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23 November 2012 ~
David Beckham has announced that he wants to "experience one last challenge" before he retires. He's all yours, Hartlepool.
Badge of the week ~ Accrington Stanley
The amateur crest fancier might look at this and see a traditional, workaday badge with the usual armorial presence and heraldry standbys: the rampant lion, the gambolling deer. A closer examination by the iconography expert, however, reveals far greater treasures. Mental treasures. Not stuff you can make money from. The image in the middle of the shield is of a late medieval era box cabinet. This is the motif for St Ambrose of Le Havre, a minor saint recognised as the man who brought both Christianity and cutting-edge storage solutions to northern Europe.
Before his arrival in France, most ordinary people had carried their smaller household objects with them, on a cumbersome, overloaded belt. Within weeks of St Ambrose's appearance, the people's eternal souls and posture were transformed. The image at the bottom celebrates the first mass-produced wallpaper, also introduced by St Ambrose, who remained only a minor saint possibly because of the time he spent on his commercial ventures. He made a greater name for himself in secular society, his industry and verve viewed as an example to imitate by the founders of Accrington Stanley. Cameron Carter
from Jon Matthias
"Bobbleheads rarely make the subject look dignified, but this one of Joe Hart makes him look like he's about to bite you."
If ever a long-ball approach was needed in a game, this was the one.
from Peter Smith
"Regarding the golfing skills of former Bolton and Exeter defender Mark Came as mentioned on Wikipedia – I wouldn't call this 'indifferent'."
from Phil Town
"I wonder what will please Reading's Alex Pearce more – having a cartoon Santa hat photoshopped on his bonce or being shunted off to charity gigs when he can't get a game for love nor money."
This week in history ~ Division One, November 24, 1979
Manchester United's scorers in their thrashing of Norwich included Joe Jordan who got two, and Irish defender Kevin Moran who later became the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final during United's 1-0 win over Everton in 1985. Dave Sexton's team were top for another two weeks then spent the rest of the season in second place – their best league finish for 12 years.
Defending champions Liverpool made a relatively slow start, winning only four of their first ten games, but a run of six straight victories in December gave them a comfortable lead. They clinched their title in their 41st game, a 4-1 win over Villa, while Man Utd were losing at Leeds. Liverpool striker David Johnson was the division's second top-scorer with 21 goals, two behind Phil Boyer of Southampton. The champions used only 17 players including reserve keeper Steve Ogrizovic who played once.
Crystal Palace had been called "the team of the 80s" by the Daily Mail's Jeff Powell, a friend of manager Terry Venables, when winning promotion the previous season. Leaders in early September, they dropped out of the top three after three straight defeats in December and finished 13th; they went down the following year. The team that drew with Coventry included future England full-back Kenny Sansom, shortly to join Arsenal, and midfielder Peter Nicholas who won 73 caps for Wales.
After beating Manchester City, Bristol City went 11 games without a win. The run dropped them into the bottom three, where they stayed. After four years in Division One, their first spell there for nearly 70 years, City set a League record by being relegated from first to fourth divisions in successive seasons. Derby also went on a long winless run, 13 matches, after this weekend's victory against their local rivals. They were to finish second from bottom, a point behind Bristol City and five ahead of Bolton.
Future Talksport broadcaster Alan Brazil was one of the scorers in Ipswich's win over Southampton. He was to score twice in the season's biggest win, Ipswich 6 Man Utd 0 in March 1980, in which they home side also missed two penalties. The Villa team that drew at home with Leeds contained nine of their side that won the European Cup in 1982, the only differences being Mike Pejic at left-back rather than Gary Williams and David Geddis for Pete Withe at centre-forward.