Offiah sets fresh target

For Eddie McDonnell, the sight of Martin Offiah signing on the dotted line yesterday was a case of
déjà vu. McDonnell, now a director of Salford, was the scout who unearthed Offiah for Widnes in 1987.

For Eddie McDonnell, the sight of Martin Offiah signing on the dotted line yesterday was a case of déjà vu. McDonnell, now a director of Salford, was the scout who unearthed Offiah for Widnes in 1987.

"I saw him on TV and phoned Doug Laughton to get out of the bath and have a look at him," recalled McDonnell as Offiah joined the Reds. He got his phone number from Rosslyn Park by pretending to be a rugby union journalist writing an article on up-and-coming wingers. The rest is history.

"I never had any doubt how good he would be. He had such pace, such elusive body movement - although he took six games to score his first try."

Since then, Offiah has scored more than 450 for Widnes, Wigan and London and McDonnell believes that it is the lure of becoming only the third man to top 500 that has persuaded him to extend his career.

"Opposing defences might have something to say about that," Offiah said. "But I've had success at every club I've been at and Salford have an exciting back line."

John Harvey, the Salford coach, has also signed players with pace in Nick Pinkney and the Australians Justin Webber and Kris Tassell. "Whoever is on the wings will get plenty of ball," he promised.

If that pledge holds good, Offiah could yet make an international comeback in next year's World Cup. "Andy Goodway told me I was too old and then picked Paul Sterling, who is older than me," Offiah said. "I would be available, but it will be up to the incumbent coach."

The final of the World Cup will be at Old Trafford on 25 November, it was confirmed yesterday, exactly a year ahead of the event. The 16 nations involved will be competing for the original World Cup trophy, first presented in 1954, but lost for 20 years before being found in a ditch in Bradford in 1990.

There will be cut-price tickets available for all matches, including the final, with the cheapest adult seats at £10 and concessions at £5.

"We don't want to stop anyone going," said the tournament's marketing director, Neil Coupland. "We don't want it to be an exclusive event."

Shaun McRae, the coach of Gateshead before their move to Hull, has agreed a contract extension that will keep him at the new club until 2001. More than 300 fans have attended a public meeting called to try to keep professional rugby league in Gateshead.

Premiership clubs are to decide today whether the new Sheffield club is to be allowed into the competition in place of Bramley.

The New Zealand Test coach, Frank Endacott, is emerging as the favourite for the vacant coaching job at Wigan.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones