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13 June 2008 ~

If you're still unsure about the offside law after the row over Holland's first goal against Italy at Euro 2008, this video will explain everything. There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of drama college graduates who pass through commercial radio before taking on new challenges in the sphere of corporate hospitality. One of them is doing voiceovers for FIFA at the moment.

Badge of the week
It is time this week to pause closer to home to ensure that we don’t forget to give a deserved metaphorical kicking to Fulham’s club crest. Inspected from every angle, this is a triumph of substance over style. The three letters that tell us we are in the presence of Fulham Football Club appear to have been ejected from a plane and left to fend for themselves. The monochrome background of the club’s colours assists with the ground-breaking level of tedium attained by this crest – the only way the image could be any more life-sappingly dull is if the letters were straightened and rendered in the Standard Courier New font. It is almost as if a committee of graphic designers spent nine months researching a new logo until they ran out of ideas and then attempted to represent this absence of ideas in pictorial form. Apparently nothing leapt out to them from Fulham’s 112-year history or location and three wonky letters was agreed as the final draft. The club, clearly assured that image-free images were the future and that all the most intelligent and stylish clubs were adopting them, signed up to the debacle. Why a nice little cottage with a cherry tree in the garden wouldn’t have done is anyone’s guess. Cameron Carter

Historic Football Websites No 8 ~ Nomad Online
This beautiful site, founded way back at the turn of the century, is devoted entirely to non-League football in Sussex. And windmills too, for some reason (though the windmills don’t have to be in Sussex). One central tenet of my life philosophy is that you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen pictures of the grounds where Loxwood, Little Common and Dorking Wanderers play. One day I’ll maybe even visit the county and seek out fans of Sussex County League Division Two side Pease Pottage Village FC, so that I can hear first hand accounts of the dark afternoon they lost to Westfield 18-0. Ian Plenderleith 

Leyton Orient manager Martin Ling was the subject of a quite vivid Wikipedia entry, which has since been modified. Can that all have been lies?

Leigh RMI
were playing in the Conference three years ago. They've dropped down a couple of levels since and are now in the Unibond Premier with a new owner, a new stadium, a new squad of full-time players and a new name – Leigh Genesis. Yes, Genesis. Should you be feeling on edge for any reason, wait for the mood to pass before clicking on the link as it will only make a bad day worse. In fact you might never fully recover.

WSC Trivia ~ No 19
It's nice when articles make an impact. A piece about Tooting & Mitcham way back in WSC 12, published in December 1987, described how they avoided relegation from the Isthmian Premier League in 1983-84 despite finishing second from bottom because Staines Town, “a dour side who finished 14th”, were demoted as punishment for flouting ground regulations. Eighteen months later, Tooting went down, for their first time in their history. The following week we received a letter addressed to the writer of the Tooting article. It consisted entirely of “Ha Ha Ha” written out hundreds of times over four pages, signed by five seemingly different Staines supporters. Tooting got back into the Isthmian Premier at the end of 2007-08 after a 19-year absence. Local police leave may be cancelled for both their fixtures against Staines.

A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

Abe van de Ban, FC Amsterdam Voetbal Sterren 1973-74 & FC Haarlem Voetbal 1980
Footballers are as much slaves to fashion as anyone so it's a rare player who develops his own look and sticks to it. Dutch midfielder Abe van de Ban's career ran from the late 1960s to the early 1980s but he clearly liked the 19th century – although there is no record of his also having worn a monocle in his spare time. Van de Ban (whose full first name was Arberth) owned a hairdressing business so had access to whatever was needed to keep that majestic twirler in trim. He didn't get to play international football, so the high point of his career was probably being in the FC Amsterdam side that beat Internazionale on their way to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1974-75. He was also a Haarlem team-mate of the young Ruud Gullit whose own moustache will have seemed a very puny thing by comparison.

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