Hold The Back Page: 05/02/2011

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The Independent Football

It’s a big weekend for...

Vengeful centre-forwards

Not every striker gets swept into their new club by a £50m fee or amid a blizzard of headlines. They certainly don't all have the manager of the club they are leaving begging them to stay. If Fernando Torres scores tomorrow, what exactly will he have proven to Kenny Dalglish? This is not the case, though, for Kenwyne Jones, who lines up against Sunderland's Steve Bruce, who tired of him and sold him to Tony Pulis at Stoke. Nor for Wolves' Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who could not convince Sir Alex Ferguson of his talents. And certainly not for Blackpool's James Beattie, who was pushed out of Everton by David Moyes and has since proved Moyes correct at both Stoke and Rangers. These three, unlike Torres, have a lot to prove. Do not expect qualms over celebrating should they score.

We applaud you wholeheartedly

Stirling's players play for free

After winter weather decimated three months' of fixtures, Stirling Albion's finances resembled, well, Britain's. Their supporters started a fundraising campaign, dubbed 'Fan Aid', to cover the shortfall. This month, their players have chosen to forego their wages for the good of the club. Club spokesman Paul Goodwin called it a "fantastic gesture", which was "most appreciated". After the recent revelation that Benni McCarthy turned down a £1m pay-out to leave West Ham and find another club (he's got another £2.8m in wages due, somehow), the Stirling players come out of this very well indeed.

Plus the stories you may have missed

When managers attack

The sight of players taking action against invasive fans is fairly familiar: Graham Stack, Andrew Symonds, Craig Bellamy, etc. But managers on fans is something new. Last Sunday Ankaragucu coach Umit Ozat set about a fan with such violence that he had to be restrained: a punch was followed by stamps. The frustration of building a team without Darius Vassell was clearly too much.

Rivaldo scores on debut

At least 10 years on from his thrilling peak for Brazil and Barcelona, 38-year-old Rivaldo is back in his homeland, and took his debut goal for Sao Paolo perfectly.