Outside the Box: Cold comfort as Bradford set club record – 73 days without a home game
Sunday 09 January 2011
Now it is official that last month was Britain's coldest December since details were first collated, how many unwanted new football records will be set because of this winter's weather? One already created, which may be further extended this week, is at Bradford Park Avenue, the Evo-Stik (former Northern Premier) League club, who have not played at home since losing to Frickley Athletic on 30 October. They have suffered seven consecutive postponements from snow, frost, waterlogging – everything bar plagues of frogs – and in so doing they set a new club record. A League Challenge Cup derby at home to AFC Halifax Town is due on Tuesday, which would be 73 days since the previous home game. The previous record was set in the long winter of 1962-63, when Avenue went 61 days without a home game, between Third Division home fixtures against (coincidentally) Halifax Town on 4 January and Peterborough United on 6 March. The pile-up proved costly and they were relegated on goal average, joining neighbours Bradford City in Division Four. Replaced as a League club in 1970, they went into liquidation before reforming in 1988.
Highland fling may run over
As the weather in the north of Scotland has been as bad, if not worse, than anywhere else, the Highland League has been severely affected. Only three games took place in December, before something like a full programme last weekend, when seven of the scheduled 10 games took place. John Grant, the League secretary, was putting on a brave face when he told us that though there had been 71 postponements, "at the same time last year we had 69 games to catch up with, so we are similar to that. We aim to finish before 15 May, but we may run over". The idea of a winter break has not been discussed since the League tried it once in the Seventies, which proved to be one of the mildest of winters.
That Heskey kid was right
A Sunday sermon to finish: when will players realise that it is not their job to kick the ball out because a player is injured? Emile Heskey's sending-off for Aston Villa on Wednesday came about because Sunderland were aggrieved with him for carrying on playing when striker Asamoah Gyan was lying down. But Law Five is clear: "The referee... stops the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured... (the ref) allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in his opinion, only slightly injured." Simples.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli comment: Time running out for 'lost boy' to shine at Liverpool, or anywhere
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'