Football: The Sweeper

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Kelly goes the long way from Cardiff to Dublin

DAVID KELLY, Tranmere's assistant manager (right), had one last hoorah as a player last Sunday afternoon, picking up a winner's medal for Derry City as they beat Shamrock Rovers 1-0 in the final of FAI Carlsberg Cup in Dublin. The match capped a 20-year playing career that featured 11 senior clubs - including West Ham, Leicester, Newcastle, Wolves and Sunderland - but not before Kelly had endured a nightmare before even getting to the ground. Having been given special dispensation by his new employers to play, the former Republic of Ireland striker clocked off late on Saturday night after Rovers' 4-0 drubbing in Cardiff. He then left home early on Sunday to get to Birmingham airport for an 8.30am flight to Ireland. "I stayed there until ten past ten when they told me it was cancelled," he said. "So I thought `What do I do now?' They were putting people on a coach to Manchester, but I thought I'd drive instead to Heathrow. Then I thought I'd go to East Midlands, but when I got on the motorway I pressed on and went to Heathrow. I got there at 11.20, breaking a few speed limits on the way. There, the girl on the desk told me a flight had just gone, but I found out it was delayed and it wasn't going until 12.35. I thought `Great, I've got enough time to be at the ground an hour before kick-off'." The plane finally arrived in Dublin at 1.40, only for the pilot to be informed there was no space at the airport to dock. A 20-minute wait at the side of the runway ensued. "I eventually got out of the airport after two o'clock and two garda motorcycles got me to the ground in 10 minutes," said Kelly, who at least had experience of haphazard travel on his side. "It was fantastic - like being with the Irish team again."

`You're Lawrenson - and you know you are'

LATE ON Tuesday afternoon, two starstruck Newcastle supporters, on their way to Tuesday's Champions' League match against Dynamo Kiev, were seen getting out of their car at a Little Chef on the A69 when one of them spotted Mark Lawrenson (right), also en route to the game, heading into the diner for some refreshment. …