Football Diary: Euro joke ahead of its time

SOME people cannot take a joke. Eurosport's authentically packaged April Fool gag - involving (briefly) Fifa recognising Macedonia, an outraged Greece withdrawing from USA 94 and England's call-up to France's disgust - provoked a torrent of emotional calls from across the Continent to the satellite TV channel. Switchboard highlights as follows: English euphoria, one man rushing out and buying a plane ticket to America (Eurosport agreed to reimburse his trip); Irish concern, with many callers fearing Jack's boys would eventually face England and they could not stomach another 0-0 (one even tried to contact Charlton but was told he had gone fishing); Dutch anger, stemming from last year when an English newspaper offered San Marino financial incentives to beat the Netherlands; French fury, Cantona's compatriots being convinced Eric and Co should have replaced Greece - one Peeved of Paris even demanded his government fill in the Channel Tunnel.

DAVID SEAMAN broke his arm when he was kidnapped recently. A pounds 300 hardboard cut-out of the Arsenal custodian strangely went missing at one of the Gunners' public five-a-side charity fund-raisers. Tournament organisers, with a degree of sleuth-work expected of a club who once staged 'The Arsenal Stadium Mystery', deduced which team had been knocked out during the period when Seaman's effigy disappeared. On being contacted by Arsenal, the chastened culprits admitted making Seaman accompany them out of the building and asked for an extra offence to be taken into consideration. The Boy David had sustained an injury to his right arm in the Colditz-style flight. Fortunately he is now back at Highbury - with a sling supporting his injured limb.

A MASS rummaging is going on in attics across Merseyside. To mark next Saturday's end of the Kop as an all-standing, all-singing institution, Liverpool fans have been asked to wear old club shirts and wave banners from past campaigns. With luck, this Flag Day could see the return of 'Kings Of Football', 'Moses Said Come Forth. But We Came First' and 'Joey ate the Frogs' legs, made the Swiss roll, Now he's Munching Gladbach'.

LIECHTENSTEIN'S version of Wembley, the Rheinan Stadium in Balzers, can accommodate more than a third of the country's population of 30,000 - the equivalent of Wembley holding 18 million people.

ENCOURAGING news for Manchester United fans, George Best admirers, or anyone interested in an engrossing football film: 'This Boy's Story', the Best-obsessed Oscar-winner which the Diary reported last week still awaits a broadcaster, has now aroused the interest of Channel 4 and United themselves. If the Reds do the Double, there could be quite a tug-of-war.

CONCLUDING our monthly Top Of The Fifa Pops countdown (based on results up to 15 March), from 49-1: big climbers include Zambia, up eight rungs to 22 with only 4,100 registered players (12th- placed England have 2.5m) and Romania, in 10th. Ivory Coast (28) rise above Scotland (30, down five) to within a place of Wales (the Republic slip two to 13 while Northern Ireland drop to 42, trends which will reverse next month). At the top Germany reign ahead of Brazil. Fifa ranks Norway as the world's No 3 team (just ahead of Denmark) - one wonders what the new-look England would do to Norway now.

Stats Life

THE bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon for freak fact of the week goes to Steve Coyle, of Newark, for the following . . .

'Last weekend, Coronation St Rovers fielded a select XI: '(Rita) Sullivan (Wimbledon), (Phyllis) Pearce (Nottm Forest), (Reg) Holdsworth (Wimbledon), (Emily) Bishop (West Ham), (Alf) Roberts (Leicester), (Des) Barnes (Liverpool), (Ken) Barlow (Plymouth), (Jim) McDonald (Walsall), (Don) Brennan (Oldham), (Jenny) Bradley (Scunthorpe), (Martin) Platt (Sampdoria). Subs (from the archives): (Annie) Walker (Walsall), (Len) Fairclough (Mansfield).'

More bourbon next week. Entries to Football Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little