SW19 diary: Federer win keeps Oxfam bet bequest on track

It wasn't just fans of Roger Federer who breathed a sigh of relief when the Swiss reigning champion recovered to win in five sets yesterday: Oxfam was happy too. If Federer had been buried by his Colombian opponent then a bet from beyond the grave that could make the charity more than £100,000 would have been six feet under as well.

A William Hill customer, Nicholas Newlife from Kidlington in Oxfordshire, placed all manner of sporting bets before he died in February 2009 – and left the slips in his will to Oxfam. One of those bets, placed in August 2003, was £1,520 on Federer to win seven Wimbledon singles titles before 2020, at odds of 66-1.

Federer has six SW19 titles to his name already, and a seventh in the next couple of weeks will earn a payout for Oxfam of £101,840. "Mr Newlife made arrangements in his will to pass any profit from his bet on to his favoured charity, Oxfam – a unique eventuality in our experience," said a Hills spokesman. "We will, of course, be handing the profits from his far-sighted wager to them just as soon as Federer holds the trophy aloft for a seventh time."

Officials opt for soft-touch policy on pest control

It's official: the All England Club has gone soft. It was a mere two years ago that it still favoured a robust and practical approach to pest control, dispatching men with rifles to shoot pigeons. That caused such a brouhaha that club officials have been careful not to see off vermin with guns since.

Now we hear they're actively saving birds, even building them houses. In the run-up to these championships, a maintenance man found a robin's nest in a rubbish compactor, unused for most of the year. Rather than press the button to test the equipment, he reported the finding. The club commissioned a new bird box, the same colour as the compactor, and fixed it to a nearby wall, and then specialists helped with the home move. Whatever next: housing for overnight campers?

All England Club takes a turn for verse

In another sign that the Club has gone a bit new age, it has hired an Official Poet in Residence for the first time. A chap called Matt Harvey, who describes himself as a "performance poet", will be penning a poem a day, apparently, and his work can be seen on the official Wimbledon website.

In a spirit of comradely verse, we have also been composing, and hope to bring you a few lines per day, as and when the muse strikes. Our first effort is entitled "Ode to Britain's women players", and goes: "Aha! It's nearly Wednesday, What are you still doing here?"

Email mistake spells out English failings

If the state of the British game is as desperate as ever, with not a single English player in the men's draw for the first time in the tournament's 133-year history, at least the LTA is paying attention to detail. Not. As the "Out of office" reply from one official was telling people yesterday: "I'm away at Wimbeldon."

If you can't even spell it, what hope of winning it?

McEnroe rant ranks as nation's leading moment

A survey to find the nation's favourite Wimbledon moment put John McEnroe's "You cannot be serious" rant from 1981 at No 1. Cliff Richard's execrable singing was No2 (in multiple senses, we feel). The McEnroe-Bjorn Borg tie-break was No 3, followed by Virginia Wade winning Wimbledon, and then Tim Henman reaching the semi-finals for the first time. The top 10 was rounded out by Roger Federer's 15th Slam, Rafael Nadal beating Federer in 2008, Boris Becker winning at 17, Venus and Serena's first final, and Goran Ivanisevic beating Pat Rafter. The top 10 also, confusingly, included an 11th moment: Pat Cash's scramble up the stands.

Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. Argyll, has remained derelict for more than 25 years
arts + ents

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game