Outside the Box: Shorts cited as Bury fail to bring home bacon with black pudding

As excuses go, Bury's reason for dropping two vital home points in a 1-1 draw with Port Vale last weekend was – like the team in League Two – right up there.

The referee ruled Vale's all-black away strip was too similar to Bury's light-blue-and-navy halved shirts. The visitors therefore had to play in white training tops with no numbers, causing Bury's manager, Alan Knill, to complain that he had based his marking instructions on the numbers on the back of Vale's shirts, whereas they only wore little ones on their shorts. But good work by Vale's press officer, "who was on the look-out for black pudding at Bury market, [and] was diverted to a sports shop to buy 16 pairs of white socks". Hope he didn't miss out on the black pud, for which Bury is world-renowned.

From Bland to bizarre

An addition to the ranks of the monster raving loonies risking a £500 deposit by standing in the General Election. Leeds United supporter Martin Bland wanted to stand for a "We Beat The Scum One Nil" party in order to "put a bit of humour into the election – and also remind people of the [FA Cup] result against Manchester United". Informed that he had registered the party too late, he changed his name instead by deed poll and will figure on ballot papers in Leeds Central as We Beat The Scum One Nil. But he must send the swingometer flying to oust the sitting MP, environment minister and Spurs fan Hilary Benn.

Wolves starving at home

Going into yesterday's home match with Blackburn, Wolves had failed to score in seven of their past 10 League games; and the three where they had found the net were all away, in successive visits to Burnley, Aston Villa and West Ham. Their 1-1 draw with Rovers at least took them beyond Manchester City's record low of 10 home goals in a season.

Is it me you're looking for?

After his recent gaffe in missing a red card during Portsmouth's game with Blackburn, it's appropriate that the Sky Sports presenter Chris Kamara should be starting his recording career with the old Andy Williams classic "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". He sings lead vocals on the song being released on 10 May, backed by the official England Supporters Band (the ones who drive Alan Green apoplectic). Kamara – whose catchphrase is "Unbelievable, Jeff!" – was initially flattered to be greeted on his way out of the recording studios in Lancashire by a middle-aged man who said what a fan he was; then disarmed by the rest of the sentence: "of your work with The Commodores". Hello: Lionel Ritchie he ain't, sir.

The derbies that count

Yesterday's results maintain the possibility of the divisional play-offs producing various derbies tasty enough to offer overtime opportunities for local constabularies. The Championship could feature Cardiff against Swansea and Nottingham Forest against Leicester; in League One Leeds could take on Huddersfield and Millwall meet Charlton. An all-Welsh final to decide who makes it into the Premier League would seem to make more sense at the Millennium Stadium. We understand that option has been explored, but Wembley can hardly afford to lose such a lucrative game and it will be played in London whoever is involved.


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