Football Diary: Woking rule the world

BRITISH clubs are loved all over the world. Legends like Celtic and Manchester United, Leeds and Liverpool have supporters' associations scattered across the globe. So do Woking: the Diadora League champions boast a notable following in Japan, the US and Norway. 'We even have fans in places like South Africa and Venezuela,' Phil Ledger, the Kingfield secretary, said. And they get involved: the yen-crazed Tokyo branch sponsors the Cards' goalscoring goalkeeper, Laurence Batty, soon to be seen diving the wrong way in the BBC film 'Born Kicking'. The Surrey side's Norwegian disciples even produce a bi-monthly, bilingual fanzine, sub- titled 'The Organ for Woking Supporters in Norway'. One Cup run and you are Woking all over the world.

OVERHEARD at Anfield on Wednesday, as Liverpool celebrated the opening of their pounds 8m Centenary Stand by releasing 1,000 balloons: 'It'll be 1,001 if Dean Saunders joins Villa. . . '

SOUTH AFRICA are many punters' outside bet to secure one of the continent's places in the next World Cup, but they are already worlds apart when it comes to players' nicknames. The 'Soccer Yearbook, '92. South African edition' lists some of the best monikers, like one player whose nickname translates as 'this thug can dribble' and a tough referee known as 'the hanging judge'. The sobriquets often stem from other news - you can guess when the international striker, Fani 'Saddam' Madida, was at the height of his powers.

'Soccer Yearbook, '92. South African edition' (pounds 4.95) available soon from Sportspages, Charing Cross Road, London.

HAVE Manchester United given up on the championship? For the first time, Old Trafford is marketing a 'United Honours Wallpaper', a snip at pounds 6.99 per roll, which lists all the club's achievements in the silverware department to date.

RENATO and Ronaldo sounds like a prime candidate for the Palme D'or at the Cannes film festival but in fact it's a two-part, true-life Brazilian drama. The plot revolves around two local legends leaving their natural stage. Plot 1: Ronaldo, the Corinthians custodian, is facing Palmeiras. Act 1, scene 1: Ronaldo hauls down rampaging Palmeiras striker. Act 1, scene 2: Yellow card. Act 1, scene 3: Ronaldo remonstrates. Act 1, scene 3: Red card. Act 2, scene 1: 20 radio and TV reporters surround him as he walks off. Act 2, final scene: mass scrum-style interview behind the goal as spot-kick is taken. Chaos reigns.

Plot 2: Renato, Botafogo's glamour-boy striker, has been sent to the Brazilian equivalent of Coventry, Cruzeiro. His crime? After Botafogo had lost to arch-rivals Flamengo, Renato invited one of the opposition over for a few steaks, an action that drove fans to paint 'traitor' and 'get out Renato' on the club's walls.

GRIM reading time. . . it takes only a second to score a goal, the saying goes, but 28,980 (roughly eight hours) have passed since someone other than David Platt found the net for England, and even longer if you believe that it was an Andras Telek own goal, not Neil Webb's header, that secured the win over Hungary in May. The goal before that was Trevor Steven's in Moscow, making it a total of 33,540 seconds in which only Platt has scored for England.

THE bottle of Aberlour Whisky for the freak fact of the week goes to Southport's Stuart Wharton for this HFS Loans nugget . . .

'Southport have just completed an unusual hat-trick - in three consecutive games one of their players has scored direct from a corner: 26 August: David Gamble (v Fleetwood); 29 August: Jon Senior (v Buxton); 31 August: Senior (v Chorley).'

All weird stats to Football Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions