Outside the Box: Now Stoke 'Assassin' Pejic gets his kicks in taekwondo

 

The former England full-back and hard-man Mike Pejic has earned another international call-up, at the age of 62.

He has been named in the Great Britain over-60s taekwondo squad after winning a silver medal in his age group at the British National Championships. A third-dan black belt himself, he was beaten only by a grand master who also happens to be the world No 1.

Pejic, who became interested in the sport when he coached in Malaysia, recently opened the Pejic Taekwondo Academy at a community centre in his native Chesterton, a former coal-mining village which now forms part of Newcastle-under-Lyme. At Stoke City during the Seventies, he was part of a fearsome back four (alongside Jack Marsh, Denis Smith and Alan Bloor) which his former team-mate Terry Conroy in his after-dinner speeches describes as "The Assassins".

Those who saw Pejic play might be picturing him launching flying tackle kicks in his white robe; yet he won his silver in the demonstration, non-contact form of taekwondo.

Time to change the record

While readers of this website are, of course, the most courteous and tolerant to be found anywhere, other publications are not as lucky. Scotland's Daily Record has been forced to close its online football articles to readers' comments because of the vitriol which tends to be prompted by references to either of the Old Firm clubs.

The paper explained as follows: "We value the opinions of our readers but, despite the introduction of a Facebook registration system, we continue to see an unacceptable level of behaviour that breaches our terms and conditions. We are talking about personal abuse directed against other users and members of our staff, foul language, hate speech, sectarianism and systematic tit-for-tat deletion of posts."

Half-baked strategy

If matches were only played these days when there wasn't some game or other being shown live on television, no competition would ever be completed. It does, however, take a particularly confident – or should that be reckless – club to stage a League One game with one of the more important England World Cup qualifying matches being shown on ITV1.

Last Tuesday both Bury and Leyton Orient decided to go head to head with Poland against England – not to mention Mary Berry on the Great British Bake-Off – and duly recorded their lowest attendances of the season: 1,913 and 2,664 respectively.

By the time that armchair fans had realised they would not be watching any football in Warsaw it was too late to get along to Gigg Lane or Brisbane Road. Among those who could reasonably have been expected to stay at home but put duty first was the secretary of Bury, Mrs Jill Neville, mother of the England coach Gary.

Audience figures meanwhile were: bake-off 6.5 million, game off 4.6m.

Didcot lacks lawn order

Just in case the story does not make Crimewatch this month, this column would like to help Didcot Town publicise a shocking felony that occurred at their Loop Meadow Stadium last week: the theft of the club lawnmower from a double-locked brick building.

These things matter at Evo-Stik Southern League South & West Division level. "Diddy" are advising all other sports clubs, especially in the Oxfordshire area, to "be aware if offered a three-gang mower (registration no. PX04 CXJ)". As Shaw Taylor always used to say on the original Crimewatch predecessor Police 5, Thames Valley Police await your call.

No high fiver at Charlton

Charlton Athletic supporters are pondering the irony of the club stalwart Rick Everitt being sacked this week, just as one of his initiatives produced their highest attendance of the season for yesterday's game against Barnsley.

Everitt, the club's Head of Development, was behind the "Football for a Fiver" promotion for all fans, including away supporters, as well as instigating the "Valley Express" service of coaches which were used to bring in fans from all over Kent and Sussex.

Previously editor of the influential Voice of the Valley fanzine, Everitt had been a key campaigner in bringing Charlton back to the Valley in 1992 after seven years in exile at Selhurst Park and Upton Park. The club declined to comment.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; twitter.com/@stevetongue

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own