Undress for success : Football Diary

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Halifax Town did not make too many appearances on television when they were in the League, but not only they do they now have the chance of appearing on SportsWire cable television showings of GM Vauxhall Conference games, but their players and so me fans have landed roles in an episode of A Touch of Frost, in the guise of Denton Athletic.

But another non-league side, Hendon, have run into problems in their search for publicity and a few pence in the coffers. Players posed for changing-room shots for a women's magazine, but somewhere along the line the agreement the club thought it had banning full-frontals broke down.

The club's chairman, Ivan Arbiter, felt obliged to apologise to supporters for any embarrassment caused by the pictures in For Women. Nevertheless, the club is going ahead -very carefully -with a one-off deal that will put the lads on the pages of Penthouse.

*** It doesn't usually go much further than managers saying they have to be "philosophical about these things" in the face of a set-back. At worst, there are the players who can't go beyond "Well, Brian, I hit it and it went in". But there have been somedeep and meaningful pronouncements about football - enough of them, so Philosophy Football believe, to emblazen on a full set of shirts.

They have made a start that should make Robert Ashcroft, of Bingley, quite pleased with himself. His winning Writers XI last month had Albert Camus in goal, and it is with the old existentialist (should he have played for La-Peste Dozsa?) that they have launched their series. On the front of a green No 1 shirt is his comment: "All that I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football."

So it is more than just 22 men chasing a ball around after all. And what does Eric Cantona think? His No 7 shirt, due out on Valentine's Day, reveals: "I imagine the ball to be alive, responding to my caresses like a woman with the man she loves."

Camus shirt, at £16.75 (inc p&p), from Philosophy Football, 28 Wargrave Avenue, London N15 6UD. They would also like to receive unlikely words of football wisdom uttered by the famous for possible inclusion on future shirts.

They'll be a bit stuck for Italian entries, judging from the sort of stuff Serie A maestros have produced. Typically banal is: "The best ideas about my job come to me at night," from Luigi Cagni, the coach of Piacenza, who mostly play during the day. Alexi Lalas could qualify with the mystifying: "My mother is a writer, my father an engineer and I'm divorced," but the best bet is the Buddhist, Roberto Baggio, but it will take much meditation to fathom the full meaning of his revelation: "I c all my right knee pig."

*** If it is football banter you want, then Tommy Docherty and Malcolm Allison on tour together should appeal. The outspoken pair are appearing in two-hour talk shows at theatres around the country - audience participation encouraged. Sponsored by Four Four Two magazine, the tour begins in Cardiff on the 31 January.

Details: DMG Productions, 081-977 8707.

*** Six months away from the English game, and Howard Kendall's memory starts playing tricks on him. In his first programme column for Notts County on Saturday, he recalled sealing promotion at Meadow Lane in 1979 "when I was player-manager of Stoke City". Kendall never managed Stoke, and by coincidence, there to put him right at the end of County's victory over Burnley was the man in charge of the Potters that day, Alan Durban.

p Some great suggestions, like Ritchie Pitt-ance and Kevin Scott-free, but the Wild Turkey this week goes to Chris Bevan of Gwent for: Bargain XI: Dino ZOFF the back of a lorry; CARR boot sale, a STEELE, WHYTE elephant stall, the January SWAILES, PEPPERCORN rent, STARBUCKshee, Cost PRICE, BINGHAM buy sale, David Petticoat LAYNE, F LEE market.

Next week: Musicals XI. Entries to: Football Diary, Sports Desk, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.

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