THE Ivory Coast and Ghana have arranged two 'reconciliation' matches a year after a cup tie involving clubs from the two countries sparked attacks on Ghanaians living in Abidjan. The violence cost dozens of lives and led to both countries being excluded from the African National Championship. Each will provide teams for simultaneous matches in Abidjan and the Ghanaian capital, Accra, next weekend. Now, I seem to remember that some time back England used to play Scotland on a regular basis . . .
PETER SHILTON, who played in 10 such cross-border skirmishes, is caught up in a curious contretemps involving Plymouth Argyle, where he is manager, and a local newspaper, the Evening Herald. Dan McCauley, Argyle's chairman, has banned Herald staff from the ground because of his displeasure at their reports of differences between chairman and manager. However, Shilton is still talking to the Herald because 'I think it's my right to keep fans informed on footballing matters'. He could do that through the Western Morning News, which the club are on good terms with, even though it is part of the same organisation as the Herald.
BUT carrying a copy of the Morning News can be threatening, apparently. Nick House, of Taunton, took one with his Independent when he went to stand and watch Torquay at Gillingham. He was astonished to be asked either to dispose of them or to leave them at the club office. This, the steward said, was to stop him shredding them for use in a ticker-tape welcome for The Gulls. He was, however, allowed to buy a programme. 'As a mere 38 and three-quarter-year-old,' Nick says, 'I don't expect to be given that amount of responsibility.'
DUNDEE, as their long-suffering fans would confirm, have been going to the dogs for a long time, but on Friday it becomes official. Greyhound racing returns to Dens Park after a break of six decades, and to launch the venture the club plan a 'firework spectacular'. This has prompted a sniffy letter from Dundee Airport, expressing concern about pilots being distracted. Jim Duffy, the Dundee manager who will parachute into the event, was not impressed. 'Anyone would think,' he said, 'that the Pink Floyd were going to do their light show.'
TRAVELLING Bath City addicts had little time to enjoy their side's 6-2 win at Welling in the Bob Lord Trophy. They soon discovered the supporters' club coach had been stolen. The Bath fans thought they were in deep water but, awash with offers of lifts, they made it home. Of course, they would like the coach back. After all, the Bath bus, unlike the Bath bun, belongs in the West Country, and without it they might have to resort to bath chairs.
A few people retired to their chaise-longue at the thought of finding a team of furnishers, and no one picked up on Michael Wardrobe (Stockport, 1981- 82, 19 starts, 8 times sub, 2 goals). The winner of the Wild Turkey Bourbon was J Epstein, of Cambridge, with:
FURNITURE & CABINET-MAKERS XI: George SMITH (Hearts); Inigo JONES (Liverpool); John ELLIOTT (Chelsea), the ADAMS brothers (Arsenal), Joseph COX (Boro); John TOWNSEND (A Villa), John GODDARD (Ipswich), Thomas ChippenDALE (Cardiff), George HeppleWHITE (Leeds); Thomas SHEARER (Blackburn), Thomas AfFLECK (Chelsea).
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