Football Diary

by Patrick O’Connor


THE collapse of Fabrice Muamba on the pitch at Tottenham last week has captured plenty of headlines, both on the front and back pages of newspapers.

There has also been an enormous amount of goodwill generated towards the Bolton player from supporters of all colours.

So it was interesting the read the comments of the Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Davies who said that it reflected “the sad state of the game” because it had taken the incident to bring fans together.

Davies said: “It is the first time in 19 years that I’ve seen a football stadium unite.

“It was both touching but sad as well. We put a lot of hours in as footballers and it seems that the only way you get applause from opposition fans is being carried off on a stretcher. That’s a sad state of the game.

“We are all fans of football. I look at other sports and there is no segregation. I’d love to see more of that football.”

Food for thought for the yobs who still find their way into football grounds every weekend.

QPR captain Joey Barton is no stranger to flak, even more now that he regularly posts on Twitter.

But there was a refreshingly honest appraisal of his own performance after he was substituted during the 3-2 home win over Liverpool.

Barton criticised fans who booed him, saying: “Disappointed with fans booing, we’re meant to be in it together” but he added: “I was awful tonight. Worst I’ve ever played in my career.”

The manager of Premier League club Stoke City has escaped a driving ban after his solicitor claimed the people of Stoke would suffer if he lost his licence.

Tony Pulis was caught doing 96mph in a 60mph limit road and was facing a ban for topping 12 penalty points on his licence.

But it was claimed that if he couldn’t drive, it would affect his job so much that Stoke could get relegated!

According to a report in The Sun newspaper, solicitor Mike Stephenson said charities Pulis travelled countrywide to support would be hit along with companies who have invested £60million in Stoke City.

He added: “They would suffer if they were relegated as a result — and the children who he would not be able to assist and the people of Stoke could suffer if Mr Pulis lost his licence.”

And if you thought that was a far-fetched claim, Pulis told the court that he could not use a chauffeur for fear the driver would leak details of secret transfer deals that he discussed on his mobile.

Pulis was fined £2,500 but was allowed to continue driving.


Ouch! – 1

The Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney has sent an apology via Twitter to a nine year boy after he broke his wrist with a stray shot whilst warming up for United’s game at Wolves.

Rooney said: “I want to apologise to Jamie Thomas. I have arranged for a letter and a signed shirt to be sent to his home address.”

Jamie, from Wem in Shropshire, put his hand out to stop a shot from Rooney hitting him and it broke his wrist.

The boy’s father Andy told the Shropshire Star newspaper: “It shook him up a bit but he’s fine about it now and I don’t think it’s put him off going to other games.

“I don’t think Rooney realised what he had done, otherwise I am sure he would have come over.”

Ouch! -2

Spare a thought for the amateurs of Torbay Sunday League side Nova 2010 FC who were beaten 58-0 by Wheel Power FC.

According to the Metro newspaper, this is believed to be the heaviest defeat in British history.