Football Diary: Jones in a spin on vinyl

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The Independent Online
THOSE dastardly Dons have come up with the perfect ruse to spoil Manchester United's party tomorrow - Vinnie Jones has released a single, and they are bound to spin it before kick-off. Jones's raucous rendition of 'Wooly Bully', in which Bad Manners mug Aretha Franklin in the Wimbledon Mixer, has its roots, as one would expect, in the pub. A band were gigging in Vinnie's local and 'I'd had one too many so I got up and sang it'. The rest is music history.

Originally a hit for Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, Jones's jaunty 'Wooly Bully' will certainly delight Sam Hammam and the Faithful, although opposing midfielders may smile ruefully at him singing 'Look behind you'. Rumours that Jones is reworking Squeeze's 'Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)' with Paul Gascoigne have not been confirmed.

IF Alan Buckley, currently netting plenty of plaudits at Grimsby Town, is asked to fill the green jersey at Nottingham Forest, visitors can expect the personal touch which ranges beyond a quick peck. Five minutes before the start of Tuesday's game with Newcastle, two journalists were struggling to find places at Blundell Park. The normal areas were overflowing, so an errant steward directed them to another section, traditionally reserved for Mariners' wives and guests. Again, no room, and tempers began to fray until a tracksuited figure suddenly materialised to solve the problem. It was Buckley, who told the surprised hacks to follow him to some free seats. Having played peacemaker and usher, the former Forest forward then returned to his dug-out just in time for the kick-off.

ALAN HANSEN has stirred up a storm in genteel Norwich. The elite's third-placed club have encountered more write-offs than Arthur Daley but it was Hansen's verdicts on Match Of The Day which have really incensed the Canaries. The Norwich fanzine, A Fine City, gives Hansen both barrels in its current issue, the diatribe against the multi-A-levelled BBC pundit ending with the cruellest of jibes: 'My uncle who taught you maths at school in Alloa reckons you weren't that good anyway.'

WHEN Graeme Souness ventured in midweek that Liverpool 'were only two or three players short of challenging for the championship' did the names Houghton, Staunton and Saunders spring to mind?

YOUNG Manchester artists - Flitcroft, Sheron, Sharpe, Giggs and Duffy. Duffy? Yes, Paul Duffy, United fan, and the only accredited artist at the last European Championships. His Swedish pictures are currently on display at the city's Dukes 92 Gallery, in Castlefield. With works like 'Saint Schmeichel' and 'Noooooo Van Basten', Duffy, according to the gallery, 'highlights the moment, freeze- frames the emotion and visually articulates the fervour of an elevated world with a refreshingly clear insight'. He's not bad either.

NORMAN WISDOM, Eric Cantona and Basile Boli are odd bed-fellows but, in their time, all have played the chanteur, a penchant which has awoken the interest of record producer, Mike Alway. The 'damnedly elusive tunes' Alway is chasing for his latest Bend It] compilation album include: Wisdom's 'We're The Team From Brighton, Hove, By Jove That's Us'; a series of Cantona demos for a record label; and Boli dueting with Chris Waddle on a hot disco number. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these sacred vinyls, please contact Alway at Exotica, 49 Belvoir Rd, London SE22.

HEARD the latest World Cup joke? Wales, Belgium, Romania, RCS, Cyprus and Faroe Islands will all get away from their World Cup qualifying section. All are in Group 4.

A bottle of Aberlour Malt for alternative statisic of the week goes to Chris Cotton, of Hoylake, for this . . .

'If Tranmere go up, defender Shaun Garnett will in one season have played for one team to get promoted, and two, Chester and Wigan who have been relegated and another, Preston, who could follow them. Garnett also scored for Tranmere, and while on loan at Wigan and Preston.'

More malt next week. All freak facts to Football Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.