Play • 29 min

"Like a human sling," said David Moyes. "The best Scud missile I have ever seen," added Sam Allardyce, a heavy hint of jealousy in his voice. For Luiz Felipe Scolari, it was more difficult to describe. "I have never seen anything like this in my life," said the newly-arrived Chelsea boss.

Scolari was not the only one left dumbfounded by Rory Delap's long throws when Stoke City shoulder-barged their way into the Premier League in 2008. Arsene Wenger, whose Arsenal side became regular victims, went as far as trying to get the rules changed. "It is a little bit of an unfair advantage," he said after a bruising 2-1 loss at the Britannia Stadium.

For a period, it seemed almost impossible to stop them.

The long throw was not a new concept. In fact, it felt like something of a throwback. But Delap, a javelin thrower in his youth, had the unique ability to combine distance and accuracy with a wickedly flat trajectory.






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