April Fool's Day - it's all Greek to the gullible old me

PUBLISHED: 08:07 01 April 2017

Ricky van Wolfswinkel - probably not a sight we will see again. But then ...

Ricky van Wolfswinkel - probably not a sight we will see again. But then ...

PA Wire

Question: Who scored our first goal this century?

(Answer at the bottom)

After the late club announcement last night of Yardis Alpolfo as our new manager for next season, it was too late for me to do an article about him.

But what I do know he has done fantastic for Greek side Olympiakos as they have dominated Greek football this year as they look set to win the Greek Super League. So welcome to Norwich, Yardis. Maybe a bit of Wikipedia research may be needed.

Of course, today is April 1 – April Fools Day. There have been many April Fools pranks over the years – remember BBC Grandstand reporting that Tottenham Hotspur would be playing at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium whilst they had their White Hart Lane ground re-developed?

I thought I could do one of my own – maybe see if I could fool some people into thinking that Ricky van Wolfswinkel was coming back to Norwich for a second time in the summer: after hearing we had agreed a deal with Vitesse Arnhem when we sold him last August that we got first refusal if Arnhem decided to sell him. Trouble is, I knew full well the chances of anybody believing me were up there with the chances of sell-out at Portman Road this afternoon between Ipswich Town and Birmingham City.

With the help of the internet it’s easy to find things out very quickly. If you hear any rumours, you can find out within seconds whether there is any truth in them by looking on social media or using Google.

Back in 1992, a long time before social media, the internet or Sky Sports News, fans found the news out more often than not well after things had happened. More often than not, I found out Norwich had signed someone from the local press or radio.

At the time, there had been a charity event involving Norwich City goalkeeper Bryan Gunn and Radio Broadland presenter, and Ipswich town supporter, Rob Chandler. The charity event involved both of them swapping jobs for the day, Bryan Gunn being the DJ, Rob showing off his goalkeeping skills at Norwich’s training ground at Trowse.

A week or so later, I remember getting ready for work as a trainee carpenter. I was 16 years old – and a naive teen as well. When I heard on the news that Rob was leaving Radio Broadland and would sign a professional contract at Norwich City after impressing then manager Dave Stringer, I was amazed.

I couldn’t wait to get to the training office, when, like most mornings, I started chatting about the latest football news with the other trainees. That morning I told people about Rob joining City. Fellow Norwich fans believed me and were amazed.

Then, one of the training officers asked me to look at the date on the newspaper in front of me. I replied, ‘it’s April 1?’ The officer replied: “April Fools Day – I think it’s a wind up.”

I was gutted. I had been done by Radio Broadland. Bryan Gunn didn’t have a career as a radio presenter, like Rob didn’t have a career at Carrow Road. And I was brunt of jokes that day.

So, come mid-day today, I’m hoping I have not fallen for any pranks – I don’t want to be the April Fool again.

But, if you’ve got to the end of this article and have checked out Yardis Alpolfo’s credentials, then it’s 1-0 to me.

Yardis Alpolfo is not our new manager. He just an anagram of April Fools Day.

Let’s hope Aston Villa are the fools and we get our first win since David Phillips, Darren Beckford and Daryl Sutch fired the goals in on November 28, 1992 when we won 3-2.

Answer: Craig Fleming (a 2-1 win over Portsmouth on January 3, 2000.

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