The Loneliest Jukebox

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Monday, August 02, 2004

Pop idols

And so to the Walkers Stadium. I am pleased to report that the Pepsi Max Challenge Cup is now in the Leicester trophy room, next to the ... commemorative plate from winning the cancelled 1970s TV show It's All in the Game. On reflection, the finals were a strange use of my Sunday afternoon. First I walked past Filbert Street, now the site of en suite student flats (£60 all in, says the banner). Then I joined a miniscule crowd watching East Bengal lose to Maritimo, as the Portugese side easily outclassed the unfortunate Indian champions, whose first touch seemed very poor and whose sole tall defender struggled to deal with ariel threats. Whoever had the bright idea of giving all the kids in the ground paper trumpets deserves a migraine, if not burial in the foundations of one of the many riverside building projects springing up near there.

The tournament final was a much faster affair, with City chalking up a 4-2 victory over Real Mallorca with three great goals from new signings and one from Jordan Stewart, one of two surviving players from the Martin O'Neill era. After a despondent Summer of football it was reassuring to see us get back to winning ways, even in the context of a friendly where the multiple substitutions tend to break up any continuity in the game. With the Pepsi Max Challenge Cup out of the way, now for Coca Cola Championship (previously known as the second division). If only Irn Bru sponsored some fizzy drinks contest, we could make it a treble.

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