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."

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
techResearchers recover 100s of nude photos from second-hand smartphones
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Key Account Manager, Medical

£35000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent commission structure + Car: Charter Sele...

Account Management Strategy Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: Required skills:Previo...

Medical Customer Interface Manager

competitive: Real Staffing: My client requires an experienced Medical Informat...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice