Most football fans could name Sir Alex Ferguson as the longest-serving manager at a current English League club, but how many would know the second-longest?
Step forward Graham Turner, once in charge at Aston Villa and Wolves, but manager of Hereford United for the past 13 years and three months. He is due to reach both his 700th match for the club – and 1,500th in all – early next month, a record which has included a long spell at Conference level and has now produced two promotions in the past three years. Last season's effort earned him the title of League Two Manager of the Year, and his credits include two others that Sir Alex cannot boast: winner of the Welsh Cup (sadly Hereford were not allowed to represent Wales in Europe) and the Sherpa Van Trophy. Any other manager currently bottom of League One might nevertheless fear for his future, but Turner has an excellent relationship with Hereford's chairman and owner, both of whom are, er, Mr Graham Turner.
FA have JFK in their sights
When the Football Association and the Premier League launched their Respect campaigns (separate ones, of course), neither thought to mention respect towards journalists. All the more surprising then that the FA should bother to censure Newcastle's temporary manager, Joe Kinnear, for his obscenity-laden tirade at a group of reporters. Those who risked wearing out the asterisk key on their laptops witha transcript for their newspapers escaped lightly; when journalists did the same after one of Fergie's less restrained conferences, onthe subject of Juan Sebastian Veron, Manchester United immediately added injury to the manager's insults by banning for a week all those who printed the exchange in f-f-full. Meanwhile, at the club where F doesn't stand for Football, Kinnear's new nickname is JFK. Maybe his team should be renamed FC Newcastle.
Football mixes its drinks
A little odd, the mixed messages about alcohol that football continues to send out. Merseyside Police have insisted that Everton (shirt sponsors: Chang Beer) should kick off against Manchester United at midday on Saturday in order to keep supporters out of the pub. But yesterday Bolton were offering a free drink to the first 1,000 people turning up to their Fanzone at the Reebok Stadium before, of all games, the big local derby with Blackburn.
England have still got soul
Fans of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown (pictured below) – musical catchphrase "Take it to the bridge" – have been longing for Ashley Cole to drop out of the England team and be replaced by his Chelsea clubmate Wayne Bridge, so that the line-up, in good old-style formation, would read, as it did in Belarus, "James, Brown, Bridge". And surely "Soul" Campbell would be just as good as Matthew Upson? OK, still not quite up there with Charlton's legendary defensive line of "Young, Fish, Costa, Fortune".
Jordan moves into movies
And finally... Is there no end to the talents of Crystal Palace's chairman, Simon Jordan? Saturday at the BFI London Film Festival sees the premiere of 'Telstar', a movie he has funded and produced from the West End play about the ill-fated early Sixties record producer Joe Meek. Nick Moran ('Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels') has written andco-directed the film, which gives Kevin Spacey his first English role, as Meek's business partner. "It's another string to my bow," says the ever-modest Jordan.