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

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all