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PERHAPS it was intuition or just coincidence but Colchester Hospital Radio's decision to give Mark Yeates' their player of the year award, while all the major senior accolades went to Wayne Brown, turned out to be somewhat ironic.

By Derek Davis

PERHAPS it was intuition or just coincidence but Colchester Hospital Radio's decision to give Mark Yeates' their player of the year award, while all the major senior accolades went to Wayne Brown, turned out to be somewhat ironic.

While the no-nonsense defender Brown posed for pictures with his glittering array of prizes, Yeates took his trophy and smiled through somewhat gritted teeth after injuring his shoulder in a bizarre accident after scoring the winner against Rotherham, on Saturday.

I'm sure Hospital Radio didn't expect him to be making a personal appearance at the General not too long after the award, not to say thanks, but to have a scan on the damaged shoulder, which is likely to force him to miss the big one at Yeovil this weekend.


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But what is it with players getting injured while celebrating a goal?

Yeates' attempts at a Shefki Kuqi dive may have been caused by sheer exuberance but perhaps in future he will confine that sort of not-so-acrobatic move to the penalty area, preferably with a defender within a few inches of him.

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He is not the first to be afflicted with the U's goal celebration curse.

Lomano Lua Lua's amazing back flips and somersaults finally caught up with him at Portsmouth as the Congo DR's unbelievable run of bad luck continued after he had scored in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal.

After suffering malaria after one international trip, which hospitalised him for weeks, then found out his son had died,

Even his moment of joy was ruined when he injured and already sore ankle after one of his acrobatic tumbles and missed Pompey's promotion run, which saw Harry 'Houdini' Redknapp pull it off again.

Another well-known gymnastic goal-scorer Scott McGleish also came unstuck after his somersaulting celebrations and at the moment is preparing to go under the knife for a hernia operation.

A lesser-known U's link with celebratory mishaps is Steve Morrow, the Arsenal player who fell while being lifted aloft after winning the FA Cup and broke an arm. He had an unsuccessful trial at Layer Road but was given the cold shoulder.

Let us hope that the U's will score enough on Saturday to go up and no one becomes a cropper at what we hope will be a promotion party on Monday, and falls off the obligatory open top bus.

STEVE McClaren is expected to be unveiled as the England manager this afternoon to the delight of Blazer Brigade among others.

It does still seem quite amazing that representatives from what is essentially the amateur part of the game, still have such a say in the decision-making.

Six members of the board that will confirm the selection panel's come from outside the four top levels, which shows at least that the FA remains a democratic process.

It is also clear that McClaren's appointment, in the wake of Luiz Felipe Scolari's snub, will go down well with the League Manager's Association that were livid with Brian Barwick and his team for offering the Brazilian the job.

They would have also been happy if Sam Allardyce, who is the closest thing to a caricature of Harry Bassett - England Manager, who I can think of, and the soon to be out-of-work Alan Curbishley, would have got the job.

That is because they want to see an England man in charge of our national team. They argue that the FA design courses and urge young coaches to develop through the system, and the courses are not cheap.

The LMA also point out that it was good enough in the past. We have only ever won a major tournament under an Englishman, who had played for the previous manager, and his successor Ron Greenwood introduced a raft of coaches to work in the set up.

Terry Venables and Bobby Robson, along with Howard Wilkinson briefly managed the country while Dave Sexton and Don Howe were influential coaches and all came through Greenwood.

Perhaps it will work now. I'm not so sure. I have said before and even though I'm about to be proved wrong, I don't think McClaren is the right man.

I would have preferred Martin O'Neill, even though he wore the green of Northern Ireland, or Peter Taylor.

WE have heard that old chestnut about it is not the winning it is the taking part but come on - lifting a trophy at the end of the season beats throwing your runners-up medal in the nearest river.

So spare a thought and wish good luck to the Stowmarket Under-15s who have already reached more semi-finals than Middlesbrough but had more bad luck than an injury-ravaged Ipswich with unfavourable officials.

Neil Shane's side were beaten in the Colchester Cup semi-final by the well-renowned Colchester Villa, were the beaten 7-6 on penalties by Gorelston after a 4-4 extra time score-line in the Open Cup final and to add to their woes, lost 2-1 against Old Newton in the Knockout Cup final.

The plucky lads' last chance of any glory comes on Sunday in the Suffolk County Minor Cup final when they take on Chantry Grasshoppers at Needham Market.

If you win lads, then well done, if you don't there is always next year, and the year after that, and…

TERRY Sutton is a man who lives his dreams. He wanted to be mayor and did that, and wanted his year in office to coincide with Colchester United going up - almost another box ticked.

Tonight he will be backing his theme for the year - 'Our youth, their future'- when he mixes his two big loves football and politics.

While many a politician will be fretting over local by-election results, Sutton will be at Layer Road cheering on the U's Under-18s in a bid to win the Youth Alliance Cup final against Preston North End and be on hand to present the trophy to the victors. He will then hot-foot it to the town hall in time to see the election results coming in.

MY thanks to those of you who e-mailed to agree and disagree with my assertion that we should not take Wayne Rooney to the world Cup because it wastes a space for a fully-fit striker.

It seems increasingly likely that Rooney won't go because he is worse than first feared with more breaks in his foot than a box of battered Kit-Kats.

Sven Goran Eriksson has to name an initial squad of 23 on Monday but he will be allowed to replace injured members up until June 8, the day before the World Cup starts in earnest.

It is a fair bet that England fans are going to suffer more high and lows in the coming weeks and Smileyballs.com have come up with a way of showing the mood of supporters.

They have a George Cross with eyes and a moveable plastic mouth to provide a smile or grimace depending on move, you can find details on the website.

For each one they sell, £1.99 or £4.99 for a pack of three, Smileyballs will donate 30p to charity.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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