Outside the Box: Classic stereotyping as bowler hats are donned for pre-match 'entertainment'
Sunday 22 May 2011
As it is always interesting to see ourselves as others see us, true Brits will wonder quite what Uefa's gnomes of Nyon have in mind for pre-match entertainment at Wembley's Champions' League final.
The answer appears to be classic national stereotyping, with dancers and acrobats sporting bowler hats and rolled umbrellas, and even the sound effects of rain – which, drought or no drought, may prove unnecessary on the night.
Before that, a week-long Champions Festival has begun in Hyde Park with activities including an All Stars five-a-side on Saturday afternoon and the chance to have a photograph taken with the famous trophy. United supporters may wish to take that opportunity, just in case it is leaving the country for Catalonia on Saturday night.
Turner twins in at Leeds
The tradition of footballing brothers at Leeds United is continuing. A club that at various times fielded Jimmy and Brian Greenhoff, Eddie and Frank Gray, Glyn and Ian Snodin and Rod and Ray Wallace have now signed as professionals Nathan and Lewis Turner, who, like the Wallaces are in fact twins.
One is a midfielder, the other a centre-back, and they have each made 11 appearances in the reserve team so far. How far they progress, of course, remains to be seen; much was made a dozen years ago of two widely coveted young wonder boys who became attached to Leeds at the age of eight, named Marcus and Edward Walmsley.
They chose Elland Road ahead of Old Trafford at the behest of their Leeds-mad father, who told various newspapers at the time: "If they sign for Man United, I've told them they'll have to keep their shirts in the garage."
Now aged 20, both are still playing football – they featured in the Northern Counties East League this season – but FA Cup final day last weekend found them facing each other in a Bradford League cricket match, Edward's team, Pudsey Congs, beating Marcus' Cleckheaton.
Masochistic readers keen to know how the good ol' boys of Tunstall Town finished the season will not be surprised to learn their 100 per cent record was preserved until the end of the Staffordshire County Senior League campaign: played 28, lost 28, goals for 5, against 275.
Clutching at the thinnest of straws, this does work out at fewer than 10 goals per game (just). There is no relegation from the second division, but surely a couple of the septuagenarians in the squad may now wish to consider whether their best days are possibly behind them.
Sky must be quick on the score
Dear Sky Sports, in your live coverage of whichever game we choose to watch today, could you please try to update scores from the other matches considerably faster than normal.
It cannot take several minutes just to write a score caption and, if it does, viewers will be driven to good old steam radio.
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