Football: The Sweeper: Scoreboard spells trouble for Leek

AS IF relegation from the Nationwide Conference with some of the lowest crowds ever recorded in the competition were not bad enough, poor Leek Town are now being sued by Port Vale for non-payment of an electronic scoreboard which the First Division club sold them. That would be a sad enough story alone if it were not for the fact that Leek, who bought the item (which more often than not is used for relaying the scores of opposing teams rather than their own sorry side) for a nominal sum, have spent pounds 14,000 trying to get the thing working. Vale have responded that it was "definitely working when it left us".

DON HUTCHISON, the one-time wild thing of Anfield, claims he is a reformed character nowadays, but he certainly appeared to be up to some of his old tricks the other week in Bremen, when starting his first senior international for Scotland in the friendly against Germany. While Swiss referee, Urs Meier, was jogging past him during the pre-match warm-up, Hutchison took careful aim and chipped the ball so it landed on the referee's head. When Meier spun around, Hutchison looked in the other direction like a naughty schoolboy caught red-handed before pointing in the direction of a colleague. Fortunately for Hutchison, Meier saw the funny side of it and the Scot avoided a booking before the game had even begun - if such a thing were possible. Unfortunately for Germany, they failed to see this early warning of the Everton player's technique. Hutch, of course, went on to score the only goal of the game.

AFTER SWANSEA'S Cyril the Swan had his wings clipped by the FA of Wales, it could be the turn of the Wolves mascot, Wolfie, to come in for disciplinary action. Wolfie has been reported to the Football Association for crowd incitement and bringing the game into disrepute after an allegedly unprovoked attack on Baggie Bird, West Bromwich Albion's mascot, in the pre-match warm-up at last month's Black Country derby at Molineux.

Baggie fan Noel Bishop said: "Passions always run high at derbies and this match was no exception," said Bishop, "but the 3,000 Albion fans were going crazy, especially when Wolfie goaded us."

WITH THE season nearly at an end, the time has come for The Sweeper's awards of the footballing year. Without further ado, the gongs are:


Nottingham Forest's pre-season sale of Kevin Campbell, who showed the City Ground what he can do for struggling Premiership clubs with a quick- fire six goals while on loan to Everton.


Pierre van Hooijdonk, whose selfish withdrawal of labour ultimately cost manager Dave Beasant his job and Forest any hope of survival; and Paolo Di Canio, whose attack on referee Paul Alcock and subsequent suspension did much to undermine Sheffield Wednesday's season.


Mr Alcock himself. Not for falling under the hand of Di Canio, of course, because that was a terrible, harsh push that would have demolished a wall. This is for general lack of balance in the past. As The Sweeper revealed earlier this season that the Kent official's tumble at the hands of the Italian was his third trip to the turf. Frank Sinclair (when at West Brom) and Wayne Biggins (when at Stoke) also received suspensions after their past run-ins.


Rookie Kevin Davies' pounds 7.5m move from Southampton to more-money-than-sense Blackburn for a net return of one League goal. Runner-up: John Hartson's pounds 7m transfer from West Ham to Wimbledon for the same modest return.


Aston Villa.


David Ginola (Tottenham Hotspur), who stayed on two feet long enough to also win the PFA and FWA awards.


Glenn Hoddle.


Eileen Drewery, whose indoctrination of Glenn Hoddle provided the Football Association with the perfect excuse to get rid of their failing, crackpot coach.


The FA (for the above reasons).


Sports minister Tony Banks and PM Tony Blair, with special thanks to Richard and Judy. (All for meddling in the aforementioned affair).


Mohamed Al Fayed, of Fulham and still Egypt - "I give you promotion, a passport [Kevin Keegan] to Europe but you give me nothing in return - apart from Harrods."


Middlesbrough's manager Bryan Robson, who said of Paul Gascoigne after the first match of the season in August: "He [Gazza] assured me he only had two glasses of red wine, so as far as I'm concerned that's not a problem. That's a nice sensible night out."

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Life and Style
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn