Outside the Box: South African singer tries to track down Tractor Boys' pop-picker

One of South Africa's leading pop singers wants to trace a former fellow trainee at Ipswich Town and invite him to the World Cup as a thank you for putting his career on the right track; towards music rather than football. Elan Lea had trials at Portman Road 10 years ago and was hugely impressed with a player whose name he cannot remember, who was worried Lea would not be taken on. "Now if this guy was concerned, and I remember him being great, then I definitely had a reason to be concerned because I knew I wasn't the next Beckham or Messi," Lea said. He has now signed up with Universal, with a debut single being released in the UK next month, as well as "growing heart-throb status with a top placement in 'Heat' magazine's Manometer". Ipswich triallists, circa 2000, should make themselves known. It may yet prove Darren Bent's best chance of making this summer's World Cup.

Barnet at rock bottom

Barnet are luckier than they may realise to have stayed in the Football League after finishing four points clear of relegation. A table based on positions in the Noughties shows them lower than any other League club with an average finishing position of 85.7, just below Accrington Stanley. The table, produced by sportingintelligence.com, has Manchester United top with an average of 1.8. Blackpool went into yesterday's Championship play-off on a 10-year high; their average position is 52nd, while Swansea, whose seventh place in the Championship was a leap of 62 from finishing 89th seven years ago.

Pool fan is different class

Speaking of Blackpool, long-serving (long-suffering?) fan Duncan Grice almost certainly won the award for travelling furthest to yesterday's play-off final. He teaches at Dulwich College – not the one in south-east London, but in Suzhou, China – and having left early on Thursday morning, he will arrive back in Shanghai at 7.35am tomorrow, before driving two hours to Suzhou and going straight to school. Fortunately, the headmaster was sympathetic; he is a Plymouth Argyle fan. Any pupils able to watch the game might well have spotted their head of junior school: he was dressed, unlike your average Pool fan, as a Ming emperor.

Duffy suffers 'freak injury'

The Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy had to undergo life-saving surgery after suffering a freak accident in a training match on Friday night. The 18-year-old Everton defender suffered a laceration to his liver after colliding with goalkeeper Adrian Walsh at Malahide and was rushed to Mater Hospital for an emergency operation. The team surgeon John O'Byrne said: "It was a freak injury that in another 100 years of medicine, we may never see again. The intensive care staff in the Mater must be credited for their expertise and fast response which in no uncertain terms saved Shane's life."

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee