Tony Pulis was "like he'd won lottery five times" when he discovered Rory Delap's throw 1 year ago

Tony Pulis was "like he'd won lottery five times" when he discovered Rory Delap's throw

"He threw it into the box and he said it was like the man had just won the lottery five times. Tony Pulis was so happy that Rory Delap could throw the ball."

Tony Pulis' Stoke side were a famously difficult team to play against after securing promotion to the Premier League back in 2008.

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Full to the brim of big, powerful players, they were known to bloody the noses of many of the English top flight's leading lights during that time, with trips to the Britannia, as it was then, notoriously tricky assignments for whoever came to town.

A big part of Stoke's threat, of course, came from the legendary and frankly ludicrous throwing ability of Rory Delap, who, at times, was known to hurl the ball over half the length of the pitch.

The distance and flat trajectory of his throws posed obvious problems for defenders and also helped alleviate any pressure for Stoke whenever they won a throw-in deep within their own territory. It was an extremely handy weapon to be able to call upon, as Pulis himself knew all too well.

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Strangely, Delap's throwing ability had been under-utilised prior to his time with Stoke. In fact, as one hilarious tale reveals, Pulis was completely unaware of it until he discovered it by chance one day on the training ground.

Speaking to former Stoke defender Robert Huth on JOE's All To Play For, Joe Cole shares the hilarious story of how Pulis had stumbled across Delap's throw and, having done so, couldn't contain his joy.

Cole's friend, Martin Paterson, had been a Stoke player at the time and passed the story onto Cole.

"He [Paterson] said they were doing a Friday session where they were doing tactics and, just a throwaway comment, Pulis has gone 'Can anyone throw a ball?'," Cole says.

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"Rory said, 'I can throw it a little bit, Gaffer...'"

Pulis then instructed Delap to throw the ball to the near post. Not only did he manage this comfortably, but told his manager he could throw even further.

"He said you've never seen a man get so excited, so quickly," Cole adds.

"So Rory keeps going back [and Pulis is saying] 'What? Further?'

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"He threw it into the box and he said it was like the man had just won the lottery five times. Tony Pulis was so happy that Rory Delap could throw the ball.

"They were out there for two hours working on this throw."

 

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