Outside the Box: Flicker of disappointment is solved by a flick of the switch

Never mind the disappointment of missing England's international against France last Wednesday; strikers Darren Bent (who was injured) and Kevin Davies (passed over for a younger man) have received the ultimate recognition from their local communities by being asked to switch on the Christmas lights in Sunderland and Bolton respectively. Manchester United's goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, almost certainly in his final season, did the honours in the footballers' enclave of Alderley Edge and the whole Stoke City squad plus manager Tony Pulis flicked the switch (with maximum force, no doubt) in Hanley. When Andy Carroll is invited to do the same he'll know that he really has arrived; on Thursday, alas, Newcastle preferred a former Coronation Street actress for their town-centre ceremony.

How to find a really fit lover

What do they do after football, those (many) former players who need to keep working? "Lifestyle and fitness coach" would seem to be a useful career path in these health-conscious days. But Earl Barrett, once of Oldham, Aston Villa, Everton, Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday and indeed England (three caps under Graham Taylor), now performs that function for an unexpected employer: an online dating agency called arrangemeadate.com. The service is run by his wife, Keely, and he sees his role as making people feel in the best shape, physically and mentally, to find, er, love. "It's all about that feeling when you've got your best suit on and feel 10 feet tall," he told the Liverpool Echo. "Strut around with your back straight and your chest out." Currently working for his Uefa A coaching licence, Barrett is also an under-16 coach at Stoke City and supports the anti-racism campaign Kick It Out.

Fort William are sinking fast

Readers who rushed to the results page last Sunday to check whether Fort William had ended a familiar run of five successive defeats, the last two of them by 6-0 and 8-1, will have been disappointed; for the second home game in a row, a waterlogged pitch caused a postponement. Black humour prevails, however, at the Highland League's bottom club, where the sponsors are none other than local firm The Underwater Centre. Yesterday's visit to lowly Brora Rangers ("lowly" to most other teams but rather lofty compared to the Fort) was due to go ahead. Yesterday's visit to lowly Brora Rangers "lowly" to most other teams but rather lofty compared to the Fort) brought a defeat by the modest margin of 3-0.

A political appointment

No offence to Ray Wilkins, who was suddenly deposed as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Chelsea without explanation last week, but the dressing-room conversation could become a little more elevated following the promotion of Michael Emenalo to replace him. The name may ring a bell with supporters of Notts County, for whom the Nigerian defender played briefly in 1994, when they finished bottom of what is now the Championship. Even County fans may not know he has a degree in International Relations with Political Sciences from Boston University. That's Boston, Massachusetts, not Boston, Lincolnshire. The American college is where his "soccer" career flourished before he had spells in Belgium, Austria, San Jose, Spain and Israel.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
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

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?