Lawbreaking cannot be condoned, of course, but if Mike Ashley insists on beering up in view of the pitch at football matches – and as he owns Newcastle United, we can understand why – discretion is advised. We suggest the Beerbelly, a sling designed to be worn under a (replica) shirt. It contains a bag, complete with mouthpiece, which holds over four pints. A snip at £19.95 from firebox.com. White wine for the ladies? Try the WineRack – "My Cup Runneth Over" – same idea, supplier, and price, but in this case the liquid is held in a cunningly constructed bra. Four pints' worth might cause comment, though. If Norwich City continue to struggle, keep a close eye on "Let's be having you!" Delia Smith's frontage.
The date of a diary entry by William Bray of Surrey in which he mentions playing the game of "Base Ball", predating the first known mention of the game in the United States by 80-odd years. Next week: Americans claim to have invented cricket.
Carry-on of the week
More beer on offer in Belfast last Saturday at the first UK & Ireland Wife-Carrying Championships. In thoroughly modern fashion, only three of the eight couples who entered were actually married. The winners, Aaron Moisson and Clara Hawthawn-Cole, employed the Estonian wife-upside-down technique to claim the traditional wife-carrying prize of the woman's weight in beer. "I'm a student – I fancy a few pints tonight," said Aaron. Suggestions that Clara had to carry him home afterwards are just silly.
Good week for
William Fox-Pitt, won the Burghley Horse trials for a record-equalling fifth time... Shivnarine Chanderpaul, West Indies batsman, named as the ICC Cricketer of the Year... Fabio Capello, England football manager, silenced critics with a 4-1 win in Croatia... and Jonny Wilkinson, set to return for Newcastle Falcons today after surgery in the summer.
Bad week for
Michelle Wie, forced to return to the LPGA qualifying school after earning too little on the Tour this year... Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, out for the season after a knee injury... Matthew Hoggard, England bowler, left off the latest list of centrally contracted players... Wakefield Wildcats, whose plans for a new £60m rugby league stadium have collapsed... and Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, West Ham's chairman, one of the guarantors of a £165m loan to failed travel firm XL, the club's sponsors.
Name-droppings of the week
It all started when the American footballer Chad Johnson announced he had legally changed his surname to OchoCinco to "honour" his shirt number of 85 in (sort of) Spanish. Then his Cincinnati Bengals team-mate Chris Henry, who has a string of arrests to his name, decided to change it to... Chad Johnson. "As soon as the name became available I decided this was my chance to upgrade my image and get a clean start," he explained. But his old monicker will live on, as a local prison inmate, Steve Phillips, has now applied to change his name to Chris Henry. If he's turned down, Blithering Idiot is still available.