Inside Lines: Hammers want Becks to put Olympic stadium plans back on track

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The Independent Online

Fabio Capello may not want him but West Ham still believe in Becks, convinced he is the key to the most significant transfer in the club's history: moving from Upton Park to the new Olympic stadium. Kite-flying has become an Olympic sport since the club came under new ownership but their interest in tempting David Beckham back to his roots – he was born a corner kick away in Leytonstone – seems genuine. It coincides with their plan to take over the stadium after the 2012 Games which, with the backing of Newham Borough Council, has been formally submitted to the Olympic Park Legacy company. The Hammers not only want Beckham to play out his twilight years in claret and blue but to play a vital role in presenting their case for stadium ownership. The club had a significant change of heart over the retention of a running track, which the 2012 chief Lord Coe insists is non-negotiable. A track is now included in the plans, which would see the stadium have a capacity of 60,000 with an extended roof to cover all seats and provision for educational and sports facilities which would be for communal use.

Sad end for Jay

Jay Larkin, once one of the most powerful but always one of the nicest and most genuine figures in world boxing, died last week from brain cancer at 59. Few will know his name but for almost two decades he ran Showtime, the pay-per-view TV network that helped bring fame and considerable fortunes for many ring luminaries on both sides of the Atlantic. Promoter Frank Warren, a close friend, who flew to New York for his funeral, reports that not a single past or present world champion was there to pay his respects. How sad is that?

Georgie's call to Arms

Good to see that the talents of one of Britain's finest all-round sportswomen, Georgina Harland, will not be lost to sport in her retirement. Georgie, 32, who won bronze in the modern pentathlon at the Sydney Games, has been selected by the International Olympic Committee to join a small global army of ARMs (Athletes' Role Models) who exemplify Olympic values. Her first task is to mentor youngsters taking part in the Youth Olympics in Singapore, where the equally personable bob skeleton gold medallist Amy Williams is a volunteer helper in the British camp.

Gambling on the Games

As we were saying last week, hot and humid Singapore is not a place one associates with big-time sport so holding the first Youth Olympics there is not only a gamble for a nation the size of the Isle of Wight but also the IOC president Jacques Rogge, whose baby these Games are. It is thought that Singapore is using them as a barometer for a bid to stage the Commonwealth Games in 2018. And why not? It seems an ideal place: safe, sanitised, super-efficient, economically stable: quite a contrast to New Delhi... and, er, Glasgow.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

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