Outside the Box: That Friday feeling is bound to give you a good night out

 

Supporters of Reading and Cardiff City in the Seventies may object to the title, but The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw is about to become more widely celebrated.

The player in question was Robin Friday, whose biography by former Oasis bass player Paul McGuigan and Paolo Hewitt carried that title, and is now to be made into a film. It runs the risk of being accused of exaggeration by those unfamiliar with the man Friday, whose antics on and off the pitch – think George Best, Stan Bowles and Frank McAvennie rolled into one – led to his being named greatest cult hero by fans of his two clubs in a career that lasted less than three years.

At Reading from 1974-76, sympathetic manager Charlie Hurley just about coped with him, but his time under Jimmy Andrews at Cardiff never recovered from Friday taking the train to Wales to sign without a valid ticket and having to be bailed out.

The former borstal boy, failing to curb his drinking and drug-taking, was never likely to hit it off with a disciplinarian manager and in 1977 he retired, aged only 25. By 38 he was dead from a heart attack, which Hewitt believes stemmed from a heroin overdose.

The film is now in pre-production, backed by Film Agency Wales.

A cloud over 'The Sun'

A blogger called Phil Mac Giolla Bhain is the latest victim of Glasgow's great divide after The Sun withdrew at the last minute from serialising his book on the collapse of Rangers, apparently fearing a possible boycott by fans similar to that on Merseyside, where the paper has never been forgiven for its post-Hillsborough coverage.

The Scottish edition of The Sun had publicly trailed the serialisation of Downfall: How Rangers FC Self-Destructed and featured an interview with the author, praising him for breaking the story of the club's £24m tax bill and standing up to "sectarian hate" and death threats.

Rangers supporters who regarded him as a Celtic sympathiser protested in large numbers and the paper's attention was drawn to an anti-Rangers blog he had written about bigotry. The next day, publication was cancelled and The Sun wrote in a leading article that they had been wrong to believe Mac Giolla Bhain was "a proper and sound journalist". He responded in a blog: "It was a commercial decision for The Sun to go for the book and it was the same rationale that made them drop the serialisation."

Not that book sales have been harmed by all the publicity, as it races up the charts in pursuit of some Hairy Dieters and scary erotica.

Draw a vale over Ryder

Still on the subject of financially stricken clubs, what has happened to Keith Ryder? He's the Lancashire businessman whose offer was selected by insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor as the best package to take over Port Vale after they went into administration late last season. He paid £20,000 to cover Vale's pre-season trip to Ireland, a £60,000 non-refundable deposit and half of the club's estimated £180,000 monthly wage bill for July. But then he stopped communicating with the club and the administrator, Bob Young.

Manager Micky Adams worried that players would defect over concerns that wages might not be paid. Young said: "In the 38 years since I first became an insolvency practitioner I have never been in a scenario where you get so far down the line and a party disappears."

There are now five interested parties carrying out due diligence with a view to taking over the club.

Wright got it wrong

The oddest transfer of the summer was surely Manchester City's signing of Richard Wright as their fourth keeper; he had left Preston after a week, declaring he could not bear to be 200 miles away from his family in Ipswich.

Distance to Manchester? A mere 173 miles.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; twitter.com/@stevetongue

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before