Football: That was the weekend that was

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The Independent Online
Charitable Gazza bids for Wembley throne

PAUL GASCOIGNE is rightly proud of that goal against Scotland in Euro 96 - but any sentimental attachment he might have to the shirt in which he scored it is clearly outweighed by the sidelined England hero's generous nature.

Having turned down several cash offers for the garment, Gazza last week gave it away - and watched happily as pounds 6,400 was raised for children's charities as a result.

The shirt was the star lot as an impressive assembly of football memorabilia went under the hammer at a testimonial dinner on Teesside on Friday evening. Shirts signed by David Beckham, Gabriel Batistuta and Ronaldo among others - and a pair of boxing gloves autographed by Prince Naseem Hamed - also changed hands but it was the Gazza shirt that attracted the most interest among 700 guests gathered at the Tall Trees Hotel in Yarm.

A prolonged bidding battle between two tables forced the price to soar, much to the pleasure of the Middlesbrough midfielder, who turned out with most of Bryan Robson's squad to support his team-mate, Robbie Mustoe.

"I was delighted it made so much," Gascoigne said. "I have been offered a lot of money personally for the shirt, but it was better that it went to charity."

Curiously, while happy to part with one souvenir, Gazza is simultaneously attempting to obtain another. In a patriotic gesture, he has lodged a pounds 5,000 bid with the internet auctioneers QXL to secure the seat from which the Queen presented Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet Trophy after England's World Cup triumph in 1966.

Her Majesty's Wembley "throne" is one of the items to be sold before the bulldozers move in as the national stadium undergoes its pounds 475m reconstruction.

Mixed day for Andy Cole's big brother

FOOTBALL TENDS to be a family thing and the Coles of Nottingham are no exception to that rule. So it was on Saturday, for example, when Andy and Des were both in action, albeit at somewhat different points on the football ladder. While Andy was playing his part in England's triumph at Hampden, big brother Des was turning out in the Central Midlands League reserve section.

Des plays for Radford, a side based in an inner-city area of Nottingham, the city in which he and Andy grew up before the Manchester United forward embarked on his professional career with Arsenal. The two, both strikers, apparently have much in common. "I've known Des for many years," his manager, Lloyd Patterson, said. "He still has the skill and control - he is a very talented player."

The pair keep in touch and, on rare occasions when not required in the Theatre of Dreams, Andy has been spotted watching Des perform on his stage. Des was able to reciprocate, after a fashion, on Saturday, as Radford kicked off early to allow players to catch England on television.

Sadly, it was not a perfect day. Des, who works in a leisure centre on weekdays, had to come off 20 minutes before the end, nursing a knee injury and Radford lost 3-2.

RUMOURS

Taibi swap deal mooted

GOALKEEPERS APPEAR to be this week's must-have on managerial shopping lists. According to the Sunday Mirror, Manchester United are ready to admit their mistake over Massimo Taibi and are looking at a swap deal involving Udinese's Luigi Turci when the Italian transfer market re-opens in January. The same paper says Chelsea are considering a move for Atletico Madrid's pounds 5m-rated Toni Jimenez as competition for Ed de Goey.

The People reckons United are also in the hunt for the Norwegian Under- 21 goalkeeper, Espen Johnson, available at a reported pounds 600,000 from IK Start, and suggests Arsenal have set their sights on Ipswich's England under-21 player, Richard Wright, as a replacement for David Seaman. The News of the World believes Lazio are keen on Sunderland's Danish international, Tommy Sorensen, while the Express says Newcastle could move for Porto's Vitor Baia.

The Mirror reports that Celtic are pursuing Manchester United's Roy Keane, and the News of the World reckons United are lining up Bayern Munich's combative German international Jens Jeremies as a replacement.

Leeds could turn to Vitesse Arnhem's Pierre van Hooijdonk (the People) or Milan's Oliver Bierhoff (the Mirror) in their search for a striker.

The People says Blackburn could appoint Colin Todd as manager this week.

International Team Of The Weekend

DAVID BECKHAM

England

BILLY DODDS

Scotland

CRAIG BURLEY

Scotland

SOL CAMPBELL

England

DAVID SEAMAN

Arsenal

PAUL SCHOLES

England

ROBBIE KEANE

Republic of Ireland

TONY ADAMS

England

BARRY FERGUSON

Scotland

KEVIN KILBANE

Republic of Ireland

MARTIN KEOWN

England

Manager of the week: Mick McCarthy - inspiring yet another passionate if ultimately unsatisfactory performance from the Irish.

Performance of the week: Paul Scholes, England's quiet man, once again letting his actions speak louder than words.

Forgotten man... Face of the future

Gordon Durie

Rangers

ONE OF the principals in the drama of Euro 96 - it was he who won the penalty against England at Wembley that Gary McAllister fatefully missed - the former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur striker last week made his first appearance for Rangers for 11 months following surgery on a troublesome ankle injury. The 33-year-old, capped 43 times for Scotland but out of action since 12 December last year, made his comeback in last week's Old Firm derby but that was too late for him to be considered in Craig Brown's plans.

Chris Morgan

Barnsley

REQUESTS FROM Middlesbrough for tickets to watch Barsnley matches prompted speculation that Craig Hignett could be heading back to the Riverside but Bryan Robson's scouts had another target in mind, the 22- year-old defender Chris Morgan. A Barnsley lad who has become a big favourite with the Oakwell crowd, Chris has generated interest from several Premiership sides and the club is waiting to see who makes the first offer. Their manager Dave Bassett, meanwhile, is hoping Barnsley's promotion push will persuade the young centre-back to stay where he is.

KEY NUMBERS

7

The run of home clean sheets by Third Division Hartlepool since Southend scored at Victoria Park 633 minutes ago.

14

The years since Scotland last beat England, home or away.

19

England's wins in Glasgow in 109 matches against Scotland, four fewer than the Scots in 55 games north of the border.

23

Turkish striker Hakan Sukur's international caps after Saturday's game against the Republic of Ireland.

WHINGE OF THE WEEK

"When I'd finished, Tony Adams was still singing. The band were playing very slowly. I don't know if it was on purpose but we weren't happy."

Paul Ince, suspecting England had more than just the crowd hindering their attempts to sing the national anthem.

CARD CHECK

KEVIN KEEGAN'S reign as England coach illustrates that yellow fever is not taking hold only in the Premiership. During Keegan's eight months in charge, England have now had 18 players cautioned and two sent off in only eight matches. This compares with 16 yellows and two red cards in 18 games before Keegan took over. When four of his players were booked against Sweden in June, it was the first time so many had been cautioned in one England match since they played Italy in Le Tournoi in 1997. However, the clash with Bulgaria, four days after the Sweden game, produced another four and Saturday's tally at Hampden, when Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Tony Adams and Paul Ince all transgressed, surpassed even that.

Scholes, who, against Sweden, became the first England player to be sent off at Wembley, has six bookings in 19 internationals. Saturday's caution was for an inappropriate goal celebration.

NET MINDER

"England can end the millennium as it started - as the greatest football nation in the world."

The words of Kevin Keegan, apparently, recorded on The Football Quotes Page - which could benefit from a less unwieldy address - where the England coach has an entire section devoted to him.

www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Palms/6687/keggy.html

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