It was kind of you and Sheryl to think of me as your best man in your forthcoming nuptials. I can see the reasoning. Spurs fan, long time married, good Northern lad, awfully respectable, but alas, I just can't make it. I'll be at Brunton Park that day, watching Carlisle United's youth team.

I can understand Hello] threatening to withdraw sponsorship of the wedding if your old Newcastle drinking pal, Jimmy Five Bellies, is your best man, but honestly, I don't think you can disappoint him after what the two of you have been through together.

If he's free that day and can stand up I'm sure hell do a canny job. I suggest he sends his best shell suit to the cleaners now.

If Hello] backs out, then have you considered selling the world rights to Viz? Good Geordie lads, don't forget.

Now for your other request, some marital advice of a more personal nature. There are only two rules for a successful marriage. First, train them from the beginning. My dear wife has brought me a cup of tea in bed first thing for 33 years now. I find it gets them up in the morning.

You might, of course, prefer something stronger. Does the Lazio bar stock Newcastle Brown yet?

Second, don't let Sheryl give up modelling. Working wives are so much more stimulating. It not only gets them up, it gets them out of the house.

On the matter of sex, I think you should ignore what Dino Zoff told you during pre-season training at the ritiro. The Italians have these funny theories about sex and football. There is no medical evidence that abstaining for up to four days before a match improves performance. You've got to consider Sheryl's needs now.

The latest thinking in Britain is that sex can be a great release for any footballer, right up to the day of the match itself. Some even allow it at half-time. During throw-ins, however, it is thought to be a bit distracting, for the spectators anyway. And linesmen.

This, of course, is another reason for coming home at the end of this season. Youll have heard Ossie is not getting very far with signing Papin, so we need you even more at White Hart Lane.

I know Man U have also been after you. In fact they need anyone, as they've got the jitters now and everyone's being sent off.

I gather Arsenal have offered to sign both you and Sheryl, and of course they have a very good women's team. Or will she replace Anders Limpar?

Oh, a final thought on the best man. If all else fails, I know Huffty will do it. She's back in Newcastle, and unemployed.

Yours in sport,

(Photograph omitted)