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?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
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: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower