All the news that didn't quite make the back pages ...


Last updated at 11:20 29 February 2008


With the call going out for football to come to the aid of troubled Paul Gascoigne, surely Kevin Keegan can find him a role back at his beloved Newcastle.


A good fist of it: Sir Alex's

How about central midfield?

Let's face it, he can't do any worse than the rabble taken to the cleaners by Manchester United as Fergie showcases his trademark "Granddad shuffle" no fewer than five times up at St James' Park.


Every time there is a goal, the poor old boy has to throw off his tartan rug, haul himself out of his bath chair and wave his fists in the air in a non-threatening manner.

If you missed the virtuoso performance, just imagine "Pensioner running up to the bingo hall stage waving the winning card above his head" and you've got the idea.

With 11 goals scored in the last two meetings, Fergie has been ordered to bring a doctor's note and a care assistant with him next time United play Newcastle. He simply can't keep jumping up and down like that at his age. It's irresponsible.

Jonathan Woodgate bravely puts his harrowing property nightmare to one side as he helps Spurs lift the Carling Cup.

Woodgate enjoys the support of the entire nation as he battles his inner "buy-to-let" demons to win the game, although the universal backing may have more to do with the fact he is playing against Chelsea.

Woody certainly touches the hearts of all those desperately trying to haul themselves on to the bottom rung of the London property ladder – nurses, teachers, firemen and the like.

Since complaining about house prices in the capital last week, Woody has earned a paltry £65,000 (plus Carling Cup win bonus, plus Carling Cup goalscoring bonus).

The poor lad's right, it doesn't get him a lot, especially when you knock off what he must spend on hair bands, as well as standing his round when Tottenham pop out for a swift couple of brown ales and a quiet game of shove ha'penny after the Wembley win.

Don't worry, Jonathan, we're on the case and have already located an ideal investment opportunity that is well within your budget . . .

Woody's search for a reasonably priced starter home – Week One.

Woody's wedge: £65,000.

What we've found for Woody: Garage located to the rear of a residential block, offering space for one car within easy reach of the local shops and transport links.

What it costs: £20,000.

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Woodgate Garage

Home sweet home: welcome to London Jonathan Woodgate

Rip-off rating: 0/10 – a cracking buy for all those working to tight margins. And for Woody. All it needs is a fold-out bed, a camping stove and a lick of emulsion. Unfortunately the local shops referred to are in Pinner, but our hero should have no problem getting to training by bus thanks to the excellent transport links indicated in the estate agent's advert.


Teenage sensation Tom Daley celebrates after making Great Britain's Olympic team at the tender age of 13.

Despite his amazing achievement, Tom proves to be just like any other teenage boy, with the same hopes and dreams.

And just like many other teenage boys, the young diver's hero turns out to be Cristiano Ronaldo.


Fast bowler Steve Harmison arrives late on England's cricket tour to remind the selectors exactly what they have been missing – a sumptuous buffet of rank long hops and laughable leg-side wides.

Although Harmison fails to reproduce his world famous Ashes delivery straight into the hands of a startled second slip, experts confidently predict this will come with practise.

As all manner of half-forgotten Aussie and New Zealand journeymen come out of retirement to join the rebel Indian league and bank the big money, England's floundering players continue to illustrate why their agents' phones have not been ringing. To save embarrassment, it's a huge relief that the inaugural Indian competition clashes with England's other commitments.

Like net practice.


Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson receives assurances from the FA that football's disciplinary process is the same for everyone following his outburst against "the silly little men" running the game.

Boro chief executive Keith Lamb, furious that their appeal over Jeremie Aliadiere's sending off in the Liverpool defeat was dismissed as frivolous, adds: "There is one rule for the big boys and one for the rest of us."

The accusation is dismissed as unfounded by the FA, who then send Keith to stand in the naughty corner until he has calmed down and feels able to rejoin the group.


Lewis Hamilton illustrates his potential to produce another great Formula One campaign by dominating pre-season testing in Barcelona.

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Hamilton and Dennis

Boy racer: Lewis Hamilton (right) with McLaren team boss Ron Dennis (centre)

Hamilton is fastest on two of the testing days, even though he loses time dropping team boss Ron Dennis off for questioning at the local police station on day one and then has to remove a wheel clamp from his McLaren on day two.

Hamilton insists all the off-track allegations against the team are not distracting him.


Heartening evidence emerges of the LTA's new "get tough" regime designed to maximise the talents of our all-conquering tennis starlets.

Andy Murray's refusal to play in the Davis Cup against Argentina is punished when the governing body build a five-a-side pitch for football fan Murray's use at their £45million Roehampton training centre.

That should teach him.

Apparently Murray enjoys playing keepy-uppy on his own but won't go in goal when it's his turn or travel for any away fixture he fears his team might lose.


In a bridge-building move, distinguished international diplomat Matthew Hayden is replaced as Australian cultural attaché for Mumbai by Sir Les Patterson.


Please note: No elite sporting icons were harmed in the writing of this column.

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