Outside the Box: Barron enjoys four minutes of fame then calls it quits

In future, to paraphrase Andy Warhol's maxim, Andy Barron will be famous for four minutes. That was how long he spent on the pitch during the World Cup, though the fact that the New Zealand midfielder was the sole amateur in the 32 squads and also an investment consultant, ensured his cameo against Italy made news around the planet.

Now, having achieved the impossible – a banker getting a good press – Barron has retired from football. The 29-year-old feels he owes it to his employer, the Westpac Banking Corp in Wellington, to focus on his £1bn investment portfolio. Even in South Africa, he admits, he was monitoring clients' funds. Having started out at Petone FC in Wellington, aged five, he went on to play in the US for Minnesota Thunder and Northern Ireland with Lisburn Distillery, realigning himself with Petone before deciding to quit. And to remind him of when he took a break from trying to make millions to rub shoulders with those who already do, he'll always have his framed Azzurri top. A swift transaction with Gianluca Zambrotta saw to that. Bankers? They'll have the shirt off your back.



Wake up Thursdays

The precedents for supporters taking control of football clubs are mixed. The internet campaign MyFootball Club persuaded 32,000 people to invest £35 each in Ebbsfleet United in a real-life version of Football Manager, only for the Kent club to be relegated last season as backers drifted away. In contrast, AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester have put down roots. A new online scheme, fivepoundfootballclub.com, hopes to attract 5,000 subscribers at a minimum of a fiver a time with the aim of buying a modest-sized club, preferably in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, and making it the hub of the community. The project has 350 founder members and down-at-heel Abergavenny Thursdays have emerged as favourites to be, as one member put it, "reawakened". Founder members of the Welsh Premier League in 1992, the Thursdays (named after half-day closing when shop-workers gathered to play) are now six promotions from that level in Gwent County League Division Three, competing with Race, Caldicot Castle, Pill and Villa Dino. No official approach has been made but local fans, mingling with £5fc members on Facebook, are said to "incredibly receptive".



Virgin territory for Burch

One ritual of the pre-season tour at many clubs sees summer signings having to endure the embarrassment of singing for new team-mates. Word reaches this column of the cringe-inducing extremes of Notts County's final night in Austria. The after-dinner entertainment started with Journey's motivational rock-ballad "Don't Stop Believin'" by the ex-Doncaster midfielder John Spicer. The striker Ben Burgess, freshly recruited from Blackpool, then played the laddish card with the single-entendre rap track "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent ("I'll let you lick my lollipop/Keep going 'til you hit the spot"). After which it took great bravado, or horrible misjudgement, for former Lincoln goalkeeper Rob Burch, 26, to serenade his colleagues with "Like A Virgin" by Madonna.



A bit less Fuller

Stoke City have also been in Austria, from where news comes of a shrunken Ricardo Fuller. Not for the normally muscular Jamaican powerhouse a common-or-garden injury or even a stomach bug. Fuller reported back a stone lighter – due to stress after his grandmother's home in Kingston was wrecked by rioters supporting the fugitive drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke.



s.tongue@independent.co.uk

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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence