Pray let's be 'aving you

STEVE DOWNES Delia Smith has told how she hopes Norwich City Football Club will one day emulate Real Madrid by building a chapel at Carrow Road.


Delia Smith has told how she hopes Norwich City Football Club will one day emulate Real Madrid by building a chapel at Carrow Road.

The revelation, which could go down well with supporters praying for a better season than the last one, came as she opened her heart about the two main ingredients in her life: cooking and football.

The Canaries' joint majority shareholder spoke out in an interview with The Observer newspaper about how the famous “Let's be 'avin' you!” moment last year had “let everyone see the

real me”.

Delia grabbed a microphone and stepped on to the Carrow Road pitch at half-time during a Premiership clash with Manchester City to launch her legendary exhortation to subdued home supporters.

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She said: “I was locked away in a meeting the next day and my agent fielded all the calls. And she loved it, because it gave everyone a chance to see the real me.

“When you are on TV they edit out all your mistakes and turn you into Miss Perfect.

“They even cut some of the smiles out and it makes you look serious.”

The devout Roman Catholic revealed that her personal assistant had a list of all the churches holding masses so that she could attend

every day.

And she said she saw no conflict between worshipping God and football.

She added: “Another dream

I have is inspired by Real Madrid, who have a chapel at their ground where staff and supporters can go to mass.

“In this country it would have to be a non-denominational chapel, but I don't see why not.”

Delia also spoke out about the “really, really bleak” time that she and her husband - fellow joint majority shareholder Michael Wynn Jones - endured when they first invested in the Canaries.

The invitation to put cash into the club in exchange for seats on the board came just after vilified chairman Robert Chase stepped down, with City in financial meltdown and the fans hurt and angry.

She said: “As supporters, you feel so powerless and hopeless, and we had the opportunity to do something about it. It was not a big decision.

“At first, it was really, really

bleak. Obviously the supporters didn't trust us, and I know how they felt because they had been let down in the past.”

Finally, the TV chef spoke of her hopes for the coming season - and her disappointment at last term's ninth-place finish, which has prompted bookies to make Norwich 16-1 outsiders for the Championship title this time around.

She said: “The good thing is that we are not favourites, which is a tremendous relief.

“To motivate a relegated team is very hard. It takes a long time for players to bed in.

“We did have a very difficult time, and the fans were correct in protesting because there were some dire games.”

She added - in a comment that may baffle some of the fans who watched last year's efforts - that Norwich were a “good passing side, better suited to Premiership football.”