The Norwich streaker - why I did it
PUBLISHED: 16:07 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 14 August 2019
What was he thinking? Liz Nice wondered when she saw the Norwich streaker at Anfield on Friday. Fortunately, he got in touch to explain...
It was the craziest moment of the Premier League's opening weekend and it was a Norwich man who pulled it off, or rather pulled his clothes off and gave 54,000 Liverpool and Norwich fans a proper eyeful.
Grant Sleight, 29, was the Norwich streaker who ran across the pitch at Anfield on Friday night just after Pukki's goal and we were all left wondering - why?
Was he drunk? He must have been under the influence, surely?
"Absolutely not", said Mr Sleight, who is from Norwich.
"I hadn't touched a drop of anything. I just decided I was going to do it, I told my friends I was going to do it, and so, I did."
Rather like the epitaph on the Bill Shankly statue - 'He made the people happy' - Grant's only motivation was a bit of people pleasing and judging by the faces of the Norwich fans as he made his rather ungamely dash across the pitch in the 65th minute, he largely succeeded.
Mr Sleight explained that he hadn't meant to keep his shorts around his ankles for the entire streak but unfortunately, although he untied them, they didn't fall off as he had planned because the elastic was rather more robust than expected.
"It's a strange feeling when you're actually doing it," Mr Sleight added. "It's not a buzz, I can tell you that. I felt sick, to be honest. But once you've started, well, you've got to go with it, haven't you?"
Mr Sleight stressed that he was very careful to keep away from the players - "I wanted it to be very clear that there was no danger and that it was just a spontaneous moment and I was just doing it for a laugh".
He was aware of what the consequences would be - he spent the night in the police station - "Although it wasn't too bad and I got a bowl of Kelloggs in the morning."
He has also been banned from Anfield for five years, he says, and is in line for a £5,000 fine which he hopes to be able to pay in instalments.
Even so, there are no regrets.
"You can be a sheep all your life or you can do something," he said. "And hopefully I made people smile. Someone's got to do it, Liz, although I wouldn't encourage anyone else to do the same!"
Read Liz's column about the streak here
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Norwich Evening News. Click the link in the orange box above for details.