Outside Edge: This grand slam is poles apart

What does a rugby player do when his career comes to a premature end at the age of 31 because of injury? Sit and sulk? Open a pub?

Or, in former Wales flanker Richard Parks' case, become the fastest to climb the highest mountain on every continent and trek to both poles, a challenge known as the Explorers' Grand Slam. It took the 33-year-old six months, 11 days, seven hours and 53 minutes to achieve the feat in his bid to raise £1m for the Marie Curie cancer charity.

In China Liu Peiwen has a long walk ahead before he can win the hand of his girlfriend Ling Hsueh. She is a fan of Scottish band The Proclaimers and she told him he had to "walk 500 miles" and then "walk 500 more" before she would marry him. She didn't mean it but he had already set off from his home in Anyang on the road to her house in Guangzhou, which happens to be 1,000 miles away. "He's such a fruitcake," she said.

All that way for no raisin at all.


The fraction of a point that Wales trail the Faroe Islands in Fifa's football world rankings, following calculations made by Faroese political science student Jakup Emil Hansen to clarify the battle for 114th place. Wales are now in the lowest pot of seeds for the World Cup qualifiers. Faroe enough.

Football is a very funny old game

The first rules of football were auctioned by Sotheby's last week and fetched £881,250. Far-fetched? Not as much as some of the "Laws".

The handbook was sold by Sheffield FC, acknowledged by Fifa as the world's oldest club, and was written in 1858. It stipulates that handball is allowed so long as you don't hang on to the ball, and you can catch it if it hasn't touched the ground. There were 20 players a side and "pushing" was permitted as the game shook off its rugby roots. Matches lasted for two hours, which would please Fergie.

An attempt by the World Egg Federation to have egg-throwing recognised as an official sport has been rejected by Sport England. Organisers of the World Championships at Swaton, Lincolnshire wanted it to be a demonstration sport at London 2012 but presumably Lord Coe and Co didn't want to end up with egg on their faces.

Good week

Kulsoom Abdullah, the American weightlifter, won the right to be the first woman to wear a full-body hijab in official competition at the US Championships.

Christian Lopez, the fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit for the New York Yankees and returned the ball instead of selling it, will be commemorated on a special baseball card.

Owen Price, a 12-year-old off spinner from Somerset, took two hat-tricks in successive overs for Westlands.

Bad week

Brighton and Hove Albion, aka the Seagulls, whose new stadium at Falmer features the birds painted across the seating complete with droppings falling, before they were scrubbed off.

Werder Bremen players have been banned from having any more tattoos by the club due to the danger of septic infection keeping them out of the team.

GB track and field athletes were told they won't be allowed to attend London 2012's opening ceremony because they would be standing up for too long.

In Utah the hunt is on for a prize idiot

And so another Redneck Games comes to an end in East Dublin, Georgia. It's back to the boondocks for another year after this festival of armpit serenading, toilet seat tossing, watermelon seed spitting and, of course, the mudpit bellyflop.

But help is at hand for these adrenalin junkies. An unemployed man from Utah is advertising himself as the prey for hunting enthusiasts for $10,000. Mork Encino says: "I'm faster than a wild turkey, smart as any goddamn wild boar and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the monetary health of my family." He offers "a prize human mount for your wall and all income from any organ harvest".

But it doesn't end there. Oh no, for a further $2,000 he will do it naked. Sounds like he should take part in today's London Backward Run in Crystal Palace park, but he should ignore any tips he might have picked up at yesterday's World Snail Racing Championships in Congham, Norfolk, or he could be in for a shell shock.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'