Outside Edge (20/12/09)

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The Independent Online

Which former England striker's blog last week read thus? "Monday: I'm running out of clothes; I'll have to make a fifth attempt to get my old hotel to send the rest. Tuesday: Had a quiet meal alone last night. It took over an hour for them to bring my starter. With paranoia starting to kick in I asked if there was any problem, and they said they were waiting for my guests to arrive..." The answer is poor old Darius Vassell, as reported by whoateallthepies.tv. Having signed for the Turkish club Ankaragucu in July, and by all accounts played well, he was thrown out of his previous hotel when the club failed to pay the bill. Seems as though he's getting a bit stir-crazy over there; let's hope for his sake that come January an English club snap him up. It shouldn't take him long to pack, by the sounds of it.

276

Number of pies, equal to his body weight (89kg), given to China's Ding Junhui by the sponsors, Pukka Pies, for winning snooker's UK Championship. Instead of taking them away, he gave them to a charity for the homeless.

Crusty old competitors of the week

Controversy at the World Pie Eating Championship in Wigan last week. Julie Walsh, the sole female competitor, walked out in protest as the organisers substituted large, crusty pies from nearby Adlington in place of the traditional small, soft Wigan variety. A first-time entrant, Tony Rigby, scooped the title, downing his pie in 45 seconds. Veterans blamed their failure on the lack of gravy, which was banned after allegations last year that competitors had been spiking the liquid with cough mixture to help the pies slip down more quickly. Ah, Benylin...

Good week for

Richard Johnson, rode his 2,000th National Hunt winner... Hayley Yelling, came out of retirement to win the European Cross Country Championship... Heikki Kovalainen, given a drive by the new Lotus F1 team after losing his McLaren seat to Jenson Button... and Milton Keynes, named as a host city for England's 2018 Word Cup bid.

Bad week for

Alex Bogdanovic, the British No 2 and world No 164, lost his elite funding from the Lawn Tennis Association... Harry Redknapp, Spurs manager, angered that his players flew to Dublin for an unauthorised Christmas party... Coventry rugby club, deducted 15 Championship points after going into administration... and Ian Elliott, England footballer Stewart Downing's former agent, charged with five counts of fraud.

Slippery customer of the week

A golfer gets into a heap of trouble after it's revealed that a blonde porn star slathered in baby oil has been romping around his Florida home; yes, Raul Quintana must regret letting out his apartment at the exclusive Fisher Island Club to a "modelling agency" who turned out to be a hard-core movie outfit. Bangbros.com used his place, and the course itself, as locations for their latest epic. The club have banned Quintana; he's suing Bangbros. Also in suing mood is Anthony Avery, a 72-year-old member of Rye Golf Club in Sussex, who is claiming £50,000 after falling over in a shower because, he says, the floor was "too slippery". Baby oil is not thought to have been involved.

a.tong@independent.co.uk

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