‘Dead’ player still alive
An English club held a minute’s silence for one of their former great players — only to find that he was still alive. Bishop Auckland printed tributes to former England amateur international Tommy Farrer in the club program and arranged a death notice in the local paper. But when club chairman Terry Jackson phoned the 86-year-old’s wife, Gladys, to offer his condolences, she stunned him by saying he would be coming back soon — not from the afterlife, but from shopping. Farrer played in three FA Amateur Cup finals at Wembley with northeastern side Bishop Auckland, who were among the top non-professional clubs of the 1940s and 1950s. “We are not upset, but we did think it was a bit of a joke at first,” he told the Northern Echo regional daily newspaper. “Whoever it was who told people I had died obviously contacted the football club and they decided to go the whole hog by arranging the silence. I’m very moved that they went to such trouble.”
Manaudou in photo mix-up
A look-alike of former Olympic swimming champion Laure Manaudou appeared on the front page of L’Equipe this week with the woman in question claiming on Friday it had been an invasion of privacy. Manaudou on Wednesday announced she would not be competing this year and a front page photo of the other woman was published by the French sports daily the following day. The paper on Friday said on its front page that Manaudou had contacted them to say it wasn’t her in the photo. They said if that were the case, then they were sorry. The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous but called herself “Claire,” faced the media on Friday with her lawyer. “Apparently, I am the spitting image of Laure Manaudou and I am deeply shocked. The publication of this photo is an invasion of my private life and I learned about the photo from my best friend,” she told journalists. “The problem is that there is now information about me on the Internet and I have learned that I have been followed or risk being followed for several months,” she said.
Wigan snap up Mido
Wigan on Friday sold Emile Heskey to Aston Villa for £3.5 million (US$4.8 million) and immediately snapped up Egypt striker Mido on loan from Middlesbrough as cover until the end of the season. England forward Heskey’s move to Villa was completed after he passed a medical and agreed personal terms while Mido was being lined up to form an Egyptian double act with compatriot Amr Zaki.
Smith returns to Windies
Left-hander Devon Smith was recalled to the West Indies squad on Friday for next month’s first test against England while Barbados opener Dale Richards earned his first call-up. Smith, who has opened the batting and filled in a lower middle order slot, was omitted from the recent tests in New Zealand but earned his latest recall thanks to a double century for the Winward Islands in a regional game against Guyana.
Richards, a late developer at 32, has shown consistent form in the regional competitions but will have caught the eye of the selectors with his century against Trinidad and Tobago. There is no place in the squad for Guyana opening bat Sewnarine Chattergoon. Seamer Lionel Baker, of Montserat, retains his place after debuting in the drawn test series in New Zealand.