Football Diary: Another brawl game

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The Independent Online
VINNY, Video, Viewing . . . What is it about the big man and the small screen? On Thursday Channel 4 launched 'Gamesmaster' and Vinny Jones is scheduled to appear on 15 October playing a video game. Its name? 'Soccer Brawl'.

In 'Soccer's Hard Men', the new video that has brought Jones an FA disrepute charge, the muscular midfielder reminisces about the 1988 FA Cup final, when Wimbledon beat Liverpool. The key was to upstage Steve McMahon, another of the 'Hard Men' Jones analyses on the video. Jones, who is donating his video fee to charity, explains the importance of his early challenge on McMahon: 'If I was on me own and there was a gang of lads and they are going to start on me I will go in and whack the biggest and toughest straight away, and that's what happened in the Cup final and they (Liverpool) were all so shocked that their man had been sorted out and it spurred on my players.'

THE Highbury wags gave the Sky Strikers a warm welcome when the cheerleaders tried to get the crowd going before the Arsenal-Manchester City match on Monday. 'Are you Tottenham in disguise?' came the Clock End chant directed at the high-kicking women, whose kit's colour scheme of blue, white and yellow matches Spurs'. The Clock End has clearly acquired much of the wit of the old North Bank. On the opening day of the season, when one of the pre-match parachutists missed the pitch and landed in the rubble behind the mural, the cry was . . . 'Tottenham'.

FOLLOWING English clubs is clearly a politician's favourite pastime. Woking and Farnborough Town, of the Vauxhall Conference, have just received letters from a Mr De Klerk in South Africa asking for programmes. 'It was not the Mr De Klerk,' Terry Parr, Farnborough's managing director, said, 'but someone who works in a bank in Johannesburg.'

STUTTGART had a rough ride at Elland Road. They used four foreigners and two English buses. The team coach, on trying to manoeuvre out of the Leeds United car park, drove into a wall, smashing a window. The German party decamped to another vehicle for the journey to the airport.

TWO kids who have been catching the eye at Leeds's Centre of Excellence are Gavin, 13, a right- sided midfielder, and Craig, 10, who can play anywhere. Both, according to last Saturday's programme for the visit of Everton, are good passers of the ball. Their surname? Strachan.

THE photographers covering Paul Gascoigne's comeback against Tottenham at Lazio's Olympic Stadium had a tough evening: delayed on the way, an enormous downpour when they arrived seconds before kick-off and then a large umbrella blowing across their lenses in the goal when Gazza scored.

REMEMBER 12-year-old Tracey Wright, ball-juggling star of Born Kicking? Wright, filmed playing keepie-uppie as the credits for the Beeb film rolled, displayed her finishing skills last weekend. She scored 11 in Millwall Lionesses Under-14's 20-0 win over Chelmsford - the ultimate scoreline.

WHICH footballer is the star of the latest Trivial Pursuit? Wrexham's Mickey Thomas, but what can the question be?

THE bottle of Aberlour Malt Whisky for weird fact or figure of the week goes to C Tomlinson, from Bolton, for the following . . .

'Of 89 goals scored on Saturday the most on any minute was four. Four were scored one minute before half-time on 44 minutes. Four were scored one minute before full-time on 89 minutes.'

More whisky next week for the best strange stat sent in. Entries to Football Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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