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Anorak | The Viking Falls

The Viking Falls

by | 23rd, November 2004

‘AT first sight, Paula Radcliffe and Andy “The Viking” Fordham don’t appear to have too much in common.

Fordham can lift cheques, cups and bootles of beer wih ease

The former is as thin as a pencil, as fit as a fiddle and probably weighs about as much as the latter’s mid-morning snack.

The Viking, on the other hand, tips the scales at 30 stones and manages to maintain his shape with the aid of 25 bottles of beer a day.

But their names are now irrevocably joined together after both collapsed with heat exhaustion during the most important moment of their career.

Radcliffe’s was of course during the Olympic marathon in Athens; Fordham’s was during his £100,000 darts play-off with Phil “The House” Taylor.

And if The Viking’s collapse hasn’t quite generated the same number of column inches as Radcliffe’s, the Sun this morning conducts its own post-mortem.

It even suggests that plans to get Fordham on Celebrity Fit Club in the New Year might be scuppered because the 42-year-old is too ill.

“If it is found in the medical that any exercise will be harmful to a contestant’s health,” a show spokesman said, “for their best interests they will not be allowed to take part.”

From a darts giant to a giant of football and the Express marks Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1,000th game in charge of Manchester United tonight by revealing his biggest regret.

“In terms of the general history of our club,” he says, “we should have won the European Cup a similar amount of times to clubs like AC and Inter, Bayern Munich and Ajax.”

Victory against Lyon tonight would be a small step towards rectifying that by securing qualification for the next round of the Champions’ League.

It’s all a long way from Fergie’s first game in charge – a 2-0 defeat at Oxford’s Manor Stadium.

“I had done my team-talk and was going into the dug-out,” the Scot recalls, “when I saw the bus driver sitting there.

“He was even giving out the tea at half-time. Let’s say that quickly stopped.”

However, if some things have changes, others have not – and the row over racism in the game rumbles on this morning.

Pouring fuel on the flames is pint-sized pornographer David Sullivan, owner of Birmingham City.

The Mirror says Dwight Yorke might quit the club after Sullivan suggested that he was at fault for reacting to the racist taunts from Blackburn Rovers fans on Sunday.

“I just can’t believe with all that is going on in the world, with 100,000 civilians being killed in Iraq, that it’s that big a deal,” he said.

“If someone made a racist comment about me, three people out of 20-odd thousand, I would not really worry too much. It is not the crime of the century.”

Not that Yorke is saying that it is…’



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