Outside the Box: Lawson looks for a few Leeds as Saint Etienne enjoy a Day dream

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The Independent Football

How do authors come up with the names of their characters? “Some people use telephone directories. I use 40 years of supporting Leeds,” the writer and broadcaster Mark Lawson tells us. Hence the appearance in his recent Radio 4 drama “Reading Between The Lines” of R P Beckford-Jones, in homage to the Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford and his revered Sixties predecessor Mick Jones. Paul Reaney and Peter Lorimer have been honoured in the past. Similarly, it is not surprising to learn of a football connection or two in the work of British indie band Saint Etienne, who made a film called ‘What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day?’ depicting the industrial wasteland of London’s Lower Lea Valley before its transformation for the 2012 Olympics. The main character is so called because his mum fancied the former West Ham United goalkeeper. Bob Stanley, co-founder of the band, actually supports Hendon but he could have an interesting conversation with Lawson about Leeds. After reading ‘The Damned United’, about Brian Clough’s 44 days at Elland Road (the film will be in the cinemas on 27 March), Stanley wrote on the band’s website: “I hope it’s true he took an axe to Don Revie’s desk.” Charming.

Bright spark turns up late

Notts County’s Gavin Strachan recounts on his BBC blog an excuse for late arrival at training that any Premier League superstar would be proud of. The (sadly unnamed) squad member said his electric gates were not functioning and he was forced to wait until his gardener turned up with a key. As Strachan suggests, surely a first for a League Two player, who seemed unlikely to be bothered by the £10 fine.

Belt tightens at MyClub

The operators of MyFootballClub, the online community that bought Ebbsfleet United a year ago, are warning of “massive belt-tightening” for the FA Trophy holders after resigning themselves to working with barely a third of the initial 32,000 members. As the first annual deadline passed on Thursday, the membership stood at 9,500. With ongoing renewals it could settle at 10,000. “Year two is about reality,” said Will Brooks, the founder. “We cleared debts of £500,000 and enabled the club to spend £10,000 a week on players but I’m not sure we can sustain that.”

Donna manages nicely

Donna Powell did the cause of women coaches no harm on Wednesday when, in her one game in charge of Fisher Athletic, she oversaw a narrow 2-1 defeat in the Blue Square South by Eastleigh. Indeed, Hope Powell, the England women’s team manager but no relation to Donna, says: “Let’s hope this opens the door for more female coaches to be given the opportunities they deserve.” As reported here last week, Donna won the right to take charge of Fisher for one game after raising £500 in sponsorship for the South London club, who have lost 11 on the trot; the other 10 under a male manager.