Football: Wilkins pulls on his boots for Wycombe

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The Independent Online
Ray Wilkins yesterday took steps to fill the unexpected void in his working day by signing for Wycombe Wanderers, writes Nick Duxbury.

While Queen's Park Rangers take on West Bromwich Albion in the First Division today, their former player-manager will turn out a division lower at Adams Park against Luton.

Wilkins, who has signed for Wycombe on a game-by-game basis, denied that he had resigned at QPR, as indicated by Chris Wright, the club's new owner.

"It was not a resignation. I've never walked away from anything or any challenge in my life," Wilkins said. "It's been a traumatic week for me, nothing short of horrendous. It will certainly be a challenge to go and play after this."

Wilkins, 40 next week, moved from QPR to Crystal Palace as player-coach on a free transfer in 1994 when Alan Smith, the Wycombe manager, was in charge. He played only 20 minutes before being injured and never played for Palace again.

David Batty and John Beresford will miss Newcastle United's Uefa Cup home tie with Halmstads on Tuesday because of suspensions carried over from from previous European competitions.

Leeds United could face a Fifa investigation about the role of the agent, Rune Hauge, in yesterday's pounds 300,000 signing of the Norwegian full- back, Gunnar Halle. The transfer of Halle, whom Hauge took to Oldham four years ago, has been handled by his associate, Frank Mathiesen. Hauge was suspended by Fifa for his part in the George Graham "bungs" affair. The suspension was extended to life when Fifa discovered he had continued to work as an agent - through Mathiesen - on Lars Bohinen's move to Blackburn.