Outside the Box: Sheet hits the fan as Wagstaff loses his job... and semi-final

Could anyone have felt more let down by Bolton Wanderers' 5-0 capitulation to Stoke City in the FA Cup semi-final last Sunday than Ian Wagstaff, a 50-year-old lifelong supporter who was told by the bosses at his sheet metal firm in Brisbane that he could not have time off to go to the game. Whereupon he resigned his £38,500-a-year job and flew back to England.

Having lived in Australia for 23 years, he had not watched Bolton in almost all that time and decided to spend £1,000 to see his beloved team at Wembley – twice, he was hoping. "I'm devastated but I wouldn't change anything," he said, "apart from the result."

Now he hopes to see a first Premier League game at the Reebok Stadium before rejoining his wife and children in Brisbane and looking for a new job.

The joke's not on Stoke

Meanwhile the ITV commentator Peter Drury stirred up a hornets' nest with his unfortunate comment during the game that Stoke is "a true one-club town".

Port Vale followers have been complaining bitterly and their message boards were full of vitriol, both for ITV and their local rivals. Now Stoke fans have been retaliating. One wrote: "I too was outraged. Everyone knows Stoke-on-Trent is a city," and another added: "I see 'Port Vale' mentioned on the classified results, but I have always assumed it is a small village in Wales, with a narrow-gauge railway and four different brands of Methodism among 500 people."

All this would have amused Arnold Bennett, the chronicler of the Potteries and once a member of his school first XI, who depicted Stoke as "Knype" and named one of his short stories, The Matador of the Five Towns, after Knype FC's Jos Myatt, "surely the finest full-back in the league".

Not even in a work of fiction did he have the team in an FA Cup final; in fact they were in danger of relegation. But that was before Tony Pulis and Rory Delap.

Change channel to find Guernsey

Clubs as far down the football food chain as the Cherry Red Combined Counties Division One – the likes of Hartley Witney, Farleigh Rovers and Frimley Green – will find themselves travelling in style to one game next season, from Gatwick Airport.

It's either that or risk sea-sickness for the away match with Guernsey, who have just been accepted into the League. The Channel Island club, whose secretary is Mark Le Tissier, brother of Matt, have promised to pay all air fares and have negotiated a deal under which kit can be carried at no extra charge.

The League secretary has even promised that clubs playing there in midwinter will be given a game at the start or end of the following season when the weather should be more enjoyable.

Old Firm scheduling is crackers

Talking of scheduling: even without the letter-bomb sent to Celtic's manager Neil Lennon last week, or Rangers' disciplinary hearing for sectarian chanting at Europa League matches, being held by Uefa on Thursday, it was surely not the best idea to schedule the latest Old Firm game for this particular weekend.

A happy and peaceful Easter to all our readers – especially those in Glasgow.


Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Arts and Entertainment
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

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style