Rory Delap (born Sutton Coldfield, 6 July 1976) is an Irish international, who isn’t great at kicking a ball but can throw it further than you go on holiday.
Like resourceful Muppet-esque manager Mick McCarthy, Delap was born in England but hedged his bets and chose to play for good-natured fallback nation the Republic of Ireland.
Delap has joined the likes of Mario Melchiot, Lee Dixon, Dave Challinor, Andy Legg and Perry Groves in being labelled a ‘throw-in specialist.’
Delap played for Southampton for ages after the Saints signed him for £2m, breaking their club record fee paid to Sheffield Wednesday striker David Hurst.
However, he was always one of those players you would sign on Championship Manager but not really recognise if he was sat on your patio drinking wine and flirting openly with your mother-in-law.
The hapless faux-Irishman made little impact during the Black Cats’ biannual relegation and he signed for Stoke City.
Strangely, Delap got beat up pretty bad playing for Stoke against Sunderland in October 2006 when he broke his tibia and fibula at the same time, leaving his leg like a shitty sock puppet.
An unremarkable footballer, Delap became a key man in Stoke’s scabby 2008-09 Premier League point scrounging campaign thanks to his monster throw.
An ex-Javelin champion, Delap uses the skills he learned as a youngster by folding the ball into a pointy shape before hurling it and hopping around on the sideline.
Delap’s longest throw during a match is measured at 45 metres, but when late for training he often throws his first few balls from home in Derby before driving the 30 miles to Stoke’s Trent Vale training ground.
Efforts to distract DelapEdit
Sometimes players and fans attempt to distract Delap during the increasingly tedious preamble to his throw.
During Stoke’s defeat at Chelsea on January 17, 2009 the Stamford Bridge ball boys replaced the match ball with a medicine ball for a Stoke throw-in.
Oblivious, Delap hurled the 40kg boulder into the box where it struck Juliano Belletti, breaking him into thousands of tiny non-descript pieces.