Diary

Ian Hamilton

Today, Live Soccer returns to ‘our screens’ after a six-month haggle between TV and the Football League. It’s Charlton versus West Ham in the Cup and we are being exhorted to look out for West Ham’s new ‘goal-machine’, the Scottish striker McAvennie: ‘Now you’ll be able to see him for yourself,’ the papers say – an oddish line for journalists to take, I would have thought, but there we are. What matters is that soccer Is Back, and that we can all happily plug in again on Saturdays: Frank Furillo might be cool in dead-ball situations but he’s no Glenn Hoddle, and we all know that at Hill Street no one ever heard of a slow-motion replay ...

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[*] Collins, 303 pp., £12.95, 6 January, 0 00 272773 0.

[†] Cape, 614 pp., £12.95, 28 November 1985, 0 224 02319 5.