“In this world of computer games and mobile phones, footballers need a book about conkers, spy gadgets and stories of incredible courage,” insists “Lost In Music” author Giles Smith. “Deep down, that what a footballer really wants to be is self-sufficient, capable of building a papier mâché mountain for a model railway or growing cress on blotting paper, and able to navigate his way by the stars,” claims the Sunday Times columnist, by way of introduction to the surely ficticious “The Dangerous Book For Footballers.”


You will need a thin, hollow, metal pipe about 8in long and 1in in diameter, such as might, for instance, form part of a hotel™s central heating system or be nailed into the bathroom wall as a towel-hanger. Detach and trim as necessary.

Form six evenly spaced holes in the pipe using a drill, ideally, or the corkscrew from your mini-bar if no drill is available. Make sounds with your tin whistle by blowing gently into the pipe at one end and using your fingers to cover the holes in various patterns.

Tunes you can play on your tin whistle: Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Tunes you can™t play on your tin whistle: Freakum Dress by Beyoncé; Grown Man Business by Mos Def (above); anything by Ludacris.


Even the most gruelling coach trip (normally to Blackburn) can be made to fly by with a game of numberplate cricket. This game is probably best played away from the training-ground car park, where a big total can be slow to accumulate (JT 1, AC 1, FL 1, etc).

Fortunately, as you will rapidly discover, not everybody on the road has personalised numberplates, so you™ll soon be racking up quite an innings ” until you are bowled middle stump, that is, by an overtaking green Austin Allegro.