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20 April 2012 ~
"I've had a word with Ashley Young," said Sir Alex Ferguson, after the player's recent dives against QPR and Aston Villa. The word, we're told, was "bravo".
Badge of the week ~ Phnom Penh Crown, Cambodia
The Phnom Penh Crown crest pays tribute to an armoured wild dog that once lived in the Cambodian capital city. Most armoured wild dogs in the region were solitary creatures that only appeared at night, partly to avoid predators and partly to avoid chatty people. But one of their number was more socially active and could be found day or night wherever there was music.
A local historian records: "Marvellous to see is the famed Cambodian wild armoured dog [this was later changed to 'armoured wild dog' to differentiate the latter from a similar breed that had wild armour, ie armour that was considered a bit 'far out'] who can be found in diverse taverns and dance halls, moving energetically hither and thither and really owning the place. So enthusiastic is this creature about moving to the beat that he will nearly always be the first on the dancefloor, beating the usual three hesitant young women to the dance punch, so to speak."
Thus Phnom Penh Crown commemorate a pioneer, a maverick and a provider of social glue. Some have claimed that the same wild dog invented the concept of dancing onto the dancefloor, although other dance historians attribute this to Peter Wyngarde. Cameron Carter
From this clip of Norwich City's visit to Sheffield Wednesday on the last day of the 1981-82 season, look out for the fan trying a diving header on the pitch behind the goalscorer. He was used subsequently as an impact sub.
from Phil Town
"Lucky Reading fans have been given a choice of these songs for the warm-up. Barbie Girl is winning."
from Mike Ticher
"The latest Nike guff about their new international kits claims the 'rich detailing' of the new Netherlands strip 'reflects their artistic heritage'. So rather than just being orange, wouldn't it be more of a challenge if they made it look like this. Or this. Or this."
Breaking news from the Daily Telegraph's sports desk.
from Glyn Teasdale
"When you're a match reporter for the Sun, it's not enough to come up with terrible puns! They will look even worse as exclamations!"
Brazilian players protect themselves from a swarm of bees, trained by gamblers to interrupt the action at this precise point for a betting coup.
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Charlton Athletic home, 2000-02
Charlton's home shirt for their Premier League return reflected the new-found confidence drawn from winning the Division One title the previous season. The £2.5 million Redbus shirt sponsorship was then a club record and had just begun, ending a deal with Mesh Computers. (Redbus was set up by the internet entrepreneur Cliff Stanford who had previously sold Demon Internet, then sponsors of Fulham.)
That same summer, Charlton broke their transfer record with the £4m capture of the Denmark international midfielder Claus Jensen, while an £8m redevelopment of The Valley's west stand had been completed not long before. There was little revolutionary about the kit and nor was there about the club. Their success was simply attributed to good judgment. After Alan Curbishley's side finished ninth in 2000-01, Charlton's progress couldn't be denied, but unpopular decisions were also taken and respected pros such as club captain Mark Kinsella and Steve Brown were soon moved on.
It is less than 12 years since that kit was introduced, but Charlton are almost unrecognisable from then – the top-flight stay lasted for several seasons and they were seen as a "model club". How things change. Declan Warrington