Outside the Box: Giggs makes it 20 and counting but can't raise a glass to Sheri

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The Independent Online

After Ryan Giggs equalised for Manchester United at Tottenham last weekend, it was widely reported that he is unique in having scored in every one of the 18 Premier League seasons.

Those who believe that football history goes back a little further than the PL's inception may be aware that he also scored in the two seasons before that as well, making 20 in all. So has any other player ever recorded at least one goal for 20 seasons in a row in the top division? Gary Speed managed 19 with Leeds, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton before adding two more in the Championship with Sheffield United; a serious back injury means he may not be able to go beyond 21 and challenge Teddy Sheringham (pictured below), whose 23 seasons starting at Millwall in 1985-86 and finishing at Colchester may be the record for all divisions. Genuine legends like Steve Bloomer (22 seasons for Derby and Middlesbrough), Billy Meredith, Arthur Rowley, Dixie Dean, Jimmy Greaves and Sir Stanley Matthews (who once went five years without a goal for Blackpool) cannot match Giggs either. Any other contenders?

Not such a good Evans

The FA's fast-track disciplinary system clearly did not cover the case of serial offender Steve Evans, the manager of Crawley Town, who has just been banned from the ground for three matches and suspended from the touchline for another TEN for incidents that took place as long ago as last February. Perhaps the committee just groaned when they saw the name of Evans and hid the papers in a filing cabinet; he was already on a suspended 10-match touchline ban from last season, having been sent from the dug-out six times in one year. As manager of Boston United he had previously been found guilty in court of tax evasion at the club and given a suspended prison sentence.

Gates to Ell stay shut

An email arrives from Gary Edwards, the Leeds United fan mentioned here last week, reports that his campaign against having the city's Cross Gates sculpture painted in Manchester United colours is gathering momentum. City councillors are belatedly waking up to local sensibilities and have just put a block on further spending on the controversial sculpture until an official inquiry takes place. That suits the 53-year-old, a decorator, who has offered to paint it for nothing, in all white. Councillors would be unwise to doubt his commitment; he was married at Elland Road last year and has missed only one Leeds game at home or abroad in 40 years, a friendly in Canada when a flight from Madrid to Toronto was cancelled and he arrived four hours too late.

Zero marks for Addicks

After "medalling", yet another new verb enters the English (?) language as the media arm of the 2010 World Cup organising committee invite us to "diarise these events". Our diary was unfortunately full. On principle. Meanwhile, the award for most insensitive headline of the week goes to the Charlton Athletic programme which, the day after the 9/11 anniversary, referred to Southampton's quest for points following their 10-point deduction as "Pardew seeks ground zero".

s.tongue@ independent .co.uk

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