Outside the Box: Deano's generous donation was a sign of the times
Sunday 06 March 2011
The generous nature of Dean Richards, whose life will be celebrated at today's game between two of his former teams, Wolves and Tottenham, was illustrated six years ago when his first club, Bradford City, who were in administration at the time, asked him to play in a fundraising match at Valley Parade.
Spurs felt they could not grant permission because of insurance issues, but although the Richards family were due to go abroad on holiday that day, he insisted on changing the flights and attending the game, taking two signed Tottenham shirts to be auctioned. What Wolves would probably not want to be reminded of was that the sturdy defender, who died last week aged only 36, originally joined them from City in 1995 to further his ambitions of Premier League football – only for the Yorkshire club to beat them to it by four years after clinching promotion in 1999 with victory at, of all places, Molineux.
Bartram's name up in lights
Also gone but not forgotten: Sam Bartram, the former Charlton goalkeeper, already has a road, statue and bar in his honour at The Valley and will now have floodlights named after him at his first club, Boldon CA in the Wearside League. York City, the club he later managed, are to christen them in a friendly next month.
At Boldon Bartram was an outfield player until he took over in goal in an emergency. A Charlton scout spotted him and he became regarded as the best keeper never to play for England; in his first three seasons the club won promotion twice.
Groundhog day for Leeds
Boldon will hope to do better under their new lights than Leeds United, who have been like rabbits caught under floodlights all season.
When Saturday Comes, as the song and magazine have it, they are generally fine but they have failed to win a single League game on any other day. This does not augur well for a fixture on Tuesday, even against the Championship's bottom club Preston North End, who beat Leeds 6-4 at Elland Road after being 4-1 down – also in midweek.
The record in 10 evening games is five defeats and five draws; and the one Sunday fixture, against Leicester, was drawn as well.
Oatway's a Quick Reader
Anyone seeking a refreshing antidote to run-of-the-mill footballers' autobiographies should try Tackling Life by Charlie Oatway, now the first-team coach at his former club Brighton.
Oatway had an unpromising start in life when his father named him after the QPR side of the time in order to win a £50 bet, and it got worse before it got better.
A talented footballer but also a member of a Shepherds Bush family often up to no good, Oatway did well to stay out of trouble with the law until in 1994 he was jailed for four months for GBH. By then he was playing for Cardiff, but it was not until nine years later at Brighton that he began to confront his literacy problems with the help of the club's study centre.
All the more remarkable, then, that he has co-authored a book in the Corgi "Quick Reads" series aimed at those who have lost the habit of reading.
If Peterborough United's £15,000 season ticket for 2011-12 (directors' box seat and all the food you can eat) does not appeal, how about a Lifetime Ticket, which lasts 75 years and can be passed on to a member of your family in the (largely unavoidable) event of your death. It costs £12,000, or under £7 per game, which by 2086 will seem dirt cheap.
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