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14 June 2013 ~
The claim by Edinson Cavani's mum that he's had conversations with Manchester City is just the latest example of newspapers getting transfer tips from unusual sources. Meanwhile Cristiano Ronaldo's second cousin thinks he will be tempted by Monaco, and Ryan Shawcross is heading for the Bernebéu according to the man who cleans his swimming pool.
Badge of the week ~ Red Star Paris FC
Red Star's badge is a direct result of the emergence of the Literalist movement in Europe after the First World War. This was a period of great intellectual ferment, with the Dadaists, the Surrealists and the Bauhaus school all rising from the ashes of the lost generation. The Literalists, founded in 1919 by brothers Pierre and Georges Courbet, published their manifesto in the French periodical La Petite Rien, which asserted that "all forms of metaphor and linguistic embellishment must be rendered obsolete, as they are responsible for emotional confusion, hyperbole and, by extension, war".
The group was immediately riven by internal conflict when Georges complained that the room in which they held their first meeting was "a sauna". Pierre, incensed, demanded that he retract the phrase in favour of "a hot room". Georges flatly refused, instead taking with him half of the group and creating a splinter group, the Occasional Metaphorists (later to separate further when the Post Adverbists, who declined to qualify verbs, were formed during the occupation of the Ruhr). The Literalists were disbanded in 1930 after Pierre Courbet was imprisoned for "the wilful and sustained misunderstanding of a police officer's turn of phrase". Cameron Carter
from Ian Beecham
"The Arsenal glasses, designed by Arsène Wenger, mist over completely whenever an Arsenal player does something controversial."
When will the polymath Michael Knighton receive due credit for creating modern football? The biography on his website sets out the facts.
from Keith Sampson
"All the family will have fun assembling this fine portrait of John Wark. The bottom half of the photo was unsuitable for commercial use."
from Tim Grey
"It seems that Bedworth United's squad include a number of players with fancy nicknames, if not quite in the same league as those exotic sounding Brazilians."
Some fascinating insights into the life of noted author Frank Lampard in this Evening Standard profile. Not clear how he would enforce his mayoral idea, short of a Lampard Lane just for himself.
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Stirling Albion home, 1996-97
After blitzing the Scottish Second Division the previous season, Stirling Albion attacked the next level with a strip that split opinion. The two even halves marked a bold departure from the club's traditional effort of a red top with white flashes; the "jester strip" was greeted with scepticism by sections of the support. While the design may have been innovative, the sponsor was entirely familiar. McKenzie Trailers showed the continued financial support of long-standing chairman Peter McKenzie, whose company was the primary sponsor for the bulk of the 1990s.
The team won only three of their first 19 games but after Christmas produced a fine run of form to finish seventh. Manager Kevin Drinkell had constructed a side designed to entertain, and although 61 goals were leaked, the Binos' tally of 54 for was surpassed only by the top two of St Johnstone and Airdrieonians.
The strip was maintained for another year, but despite a memorable 6-2 victory over Scottish Cup holders Kilmarnock in the League Cup, Drinkell's Albion side had passed their peak and would fall back into the Second Division at the end of the campaign. Robin Bairner