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5 April 2013 ~

The Football League are in talks to sign a new sponsorship deal with B&Q. It's not for much more than the current arrangement with npower but every League dressing room will get a new bidet and a special offer on tins of matt emulsion.

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sudbury150Badge of the week ~ AFC Sudbury
In medieval times, the White Dog of Sudbury was fabled for its great powers of healing. Specifically, when individuals complained of illness or disability that prevented them from working, they were treated by means of a posset of potato water and urine of the White Dog. This treatment generally resulted in the peasant picking up a scythe and heading back for his furrow next morning without a murmur. The fame of the White Dog of Sudbury spread far and wide, but mostly wide for some reason, until one day an itinerant tinker from quite a wide way away travelled to Sudbury and kidnapped the dog using cheese and a large net.

The ransom was set at 20 groats, not very much money, but his previous ransom demand (100 groats for a found hedgehog) had failed to provoke great interest. The only man who could respond to this emergency was the Knight With The Pet Dog (a lot of the best knight names had been taken by the late 13th century) and it was he who travelled wide and finally recaptured the White Dog. These two figures are commemorated in Sudbury's crest for being very helpful in their different ways, while the fabled Waving Lion is commemorated for being very friendly. Cameron Carter

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from Tom Lines

"Potentially ugly scenes averted ahead of this weekend's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final."

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Even Paolo di Canio's Corinthian figure has an extended right arm.

dicanio100

Meanwhile the Irish Daily Star have dug deep to find some opinion on the Di Canio saga. They didn't really get anywhere, but they printed it anyway.

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from Keith Turner
"This may help to explain some of Taribo West's performances for my team, Plymouth Argyle. Though if my age was guessed by the state of my knees I'd be able to claim a old-age pension."

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"The world's greatest football brand now has the world's greatest card collection" says the press release announcing the launch of the Official Messi Card Collection. "We've been able to create a collection that spans not just the football career of the world's best footballer, but the man himself" it goes on. So alongside European Cups and Ballons d'Or, look out for the cards of Leo taking his growth hormone, creosoting his shed and staring open-mouthed at Game of Thrones.

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Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

southendsht150Southend United home, 1996-98
I was full of hope for the season ahead as I went to the Southend United club shop in August 1996 to buy our new kit. The Shrimpers were about to embark on their sixth season in the second tier after spending the previous 70-odd years yo-yoing between the third and fourth divisions of English football.

What I purchased can only be described as a sartorial monstrosity, a giant dollop of yellow splashed onto our traditional blue which became known to all Southend supporters as the "custard splat". Some fans pointed out it looked like Bart Simpson's hair peeking out from the players' shorts. Shirt bought, we headed up for our first away game at Oxford and were promptly thrashed 5-0.

The horrific kit was synonymous with two seasons of abject failure on the field, the first including a 4-0 hiding at Loftus Road I travelled down from university in Edinburgh for, and culminating in relegation from the second tier in 1997 under the tenure of Ronnie Whelan. To add insult to injury the kit was not replaced the following year, and once again this harbinger of gloom brought a second successive drop from the third tier under the hapless Alvin Martin. Ed Beavan

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