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

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam