Football Diary: Stoke's silent tribute

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The Independent Online
STOKE CITY today pay tribute to their charismatic former manager, Tony Waddington, with a minute's silence at the Victoria Ground. Waddington was rightly respected for the inspirational purchases of mature men like Stanley Matthews, Dennis Viollet and Roy Vernon but his idiosyncratic recruiting style also extended to those still wet

behind the ears. After being suitably impressed by Stoke-on-Trent Boys' 11-0 thrashing of their Shrewsbury counterparts, Waddington promptly signed one of the losing team. A wise move: the Shropshire lad, Mike Bernard, helped Stoke to their only major trophy - the 1972 League Cup. Waddington's son Steve, who played for him at Stoke, commented that it was fitting such a great football man should have died at 5 pm on a Saturday, as if he had been holding on for the results.

DWIGHT YORKE was ordered to remove a gold neck-chain during Aston Villa's FA Cup tie at Grimsby. The glittering jewellery was handed to Big Ron's bench. It is not known if Yorke saw it again.

DETZI KRUSZYNSKI has clocked up some miles this season. The Pole first swapped Brentford for the Bundesliga - only to find his new club's president had departed and a promised three-year deal was history. Detzi's midnight running in search of a game then took him to Coventry. His trial went well and contract talks with Bobby Gould were scheduled for the following Monday. Gould resigned over the weekend. Undeterred, the 32-year-old midfielder trooped off to see Terry Cooper at Birmingham City. Cooper was gone before he arrived. Next stop, Peterborough United where Lil Fucillo seemed keen. But then he resigned. Fortunately, there's a happy ending: Kruszynski has stayed at Posh.

MIKE JOHNS, from Ipswich, is baffled. 'I have just watched Portsmouth on television and all their players wore named shirts. Amazingly all 11, plus the subs, were named Pompey] All the more spectacular because at least two ethnic groups of brothers played. Is this some sort of family record?'

TALKING of great names, we breathlessly await the result of this weekend's African Cup-Winners' Cup tie which pits Botswana's Township Rollers against Eleven Men in Flight from Swaziland.

THE pressure of being a footballer's wife, part II: Shelley Webb, television pundit, quiz-queen and hitched to Neil, was being interviewed at Webb Towers by Radio 5 about the glamour of being married to the football mob when her voice was almost drowned out by dogs barking. The Salvation Army were at the door.

GRAHAM TAYLOR'S legacy has been shamefully ignored. In grounds around the country,

terrace Dennis Skinners are berating incapable players and ignorant officials with 'Do I Not Like That'. The following outburst can be employed for when your team are two down away from home with a few minutes left - 'Now This Is A Test'.

NEWS of Arsenal's African cousins (Diary, 15 January) stirred the memory of Patrick Moore, now a diplomat in Wellington, but in the mid-1980s a football-mad expat in Lesotho. Moore's team, Maseru Casuals, lost narrowly to Arsenal, one of Africa's better known clubs. Moore reports that the friendly was played under local rules that allowed 'up to 10 substitutes for the opposition' and officiated by a 'ref and linesmen who spent the entire 90 minutes watching the game without making a recognisable decision'.

Stats Life

THE bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon for the week's freak fact goes to Mark Ferguson and Egham Town, of the Diadora League, for this . . .

'After successfully taking his fourth penalty kick in four attempts at Hemel Hempstead last Saturday, our goalkeeper, Paul Martin, has now become equal top scorer. We have won every game in which Paul has beaten his opposite number from the spot.'

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

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