Outside Edge: Is this the slippery slope?


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The Independent Online

Parker McDonald, a 15-year-old pupil at Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy in Colorado, will have incurred the jealousy of his peers after he went to his homecoming dance with the darling of American sport, skier Lindsey Vonn.

Asked by his friends who his date was, he said he didn't have one. But spotting the 27-year-old sitting at a table nearby, he simply went up and invited her and she accepted. "I had never been to a school dance," she admitted. "So it was my first time, and Parker was a complete gentleman. I couldn't resist his face." You can't help thinking that for McDonald it will all be downhill from here.

The man in black still calls the tune

All these Welshmen putting on their GB shirts, I'm getting worried about the London 2012 football anthem.

And well you might, because there's bound to be one – though it probably won't be an all-male choir from the Valleys bleating on about bread. It could be far worse than that. David Beckham could get involved.

David and Victoria performing a rap version of 'Roll out the barrel'?

Hopefully not. David can't hit his top notes so well these days. But he has allegedly somehow sprinkled some of that Becks magic on one of the most intractable of all popular beat combos, the Stone Roses, persuading the famously retiring Manchester iconsto reform after 15 years apart.

Blimey, the Stone Roses? Beckham has some taste. And they could do 'Maybe it's because I'm a Mancunian'.

Apparently Beckham was a big fan back in the day. Earlier this year, the story goes, he ran into the bass player, Gary "Mani" Mountfield, in Los Angeles, then he pounced on former frontman Ian Brown at Gary Neville's testimonial at Old Trafford in May. He heard that there had been some sort of reconciliation and so he, er, bent their ear like Beckham.

Beckham has got some clout, hasn't he? Let's just hope he doesn't get the Spice Girls back together too.

It's all conjecture. But one man who can certainly swing a deal is Bernie Ecclestone – even if he doesn't know he's doing it. The Formula One supremo has been in court giving evidence in Munich in the biggest fraud trial in German history. He claimed his ex-wife Slavica spent £12 million on their daughter Petra's wedding without his knowledge. And they had a reasonable musical line-up at the Odescalchi Castle near Rome.

Go on then, who was it? Jimmy Hendrix and Frank Sinatra?

Well, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra kicked things off with the Tenebrae Choir. Eric Clapton played the married couple's first dance, then David Guetta was DJ and the Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys also belted out some tunes. Oh, and Rihanna performed at the engagement party.

I don't care about all these people. Let's get back to down-to-earth football folk.

How about 81-year-old Don Stewart, who has honoured by the Football Association for 50 years of service to the game? Don, from Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, played for and coached Cheshunt and Willesden. Oh, and he's also Rod Stewart's older brother.

Older? Are you sure? Mind you, Rod's still excelling at horizontal gymnastics.

Don't be mucky. He has almost a full team of kids but it's not all leopard-skin jockstraps and eight-foot blondes in the Stewart household. Don has been a referee for the past 30 years despite having a triple heart bypass, and has ruled the playing fields of south-east England with a rod of iron. Rock on!

Losing the mind games

John Daly Walked off the course in the first round of the Australian Open last week after hitting six balls into the water from the 11th tee at the Lakes. Here's some others who stormed off:

Gary Anderson Abandoned a darts match against Jamie Caven in Spain last week because his opponent kept sniffing just as he was about to throw.

Khalid Askri FAR Rabat goalkeeper in Morocco, tore off his shirt and ran off last year after trying to dribble past a striker, who tackled him and scored.

Bjarne Riis Was upset after getting a puncture and then losing his chain in the final time trial of the 1997 Tour de France so he threw his bike in a ditch.

Inzamam-ul-Haq Waded into the crowd with his bat at the 1997 Sahara Cup in Toronto when a spectator kept calling him "potato" with a megaphone.

Thin edges: Training incident puts kids back on track

A train driver on the Cambridge to London line stopped after a football was kicked on to the tracks and threw it back. The Cherry Hinton Lions Under-14s were playing Shelford and Stapleford Strikers last Sunday morning when a huge clearance by the goalkeeper sent the ball over the safety fence. The unnamed driver "threw it but it landed just in front of the fence," said Cherry Hinton's chairman, Dave Heron. "So he walked into the undergrowth, picked up the ball and tossed it back on to the pitch. Players and spectators from both sides applauded and cheered his actions." He sounded the horn before setting off again. No doubt he can have a free season ticket.

Dax suffer hack's attack

French rugby club Dax's fansite has been targeted by a German hacker after a case of mistaken identity.

The AllezDax website believes the hacker had confused them with Frankfurt's blue-chip share index, the Dax, and "insulted us copiously in German". They were bombarded with 80,000 hits, whereas they usually receive 1,200 on a day when the south-west France team are playing a match.

Grave error is chip off old block

Former footballer Garry Flitcroft has been told to remove memorials he had erected to his father at St Anne's churchyard in Turton, Lancashire after the local congregation complained that they were "unduly sentimental" and "grossly extravagant memorialisation". The former Manchester City and Blackburn midfielder, who now manages Chorley FC in the Northern Premier League, had installed a stone monument and a bench, the latter featuring the inscription: "You were our hero. We idolised you, we are so proud to have you as our dad. We worshipped the ground you walked on."