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11 June 2010 ~
Finally all the talking has to stop and it's time to get down to business. After months of build-up, media speculation, anxiety, tension and, yes, sometimes tears, the big moment has arrived. Phil Brown and Hull City have agreed terms in relation to his amicable departure from the club.
Badge of the week
KSC Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen are a Belgian team with a keen sense of drama. Quite clearly this badge depicts a coyote in a cape demonstrating to his impressionable visitor that he has a glass stomach and has just eaten a lion. Or a griffin. Rendered here in highly stylised form, the coyote draws back his cape with a flourish, as if to say: "Whether or not you were wary of meeting a coyote like me anyway, you might be interested to know I have a glass stomach and am able to swallow lions – or griffins – whole. You may want to think about getting the bus in future." Some crest experts (or "crestperts") make a different interpretation, however. They see instead a more vigorous kick-boxing coyote, in full head-kicking flight, whose black tracksuit trousers are sponsored by Peugeot. Another really long club name here. Think of the weariness entering your soul when one of the regulars starts up once more with "Give us an K…" Cameron Carter
You'll know about Fabio Capello's interest in art. Now the Italian national team are sponsoring a collection of purchasable artworks. It's a "celebration of the aesthetic and emotional link between the gestures of football and art", so there are no interpretations of Claudio Gentile's famously robust fouling of Diego Maradona during the 1982 World Cup on public sale. But you might be able to get such things under the counter.
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Exeter City home, 2002-03
Given everything Exeter City-related was a mess during the 2002-03 season, it's somehow appropriate that, one year ahead of their centenary, the club dispensed with the classic red and white stripes in favour of a largely white shirt with a "Brazilian" style red stripe in the centre of the shirt. Not that the kit was top of fans' worries that season, what with Uri Geller, Michael Jackson, Darth Vader and convicted fraudster John Russell all on the board.
Perhaps the directors had never read Durham University's academic study suggesting teams in red have a winning mindset, as City were relegated from the Football League, ploughing through three managers in the process. The one-stripe style was meant to represent Exeter's status as the first team ever to play a match against the Brazilian national side but was quickly ditched the next season for a traditional red and white striped shirt that the Grecians had worn since 1910.
Just to cock a snook at the unloved shirt – and Durham's research – Exeter's two most recent promotions have been secured in a blue away kit and a rather smart white-only number respectively, the message clearly being if you're going to do stripes, do them properly or not at all. Gary Andrews
Buy this shirt and hundreds of others at Classic Football Shirts
from Graeme Burton
"Harry Redknapp has been known to complain about being perceived as a barrowboy. Indeed he has even suggested that the image damaged his chances of getting the England job. He must have put all such considerations behind him now, though. In an interview with the Sun this week he was asked which one player he'd like to add to the England squad and replied: 'Lionel Messi – you didn't say it had to be an English player! Anyway, I'd forge his passport.' Wahey! Mind how you go, guv."
If you're looking to hire any industrial plant during the World Cup make sure to get it from Hewden who have an England-themed range available. Here it is being launched by a David Beckham lookalike offering weary ambivalence in place of a big smile. Meanwhile, for home decor, you could slap up some "iconic" transfers, including a life-sized Wayne Rooney. These are apparently easy to remove "should it all go horribly wrong in South Africa" but we reckon Wayne would take some plaster off with him.
from Mark Poole
"Airdrie United have been drawn against Albion Rovers in next season's CIS Cup – a tie providing potential local socio-political/religious rivalry. While trying to work out when they last played each other, I spotted this piece of what I think is Wikipedia vandalism, unless the club are disarmingly honest."
How to launch a new community sports facility in Hull? Inviting a popular ex-player would be a good idea. Odd, though, to publicise his involvement, as in this message from the Football Foundation, by mentioning that he was known for being violent. Still, at least a clergyman will be on hand to comfort the injured if required.
"Football's Hardest Player" to open new community sport pavilion in Hull. After seven years of community engagement, South Cave Sporting Club welcome Billy Whitehurst to open their £650,000 pavilion and pitches on Sunday 13th June. Both Vinnie Jones and Neil "Razor" Ruddock have been reported as saying that they consider Billy to be the toughest player they ever came across and Billy's autobiography is entitled Football's Hardest Man. The Bishop of Hull is also attending the event and will bless the building during the opening ceremony.
Stickipedia A mine of information constructed from sticker cards
Roy Wegerle, Coventry City Merlin Premier League 94
South African players had been coming to the UK since the 1920s – notably to Liverpool and Charlton, both of which set up scouting networks there, although they only signed white players. The first black player to arrive was striker Steve Mokone who played a few games for Coventry in 1956, to be followed by wingers Gerry Francis and Albert Johanesson with Leeds. Some of the imports went on to play for England – Blackpool winger Bill Perry was capped in the 1950s, Ipswich midfielder Colin Viljoen played twice in 1975 before his career was interrupted by injury and Brian Stein was picked alongside his Luton strike partner Paul Walsh in a friendly against France in 1984.
The first South African to play in a World Cup finals was Charlton striker John Hewie who appeared for Scotland in 1958. Born in Pretoria, Hewie played 500 games for Charlton; his first visit to Scotland was to play for their B team in a match against England in 1953. After Hewie, the only other South African to take part in a finals before the country qualified for the 1998 World Cup was attacking midfielder Roy Wegerle, who represented the US when they hosted the 1994 tournament. Wegerle, with Coventry at the time, qualified for the US through his American wife and he played a few seasons there at the start and end of his professional career. In between he spent a decade in English football with five different clubs, beginning with Chelsea in 1986. His most successful spell was at QPR where he scored ITV's goal of the season for 1990-91 against Leeds. Funny old hair in this picture but it was a windy day.
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