Matt Butler: From Dubai to Fury... An afternoon of tales from Twitter

Saturday's sport, Twitter

What can you learn from Twitter, aside from groan-inducing puns, libellous allegations and discovering which minor celebrity has managed to get their mitts on the latest BlackBerry? Quite a lot, if one Saturday's attempt to follow the day's sport is anything to go on.

Two days ago was an ideal time to ascertain how useful the application can be to keep tabs on sporting matters, as there were no fewer than seven Premier League games which kicked off in the broadcast no-go zone of three in the afternoon, plus a near full programme of Football League matches.

Of course, the disclaimer to this not-so-scientific study is that only one account was monitored (@mattbutler503, since you ask) and therefore any information gleaned – or missed – is based on one person's choice of users to follow.

And the first thing we learn is that the fabled pre-match anticipation begins early for players.

Not only that, it also appears that Jason Roberts (right), the Reading striker sidelined with a hip complaint, occupies some kind of utopian, early-1980s parallel universe.

His tweet from ten to nine in the morning: "Woke to Cyrille Regis goals being played, Dennis Brown on the radio and pot 'pon fire. Now three points for the boys." How the other half lives. Shame Reading lost 3-1.

More prosaic in his pre-match build-up was Robert Snodgrass, the Norwich forward: "Pub footballer or Premier League, nothing beats the feeling of waking up on game day." It probably was the best he felt all day, as his side lost 4-0 to Manchester United.

Of course, the story everyone was talking about on Saturday was Queen's Park Rangers' alleged alcohol-fuelled "stag party" antics in Dubai – and Twitter revealed there are few original thinkers when it comes to gags about Harry Redknapp's players getting excited at the manager's warning that there would be lots of boos before the match at his former club, Southampton.

QPR's official channels, on the other hand, were quick off the mark in reacting to the revelations, as the press officer tweeted, with ominous ellipsis, at around nine in the morning: "The club is aware of the article but the club's entire focus is on today's fixture with Southampton..."

Once the football actually started, there followed a relentless barrage of score and incident updates, but, such is the format of Twitter, there is always a gleaming nugget of randomness in the stream of cyber-consciousness.

On Saturday it was the turn of Tyson Fury, the heavyweight boxer, who revealed in 44 characters far more than was necessary at 3.15pm, as well as his disregard for apostrophe rules, when he tweeted: "Shout out to all my sexy lady's in da house." The mind boggles as to what he was up to.

But throughout the day QPR remained the only story in town, especially after they managed to post their third win of the season – and even more so when Redknapp let rip at "agents" spreading scurrilous rumours with regards to the Dubai booze-up story.

Newspaper hacks teasingly tweeted: "Never seen 'Arry so cross – read about it tomorrow." Pah. It was as if the age of instant information had passed them by. Oh.

Aside from score updates, embarrassing boxers and booze-hound gags – and that Rio Ferdinand is a bit of a statto regarding his team-mate Shinji Kagawa's hat-trick – Saturday's Twitter taught us something worth knowing: that you can express pathos in under 140 characters.

This from the local press photographers at the Kettering Town v AFC Totton match: "Tannoy announcement: 'Not sure the right person is going to get this, but a hearing aid has been found by the men's toilets.'"

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat