People and Business: Pitching in

ROY GARDNER, chief executive of Centrica, the trading arm of the former British Gas, has returned very bronzed from a holiday in Barbados - and very pleased with himself.

While in the West Indies he shared the same hotel as David Platt, former Arsenal midfielder and the recently sacked manager of Sampdoria.

Mr Gardner is a keen football fan and a big Manchester United supporter, so he wasted no time in befriending the former England captain to secure access to international match tickets.

Which is surprising, considering Mr Platt started his career as a Manchester United reject. United gave him to Crewe where his talents were spotted - and the rest was history.