Charles' date with royalty : FOOTBALL DIARY

You need a sense of humour to work with the Republic of Ireland team. Life can be full of surprises - and it goes way beyond discovering a granny from Cork lurking in the ancestry of an unlikely "Irish" player. Maurice Setters, No 2 to Jack Charlton, was left a message by his boss telling him he would have to look after preparations Monday and Tuesday for the midweek friendly against England. King Jack, it seems, will be otherwise engaged having dinner with Prince Charles.

***

People not turning up where they are expected is not that unusual in Ireland apparently. Last week Cork City, whose waterlogged ground has caused them to fall behind with their fixtures, were ordered to play their "home" match against Bohemians at Cobh, but they did not think much of the idea of losing ground advantage. The Dublin club duly made the trip for the match, changed and went out on to the pitch for the kick-in. There was no sign of Cork, though, and after waiting in vain for them to turn up, the referee called the game off.

***

A true romantic? Tough luck. You're too late for the big Valentine's night out. The trip to Craven Cottage for a four-course meal, wine, access to a lounge and a pair of seats in an executive box to watch Fulham play Northampton in the Third Division is sold out. It's all a question of knowing your market, I suppose.

***

Positively the last word on those Philosophy Football T-shirts. Eric Cantona's outburst has not cost him a place in their line-up but it has forced a rethink on the quote. Gone is all that romantic tosh about the ball responding to his caresses "like a woman with the man she loves." Now the shirt bears his explanation of the fire within him sometimes being harmful. Pity really, the old one might have gone down well at Craven Cottage on Tuesday.

PS. The article in Philosophy Now was by Andrew Belsey, not as my fat fingers had him last week.

***

Do football managers need to be thick-skinned? Rather than keeping a low profile the day after his team suffered a 6-0 FA Cup defeat at Southampton, Luton's David Pleat faced the cameras in a menswear shop. The place? Watford - Luton's arch-rivals.

***

The departure of Terry Howard from Leyton Orient in such unhappy circumstances is reminiscent of a spectacular exit an international player made of his own volition in the early Eighties. The Romanian striker Marcel Raducanu, then an international, was substituted during a match in Germany and kept walking, pausing only to collect his clothes. He turned up in a "safe house" in Dortmund and then had a long wait for international clearance to resume his career in the Bundesliga.

*** Christophe Robert, one of the key figures in the Marseille bribery scandal, has finally found himself a club. Ferrio Carril Oeste, of Argentina, have offered Robert, now 30, a short-term contract. He was one of three Valenciennes players accused of taking a bribe to throw a match against Marseille in May 1993. He denied accepting the money, but was suspended by the French federation and has not played since.

***

Brentford fans have gone in for that awful old habit of making a record, but at least the efforts of Robb Johnson and the Gentlemen of the Terraces have a worthwhile side to them. Proceeds from "Saturday Afternoon Red Army", which is available from the Bees club shop and also comes with a karaoke mix, go to the club's Football In The Community programme.

***

Mickey Thomas, once of Manchester United and Wales and now manager of the Konica League's Porthmadog, is still playing. He was man of the match in a cup tie last Sunday for West Shore Arabs.

So much for the Theatre of Dreams, you obviously spend enough time in the stagy version. From another large cast of entries, this week's Wild Turkey Bourbon for a Dramatic XI goes to Peter Casey, of Liverpool, for:

DRAMATIC XI: Commedia dell Grobbelaarte; The Merchant of VENISON, Sir Donald de WOLFitt, The BOULD Vic, JuNO LANd the Paycock; LorD OLLivier, An INCEpector Calls, Paul GasCORNEILLE, Aaron Winter's Tale; BerLINEKER Ensemble, The Two Noble KLINSMANN.

Next week: A Romantic XI. Entries to: Team Spirit, Football Diary, The Independent, 1 Canada Wharf, London E14 5DL

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence