Football Diary: Designer kit for cool cats

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The Independent Online
TREVOR FRANCIS will be among the silverware this season - Wednesday's supersub- supremo has his kit sponsored by Sheffield Trophy Centre. Players' kit deals are odd things: the togs of Wimbledon's Justin Skinner are financed by Transfer Baggage (Heathrow), so his strip's probably in Kuala Lumpur. Interestingly, his team-mate, Robbie Earle, is linked to 'Memorable Occasions'.

The benefactors' professions often do not need spelling out: Wednesday's keeper Chris Woods has David Law and Co to thank for his working clothes. Law and Co are solicitors. Keepers seem to attract serious people: Chelsea's Dave Beasant has a skip hire company to sponsor his kit. His team-mate, Graeme Le Saux, has Cool Air on his side. We knew he had a cool air but as sponsors? They are 'first in air conditioning and ventilation'. Full kit for a Blue costs pounds 315 but you don't need to be loaded to be a mini-Getty: for pounds 10 a season, Barry Fry's socks are yours. News of any other classy kit deals gratefully received.

DESPITE the untimely demise of two landmark London fanzines, The Arsenal Echo Echo and West Ham United's Fortune's Always Hiding, it is not all gloom on the 'zine scene. A new title has emerged from the Claret and Blues brothers, the aptly named On A Mission From God. The Hammers' one great moment this year was the pricking of Manchester United's bubble in April, which the new rag highlights . . . Question: What's the difference between an arsonist and Manchester United? Answer: You wouldn't catch an arsonist giving away his last three matches.

HENRY SMITH, the Hearts keeper, looked confident when Hibs' Brian Hamilton stepped up to take a penalty against him in last Saturday's Edinburgh derby. Hamilton struck his spot-kick well but Smith, as if guided by some divine auto-pilot, dived to his right to flick the ball over the bar. An inspired save. But how did he know to go that way? Simple, Smith said. There was a diagram of Hamilton's last penalty in the programme.

DONG]] No results on News at Ten. DONG]] Please check teletext. DONG]] Or local news. And finally. . . there will be no more little gems from creative anchormen at the end of ITN's evening news. No more 'Leeds (they're champions) 5 . . . Tottenham (they're struggling) 0'. ITN (cautious but categorical) rejects the rumour that the no score scenario is to do with ITV missing out on the Premier League deal. They are not miffed - it's simply 'a new policy'. (Sad but true).

'WE wuz rubbed'. A familiar, exaggerated cry after many matches, but at Boston United it's a real one. Lincolnshire police are supplying details of local burglaries to Lincs FM, the radio station, which puts together tapes for the Pilgrims. These are played before kick-off and at half-time, so if you are at Boston today and the results of other Conference games are interspersed with snippets of vanished videos, then you know why.

BOBBY GOULD, the Coventry manager, is renowned for unearthing talent from strange places, so given the Sky Blues appetite for spending time at McDonald's on away trips, how long before Ronald 'Big Ron' McDonald gets a game?

THE bottle of Aberlour Malt Whisky for the alternative statistic of the week goes to David Chakrabarty, from Chester-le- Street, Co Durham, for the following slice of Scottish life . . .

'All the Scottish League Premier Division games could have been called off at half-time and the points awarded then and there because all the goals scored in the second half of those games made no difference to the half-time outcome'.

All funny, irrelevant statistics from this weekend's matches to Football Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.