Remembering Delia Smith’s iconic ‘Let’s be ‘avin’ you!’ half-time rant

Remembering Delia Smith’s iconic ‘Let’s be ‘avin’ you!’ half-time rant

“Where are you? WHERE ARE YOU? Let’s be ‘avin you!”

– Delia Smith, 2005

Delia Smith is a national treasure.

First gracing the British public’s screens in the early 70s, she came to define middle England’s, culinary sensibilities over the subsequent decades.

Delia used to mix with Norwich fans during the 2004/2005 season Delia used to mix with Norwich fans during the 2004/2005 season
Delia used to mix with Norwich fans during the 2004/2005 season | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

However, on 28 February 2005, she showed an altogether more angry side to herself, taking to the field to fire up the Norwich City home crowd at half-time during a Premier League game against Manchester City.

Smith has been a majority shareholder at the club since the 1990s and on that afternoon, she was not happy with the Canaries faithful. That season was Norwich’s first back in the top flight since 1994 and they were struggling at the foot of the table.

They went into their game against City 19th in the league and five points from safety, making the fact that they had blown an early 2-0 lead all the more frustrating.

In an attempt to gee up the 20,000+ packed into Carrow Road, Delia stomped onto the pitch in her high heels and uttered those immortal words: “A message for the best football supporters in the world: we need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you?! Let’s be ‘avin’ you! Come on!”

In true Mike Bassett England Manager style, Norwich went on to lose the game 3-2.

Reflecting on her rousing speech several years later in a BBC documentary, she said (via Evening News 24): “They just handed me the microphone and said ‘go on, go and do it’.

Robbie Fowler grabbed a 90th minute winner for CityRobbie Fowler grabbed a 90th minute winner for City
Robbie Fowler grabbed a 90th minute winner for City | Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

“I had heels on; the pitch was muddy. It was quite hard to walk. Everyone thought I was drunk!”

It may not have worked for the City game, but did Delia’s pep talk help to turn Norwich’s season around in the long-term?

Well, no, not really. The Canaries went on to lose their next three games, before going on a crazy four match unbeaten run. Going into the final day of the season they were out of the relegation zone, only for a tragic 6-0 defeat to Fulham to send them back down to the second tier.

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