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25 October 2013 ~

It was announced this week that actor Tim Roth has signed up to play Sepp Blatter in a new film about FIFA. Details are fairly sketchy at the moment but we're guessing that it will be about one man's relentless quest to root out corruption. A comic fantasy then.

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GuairaBadge of the week ~ Deportivo La Guaira, Venezuela
The King of the Mermen (or Mer-King, as he preferred to be called) was known for his curmudgeonly attitude to stray footballs entering his domain. Really, the only things the Mer-King wanted in his domain were mermen, mermaids (especially mermaids), himself and fish. During a game of beach football, whenever a La Guaira resident sliced a ball into the sea, it could be seen bobbing about for a few seconds before a golden pitchfork rose above the waves, punctured the ball and, pausing to give a regal wave, sank below once more.

The people of La Guaira were poor people because they had not worked out yet how to add "handling charges" to their invoices, so they needed every ball they could get. Eventually, the mayor formed a task force who waded out into the sea in special sea helmets to pay a visit to the Mer-King to request a change in policy. Owing to an administrative error back at Town Hall, they arrived, after two days of tramping along the sea bed, at the Mer-King's palace while he was on a week's leave. The young Mer-Prince did not have the approval levels to pass a law protecting footballs in his father's absence and the task force's arduous journey seemed to have been wasted.

Luckily, one of the prince's mermaid dressers fell in love instantly with a town councillor (he had lovely blue eyes, even through his sea helmet) and they married soon afterwards, forming a bond between the two communities and ending the ball puncturing forever. The new couple lived among their own people during the week but spent the weekends together in a half-filled water butt behind a beach cafe. The Beatles were right about All You Need Is Love. Although they were wrong about there being Eight Days A WeekCameron Carter

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from Gordon Jones
"The two Sheffield clubs have made a poor start to the League season but the Oxfordshire town of Abingdon has seen ever worse with only one win so far – still, it will an add extra edge to the derbies."

Abingdon500

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Impressive colouring-in skills from a kitman.

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from David Squires

"Australia have appointed Ange Postecoglou as their new manager. Here's a very tense interview from his time in charge of the Under-20s. Popcorn required."

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Even better than a shootout being won with a chipped "Panenka" penalty is seeing a failed one that turns out to be decisive.

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Also in the news this week


David Ginola employs some international sign language

Whoever writes Cristiano Ronaldo's tweets may have misjudged this one
Harry Redknapp enjoys a chat with spectators just before Millwall equalise against QPR

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Get with the programme A past match played this week in history

AirdrievCelticAirdrieonians v Celtic October 31, 1981, Scottish Premier Division
Was this stiff-papered programme edited by a disgruntled employee? How else to explain the thinly disguised sarky barbs at the expense of the home team by the heavy use of quotation marks? The front page editorial points out that so far there have been 21 goals at Broomfield in five league games, "sending supporters home enjoying that 'value-for-money' feeling". Right. In another feature lauding the club's family feel, the programme says that "Airdrieonians have never held any pretensions of being 'a flash' club." In fact it jealously guards its reputation "as a family 'concern'." Sure.

Then there's a picture of striker Willie McGuire in the parking lot at Cash and Carry. "Thumbs up from wee Willie McGuire," runs the caption, "and no wonder, for Willie 'cashed in' on a Sandy Clark pass to 'carry off' an important League point in last Saturday's thriller against Partick Thistle." Wait, that's not sarcasm, that's puckish Lanarkshire wit. It's only a surprise that the programme doesn't refer to top scorer Sandy Clark's ten goals so far in nine games as 'goals' – six of them were penalty kicks. Airdrie must have been the beneficiaries of some top 'refereeing'.

Targeting the fan demographic Airdrie Savings Bank managers are waiting to sign YOU. 

Result Airdrie 1 (Clark, pen of course) Celtic 3 (Sullivan, McCluskey pen, Burns)

Crowd 13,500.

Airdrie Davidson, Erwin, March, Anderson, Rodger, McKeown, Gordon, Walker, Flood, Clark, McGuire

Celtic Bonner, Moyes, Aitken, McAdam, Reid, Sullivan, Macleod, Burns, McGarvey, McCluskey, Nicholas

Ian Plenderleith

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