Outside Edge (14/03/10)

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The Independent Online

Aptly named Nicholas Newlife, a gambler from Kidlington in Oxford, bequeathed his estate – and all outstanding bets – to Oxfam when he died. The charity reaped £16,750 after he bet Roger Federer would win 14 Grand Slams by 2020 and will gain a further £101,840 if Federer wins Wimbledon again in the next 10 years. So stop cheering for Murray! The total will reach £330,000 if all the bets Newlife laid pay out. And 14-year-old Paralympic swimmer Lyndon Longhorne was handed a box of Liquorice Allsorts stuffed with £5,000 by a mystery elderly couple (not Mr & Mrs Bertie Bassett) in the playground of his school in Bishop Auckland to help his plans to compete in London in 2012. It takes all sorts.


The time in hours and minutes that Olympic sprint hopeful Faisal Mohyud-Din and fellow Salford University student Mohammed Azeem hugged each other to raise funds for a cancer unit. They clinched the world record by 16 minutes.

Turbulent relationships of the week

Gary Neville is having to draw upon all his defensive nous to head off a campaign by 300 villagers in Affetside, near Bolton, to stop him building a 180ft wind turbine next to his proposed £6m eco-mansion, a system of Stone Age-style underground bunkers that have been likened to the Teletubbies' home. Locals are also up in arms in the village of Throwley in Kent. Dr Alan Murphy has been ordered to soundproof his tennis court after neighbours complained the players' grunts "upset their summer garden parties". "The balls would constantly end up in your Pimm's," said one irate resident. Planners have instructed Dr Murphy to "sink the court deeper". How low can British tennis go?

Good week for

Christine Bleakley, TV presenter water-skied across the Channel to raise money for Sport Relief... Daisy Goldsmith, of Bridgwater in Somerset, became the youngest referee in the UK after turning 14 – and awarded a penalty against her school friends at Chilton Trinity on her debut... and joggers, who have more active sex lives – one in 10 runners make love every day, compared to less than once a month for those who never run.

Bad week for

Sir Stirling Moss, motor-racing legend, 80, fell 30ft down a lift-shaft at his London home, fracturing both ankles and chipping four vertebrae in his back... JPR Williams, rugby legend convicted of drunk-driving despite trying to beat the breath test by sucking pennies... and Gordon Brown, Prime Minister was refused a guest slot on 'Match of the Day 2' to discuss 2018 World Cup bid.

Spirit measures of the week

A speedway team in Newport, Wales tried to halt a 10-year run of bad results by having their stadium exorcised. The TV celebrity priest Rev (Vroom! Vroom!) Lionel Fanthorpe conducted a trackside ritual at the Wasps' Hayley Stadium to lift a curse placed on the club by a gypsy woman who threw a wooden spoon at an official after her encampment was told to vacate the car park. Legendary New Zealand wing John Kirwan has turned to ancient spiritual leverage techniques – or "Jedi magic" – in his bid to toughen up the Japan rugby team, hiring a 90-year-old aikido master who "teaches nurses to lift people who are twice their weight, like Yoda!". In other news: Darth Vader to coach All-Blacks.