Wilson’s Wisdom: Norris time memories raise a smile

David Norris scored a famous stoppage-time volley against Southampton. Picture: Oliver Zee
David Norris scored a famous stoppage-time volley against Southampton. Picture: Oliver Zee
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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In the search for a bit of a Pompey lift in these tricky times, I found myself looking up David Norris.

There was no special reason, he just happened to pop into my head.

Or, more accurately, his famous goal at St Mary’s did.

So Youtube did the rest and instantly brought back some great memories.

Aside from the official footage, there are some superb videos posted by fans in the Pompey end.

One in particular captures that sweet left-foot volley in all its glory and the subsequent joyous pandemonium behind that goal.

It remains every bit as pure a strike as we call remember.

And should Norris – who left Leeds United on deadline day – ever venture down this way ever again, he won’t be short of takers looking to buy him a beer in one of the city’s pubs.

But on that clip uploaded from Oscar Pearson’s phone, there’s also a poignant moment of Ricardo Rocha putting his finger to his lips to the home supporters as he trotted back alone for the kick-off.

It’s those little moments that you forget that bring back a smile.

There is also a cracking video from the other side of the divide as the goading turns to stunned silence and a hasty move towards the exit gate for those of a red and white persuasion.

With the current differing fortunes between the clubs, it’s fair to say that riding high in the Premier League beats the struggles of League Two.

Southampton fans might shrug off that famous moment as inconsequential as they were promoted that season, while Pompey slipped into League One.

But it remains one of those unforgettable moments for Pompey fans who were there that day.

I’ve been fortunate to cover this club at Fratton Park, Old Trafford, Wembley and Guimaraes and it’s simply not the done thing to celebrate goals or victories in the press box – even when that is a tough ask.

Sometimes though, it’s simply not that easy.

On that occasion at St Mary’s, as we tried our best to maintain our journalistic integrity, someone sat behind us was unable to control his emotions as he lashed out kicking a seat in the press box at the sheer injustice of it all while some of us attempted to stifle our sniggers.

Myself and colleague Jordan Cross were on duty the day Pompey famously won at Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-final.

As Sulley Muntari slotted home the penalty past Rio Ferdinand, our only outlet was to give each other a couple of excited digs in the ribs before we regained our composure.

Since then, we all know there have been some pretty dark times.

Supporters feel the pain but those of us who have the privilege of covering the club also share it.

Just what exactly do you ask a manager when they have been beaten again and fans are callling for their dismissal?

Of course, we look them in the eye and we have to ask those tough questions – it’s part of the job.

But just as we share in those highs, it’s wrong to assume that we can distance ourselves from those lows.

So when times are tough, there’s always a little pick-me-up in the shape of a David Norris stoppage-time volley.