Red herring for Ipswich fans' fishy plan

PUBLISHED: 09:59 15 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:49 14 September 2010

A section of the front page of yesterday's Evening Star.

A section of the front page of yesterday's Evening Star.

CAROLINE JENKINSON

It seems it's neither fish nor foul for Ipswich fans today after their derby day plans were scuppered.

Tractor Boys had hoped to batter the Canaries into submission on Sunday by turning up at Portman Road armed with fish in an effort to taunt new manager Peter Grant.

It seems it's neither fish nor foul for Ipswich fans today after their derby day plans were scuppered.

Tractor Boys had hoped to batter the Canaries into submission on Sunday by turning up at Portman Road armed with fish in an effort to taunt new manager Peter Grant.

Grant was outed as a fish phobic by Paolo Di Canio, in his recent autobiography. Di Canio, Grant's former Celtic teammate, claims that on one occasion when the pair shared a room, he terrorised Grant with a salmon head in a plastic bag after noticing his aversion to fish at mealtimes.

He describes how Grant, shouting and screaming, ended up locking himself in the bathroom for 10 minutes to get away from the fish head - only to find when he emerged that Di Canio had hidden it in his bed.

So having got wind of the story, Ipswich fans had hoped to trigger an attack of ichthyophobia - fear of fish - in the Canaries manager.

Sadly it turns out the Grant fish phobia theory is a red herring so Ipswich fans will be left with a lot of whiffy fish on their hands and no result.

Grant said today: “I'm aware of what Paolo wrote but the truth of the matter was that it was more like a shark's head he'd put in my bed. I think most people would have been a bit startled by it.

“But I don't have a fish phobia, I've got no problem with fish at all.”

It was Phil Ham, editor of Town fanzine Those Were The Days, who called on Blues followers to create a deep-sea nightmare for the Canaries boss. His websiste even offered a downloadable cut-out fish to print off and take to the game.

He said: “Managers, clubs and fans have to try to take every opportunity to give their club the extra inch and hopefully we can knock the Canaries off their perch. It's a good giggle and a chance not to be missed.”

Shane Smith, fishmonger at Asda in Ipswich, said: “I would recommend fans take a whole salmon to the match because they're big and they have a full set of teeth on them. They're pretty slimy as well.”

But if Mr Grant does have any remaining issues with fish after Di Canio's stunt then hypnotherapist Stella Knight, who trained with Paul McKenna, believes she could cure him.

She has helped people with their fears of public toilets, squirrels and buttons, but never fish.

She said: “Any phobia can be got rid of. We are only born with two fears - fears of sudden loud noises and falling.”

Looks like Ispwich fans will be scaling their plans down then.

Ü Have you got an unusual phobia? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, e-mail eveningnewsletters@

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