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.

Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing