Outside the Box: Shotton in the arm is a throwback to Challinor

Should Rory Delap suffer a recurrence of one of his shoulder injuries in the run-up to Saturday's FA Cup final, Stoke City appear to have a ready-made replacement at hand.

Last week at Blackpool they brought on local defender Ryan Shotton, who hurled in a long throw Delap-style, a skill he says he has been perfecting during loans at Altrincham, Tranmere and Barnsley. Given the squad's current injury problems, the 22-year-old could well be on the bench at Wembley. He made his first Cup appearance in the drawn third-round game at home to Cardiff; after which, incidentally, Stoke were 66-1 to win the competition.

One of the few players ever to throw the ball further than Delap was Dave Challinor of Tranmere Rovers, once credited with the world record of 46.34 metres in a challenge at Prenton Park in 1998. Now he is player-manager of Colwyn Bay, who have just won a second successive promotion, to the Blue Square North, by beating FC United of Manchester 1-0 in last Sunday's play-off final in front of a crowd of 2,000 in North Wales.

World in union for Stoke

As Stoke have reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their 148-year history, it is all the more notable that at exactly the same time on Saturday the local rugby union club, Stoke-on-Trent, a mere 128 years old, will be kicking off in their first national final.

They play Aylesford Bulls from Kent in the Intermediate Cup Final at Twickenham, expecting to have "two or three hundred" supporters at HQ. The Potters will take 25,000 and say they could have sold twice as many tickets.

Dalglish sees red over tyros

Looking ahead last Sunday to the England Under-17 team's defence of their European Championship title, we mentioned how pleased and proud Kenny Dalglish must be that Liverpool had more youngsters (four) in the squad than any other club. Not so, it seems.

In another newspaper that very day he was to be found complaining there are too many such tournaments, in which "clubs have to pay their [players'] wages while trusting their welfare and football development to other coaches we have no control over".

It is an attitude that sums up the problems facing the Football Association in attempting to familiarise young players with international football; above all when only six of the 20 Premier League managers are English.

Davison's Turkey shoot

Following up another item from last week, a reader asks if any manager can have had two more diverse clubs for his only managerial appointments than the former Derby and Leeds midfielder Bobby Davison: namely, Guiseley and Ferencvaros.

The explanation was that after a brief spell at the former, in the Northern Premier League, he was coaching at Sheffield United when they formed an affiliation with Hungary's Ferencvaros, whom he joined as an assistant. When the manager was sacked, Davison took over, leading them to promotion, only to be sacked himself and briefly replaced by Craig Short.

Holding the Fort

And after the story on Tunstall Town, whose 25 successive defeats this season have produced a goal difference of minus 238, an update on our old friends Fort William leaves them looking almost healthy in comparison. Almost.

Having recorded the worst finish in the history of the Highland League two years ago by taking one point from their 28 games, the Fort improved with no fewer than six wins last season, finishing above Strathspey Thistle, with whom they are fighting another epic battle this time. Going into this weekend's games, the Fort had one win and three draws from 30 matches, leaving them a point behind Thistle.

To put this in a historical context, since joining the League in 1985, the club's highest position has been 11th and they have conceded 2,441 goals at an average of almost 100 per season. In the four seasons from 2005 to 2009, they managed a total of 17 points.

A bit of a Goon

After Indesit signed a three-year deal with Arsenal worth several million pounds last week, the club's commercial manager, Tom Fox, claimed Arsenal were synonymous with five things: "Attractive style of play, youthful team, innovation, tradition and winning." Spot the odd one out.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Sport
sport
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
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

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape