Football: The Sweeper

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The Independent Online
Leeds acquire gangster chic

APPROPRIATE AS it may be to some that "mad" Frankie Fraser should sing the praises of the Leeds United side of the 1970s, which included such footballing gentlemen as Norman Hunter, Johnny Giles and Billy Bremner, it is considered wholly inappropriate by many parents that the views of the one-time notorious gangland figure should be expressed in an official club magazine aimed at children and sold nationwide.

The second issue of Leeds, Leeds, Leeds, edited by James Brown of Loaded fame, has come under fire not only because of its contentious interview with Fraser but also for a piece written by Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh which contains four-letter words and what might be described as execrable toilet humour aimed at George Graham, the club's former manager.

"I cannot believe that an organisation which has done everything in its power to bring families back to football can endorse this," one parent was reported as saying.

"As you enter the ground the club rules state that it is a family club and offensive language and obscene pictures will not be tolerated."

In defence of his publication Brown, who now edits GQ magazine, said: "Irvine Welsh is one of the most popular novelists around. As for George Graham, this mickey-taking might take some of the heat out of the situation. And as far as Frankie Fraser is concerned, he has served his time and should be able to move on."

The magazine's publishers have, however, agreed to tone down the next issue but make no excuse for aiming the magazine at "a more adult audience". Martin Preston, of the publishers, said: "I've spoken to the directors personally and four-letter words will in future be deleted. We do take on board the fact that children read it. Maybe we should have been a bit more responsible."

IN KEEPING with his club's preference for anything French, the Arsenal fan and wine merchant Martin Harman has decided to commemorate last season's Double year with the launch of his own wine, Chateau Gooner. And just to prove that his north London outlet is in no way biased, he is also marketing a wine called Chateau Tottering, which, far from being acidic in taste, possesses - so it says on the label - a `Sugar content too high'. It is also, however, labelled `not suitable for Spurs fans', having been `bunged' into the bottle. Harman concedes it is "a bottom of the league wine, hopeless in the cup." The Gooner variety, available in red and white, is no `plonk-er', not at pounds 58.60 for a case of 12 bottles. Messers Wenger, Vieira, Petit and Garde are unlikely to be seen drinking it, though, - it's Spanish.

THE ANTI-GUNNER brigade at White Hart Lane who opposed the appointment of the former Arsenal manager George Graham were recently reminded that even Herbert Chapman was an employee of both clubs, albeit of Spurs first. Now we can reveal another Lilywhite link from Graham's past.

When `Stroller' was playing for Arsenal he and his captain, Frank McLintock, used to drive to north London derby games and always parked their car in the driveway of Spurs manager Bill Nicholson's terraced home near the stadium. `Darkie', Nicholson's wife, made them promise never to tell anyone, but Graham now feels at liberty to unveil this dark secret.

IT IS customary for clubs or national associations to take care of passports on away trips and so when the England Under-18 squad flew to Italy for a friendly recently there was the usual passport check before leaving for the airport to ensure none of the youngsters had made the foolish error of forgetting their documents. Sure enough, it revealed that two members had forgotten theirs - the FA Technical Director Howard Wilkinson and his assistant David Platt.

LEE BRADBURY, who joined Crystal Palace this week, can take some consolation from his ill-fated Maine Road career - he scored more goals than two other over-priced Manchester City flops of bygone days. Steve Daley, signed from Wolves in 1979 for a then record English fee of pounds 1.5m, scored just four goals in 48 league appearances while Mick Robinson, signed the same season from Preston North End, scored eight goals in 30 league games. Bradbury notched up 10 goals in his 38 league games. Joe Royle also recouped half the pounds 3m paid for the striker by Frank Clark last season, which is a lot more than Malcolm Allison got from Seattle Sounders and Brighton for his misfits.

LEEK. HOW appropriate. Thanks to the nearby River Churnet bursting its banks last week, the Staffordshire club's pitch was submerged under four feet of water while 18 inches of water had to be pumped from the social club, board room and dressing rooms.

The price is right

CLOSE THAT stable door. If only we'd doubled up Michael Owen with Matthew Le Tissier, as well as Egil Ostenstad, last week. We won't be making that mistake again. Hamilton Ricard can spearhead a Middlesbrough 3-1 rout of Nottingham Forest tomorrow while Filippo Inzaghi can score first in a 2-1 win for Juventus over Sampdoria in Channel 4's TV game. Les Ferdinand can oblige in a 2-1 win for Tottenham over Charlton on Monday.



(Ten 50p trebles with Stanley): Chelsea to draw with Aston Villa (12- 5); Arsenal to win at Coventry (evens); Derby to draw with Leeds (9-4); Manchester United to win at Everton (11-10); Wimbledon to beat Blackburn (5-4).

Leicester v Liverpool &

Sheffield Wednesday v Southampton

First goal scorer double: Michael Owen and Egil Ostenstad (50p at 39- 1, William Hill).

First goal scorer double: Michael Owen & Matthew Le Tissier (50p at 44- 1, William Hill).

Newcastle v West Ham

First goal: Alan Shearer (pounds 1 at 9-2, William Hill).


Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest

Score: 3-1 (pounds 1 at 11-1, Coral, Ladbrokes).

First goal: Hamilton Ricard (pounds 1 at 4-1, generally).


Juventus v Sampdoria

Score: 2-1 (pounds 1 at 8-1, generally).

First goal: Filippo Inzaghi (pounds 1 at 9-2, William Hill).


Tottenham v Charlton

Score: 2-1 (pounds 1 at 15-2, William Hill, Tote).

First goal: Les Ferdinand (pounds 1 at 5-1, William Hill, Tote).

ORIGINAL BANK: pounds 100.

CURRENT KITTY: pounds 102.31!

TODAY'S BETS: pounds 14.17 (inc. pounds 1.17 tax).


John Leslie


Wheel of Fortune and Clothes Show host

"I was born in a Hibs jersey. My father and grandfather were supporters and my earliest memory was being carried over the turnstiles. The best memory was winning the League cup in '92 and the worst was being relegated last season. Everything happens for a reason and hopefully we can come back stronger. We're in the First Division now, not playing great, but we're top of the league and I hope we can go up again. In London, there's a league of supporters' club teams and I'm the London Hibs goalie. We're in the First Division and were unbeaten last season."


Found on the Web: Bill Shankly gems.

"Of course I didn't take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present. It was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves."

"Just go out and drop a few hand-grenades all over the place, son." (to Kevin Keegan).

"He's worse than the rain in Manchester. At least the rain in Manchester stops occasionally." (on Brian Clough).

"The problem with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head." (to a trainee).

Seen But Not Bought

FOR NEWCASTLE fans who want to be guaranteed a good run in the cup, the only sensible option is to buy a box of Geordie Blend Newcastle United FC tea bags. "Foil wrapped for flavour freshness," according to the blurb, the branded bags come in packs of six boxes. Each box contains 80 bags, so at just pounds 10.99 for the whole caboodle, that works out at little more than 2p per holey performance. A darn sight cheaper than the footy team, then.

As You Were

Gerry Francis in 1975 (left), the year he succeeded Booby Moore as England captain, and in the present era, as manager of QPR

They're Not All Dennis Bergkamp

Unsung foreign

legionnaires No 12

EMEKA IFEJIAGWA: The Nigerian defender, 21 yesterday, is currently on a month's loan with Brighton from Charlton. He made his debut as a trialist for the Addicks in March and joined the club, on a two-year contract, in July. The fee, pounds 20,000, could increase depending on appearances. In his home country, Ifejiagwa had previously been with Iwuanyanwu and Udoji United, and, although he did not make the Nigerian World Cup squad, he has made two appearances in friendlies for his national side. John Fashanu recommended him to Charlton and, although he has yet to break into the London side's first team, he is already showing his potential at Third Division Brighton, where he scored the winning goal and was man of the match on his debut last week against Barnet.