Outside Edge

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The Independent Online

Surely the toughest endurance exercise ever undertaken has just been celebrated on film in the United States. The aptly named Arthur Blessitt has spent 40 years walking around the world with a 12ft wooden cross weighing 45lb.

Now 68, he left Hollywood, fittingly, on Christmas Day 1969 and walked 38,102 miles through 315 countries to relive Christ's journey to Calvary every day. Along the way he faced a firing squad in Nicaragua and survived a bomb in Northern Ireland. George W Bush reportedly became a born-again Christian after meeting him, but alas he didn't join in. Doctors had told Arthur not to go because he had suffered four minor strokes. Truly a miraculous effort.


The amount Sven Goran Eriksson has earned since he was appointed England coach. That's £24.81m from the FA, £3.5m from Manchester City and now £2.9m in wages and £2m in compensation from Mexico after they sacked him.

Breaking news of the week

Playing full-back at the age of 68 is amazing enough, but Des Jones-Blackett of Drayton FC in the Norwich Business Houses League has now gone 50 years, and more than 2,000 games, without receiving a yellow card. "I'm hard but fair," he said. No such luck for a Chorlton Villa player who was booked for breaking wind loudly as opponents International Manchester were about to take a penalty. One can only imagine what would have happened if their physio had been Alarico Endres. He is giving the Gremio players in Brazil Viagra because he believes it will help them to perform at high altitude in the Copa Libertadores matches in Bolivia. They must be good at keepy-uppy.

Good week for...

Michael Jordan, David Robinson and John Stockton, 1992 Olympic "dream team" players elected to basketball's Hall of Fame... Danny Shea's family after he put aside £250 to bet on Mon Mome in Grand National before his death, earning them £20,310... and Tom Brady, New England's quarter-back (salary $50m a year) marries model Gisele Bündchen ($35m a year).

Bad week for...

Clare Balding, BBC presenter received 1,962 complaints after telling the Grand National-winning jockey Liam Treadwell that he could now afford to get his teeth fixed... David Beckham's childhood home in Leytonstone, put up for auction with a reserve of £215,000 after it failed to sell for £850,000... and Ricardo Fuller, footballer forced to put an L-plate on his £65,000 BMW650i after his Jamaican driving licence ran out.

Cultural events of the week

So Tessa Jowell reckons: "If gardening were an Olympic sport, Britain would win gold, silver and bronze". Training starts in garden centres all over the country this weekend. Others may choose to nurture some indoor vegetables for the Easter holiday, in which case they could enter the first- ever World Couch Potato Championships, organised by wackynation.com. Non-disciplines include toe-wrestling, channel-hopping and the three-piece-suite hurdles, but apparently gut-barging has been banned on health and safety grounds. In stark contrast, the World Coal Carrying Championships take place in Gawthorpe, West Yorkshire tomorrow. Whatever lights your fire, have a happy Easter.