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16 March 2012 ~

When England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup failed, our administrators were criticised for being too isolated. Thankfully that has been remedied. Now everyone in world football has heard of Sir Dave Richards.

Badge of the week ~ Bolton Wanderers
Bolton once had a perfectly acceptable badge, based as it was on the town crest – a shield bearing a coat of arms surmounted by a riderless elephant, the usual sort of thing. Then, in the 1970s, the club decided to go modern. The Bolton chairman had obviously seen Michael Rodd talking about wheeled dustbins and Onesie underwear on Tomorrow's World and decided that their club must enter into this pioneering spirit of things or else be consigned to the dusty corner shelves of history, along with Dana and the Ford Zephyr. So the elephant was deleted, the shield went, the proud Lancastrian rose reduced to a cartoon caricature of itself, as if viewed in heavy rain through a smudged windscreen – all to be replaced by a "clever" reimagining of the club's initials in the shape of a ball.

In 2001, at a time when everyone had money to burn on, for example, extremely minor changes to logos and stationery, the club redesigned the badge again. This time they dispensed with the rose entirely and made the garlands at the bottom more windswept and interesting. There is no way back to the elephant from here. That's what makes me so sad about the whole thing. There's no way back to the elephant. Cameron Carter

Thomas Sorensen has just completed an abstract painting. It's Jim Morrison in a bottle. Bold use of colour.

from Jonathan Paxton
"Given Manchester United's less-than-impressive trips to play in hostile Turkish environments in the past, they seem to be over-egging their appeal in Istanbul. The more I look at it, the less I understand why this advert exists! It's not as if Gatwick airport is convenient for United fans... oh, right."

Frank Lampard has decided to sell his ornate chess set with matching stools. "Beautifully decorated from top to bottom," says the auctioneer. "Would grace any grand home with a touch of Premier League style!" Someone should buy it for Andre Villas-Boas as a memento of his short stay.

from Michael Archer
"The Dutch ex-goalkeeper René Ponk is surprisingly famous in South Wales according to Wikipedia."




The many connections between football and showbiz these days are a godsend to match reporters. Especially when they feel like sounding off, as the Mirror's Mike Walters does in his fourth paragraph. (He's bang on, of course.)   

Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

Emley home, 1997-98
IThis Emley shirt, made by ICIS and sponsored by Huddersfield-based van hire firm Arrow Self Drive, was worn throughout 1997-98, the season of the club's famous FA Cup run. Emley no longer exist; the club moved to Wakefield in 2005 and eventually changed their name to Wakefield. Fans and officials of the original Emley formed a new club, AFC Emley, who currently play in the Northern Counties East League.

Emley's historic FA Cup campaign that season started in the first qualifying round with a 3-0 win at Workington and ended in a celebrated 2-1 reverse at West Ham. The third round tie in London was their ninth game of the competition. Over 2,500 fans travelled from Yorkshire to witness a memorable performance against a team who were eighth in the Premier League and seven levels higher up the pyramid. Frank Lampard scored an early opener before hairdresser Paul David levelled on 56 minutes, only for John Hartson to score an 86th-minute winner.

To avoid a claret and blue colour clash, Emley wore a specially commissioned one-off white kit, with the match details embroidered on the chest. Rob Dixon is the president of AFC Emley and has fond memories of the game. He recalls: "The West Ham fans were brilliant that day, they were offering us big money for our shirts after the game. No one would sell, obviously." Andy Ollerenshal

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