Outside Edge: Is that a rocket in your pocket?


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The Independent Online

Oh no, not another tittle-tattle talk about a prurient sportsman.

Quite the opposite, actually. Ronnie O'Sullivan reacted to his defeat by the 22-year-old tyro Judd Trump at the UK Snooker Championships by declaring he's looking for love after being single for two years. The three-time world champion even hinted that he may give up the game tohave a chance to share his life with a lady friend.

Ah, but the "Rocket" is always hinting he may give up on snooker.

True, he has fought long and traumatic battles with depression and the snooker authorities and tends to pick and choose his events nowadays. But this might go beyond his claims of boredom. The 36-year-old bemoaned: "Snooker dominates my life and there's more to life. I'd like to meet someone and settle down." He said he finds it hard to do so when he's playing tournaments because "I go into my own little world and carry my emotions. It's not fair to put someone you want to be with through that".

Snooker's not the most romantic sport – apart from the low-level lighting.

And nor is boxing, but Amir Khan has been gushing about his new-found love as he prepared for last night's title defence against Lamont Peterson. The WBA and IBF light-welterweight, champion who is now based in Los Angeles and turned 24 last week, has bought a ring for New York student Faryal Makhdoom, although he did tell the world before he told her. Presumably the other ring is keeping him too busy.

Classy. Why do girls go for these guys? Look at all those love-rat footballers...

You should try putting a few grand in your wallet next time you're out on the town. Then there's the glamour factor. Even the former chairman of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Alan Savage, has got himself into trouble. A woman he is said to have courted for two years after his wife died is suing the 61-year-old for half a million quid because he allegedly promised to marry her but then didn't.

Blimey, that seems rather unusual. He must be absolutely loaded.

He is a millionaire, but she is running short. Julie Ann Zelent, 51, says she spent £6,992 on clothes because Savage told her to only wear a dress once at functions. She frittered £2,012 on health clubs and £4,200 on beauty treatments, and wants compensation for "stressful" holidays to places such as Australia. She also wants £400 for a TV licence and council tax payments.

Living the high life in the Highlands eh? At least it wasn't a player for a change.

Don't you worry, a Premier League star has also got himself into trouble. Ivan Klasnic of Bolton Wanderers is being divorced by his wife Patricia after she found women's clothes hanging in her wardrobe that didn't belong to her. She suspects infidelity. Unlike Ms Zelent, she has got herself a few new dresses that she will never even wear once.

Moira enters hall of flame

Talk about old flames... Moira Starkey of Storridge, Herefordshire, has become one of the first people to be chosen to carry the Olympic torch for London 2012. The 83-year-old completed her first marathon last year even though she requires the assistance of two sticks: she covered the distance by walking 1,800 times around her village hall, raising £10,000 for the charity Breast Cancer Haven. "I don't know how I'm going to carry it on two sticks but I'll do the best I can," she said. She plans to stick to her training regime. "I'll go on walking around the hall to get fighting fit." The Village Hall of Fame beckons.

Sofa, so fast

Last week Doncaster Council seized an 8mph mobility scooter which was being driven around a park at 60mph with a souped-up 140cc petrol engine. Here are some other unlikely racing cars:

Rev Darrell Best of Illinois turned a 1940s fire engine into the world's fastest wedding chapel, which can reach speeds of 62mph.

Glenn Suter's sofa, complete with coffee table, fruit bowl and a 1.4-litre Suzuki superbike engine, reached 101mphin Sydney in September.

Martin Bacon reached 75mph in a 1974 Rover SD1 3500 powered by coffee grounds at Elvington in September.

Don Wales reached 87mph, a record for a sit-on lawn mower, last year on Pendine Sands, where his grandfather Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the land speed record in 1924.

Symonds to showcase Australian culture

The renegade Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds is set to appear in India's version of the Big Brother reality TV show, known as Bigg Boss. The 36-year-old English-born all-rounder, who has been sidelined by Australia due to persistent disciplinary problems, has found a new fanbase from his participation in the T20 Indian Premier League. He intends "to showcase the Australian culture, which involves fun-filled activities like barbecues, throwing people into the pool and being completely at peace." It sounds like he might not have much to offer then, but he wants to stick around in order to make friends with another contestant, the Canadian porn star Sunny Leone. "I've seen her in the industry," he said cryptically. "I hope she is a fun girl."

Run up the bills

The London 2012 sprint prospect James Ellington has resorted to auctioning himself on eBay in order to secure the financial backing to compete at the Games after his funding was cut when he sustained a series of injuries over a four-year period. The 26-year-old Londoner , clocked the second fastest 200m time by a British runner this year but has had no response to his requests for sponsorship, so he has now put himself up for sale for £30,000 to cover costs, and he will wear the sponsor's branding at every opportunity. At last count he had reached £31,500 with a week to go. This one looks set to run and run.

On a slippery slope

A skating rink in Evesham, Worcestershire has had to close for health and safety reasons after it was built on a slope and was "quite steep in places," according to father-of-two Daniel Lewis. Erected in the town square using 50-foot square panels, it now resembles a "cobbled street". The mayor Jim Bulman has called it "a diabolical mess". Perhaps he's fallen down on the job.