THE amateurs v professionals divide has always been marked . . . Spotted on the 7.11 Newcastle- London train last Saturday were two smartly dressed, well-behaved sets of sportsmen. The rugby players of Wasps lounging in first-class, the footballers of Portsmouth in second-class.
POP music and football, part 1,794. Close inspection of the centre of the latest single by Paul Weller reveals a Tottenham Hotspur shirt complete with 'Holsten' logo. Neither Weller nor the song, 'Uh Huh Oh Yeh', has any White Hart Lane connection (apart from the fact that they both used to be in a Jam). Plus Weller's record company, Go Discs], is owned by an avid Arsenal fan. But even pop moguls have to go on holiday, and it just so happens there's a Spurs fan in the design department . . .
A DISTINGUISHED forefather of this Diary used to carry lookalikes, and there have been a few requests to revive this. Space forbids but no pictures are needed to appreciate the similarity between Attilio Lombardo, Sampdoria's slap-head winger, and John Bryan, Fergie's financial adviser; or Ray Parlour, Arsenal's mop-topped midfielder, and another man who plays in red, Simply Red, Mick Hucknall. Jonathan Rich, from London SE14, writes in, wondering whether he 'was alone in seeing a resemblance between the rubber-faced comedian, Phil Cool, and Coventry's rubber-legged right-back, Brian Borrows. To judge by his miss against Spurs on Monday, Borrows is considerably funnier.'
WYCOMBE WANDERERS - 24 goals in eight Conference games - have been busting a few nets recently. Against Merthyr Tydfil last Saturday, Kim Casey broke open the proverbial onion bag with Wycombe's first. The side-netting was ripped from a post, forcing the referee to order a Tannoy appeal for any fan with string to show themselves. Now, not many supporters take string to matches, and a lengthy hold-up looked inevitable until David Jones, Wycombe's physio, rushed on. More used to mending torn muscles than torn nets, Jones's stitch in time saved the day.
MADONNA meets Maradona in the form of Roxy Reddy in the Beeb's Screen One film Born Kicking tomorrow night (9.25pm). An enjoyable romp about a skilful schoolgirl who breaks into the men's professional game, Born Kicking is still presented as a fantasy. There are predictable male jokes about Reddy being the next Georgie Breast and the opposition all want to swap shirts with her. The credits, at least, should do wonders for the credibility of the women's game: a minute's worth of keepie-uppie by Tracey Wright, a 10-year-old member of Millwall Lionessess, who looks like Olga Korbut but juggles the ball like a mini Maradona. Don't switch off too soon.
JON LADD, from Bedford, wins the bottle of Aberlour Malt for weird fact of the week with the following, distinctly eccentric, offering . . .
'On Saturday in the Third Division, no club which scored in an odd-numbered minute failed to win their match . . . York (23, 77), Colchester (35), Crewe (33, 37), Lincoln (45), Northampton (55), Scarborough (49), Wrexham (79).'
The annals of football are now complete. All similar trivia to Football Diary, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.