Outside the Box: Murray's foot-in-mouth gaffes keep us all amused

What's said in the dressing-room stays in there – so says a time-honoured football maxim. Matt Murray does not adhere to it, fortunately for the wider world, the Wolves keeper having used his time while recovering from a serious knee injury to chronicle Molineux's finest foot-in-mouth gaffes. When Wolves equalised at Barnsley, effectively clinching the Championship title, their jubilant fans were cleared from the pitch by mounted police. Left-back Stephen Ward was incensed. "Did you see those police horses?" Murray records him saying. "They're animals!" Ward was again the fall guy after Murray explained he had been to the city's Grand Theatre to do a picture with the seven dwarves to publicise a pantomime, asking: "What show's that then?" Another pearl, passed on by a physio, finds Andy Keogh being driven to London to see an ankle specialist. "Did your ears just pop?" asks the striker. "We must've been going over the Pennines." And he once played for Leeds. Jay Bothroyd, now with Cardiff, advised colleagues to invest in "bricks and water", and Richard Stearman told team-mates that his ankle scan showed he had "nicked an archery". Mick McCarthy's men are not alone in their unwitting wordplay. Your reporter has a colleague who did all his Christmas shopping "at Mataland". Another wondered whether Joe Hart was "illegible" to play against Manchester City. Wolves, meanwhile, face a tricky FA Cup tie today at Tranmere, who, as any of the players could tell you, play in Burke and Hare.

Stoke taken to the cleaners

Now we know why Stoke City's home form is flagging. The 15m x 14m flag that is passed over the heads of the Britannia Stadium crowd has been missing since Chelsea's visit in September, and may not return after the colour drained out of the red stripes in the wash. "It needed a clean because a few pies got thrown at it and it was a bit mouldy," supporters' club chairman Bryan Shaw explained. Both manufacturers and cleaners deny responsibility for spoiling the £4,000 flag, which will shortly be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Holloway the teddy boy

All together now: "Today's the day the teddy bears do the tactics." Blackpool manager Ian Holloway's latest ruse is to explain his game-plan using cuddly toys. Holloway bought 22 charity teddies in his local pub at £1.50 each, attached name tags and laid both "teams" out in formation at their hotel before the Boxing Day fixture at Derby. He wanted to show Charlie Adam and the wide players what was required ("though no way did I tell Charlie to shoot twice from the halfway line"). The super furry animals paid off, Blackpool winning 2-0, and are now promised to a children's hospice.

Brown's cutting humour

Craig Brown's return to the goal face with Motherwell, albeit on a caretaker basis, ensures the Scottish game's most senior managerial duo – the ex-national coach is 69, his No 2 Archie Knox 62 – and a welcome sense of fun after the conflicts of Jim Gannon's reign. Brown is steeped in Shanklyesque humour – Bill's late brother Bob, that is, his manager at Dundee. "I feared the worst for my future there when Bob began positioning players for the team photo," he told this column. "End of the row for you, son," he told me. "A pair of scissors will get rid of you."

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?