Outside Edge: No parental control on touchy lines

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The Independent Online

Not another fight between the dads at an Under-9s football match?

No, this was the so-called gentleman's game, rugby. Imanol Harinordoquy, the Biarritz No 8, was scrapping with two Bayonne players last Tuesday when his father Lucien ran on the pitch and tried to punch one of his son's assailants, Jean Jo Marmouyet, in the face.

That's really Bayonne the pale. But surely it was a bit of a mismatch?

Lucien does breed cattle for a living, so he must be used to handling large slabs of meat. But yes, a rugby match is a silly place to launch a violent pitch invasion, especially if you are 61 years old. Before he could land a blow, he was tackled by the fly-half Benjamin Boyet, who said afterwards: "I put him on the ground, and [Biarritz hooker] Benoît August told me to stop because it was Imanol's father."

They all knew each other then. It sounds like an Essex wedding. Did old Lucien have a few drinks?

He hardly had time to reach for his hip flask. The incident occurred after only six minutes of the match. Bayonne's director of rugby, Christian Gajan, commented: "You could have been forgiven for thinking it was a youth match between two local villages. It was a scandalous episode."

Those French rugby folk are a bit rough. It would never happen here.

Cast your mind back to April last year when Worcester were relegated at Leeds and the fathers of two of their players, Chris Cracknell and James Collins, argued and then started trading blows in the stands. Cracknell, who had just been replaced by Collins, grabbed Collins's father and pulled him over the advertising hoardings. Collins then steamed in to intervene.

Oh well, I'm sure they all shook hands after the final whistle.

Some grudges can be held for a very long time. At a reception last week in Vancouver to honour the American football teams British Columbia Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, there was an altercation about an incident that occurred 48 years ago, when defensive lineman Angelo Mosca, now 74, delivered a big hit on the Lions' quarterback Joe Kapp, who is 73.

It can't have been much of a bundle if they are both in their seventies.

Not only that, but Mosca is confined to a wheelchair. He had reportedly been mouthing obscenities at Kapp over dinner. Kapp says he tried to hand Mosca some flowers off the table as a peace gesture, but Mosca then hit him on the side of the head with his walking stick. Kapp threw the flowers at him and hit him a couple of times, sending Mosca sprawling to the floor.

It certainly sounds like they gave each other some stick.

Old sportsmen obviously never lose their balls. But if someone shouted "Leave it!" half a century ago, they have obviously forgotten where they left it.

It's open season for Santa's slayers

Dear Santa, give me what I want for Christmas or the little helper gets it... The Scottsdale Gun Club in Arizona is offering families the chance to have their picture taken with Father Christmas and a range of firearms. One of the weapons of choice is an AR-15 with grenade launcher attachment, and one can only hope the kids don't ask for one as the "must-have" present this festive season.

"Our customers have been looking for a fun and safe way to express their holiday spirit and passion for firearms," said general manager Ron Kennedy. Carol singers of Scottsdale, watch out. Surely it's time to call in elf and safety?

Embarrassing dads

Damir Dokic, the father of Australian tennis player Jelena, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in June 2009 for threatening the Australian ambassador to Serbia with a hand grenade.

Wayne Rooney's father Wayne was arrested over suspicious bets placed on the sending-off of Motherwell's Steve Jennings against Hearts last December...

... and John Terry's father Ted admitted supplying cocaine in the toilet of a wine bar after drinking eight pints and was given a six-month suspended sentence.

And a nice story to finish off: Derek Redmond strained a hamstring in the semi-final of the 400m at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. His father Jim ran on the track to help him complete the race.

'Worst accident' car sold for 765,000

A car that was involved in the worst accident in the history of motorsportwas sold at auction in Weybridge, Surrey last week for £765,000. The Austin Healey 100S, driven by British driver Lance Macklin, was hit by a Mercedes travelling at 150mph during the 24-hour race at Le Mans in 1955, killing the Mercedes driver Pierre Levegh and 83 spectators after Mike Hawthorn's Jaguar had swerved in front of the Austin to get into the pits. The car was impounded in France for a year and was sold in the UK in 1969 for £155, since when it has sat in a private garage. It only took part in the race because another Austin had been written off by a French lorry.

Owls of outrage

The children of Oldham had an unhappy start to the festive season after the former Manchester United player Paul Scholes failed to turn up and turn on the Christmas lights outside Chadderton Town Hall. The organisers had to make a switch but failed to tell the public that Scholes had written to them saying he was not able to attend. He was replaced by the mascot Chaddy, though sadly it was not even the Latics' Chaddy the Owl, whose claim to fame is winning the mascot Grand National twice in 2002 and 2003, but Chadderton Park mascot Chaddy the Griffin.

Prime of his life

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is in the running to win his country's Footballer of the Year award at the age of 52. He was the second favourite behind Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov until the latter stood down because he had won it too many times already. Borisov, who is still ahead of Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov, does actually play for the Third Division side Vitosha Bistritsa, and also once coached the national karate team. Would you dare vote against him?