My fears over legends event

PUBLISHED: 15:06 12 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:31 10 September 2010

This week, along with hundreds of other fans, the Man received a phone call from Darren Huckerby.

This week, along with hundreds of other fans, the Man received a phone call from Darren Huckerby.

I was busy at the time so he just left a voicemail: in it he begged the Man to attend the Greatest Ever event.

The Man could barely believe what he was hearing as he listened to Huck's muffled Nottingham tones on the message.

The Man adores Hucks, and to hear him now being dragged into hawking this ill-thought out event was rather sad.

Just to recap folks, the Greatest Ever's format involves a load of Z-list pop stars performing on the Carrow Road pitch on May 18, interspersed with appearances from assorted legends such as Kevin Keelan.

There is a real danger that the people that turn up to this 'gig' - which in a moment of marketing genius is not taking part on a match day - will predominantly be attended by people who don't know who Keelan is.

It will also be hosted by Richard Keys. The Man thinks Alan Partridge would have struggled to dream up a worse idea. Monkey tennis?

Rumours abound that the tickets sales for the event are chronically low - and Hucks' phone message would suggest that someone at Carrow Road is getting rather nervous about how many people - and who - are going to turn up.

As The Man has said before, the very real danger here is that we will assemble some true legends, some of whom will be flying across the world to attend, only for them to be greeted by 300 housewives from Sprowston, who are only interested in seeing some weird-looking bloke off X Factor.

Certainly we'll struggle to persuade the likes of Keelan and Peters to come again if this event is as bad as it sounds, and that would be a crying shame.

The Greatest Ever is a franchise event, and it's unlikely the club will find itself out of pocket, but I'm deeply concerned that they thought it was a good idea in the first place.

If they had simply held another dinner, they could have charged 500 people whatever they liked and proper fans would have bitten their hands off. We know the club is in desperate need of cash, but as far as the Man is concerned, this is one event they should not have touched with a barge pole.

In fact, if you look on the Greatest Ever's official website, it does not appear many other football clubs have deemed it to be a goer. One cricket team has, but that's about it.

The sad thing is that the Man almost feels inclined to go now, by way of an apology to the great players that will be there.

The whole event is my idea of hell, but I really hate the idea of these players thinking we have snubbed them.

....................................

t Fans are agreed, we want our derby back

The MAN and his pals had an interesting trivia debate this week: when was the last time we played Ipswich at Carrow Road in the league at 3pm on a Saturday?

As far as we could work out - and we stand to be corrected - it was in 1979.

Although our superior league status for much of the past 30 years has had an obvious impact on that statistic, it is still a very stark one.

Isn't it a truly pathetic world that we live in when we haven't played our county rivals at home in the league at the traditional kick-off time for nearly three decades?

I know it's an old chestnut, but as each year passes, these derby kick-off times get more and more on my nerves.

In case anybody missed it, the harmonious pair of Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday were allowed to play their derby match this week - on a Tuesday night, let alone 3pm on a Saturday.

The Man might be wrong, but I would suggest there is just as much (maybe even a tad more) animosity in that fixture as there is Norwich-Ipswich.

The respective constabularies of Norfolk and Suffolk give themselves a regular pat on the back for making sure these fixtures go ahead without any trouble on a Sunday at 12am.

But to be honest, you could re-stage the Zulu War in Norfolk on a Sunday morning and it would go off without any trouble.

The Man actually considers it a deep failing of both police forces in that they don't seemingly have the ability - or the confidence - to marshal this game on a traditional kick-off time.

Either that or the fixtures are now well and truly pencilled in the chief inspectors' calendars as a day to get training with police horses, without any hard work.

It is probably the only thing Norwich and Ipswich fans agree on: we want our derby back. The rights of football fans always seem to sit bottom of the list as far as the police are concerned, but in this instance we are not even on it. OTBC.

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