Outside the Box: Walwyn misses his chance to blow a few million pounds

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The Independent Online

Further to last week's story on Matt Walwyn's two late goals in AFC Fylde's 2-2 draw at Clitheroe that won pools punter Michael Elliott from Scotland over £3 million, our thanks to reader Simon Sandiford for pointing out that it was not the striker's first notable double. In the 2008 FA Vase final at Wembley, Walwyn, who was then a 17-year-old A-Level student, came on to score in the 84th minute, and again in injury time, turning a 1-0 deficit against Lowestoft into a 2-1 victory for Kirkham & Wesham. The club, based near Preston, then changed their name that summer to become AFC Fylde, having announced an ambitious 15-year plan which involves reaching the Conference by 2017 and the Football League by 2022. Walwyn, the son of former York and Blackpool striker Keith Walwyn, did admit missing a late chance at Clitheroe that would have given him a hat-trick, won the game and cost Elliott (who is a not a football fan and fills in the same numbers every week) £3,001,511.

Belgian's speaker waffle

Any shortlist for most devoted fan of a Football League club should surely include Port Vale's Steve Laird, who sings in the Liège Royal Opera and continues to drive over from Belgium for every home game, sleeping in his car. It was unfortunate, however, that when the club persuaded him to perform at a home game towards the end of last season, his powerful rendition of 'Nessun Dorma' blew the loudspeakers in the Railway Stand, costing the club £6,000 for repairs.

TalkSport in Moscow retreat

Whereas Radio 5 Live's Alan Green laid into Arsenal fans arriving late for the Shakhtar Donetsk game last Tuesday with a characteristic full-on blast, there was a sharper dig in his co-commentator Mike Ingham's reference to it being "one of those games we cover from the ground" as opposed to from the warmth of a London studio. Whoever could he mean? Surely not TalkSport's commentary of Chelsea's Champions' League tie in Moscow?

Ryan's brother lands a gig

Some nuggets from the ever-excellent Non-League Paper, which deserve a wider audience. Rhodri Giggs has beaten his brother Ryan into management, as caretaker of Salford City on a month's trial. The oldest ground in the country will celebrate its 150th anniversary when Hallam FC play Sheffield FC to recreate the first fixture from Boxing Day 1860 with Victorian costume, brass band etc. And a unique case of dissatisfaction with a 1-1 draw: both teams sacking their manager. It followed the Sussex County League game between Eastbourne United and Redhill. Finally, one NLP report that we can update: the former Hull City hero Dean Windass, featured here last month when scoring a hat-trick in what he insisted was a one-off farewell match for Barton Town, has now decided there is still life and goals in those 41-year-old legs. He has signed for Scarborough Athletic, the "Seadogs", who are managed by his brother-in-law.

Atkins' diet is a glut of goals

Finally, another one for Where Are They Now? Mark Atkins, once a Premier League title-winner with Blackburn Rovers, is manager of Matlock Town in the wonderfully named EvoStik Premier (formerly Unibond) League, where he appears to have a young diamond of a striker in Ross Hannah. The 23-year-old not only scored seven goals in the 10-0 FA Trophy win against Bedworth United last weekend but followed up with a hat-trick three days later, securing a 3-2 win at Nantwich. Last season he was the league's leading scorer and Matlock's Player of the Year. All of which suggests bigger clubs may soon be showing an interest; and Sheffields United and Wednesday could both regret their decision to release him at youth level.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk

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