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News & Comment

Outside the Box: Leeds head for No 1 in charts as single may be re-released

The England squad may not be releasing an official World Cup record this summer – do these foreign managers not understand our culture at all? – but the football single is not dead. Leeds United supporter Dave Whittaker has more than 4,000 enthusiasts backing a Facebook campaign to re-release 'Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!' if the club win promotion this season. He has already held "positive" talks with the song's publishers and says that, like Simon Grayson's team in League One, "the aim now has to be to get to No 1. We all know promotion still needs to be won. But if we'd waited until the end of the season to get things moving, the moment would have passed by the time it went on sale." The song was originally the B-side to the club's 1972 FA Cup final single, which made No 10 on its first release. 'Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!' was last re-issued after the 1992 League Championship win and made, er, No 54. Its writers, Les Reed and Barry Mason, were hardly Leeds-supporting Tykes, being from Woking and Wigan respectively. They had rather more success with a little number for Tom Jones called 'Delilah', adopted for no obvious reason by Stoke City fans, who will treat the television audience to a full-throated rendition at today's home game against Arsenal.

Grounds for 2018 concern

Early warning for Bristol, Nottingham and Plymouth, the cities that have promised to build new stadiums for the 2018 World Cup games if England's bid is successful: Portuguese politicians want to demolish two of the new grounds constructed for Euro 2004 because at £1 million per year they are too expensive to maintain. Aveiro and Leiria staged two group matches each in 2004 but now attract tiny attendances. Beira-Mar, the Aveiro team, are in the second division and have had fewer than 1,400 at every game this season in a 30,000 stadium. The local MP says: "It was a mistake building it in the first place. Now we have to do something about it." Leiria, although in the top division with a capacity of 25,000, had one "crowd" before Christmas of just 817.

No age barrier for Poole

David James is just a kid compared to the goalkeeper who came on as substitute for Burton Albion at Port Vale on Tuesday. Kevin Poole will be 47 in July but as Burton's goalkeeping coach he was called upon when Artur Krysiak was sent off, extending a career that began with then League champions Aston Villa almost 30 years ago. Though a regular for Burton in the Blue Square Premier last season, it was his first Football League appearance since playing for Derby against Ipswich in a 3-3 draw in 2005. No win bonus this time either. Burton lost 3-1.

Can't bawl out ball boys

Early in Liverpool's televised game with Spurs on Wednesday night, Jamie Carragher, trying to take a quick throw-in, could be heard screaming at someone out of the picture: "Get the [obscenity deleted] ball!" Normally it would be assumed that the object of his wrath was a ball boy – except that Anfield does not have any. Virtually all other Premier League clubs find it useful to have nippy youngsters who will either return a ball quickly or hold on to it, according to the state of the game. Liverpool say that they do not bother as there is insufficient room round the pitch. Surely one of those "small details" for Rafa Benitez to work on.