Four Paddies and a Wally


PLANET SOCCER:HE'S ONLY a puppy but if Bush Paddy grows up to be a flier, who knows, he could end up winning the Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park. A proud day that would be for his owners, "Four Paddies and a Wally", as they've dubbed themselves.

And who might they be? None other than Kevin Doyle, Noel Hunt, Stephen Hunt, Shane Long and their Reading coach Wally Downes.

Quotes of the Week

"If we win next week and we win the week after and we win the week after, then we will be in mid-table."

- West Brom manager Tony Mowbray. And if the Queen had, you know, she'd be King.

"If you gave those all the time you'd be giving them constantly."

- Portsmouth's Peter Crouch on soft free-kicks.

"At Chelsea there was a time when I couldn't even move without feeling pain. It felt as if the others were driving cars and I was on a moped."

- Andriy Shevchenko explaining why he never got out of the slow lane at Chelsea.

"Whatever team gets Panathinaikos is the luckiest club in the draw."

- Jose Mourinho generously salutes the Greeks after they topped Inter Milan's Champions League group.

"Mangoes are a fruit that I'm crazy about, so I love the sweet and fruity fragrance of Body Shop's mango body butter. I pay attention to hydrating my skin properly and to feeling good."

- Norman Hunter. Kidding: Arsenal's Johan Djourou.

"Pink is my daughter's favourite colour - and she is five. It would have been unthinkable in our day."

- Franz Beckenbauer joins in on the pink boots debate, after Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery gave a debut to his.

"We just have to get our heads down and continue to start winning games."

- Sunderland's Carlos Edwards.

Traore still butt of jokes

WE'VE HAD a soft spot for Djimi Traore ever since Liverpool supporters penned this tribute to him, after he scored the wackiest of own goals against Burnley a few seasons back: "Don't blame it on Hamann, Don't blame it on Biscan, Don't blame it on Finnan, Blame it on Traore - He just can't, he just can't, he just can't control his feet."

Poor lad. Well, Traore's playing career might be petering out a bit, but, as discovered last week, he's having a momentous impact on a bigger stage. From his Wikipedia entry: "Traore inspired Barack Obama to start his historical election campaign. He is a part of Obama's first cabinet as personal adviser on football in domestic affairs." Sadly, the entry has since been edited to delete the claim that Traore was the president-elect's chief inspiration. Surely this isn't to suggest it's not true?

More quotes of the week

"The referees say they are human and I have to believe them on that."

- Sky Sports' Andy Gray continues his love-in with Premier League officials.

"Defenders are tall, strong and fighters and the referees only give you a foul once you are bleeding."

- Liverpool's Fernando Torres on what it takes to win a free-kick in English football.

"The level of performance at Chelsea is very high and so are their salaries - but some of the players there have problems that you can't find in a children's team."

- Avram Grant sounding relieved enough to have left the Stamford Bridge kindergarten.

"If I'd scored two goals in the old days it would have been straight to the pub for sausage and chips and a pint. Now it's a bottle of water and some wine gums - it's not quite the same."

- Blackpool's Liam Dickinson. Like all of Ireland, pining for sausages.

'Gary' has another chance as model is rumbled in the jungle

OUR SYMPATHIES went out to "Gary" last week when the Daily Mirror spotted his ad in the lonely hearts column of the Teesside Gazette.

"Looking to score," read the headline on his plea, in which he described himself as "a good looking pro football player" who was seeking a "leggy female, 18-30, for good times and more".

In an effort to identify the mystery player the Mirror, divils that they are, rang Gary's number and were greeted by a message in which he, again, stressed he was seeking a lady who was "up for fun".

But which club did he play for? Chelsea? Arsenal? Manchester United? No, Darlington, he claimed.

Except the Mirror did a bit of research and discovered that Darlington doesn't have a Gary on its playing staff, so they left a message for him telling him he'd been "rumbled". Lousers.

Gary, though, could do worse than to get in touch with Italian model Belen Rodriguez because there's a chance her relationship with her footballer boyfriend, AC Milan's Marco Borriello, has ended. According to the Observer when she appeared on Italy's version of "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" Belen told the watching public that her beloved "fundamentally lacks intelligence".

Whether he was smart enough to call things off at that point we don't know, but if she's now free and she's looking "for good times and more" Gary could be her man.