Date: 16th January 2006 at 4:15pm
Written by:

Mark Delaney is a gentleman, a sportsman and a scholar.

Great to see, in the game against West Ham on Saturday, that some of the people linked to our great club know what it means to be sportsmen. I always remember being impressed when Robbie Fowler was supposedly brought down in the box whilst playing for Liverpool, the ref was about to blow the whistle but Fowler got up immediately shaking his finger as if to tell the referee that he fell over and wasn’t fouled. Now the gesture from Mark Delaney at the weekend may well have not been to that standard, but it showed his mettle as a man never-the-less.

The referee – Phil Dowd – had booked West Ham player Hayden Mullins. Mullins reacted and looked like he was about to talk himself into a second yellow card for mouthing off to the ref. Mark Delaney, cool as a cucumber (how cool that is I’m not sure, although I guess as I have a cucumber in the fridge, I could do some research and get back to you) walked up to the player and told him to calm down.

What was funny is both David O’Leary and Roy Aitkin didn’t take to the sprit of sportsmanship being shown by Delaney and started shouting at the Wales international to leave the player to pickle in his own stew, or is that stew in his own pickle, no cancel that, to get sent off!! Delaney was having none of it, put his fingers up to his manager and assistant and said loudly NO. He wasn’t being told what to do by tweedle dee and tweedle dumb. Off went O’Leary and Aitkin, back to the bench, muttering as usual, tale between their legs!

So, the gesture may have gone unnoticed with most fans, but people in line with it couldn’t help but notice and be impressed. Now find, some would say that our player should have left the Hammer to get sent off, but I’m from the old school, I like to see 11 v 11 unless a player really deserves to walk – then I love joining in the echoes of cheerio, cheerio! I’m not sure there are many left in the game who would have the respect to try to do the decent thing, apparently our manager doesn’t approve, but I for one do. There are enough whingers and cheats in the game. We should all take score cards down with us these days to hold up our ratings for the amount of dives in the game, some are better choreographed than Darren Gough doing his ballroom dancing!

Mr Delaney, I salute you. Oh, and for the state of your shorts and the fact you were the only player going in hard with tackles despite the lack of a new contract and with no regard for your recent run of injuries, I salute you again.

(Note to self, you really should stop saluting people, you aren’t in the marines and you were thrown out of the cubs for fighting).