: "No, I love it. Well OK, it was a mistake. I forgot that Sky Television was there. So I went down to the perimeter and I just said, can you get something on the board to say, sing you guys?

"Because the crowd was just sitting there like little mice. There wasn’t time so they gave me a microphone and said, go on and say it. So I did."

Delia, who celebrated 25 years at the club in November, insisted that she was not drunk and put the incident down to being "passionate" about the football club.

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She added: "I had had wine with my supper, but I was not drunk. I know that I was wearing heels and it was muddy. It’s not easy walking on a muddy pitch with heels, try it!

"The problem is that you are not allowed to have passion in this country. If you live here and you show passion, then you must be drunk."

The rallying cry didn't work as the Canaries ended up losing 3-2 as Fowler scored his second of the game in stoppage time.