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Sir Jimmy sadness eased by City's own Mr Fix It

PUBLISHED: 09:46 05 November 2011

Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.  07904 640267
29/10/11
Grant Holt scores his sides equalising goal from the penalty spot and celebrates during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road stadium, Norwich.

Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd. 07904 640267 29/10/11 Grant Holt scores his sides equalising goal from the penalty spot and celebrates during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road stadium, Norwich.

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +44814 482222

It was at half time on Saturday that I heard the news about Sir Jimmy Savile.

Blackburn’s stunning opening goal had just gone in and as the whistle blew, I expected the 15 minutes of the break to be spent raking over the coals of how City could have prevented the strike and how we would fight our way back.

But once we knew of the death of the man who was the first and last presenter of Top of the Pops, who raised millions for charity and made the dreams come true of millions of children had died, it changed the theme of the interval conversations.

Those around us gave their own impressions of Jimmy and what they remembered about him.

There were plenty of laughs as we thought about those shell suits and the “jangle jangle, jewellery jewellery” moments.

Thoughts returned to the match as the second-half kicked off and once Steve Morison hit that stunning leveller, the guys and gals in yellow and green were happy again. However, a few minutes later we were 3-1 down.

As it began to look like being one of those days I wished I could have penned a letter to Sir Jimmy saying something like “please fix it for me for my favourite team to get at least a draw out of today’s match”. I have to confess that at the 75-minute mark I didn’t hold out a huge amount of hope.

Even though Paul Lambert’s men have performed countless late, late shows over the last two seasons to secure and endless supply of vital points, I thought this was going to be a step too far.

This is, after all, the Premier League. Teams – especially those at the bottom who are desperate for wins and who have a lot of very, very good players – just don’t cave in.

Back to Sir Jimmy. The white haired, cigar smoking legend may not have encapsulated all that is great in a top sportsman. But let’s not forget he ran 200 marathons.

And football is very much a marathon, not a sprint.

Far from hitting ‘the wall’ – that barrier which marathon runners tend to come across in the closing stages of a run – City got a late burst of energy. I accept Bradley Johnson’s strike had a dollop of luck – but if you don’t shoot, you don’t score. And yes, it was a very dubious penalty. However, after that run of equally dodgy decisions early in the campaign, we are still owed a couple more.

So how’s about that then for an amazing end? Now then, now then, that was a fantastic penalty by Mr Cool Holty to beat Paul Robinson (who I still rate very highly).

Farewell to Sir Jimmy and thanks for the fun and eccentricity you injected on to our TV screens.

Every time City put on another fine display or achieve a stirring comeback, I’m more convinced we have our very own Mr Fix It.

PL made the substitutions at just the right time and again used Holty in exactly the right way.

He won the free-kick that led to the penalty and caused a nuisance in the box to force the handball.

Hero of the week: You just can’t halt Holt! It’s been a tough season for the big man. So many other players up and down and land would have gone into a strop about being left out after being such a talismanic figure over the past two seasons. But Holty has got on with his job and scored probably the header of the season in front of the Kop – and then shown immense coolness to bury that late penalty.

Villain of the week: I hate criticising any of City’s amazing supporters but I was again flabbergasted that so many people left the ground before the final whistle and so missed Holty’s dramatic leveller. Yes there are those who may have a genuine reason to have to get away. But I’m positive that many others just want to get home a bit sooner. So the villains are those who needlessly cause disruption to others at such a crucial stage of the game.

Highlight of the week: After the Swansea game I was delighted that the end of the game was so dull as we killed it off. Well, the high point of this week was how we refused to let Blackburn Rovers do the same and showed the amazing never-say-die, refuse to give up spirit we have.

Funniest moment of the week: However much new technology enters the game and however many tens of millions of pounds are pumped into football, one thing never changes. When a ref falls over during the game, it is hilarious. And so the comedy gong goes to Anthony Taylor for his few seconds of fame when he ended up on his backside and was cheered by all 26,000-plus people in the ground (and I bet a few of the players had a snigger!)

Prediction of the week: Fabio Capello names his squad very soon for England’s friendly games against Spain and Sweden. I really think John Ruddy will be picked and surely is among the top three keepers in the country at the moment? Yes, Joe Hart is the best but JR – who has been superb in the opening quarter of the Premier League season – definitely deserves his chance.

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