Football diary: Music for penalty arias

FOOTBALL'S gone poptastic. Premiership shirt numbers could soon reflect where in the charts the wearer's single has reached. Helped by a Pet Shop Boy, Ian Wright has released 'Do The Right Thing' in which he raps 'I ain't a saint, but I ain't no sinner', a line doubtlessly used in discussions with Lancaster Gate. On Highbury's terraces, shouts of 'what's the score?' have taken on a new meaning with fans humming arias from the Gunners opera, St George & The Devil, which includes a reworked Bizet ballad - 'Arsenal is like a woman'.

At Old Trafford, Lee Sharpe has called on the services of New Order's Bernard Sumner (remember the seminal 'World in Motion'?) and ex- Smiths axeman Johnny Marr (a diehard Manchester City fan) for his forthcoming disc. Moving from goal machines to sex machines, James Brown plays Millwall on Monday (and on current form will probably win) while U2 have already left their mark on Celtic's pitch. Finally, footballing funksters everywhere will be dancing in the streets to hear that the compilation Bend It] 93 is now out: old shakers like Franz Beckenbauer's haunting '1-0 For Your Love' and Giorgio Chinaglia's 'I'm football crazy' vie with modern movers 'The J-League Freakout' and 'The Hot Spurs Boogie'. A must. (Available from Sportspages and Exotica, 49 Belvoir Road, London SE22 0QY).

DIEGO MARADONA is not the only one having trouble acquiring a visa to visit the Land Of The Free. As Jack Charlton's 'Green Army' closes on the United States and Boston, home of so many Irish settlers, some of his visa-seeking young foot soldiers have had their applications turned down. The Americans fear a few fans may stay on and look for work. 'They have to convince the consular offices that the whole purpose of their trip is purely for tourism,' the US Embassy said.

ALONGSIDE boys called Hurst and Peters, a promising striker named Anthony 'Albert' Clarke graduated from Lilleshall this summer. Arsenal signed the 16-year-old on trainee forms but his journey to one of football's premier youth set-ups has hardly been easy. Highbury's Thirties' splendour contrasts startlingly with conditions in the first half of Clarke's life, in Togo, Africa, where he lived before emigrating. His first experience of football came when he and his mates used to commandeer washing off neighbours' lines and wrap the material into a ball shape. When Clarke arrived in England and encountered a proper ball he had to learn the game all over again.

TEASER TIME: Name the English cricketer-footballer who has played in cup finals at Wembley and Lord's this year? (Answer at bottom).

PELE is playing for Birmingham City this season. To enliven events at St Andrews, Karren Brady's bunch have gone nickname crazy in the programme. So 'Pele' Parris features alongside 'Hurricane' Hiley, 'Tyson' Whyte, 'Rocky' Frain, 'Magic' Mardon, and 'Tearaway' Tait.

WHO says Liverpool don't bring home trophies from foreign tours anymore? Noel White, the Reds director, returned from a summer stint watching England in the US with a fine souvenir now installed in a display cabinet at Anfield - the Michigan number plate S C O U S E R. White received the gift from a Liverpudlian currently working in Motown's motor trade whose red Corvette bears the original plate.

THE 'Fanzine Phenomenon' part 7,589: from Birmingham comes 'Take Your Boots Off: Kings Heath Concorde Under-13 Football Team Supporters' Fanzine (Championship Issue)' while Cardiff fans have published the amusing 'Bluebird Jones', reputedly the first comic art fanzine.

THE Aberlour Malt for alternative statistic of the week goes to Bristol's T G Black:

'Last Saturday, every team beginning with A in the Premiership, Scottish League, Conference, Beazer Homes and Nothern Premier all avoided defeat: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Aberdeen, Airdrie, Ayr, Albion, Alloa, Arboath, Altrincham, Atherstone and Accrington'.

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

TEASER ANSWER: Clare Taylor of Knowsley United FC (Women's FA League Cup final) and England's cricketers (World Cup final).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Guru Careers: Solutions Consultant

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before