ASHES HERO PRATT’S RINGER ROOTS REVEALED
It was no surprise to former members of one of Fleet Street’s, er,
finest cricket teams when England’s substitute fielder Gary Pratt, from
Durham, spectacularly ran out Australian captain Ricky Ponting at the
Trent Bridge test. In August 1991 Pratt, who also acted as a sub at The
Oval, was invited to make up the numbers for a hacks XI on a tour of
The Grub Street Casuals, a now defunct side mainly drawn from Mirror
Group titles and which in its day occasionally fielded such
undistinguished players as Alastair Campbell and Alan Rusbridger, was,
as usual on tour, severely hungover and a couple of men short.
opposition, City of Durham cricket club, generously offered to find us
an extra man,” says Private Eye journalist Tim Minogue, who in those
days worked for the Daily Mirror. “We weren’t very impressed, then,
when they produced a nine-year-old in baggy shorts. But Gary turned out
to be our best player and showed us all up, fielding like a demon and
getting 14 not out. That was our top score, so it gives you an idea of
the general standard.
“We still lost, of course,” Minogue
confesses. “When Gary ran out Ponting the other day I was dead
chuffed – it took a Grub Street man to save the day.”
Street stalwarts included the Mirror’s Frank Thorne, now freelancing in
Oz, former diary editor Garth Gibbs, skipper Graham Ball, formerly of
The People, now at the Express, ex-Mirror graphic artists Roy and
Michael Wright, former People chief sub Chris Evenden and former Mirror
art editor Ric Papineau.
This sporting life
As a golfer, Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo, is so bad he’s good.
Indeed, when competing in a charity tournament at Darlington’s
Blackwell Grange course, he made golfing history when he went round the
course in one shot.
Hitting his ball from the first tee, he got a hole-in-one at the 18th.
Spectators were gobsmacked when the ball soared 150 yards over trees before rolling into the hole – a round of golf in one shot.
Barron later confided: “I’m so bad a player that I’m never going to get a real hole-in-one, so I’ll happily settle for this.”
Marr dogged by ghost of Frost
Dog is a great fan of recycling, so was delighted to see that Andrew
Marr’s new show, Sunday AM, decided to reuse some old props from the
programme’s previous incarnation as Breakfast With Frost.
During an interview with Kevin Spacey, a book in the bookshelf
behind him clearly had the word “Frost” written along the side in
pencil. Well done BBC for not wasting any licence payer’s cash.
Latest sunflower crop is deemed ‘bloomin’ awful’
Two things to concentrate on when cropping a picture of a small boy
with the tall sunflower that has won him a prize. One is the lad’s
face. The other is the flower itself.
The Wharfedale Observer at least managed a 50 per cent strike rate.
CORRECTION: “Methinks Dog
could be featured in his own column next week,” writes Tony Durkin,
editor of Estate Agency News, barely able to contain his glee. “I
turned to the back page and there was my old mate Neil Barker of the
MEN staring out at me – and you have called him Dave!” Oh dear, oh dear.
Editor’s note: Apologies to Neil, and thanks to our other
correspondents who pointed out this howler. An ultimatum has been
issued to the kennel. Sharpen up – or it’s a one-way ticket to Korea
Ex-Daily Telegraph and Independent correspondents
Martin Whitfield and Mike Durham are sharing their first by-line, if
not a starting line, on a touching story about the Great North Run this
a former education correspondent at the Telegraph and health
correspondent for the Sunday Times and Observer, was due to be running
to raise funds for Leukemia Research.
But when he was called into hospital to start his own bone marrow/stem cell treatment this month, he was told he couldn’t run.
in stepped Whitfield, former Indy and Telegraph labour correspondent.
He’ll also run in memory of his journalist wife Lynne Curry, who died
of cancer aged 48 last year.
To add your contribution to the £2,500 they’ve raised, go to www.justgiving.com /mikepoundsthepavement