Outside the Box: Rock-solid Gibraltar have Spain quaking in their boots

So where would England's players, supporters and media rather be going this week: Montenegro or Gibraltar? Playing the latter could conceivably happen in the next European Championship. On the same day in 2007 when Uefa delegates voted for Montenegro to become full members, they decisively rejected Gibraltar – only England, Scotland and Wales wanting them. Now the Rock, population 30,000 (about the same as San Marino) but spread over only 2.6 square miles, is to apply again at Uefa's London congress in May, having already been granted provisional membership. Officials from Gibraltar's governing body flew to London on Wednesday to meet Football Association representatives, though they will again have to overcome objections from Spain, who last time threatened to boycott any competition in which they took part. The Spanish have long memories: the island was captured from them in 1704 and ceded to Britain in 1713. Gibraltar has retained strong footballing links with Britain, playing teams such as Bury, Notts County and Portsmouth last year (beating all three) as well as the Isle of Wight and Anglesey.

Pope tears off a strip

Imaginative thinking from Port Vale to drum up support ahead of the League Two promotion six-pointer and Staffordshire derby against Burton Albion on Friday week: Vale's last promotion came in 1993-94, and to try to recreate the mood, the club's new owner, Paul Wildes, has promised that ticket prices and refreshments (including beer) will be at 1994 prices. The pre-match music will also be from the spring of '94, when "Everything Changes" by Take That, featuring Vale fan Robbie Williams, went to No 1. One of 5,000 Vale fans at Brighton when they sealed automatic promotion that year was the father of Vale's top scorer, Tom Pope, who in the ensuing pitch invasion had the shirt off striker David Lowe's back. It ended up on the wall of Pope Jnr, who until recently was the country's leading scorer.

Fragile status like Glass

The other end of the League Two table has the makings of the closest finish since Jimmy Glass, Carlisle's on-loan goalkeeper, scored a winning goal in the last minute of the 1998-99 season to avoid relegation from the League. But even then there were only two teams in danger; last week started with no fewer than five teams all on 40 points, and York City a single point ahead. Four of the five – Accrington, Barnet, Plymouth and Torquay – then played their game in hand last Tuesday, and all won, leaving Aldershot bottom of the pile. In yesterday's 40th game, Accrington and York were both beaten, while Plymouth and Aldershot were postponed.

Fixtures aren't fitting

Newport County are furious that their hopes of rejoining the League after 25 years' absence are being handicapped by fixture congestion. Yesterday's defeat at Stockport would have been one of four in seven days, three of them up north, until the match against Gateshead two days earlier was postponed again. County want the season extended, but Conference officials say that cannot be done as Wembley is booked for the play-off final. Newport now face 11 games in a month and their manager, Justin Edinburgh, the former Spurs full-back, says there has been "no consideration for the players' safety and health, or for the fans – but whenever we've tried to work with the Conference they've been totally against us." As Gateshead cannot use their own ground, the Newport match rearranged for Thursday will be at Boston, a round trip for the "home" side of some 300 miles.


Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Life and Style
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn