Early Doors

  • Steve Bruce still cringes at his ‘laughing stock’ novels

    It may sound strange, but there is at least one Premier League boss who fancies - or who at least USED TO FANCY - himself as a bit of a novelist.

    That man is Hull City's Steve Bruce, who talked about his love of writing, but also his deep embarrassment over his past work, at a ceremony in the city.

    Hull was named the UK's city of culture for 2017 and Bruce was asked about how he dabbled in the arts as an author over a decade ago.

    The phase came in Bruce's life when he was captaining Manchester United, and he rattled out three novels in the space of four months - something which few people

    Read More »from Steve Bruce still cringes at his ‘laughing stock’ novels
  • Football violence makes Lionel Messi cry

    Violent fans are hardly unique to Argentina, but the frequency and lethal severity of the incidents there make the situation worse than most.

    As part of a campaign against this behaviour, the Leo Messi Foundation has released a video of the Argentina captain crying intercut with clips of violence in stadiums.

    The video concludes with the message "no one wins — let's make together a world without violence."

    If the image of tears running down the normally smiling face of Lionel Messi doesn't make people change their ways, then nothing will.

    As a side note: I would be shocked if no one has

    Read More »from Football violence makes Lionel Messi cry
  • Neymar’s face used to help sell ‘high quality’ cocaine

    Neymar has proved since joining Barcelona he is indisputably a top-quality footballer – but now the striker’s image is apparently being used in his home country to identify top-quality illegal drugs too.

    A 27-year-old man was arrested while selling drugs on Thursday in Sao Vicente, in the state of Sao Paulo, and was caught with 31 capsules of cocaine, 43 rocks of crack and over 80 grams of marijuana, according to police.

    However, what made this particular drugs bust memorable was that the cocaine capsules had the image of Brazil’s most famous footballer plastered on them.

    The face of Neymar,

    Read More »from Neymar’s face used to help sell ‘high quality’ cocaine
  • A bizarre row has erupted between two FA Cup opponents after Boreham Wood threatened Carlisle United with legal action having being accused of leaving urine on the club's dressing-room floor.

    Boreham Wood claim the offending substance was merely orange juice which was splattered all over the floor when defender Mark Jones “lashed out” at a carton following a 2-1 defeat in the first round of the competition.

    Moreover, the non-league side have also had to deny suggestions they damaged the dressing-room door at Brunton Park and wedged a teapot in a urinal.

    With a Football Association

    Read More »from Club makes legal threat over ‘urine’ allegation and kettle ‘placed in toilet’
  • Injured keeper sets up business to tackle supplement risk

    Leeds' injured goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown has used his time on the sidelines wisely by launching his own business in a bid to safeguard his future.

    The 32-year-old, who recently had surgery on a toe injury that has kept him out of action this season, has recognised a gap in the sports supplements industry and through his new online business wants to help athletes avoid taking banned or harmful substances.

    Ashdown, who has set up new website Trusted Pro Supplements, hopes both the Professional Players' Association and Rugby Football Union will endorse his company, which already supplies

    Read More »from Injured keeper sets up business to tackle supplement risk
  • Weather presenter fulfils World Cup wager by stripping naked

    French TV star Doria Tillier said she would present the weather in the nude if her country qualified for the World Cup – and she is a woman of her word (sort of).

    Tillier, a weather girl for the Canal+ TV network in France, had made the promise to call the weather 'à poil' (in the buff) after Les Blues lost the first leg of their World Cup play-off 2-0 in Ukraine.

    No European national team had ever overhauled a two-goal play-off deficit before, so it seemed a safe-ish bet for former model Tillier, 27.

    But a rip-roaring second leg in Paris saw France win 3-0, sealing their place at the finals

    Read More »from Weather presenter fulfils World Cup wager by stripping naked
  • A dramatic night of World Cup play-offs and a home defeat for England against Germany were rich material for Twitter's lunatic fringe.

    Naturally, the Cristiano Ronaldo hype machine was in top gear following his rather incredible hat-trick as Portugal defeated Sweden 3-2 to reach the World Cup finals.

    Leading the way was Piers Morgan - surely never one to overreact? - who saw fit to proclaim Ronaldo the greatest player of all time, despite his inferior statistics to Lionel Messi on a near yearly basis, at least until this season.

    Read More »from Overreaction Theatre: Ibra is the best … oh wait, I mean Ronaldo
  • Thiago Silva makes a mess of his Ballon d’Or vote

    It seems a deceptively simple process.

    A collection of 23 candidates are drawn up for the Ballon d’Or by experts from the FIFA Football Committee and by a group of experts from France Football.

    Then captains and head coaches of the men’s national teams as well as international media representatives selected by France Football vote on the venerable 23 and the man with the most votes is the Ballon d’Or winner.

    To guard against footballing hubris there is one main stipulation – a player must not vote for himself. Again, simple enough.

    So when Brazil captain Thiago Silva sat down with

    Read More »from Thiago Silva makes a mess of his Ballon d’Or vote
  • Fan tracks down ex-stars to ‘complete’ 1996 sticker album

    Philippe Albert then and now

    Here at Early Doors we know the pain of falling just short of completing a football sticker album only too well, with the sticker ghost of Dutch goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen still haunting our almost full Italia 90 book.

    Adam Carroll-Smith always thought he had completed the 1996 Merlin Premier League book as a teenager, and indeed used to boast about it, but he suffered "a gut punch" when he found it in the attic recently and realised that he had actually fallen six stickers short.

    He decided that "a great wrong had to be righted" but instead of going straight to eBay or contacting the

    Read More »from Fan tracks down ex-stars to ‘complete’ 1996 sticker album
  • Defender scores 40-yarder… against own keeper

    You have to feel sorry for Frickley Athletic's Steven Gardner.

    The defender was turning out for his Northern Premier League side in a match against FC United of Manchester at the weekend, and was putting in a good shift as the sides were still deadlocked at 0-0 after half-time.

    In fact, he'd just got the better of Rhodri Giggs - brother of Ryan and estranged husband of Natasha - as he shut down a potential counter-attack by passing the ball back to goalie Tom Woodhead.

    His back-pass would have been inch-perfect, if only Woodhead had been sitting perched on the crossbar. Unfortunately,

    Read More »from Defender scores 40-yarder… against own keeper