Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones are relishing trip to Euro 2016
PUBLISHED: 07:30 11 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:54 11 June 2016
Among the thousands of England fans heading to watch England’s opening Euro 2016 clash in Marseille this evening will be two of Norwich City’s most famous faces.
The Canaries’ joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones will be eagerly awaiting kick-off against Russia at the Stade Vélodrome, with added motivation to see a Three Lions victory.
That is because the couple, who live in Suffolk, are close friends with England manager Roy Hodgson.
As well as keeping an eye on the Canaries contingent in action in France, the keen England fans said they are looking forward to the start of the campaign and showing their support for Hodgson, who they have been friends with for nearly 20 years.
Ms Smith said the former West Brom and Liverpool manager helped her settle into life in football when she first took over as a director at Carrow Road in the 1990s.
“We’ve known Roy for a long time. When we first became directors he was very helpful to us,” Ms Smith said. “He was the manager of Blackburn and he gave us a lot of helpful advice for coming into football.
“I met him at a match when Norwich played Wolves. I was asked if I wanted to be introduced to him. I always thought he was a top manager.”
Having been to watch most of England’s games at Wembley under Hodgson, and some of the away matches, the popular cook said she has been impressed with what she has seen and has enjoyed seeing new faces in the team including Dele Alli and Harry Kane, inset.
In addition to attending all of England’s group matches Ms Smith said they will also like to make it to the Stade de France to watch Ireland take on Sweden to see “our players” – Wes Hoolahan, Robbie Brady and Martin Olsson – in action.
“It is a mixed blessing having international players,” she said. “We are pleased for them but we do not want them to get injured. If Scotland had qualified then we would have had even more players in the tournament.”
The couple went to France in 1998 to watch the World Cup and are hoping for another enjoyable experience – but with a more successful time for England.
Ms Smith said: “I like it when you are meeting all the different supporters of different clubs. I still think the football community is the most wonderful community in the world.
“One of the most moving things that happened to us when we were watching an England game was the game against France just after the attacks in Paris. It was just the most wonderful show of solidarity with all the England fans singing the French national anthem.”
So do the couple believe England can win the Euros?
Mr Wynn Jones said: “If they can turn up and do what they did against Germany (winning 3-2) in the friendly then they could do it.”
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