THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
10 October 2014 ~

After their byelection defeat to UKIP in Clacton last night good news is on the horizon for the Tories. Sol Campbell says he is ready to talk to them to help win the "black vote". "If I am a consultant for the government then you can do your stuff but not be left with nowhere to manoeuvure," he said. We've no idea what that means – he's talking like a politician already.

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Nicolaas150Badge of the week ~ FC San Nicolaas Juniors, Aruba
Saint Nicholas, unofficially canonised in the Middle Ages, is the patron saint of Christmas and storm drains. Everyone knows of course that he is the patron saint of Christmas because, as a young man, he would secretly leave gifts outside poor people's homes – not necessarily what they wanted, but it's so difficult to buy for people isn't it, and this was as true then as it is now.

Saint Nicholas's association with storm drains is more recent and involves a story of a young boy who lived on the Caribbean island of Aruba and had only one gold coin to spend on his old mother for Christmas. Unfortunately, on his way to the island's shop (Bartholomew's General Stores, Dentist and Casino) he dropped the coin and watched in horror as it rolled erratically towards a storm drain. Unable to retrieve it, the boy wept quietly where he knelt. An old man stopped on seeing the distraught child and spoke to him thus: "Pull yourself together. It's embarrassing. You must be nearly 14. Embarrassing."

The boy stopped weeping, rose to his feet and that very afternoon started his own door-to-door insurance business, selling policies to the older, more fearful island inhabitants that covered them in the event of an attack by Russia. He was a millionaire by the time he was 20 and is a personal friend of Elton John. Cameron Carter

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from Keith Blackwell

"Good to see that a keeper is held to be blameless in a 22-0 defeat but I'm prepared to guess that he got his angles wrong for at least one of them."

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from Stuart Findlay
"Spotted these wet wipes in my mate's local South Korean convenience store recently. Manchester Utd's bid for world domination continues…"

ManUtdWet400

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October 8 was a slow news day in Liverpool.

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Who says British players lack technique?

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from Andrew Holme
"From the blurb for the London Sports Writing Festival. Is this Jimmy Bullard's title now? A little presumptuous if so."

Bullard400

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Also in the news this week
Newcastle fans and the language of defeat
Mourinho gets an overdue shove
Radamel Falcao has a talking parrot

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