All in the Game: Labour MP has a Canary over Foreign Office spending under Liz Truss

Lawrenson opens up on BBC departure . . . New record WSL crowd . . . Quote of the Week . . . Word of Mouth

Labour MP Emily Thornberry has been asking some questions about Foreign Office spending while the now prime minister Liz Truss was foreign secretary. Among the outlay was £900 on adult colouring books and £4,333.30 on two trips to a hairdresser. Two.

But most peculiar of all, perhaps, were the payments of £1,318 and £523.50 to Norwich City’s online store.

While her detractors regularly point out that Truss was once a Lib Dem and then became a Tory, wanted the monarchy abolished before becoming a monarchist, voted to remain in the EU before becoming a Brexiteer, nothing has been more dramatic than her switch from being a Leeds to a Norwich City supporter.

It was after she became an MP in Norfolk that Truss, a Leeds native, pinned her colours to the Canaries’ mast, but quite why her Foreign Office spent over £1,800 in the club store remains a mystery. For example, a Norwich shirt with Truss on the back, along with the number 10 (obviously), would only have set them back £85.


There’s a hunch that the £523.50 went on the renewal of a season ticket, even if she might be a bit squeezed for time in the months ahead, but what did the £1,318 buy? “Our entire back four,” said one disgruntled respondent to a tweet on the issue, but seeing as they’ve started their Championship season very brightly indeed, that was harsh. Although in light of their owner’s reluctance to splash the cash, “that’s more than Delia spends on players” was probably fair.

Lawrenson opens up on BBC departure

Mark Lawrenson spoke to the London Times’ Paul Rowan on Saturday about his departure from the BBC back in March when they ended his 30-year career with them as a pundit and co-commentator. Why did they let him go? “Well, I’m 65 and a white male, so you know …,” he said.

Describing himself as “anti-woke”, he recalled a moment working on a game for the BBC back in 1997, shortly after Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris, which he called “very early woke”.

“The editor of the programme came over on the cans and said, ‘Any free-kicks around the penalty area tonight, please don’t mention the wall. I asked [the commentator], ‘Is that for real?’ and he said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s for real’.”

With, we’re guessing, a heavy sigh, he concluded, “it was a bit like playing with your legs tied together”.

Quote of the week

“I always say if I didn’t have my backside I’d be at Yeovil. No disrespect to Yeovil.”

– Scottish captain John McGinn crediting the size of his bottom for his Premier League career with Aston Villa, while disrespecting Yeovil in the process.

Number of the week: 47,367

The attendance at the Arsenal v Spurs game at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, beating the previous women’s Super League record of 38,262.

Word of Mouth

“Now I am a Panini sticker. My wife bought the album and the envelopes. She ripped them all until she found me.”

– Manchester United’s Fred on the proudest moment of his entire life.

“I think Harry Maguire could cut his own leg off and Southgate would still pick him.”

Simon Jordan, the talkSPORT pundit and former Crystal Palace owner, on how Gareth would stay loyal to an even one-legged Harry.

“I spoke with one Brentford player and told him this guy was 15. He looked at me and said: “**** me, we are old.”

– Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka on 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri making his debut for the club.

“He’s turned water into wine here.”

– Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes saluting the miraculous work of gaffer Eddie Howe.

“I think half of my international career has been against Wales. I don’t know why. It is a little bit boring.”

Kevin De Bruyne after yawning his way through Belgium’s ninth meeting with the Welsh in 10 years.

“I phoned up about him. Tim Sherwood immediately said £7 million. We were in the market for £3 million. I went to the board and they said ‘we can’t do that’.”

Sean Dyche on Burnley deciding against signing a Spurs player back in 2014 because his price tag was too lofty. Yep, Harry Kane.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times