Outside Edge

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For reasons known only to him and his analyst, John Batchelor plans to change Mansfield Town's name to Harchester United, the fictional club in Sky's soccer soap 'Dream Team', if his takeover bid is successful. The US is still way out in front when it comes to silly team names, though, as the Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and Columbia College Fighting Koalas indicate. "Fighting" just isn't a good fit with some words, as the Scottsdale Community Fighting Artichokes may one day realise, though at least they're attempting to sound menacing, something Washington's Cordozo Clerks signally fail to achieve. And as for the Chattanooga Central Purple Pounders, someone should have a quiet word.


Accrington Stanley's average home attendance, the worst in the Football League. Perhaps a name change to Lancashire Stanley United might help; the club floated the suggestion as an April Fool's "joke", only to find it gained widespread support.

Planned erection of the week

Another statue story floods in; Nottingham have chosen a design for the statue of Brian Clough to be erected in the city centre. It will depict him in his managerial pomp at Forest, complementing the bronze of him as a 24-year-old player unveiled last year in his home town of Middlesbrough, for whom he scored 197 goals in 213 League matches. The statue will show Clough saluting Forest fans with his hands clasped above his head; given his view of the FA, there was a suggestion that the statue be angled in the direction of their HQ, with Old Big 'Ead raising two digits rather than two arms. The idea was declined, possibly with some regret.

Good week for

Mark Foster, qualified for his fifth Olympics at 37 by winning 50m freestyle at the British Olympic Trials... A B de Villiers, scored first double century by a South African against India... Andy Roddick, beat world tennis No 1 Roger Federer for only the second time in 17 meetings... and Martin Johnson, close to managing the England rugby union team.

Bad week for

Shoaib Akhtar, fast bowler banned from playing for or in Pakistan for five years after criticising the country's cricket board... Max Mosley, struggling to stay on as president of the FIA, motorsport's ruling body, after lurid sexual allegations... Fabio Capello, England football manager, accused of withholding information from an Italian court... and the Greek weightlifting team, may miss the Olympics after 11 of 14 members failed drugs tests.

Navigational error of the week

A frustrating Easter Sunday for one of Earl Spencer's teenaged daughters, as the taxi she booked to convey her from the Althorp family seat in Northamptonshire to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea v Arsenal took her instead to the village of Stamford Bridge, near York. Satnavs; don't you just love 'em? If Arsenal had been at home and she had instructed the driver to head for the Emirates, who knows where she would have ended up?