Outside the Box: Fatherly advice proves Fergie is down with the kids

It is clearly the time of year for our leading managers to be digging into their innermost soul. While Arsène Wenger reflected on questions of anger management after his untypical but highly successful half-time outburst at Anfield last Sunday, Sir Alex Ferguson has contributed to a book of life-lessons entitled "The Handbook of Life" produced for North West-based children's charities. He tells readers: "I have had a few good pieces of advice about life. Appreciate your youth, upbringing and the ideals that your parents have given you and through that you can enjoy life and pass these values to your own children. You should enjoy it and try and have a happy approach to it. My Dad told me when I was about to start work: 'If you are going to do something, do it well.' After 43 trophies as a manager, you could say he has lived up to that.

Durham face real battle

Last week we brought glad tidings of Fort William, who after one win in two seasons have now doubled that total well before Hogmanay. While sinking a wee dram or three, however, their loyal followers should spare a thought for those further south who have been watching Durham City run up the following record in the Unibond Premier League: P21 W0 D0 L21 F13 A109 Pts 0.

Those may seem unlikely figures for a team who last season lost only three games in winning promotion, but the story behind them highlights the wider issue of artificial pitches in non-League football. Durham have a 3G pitch, which is allowed by the Unibond League but not the Blue Star Conference, the next level in the non-League pyramid. Told last summer that they could not therefore be promoted or even allowed into the play-offs if successful this season, they immediately lost their main sponsor and virtually all the first-team squad. The local youngsters forced to play have been conceding an average of five goals per game. The Conference say they are unlikely to change their stance on artificial pitches unless the Football League do so, which has disappointed the Football Association, who are now considering allowing them in early rounds of the FA Cup.

End of line for Linnets

At least Durham still have a team, as well as a flourishing academy. Kings Lynn, who beat them 11-0, no longer do so after being wound up in the High Court last week over a debt of £77,000 to the Inland Revenue. The Linnets, founded in 1879, claim to be the oldest club in Norfolk but they go out of existence after having scored 18 goals in their final two league games, the last being a 7-2 victory at home to Ossett.

Iqbal caps off a great year

Happier times at another Unibond club, Bradford Park Avenue, who played in the top division of English football until 1921 but were voted out of the Football League 40 years ago in favour of Cambridge United and folded four years later. Starting again in 1988, they are second in the Unibond Premier and have just had their first full international cap since Ireland's Mick McGrath in 1967. Amjad Iqbal, a 29-year-old chemistry lecturer, played for Pakistan in the South Asia Championships. He could have partnered a Bradford City player at centre-back, but Zesh Rehman pulled out.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Life and Style
Customers look at the new iPhones on display at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iphone 6 plus at the Apple IFC store in Hong Kong
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
propertyfilmReview: It's the sheer nastiness of the Riot Club that takes you aback, says Geoffrey Macnab

Sport
Twelve of the winning bidders will each host three group matches
football
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week