Tag Archives: supermarket

Joe Launchbury on his England call-up

Grounded Launchbury has no intention of being left on the shelf after England call-up

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 8 November 2012

Joe Launchbury has revealed how he has gone from a supermarket shelf-stacker to England rugby international in only three years.

The 21-year-old spent five months working in a Horsham shop to fund a student gap year after he failed to gain a professional contract at Harlequins.

But his rugby took off again when he was signed up by ex-Wasps prop Will Green, who was coaching at Worthing in National League Two, and the 6ft 6 lock has never looked back.

He is now set to make his England debut in Saturday’s international as a substitute if required by head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Call-up: Joe Launchbury is in the England squad to face Fiji

Call-up: Joe Launchbury is in the England squad to face Fiji

‘It’s been a crazy few days,’ Launchbury admitted after Lancaster revealed his squad.

‘If someone had told me last Sunday, after finishing the game for Wasps at Saracens, my next game would be for England at Twickenham then I would not have believed them.’

Launchbury was called into the squad on Monday because of injury doubts over Wasps colleague Tom Palmer.

Though Palmer recovered from a calf strain to take up his place, Lancaster has kept Launchbury in the squad after deciding he would be the substitute lock ahead of Saracens’ Mouritz Botha.

‘Stuart has told me to treat it like any other game and not to worry that you are playing in front of 80,000 people.’

Stern test: Launchbury (right) attempts to grapple with Joe Marler

Stern test: Launchbury (right) attempts to grapple with Joe Marler

Lancaster had earmarked Launchbury for honours last May and took him on England’s tour to South Africa only for a knee injury to force the player to be sent home.

‘I was not the easiest person to live with last summer,’ Launchbury explained. ‘It was very disappointing not to get a game on the tour.’

As for the shelf-stacking, Launchbury confided the humble job had given him a good insight into every-day life.

‘I now know what can happen if rugby does not work out. For me to have this here (the England squad) is fantastic and I don’t want to go back to stacking shelves.

‘I did it for three or four months while I was on a gap year. It was to earn some money before I went travelling but the rugby started up and I never went off.’

Green signed up Launchbury, who was then 18, to play for Worthing and was so impressed that he quickly recommended the versatile forward to his old club of Wasps who gave him an opportunity in A league games.

Launchbury had just lost out on a professional contract at Harlequins after playing in the club’s academy while at Christ's Hospital School, Horsham.

‘Looking back it was the right decision (by Quins) because it really drove me and made me really get motivated. I joined Worthing and got back into the swing of things to play rugby.’

Joe Cole"s fall from grace at Liverpool

Subbed at half-time and lambasted by his manager and fans alike, how Cole became Ordinary Joe

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 1 November 2012

Leaving familiar surroundings behind and heading north to Merseyside was always going to be a journey into the unknown for born-and-bred Londoner Joe Cole.

He is unlikely, however, to have expected the list of new experiences to include being ridiculed by his own supporters and told a supermarket trolley would have fared better down Liverpool’s left, on a rare appearance in the starting line-up.

An ignominious 3-1 Capital One Cup home defeat by Swansea was never likely to elicit a sympathetic response from Anfield patrons, but it must still have been galling for Cole to read one tweet that claimed he should be replaced in Brendan Rodgers’s squad by ‘an upside down shopping trolley’.

Off the pace: Cole (right) made his Liverpool comeback on Wednesday night

Off the pace: Cole (right) made his Liverpool comeback on Wednesday night

JOE COLE BY NUMBERS

100 number of minutes of football he has managed this season

3.1m cost per goal scored by Cole, who has managed only three for Liverpool

16 the number of passes he has made in two Premier League appearances this season

2 shots in the Premier League, both of which were off target

90,000 Cole’s weekly wage

36 appearances in two years since joining Liverpool

10.7m Cole’s earnings since arriving at Anfield. Liverpool have paid 9.4m, with the rest funded by Lille

Rodgers himself set the tone for
widespread condemnation of the former England forward’s first start
since August 2 by substituting him at half-time and bluntly telling him
he had blown his big chance.

The Liverpool manager even turned the
spotlight on Cole’s 90,000-a-week wages, saying: ‘The club have
invested an astronomical amount of money in a talented player, and Joe
had the opportunity to show what he could do.

‘But the way we started was too slow and not what I expected from a team I tried to set up to be dynamic.’

While managers tend to be mindful of players’ sensitivities, fans tell it like it is, and the tweeters did not hold back.

One claimed he could not imagine a
worse performance by a Premier League footballer, another suggested he
should be fined two weeks’ wages for playing so badly, while there was
the inevitable vitriol about his salary being a ‘real waste of money’.

All this about a player Steven
Gerrard hailed as better than Lionel Messi when he arrived from Chelsea
on a Bosman free on July 2010.

Disappointed: Cole was hauled off by Rodgers at half-time

Disappointed: Cole was hauled off by Rodgers at half-time

The Liverpool skipper knew Cole from
their England days and said: ‘Messi can do some amazing things, but
anything he can do, Joe can do as well, if not better.

'He used to shock us in training by
doing footy tricks with a golf ball that most players can’t even do with
a football. I really fancy Joe for Footballer of the Year this season.’

It was a view not universally shared,
not even by Cole, who subsequently confessed he was at a loss to
explain why Liverpool signed him.

Or who wanted him, for that matter.
With Rafa Benitez having left a month earlier, managing director
Christian Purslow appeared to be the driving force behind a deal that
raised eyebrows among the Fenway Sports Group when they took over soon
after. Cole was approaching his 29th birthday but had been awarded a
four-year contract worth almost 20million.

Cole was almost as perplexed as he
reflected on a summer that began with Benitez’s departure and ended with
Roy Hodgson’s appointment.

He said: ‘I have racked my brains
trying to think, but I don’t know who signed me for Liverpool, whether
it was Rafa or the board. I really don’t know.

False dawn: Cole got some spark back while on loan at Lille but has dropped off

False dawn: Cole got some spark back while on loan at Lille but has dropped off

False dawn: Cole got some spark back while on loan at Lille but has dropped off

‘But under Roy, I got the impression
straight away I was not his type of player. He was asking me to do
things that were not natural to me. When pressure starts to build up on a
manager, it is usually young players or flair players who get the
hook.’

Such uncertainty perhaps explains why
he failed to shine at Anfield and looked a shadow of the player whose
wonder goal for England against Sweden was one of the talking points of
the 2006 World Cup.

A season-long loan at Lille restored
not only some zest to his game but a belief that he could yet prove
himself at Anfield. Three months on and after a calamitous 45 minutes,
he has been forced to accept that Rodgers may be no more enamoured with
him than Hodgson was.

London 2012 Olympics: Freya Murray replaces Paula Radcliffe in marathon

Paula texted to say I had replaced her in marathon, reveals shocked Murray

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 30 July 2012

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MEDALS TABLE

Freya Murray found out she might be replacing a legend in the Olympic marathon when she was doing her weekly supermarket shop.

The news came in a text from the legend herself — Paula Radcliffe.

It was followed by a phone call from Radcliffe to explain the scale of the problem she was facing with her foot and how unlikely it was that she would be able to compete.

Surprise chance: Freya Murray will run in the marathon in place of the injured Paula Radcliffe

Surprise chance: Freya Murray will run in the marathon in place of the injured Paula Radcliffe

Murray said: ‘I didn’t want to get carried away in case it didn’t happen. I didn’t think, “Oh, I’m definitely going”, just that there was a possibility.’

The next day she went to work as a structural engineer in Newcastle as if nothing had happened but on Sunday— after it was confirmed when the IAAF accepted Britain’s application for a late change of runner — Murray had to ask for time off.

‘My boss has been very understanding,’ she said.

So has Radcliffe.

Agony: Radcliffe is consoled by husband Gary Lough in the Bird's Nest four years ago

Agony: Radcliffe is consoled by husband Gary Lough in the Bird's Nest four years ago

‘It must have been a very difficult telephone call for her to make,’ said Murray. ‘I feel for her. I’m totally gutted for her and can only imagine how she must be feeling. It must be horrible for her.’

Murray, 28, is from Edinburgh and ran her first marathon in London in April.

Her time, more than 15 minutes slower than Radcliffe’s world record, fulfilled Britain’s selection criteria but she missed out on a place for the Olympic marathon to Claire Hallissey who finished ahead of her.

Valiant: Radcliffe finished third in last year's London Marathon

Valiant: Radcliffe finished third in last year's London Marathon

‘I would love to go quicker than I did in April and I think I am capable.

‘It’s been a very exciting couple of days, just letting it all sink in. I’ve never had so many text and Facebook messages.

‘I’m aiming to enjoy the experience and run very well on Sunday.’

Scott Harrison arrested over alleged theft

Shamed Harrison arrested over suspected supermarket theft…days before ring return

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UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 22 March 2012

Former world champion Scott Harrison has been arrested in connection with an alleged theft at a supermarket in Glasgow.

The 34-year-old and another man were taken in by police after allegedly stealing food from a Tesco store in Dalmarncok Road, Rutherglen in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A witness told the Daily Record: 'Two men were shouting and swearing, even at each other, and although the store was in no way busy at 2.30 in the morning, other customers were keeping their heads down.

Back in the day: Scott Harrison was a featherweight world champion

Back in the day: Scott Harrison was a featherweight world champion

‘They were opening food packets and helping themselves while shouting at staff and other customers.’

Harrison has not fought since 2005 but was due to make his comeback in Blackpool next week after claiming earlier this month to have beaten the booze.

He became WBO featherweight champion in 2002, lost to Manuel Medina the following July but regained the title in November 2003.

Out the game: Harrison had planned a comeback fight in Blackpool

Out the game: Harrison had planned a comeback fight in Blackpool

The Scot has had problems with depression and alcohol and was stripped of his title and licence to box in 2006 after failing to make the weight for a fight with Nicky Cook.

A police spokeswoman said: ‘At around 2.20am a 34-year-old man was arrested in connection with an alleged theft and public order offences at Dalmarnock Road, Rutherglen. Another 34-year-old man was arrested for alleged road traffic offences and detained.’

Harrison was released after a few hours in custody.