Outside Edge: The bottomless wishing well

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The Independent Online

Make a wish? How about a nice, big present, weighing 457kg, which is 3.35m long, 2.44m wide and 1.88m high? The Make-a-Wish Foundation is celebrating 25 years of fulfilling the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses and the charity has just broken the world record for the biggest game of pass-the-parcel, the package arriving in London last week after travelling 1,680 miles around the UK.

Meanwhile Lloyd Scott, a former goalkeeper at Watford who took 26 days to complete the London Marathon dressed as a snail, has been sacked by the charity Action For Kids after he only managed to raise £20,000 rather than £100,000 he had promised. The veteran fundraiser, who ran the slowest ever marathon dressed in a diving suit in 2002 along with many other remarkable feats, has good reason to feel hard done by after raising some £4m since he recovered from leukaemia. But he's unlikely to go into his shell.


Number of music festivals Greg Parmley hopes to attend in just 30 days to set a new world record. He will visit 13 countries and cover 8,850km on his motorbike, starting at Glastonbury on Friday and finishing in London at High Voltage on 23 July, by which time he could be Europe's smelliest man.

Football girls show sticking power

Women's football may be the world's fastest growing sport but it gets a bad press. Sticker company Panini may have been rather nervous as they issued a collection for the women's World Cup for the first time before the event in Germany next month but they shifted 4.5 million packets in a fortnight. In deference to the players' feelings, though, they left out details of their weight. Five members of Germany's Under-20s girls' team have struck a blow against the game's detractors by posing for a photoshoot in Playboy magazine. Their plan is to dismiss the "erroneous image of the unattractive football player". As team strips go, it's one of the best. Let's hope the girls have more success than Denise Underhill, a model who is suing Playboy after suffering a serious knee injury while trampolining for the cameras. Glamour has its ups and downs.

Good week

Sylvester Stallone, star of the Rocky franchise of films, was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame – along with Mike Tyson – despite the fact that he has never fought in the ring.

Bernie Matthews, 104, of Sutton, Surrey has been recognised as the oldest golfer in the world having played his last round six months ago, overtaking Charles Viner, 101, who died in 2009.

Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title after beating Miami Heat 4-2 in the seven-game series.

Bad week

The Austrian government has had to suspend plans to sell two Alpine peaks in the Tyrol – the 2,600m Rosskopf and 2,700m Grosse Kinigat – for £107,000 amid a national uproar.

Former athlete Sally Gunnell's parents have been forced to scrap plans to rent out their farmland in Chigwell, Essex for a caravan site during London 2012 after strong objection from locals.

Alberto Contador was stopped by police for cycling without lights during training to defend his Tour de France title on the Galibier Pass in the Alps.

Ball games that led to crushing defeat

It was not the kind of news you could take lying down. It was depressing to hear from the NHS Information Centre that 20,800 Brits needed hospital treatment after falling out of bed last year. Surely they could have picked up their injuries doing something more active. The report coincides with research released by Oxford University historian Dr Steven Gunn into the bizarre accidents which caused death in the Middle Ages. Among these is archery, of course, not to mention falling maypoles. But then there's John Hypper, who was playing "Christenmas games" in 1563 when he "crushed himself and injured his testicles", an "old bodily infirmity" that killed him two days later. Why not try one of several old-fashioned pursuits on offer next weekend? You can try the World Championships for toe wrestling in Fenny Bentley, Derbyshire, worm charming in Willaston, Cheshire and egg throwing in Swaton, Lincolnshire. Or you could just stay in bed. If you dare.