Solitary slow handclap for departing coach

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The Independent Online
GLENN HODDLE'S England career ended last night with a solitary slow hand clap from the media scrum that expedited his downfall.

Looking out at the massed ranks of photographers, television crews and sports writers, Hoddle, flanked by his agent, Dennis Roach, delivered a terse statement acknowledging his own part in his downfall.

"Regretfully, you will have heard that my contract with the FA has been terminated by mutual consent," he said. "I accept that I made a serious error of judgement in an interview which caused misunderstanding and pain to a number of people. This was never my intention, and for this I apologise.

"My sincere thanks for the support from loved ones, family, friends and media colleagues who have worked with me over the past few days to try and establish the truth. My personal thanks go to all my staff, colleagues and in particular the players, with whom I have worked with over the past two years as England coach. I thank them deeply. My best wishes go to Howard Wilkinson, John Gorman, who take over for the match against France. Thank you very much."

He took no questions and left the conference at the Royal Lancaster Hotel to the lone clap.

His father, Eric, speaking from his home in Harlow, Essex, was furious. "The press are happy now, they have been after him from the first day he had the job and they've always had it in for him".

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