Daft as a brush, but I feel his pain

By Danny Caro, March 3, 2011

I came close to tears when I bumped into Gazza in a south-coast hotel over the weekend. The former England star's trials and tribulations have been well-documented in recent years but it was tough to see what has happened to the man who had the world at his feet 20 years ago.

Now 43, he looks pale and gaunt as he undergoes five-months of rehab. Even though he is emotionally drained, he was happy to speak to passers-by in between visits to the gym and the occasional kick-about in the kids club.

Gazza told me that he's on the road to recovery and handed me some photos of his career highlights that he talks about in group therapy sessions.

● Don't panic. That is the message from MSFL chairman David Wolff after FC Marylebone became the third team to fold this season. The demise of the club, nicknamed the Frenchman, came as a result of a player shortage with several regulars returning to France in recent months. Wolff said: "It is not a good thing that so many teams have dropped out this year but I can tell you that there are enquiries for next season, so hopefully we will increase our numbers for future years. But let us not be despondent because we still have an excellent league which is the envy of many."

● North London Raiders B are toasting double delight after clinching my respective Player and Manager of the Month for February. Midfield dynamo Elliot Espinoza has been in top form. He was instrumental in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash against Chigwell Athletic. Boss Rob Richman is the standout candidate after steering the team to nine consecutive wins that has put them within touching distance of Premier Division football next season.

● Pinner JFC have won their appeal to reschedule their match against Los Blancos. If you recall, the game in January was postponed at half time with Los Blancos leading 2-0. Pinner chairman Les Conway said: "This was a point of principle where I had two qualified referees at the site that morning, one of which being quite senior in the Middlesex FA. They were there to officiate two of our youth games who both declared the pitch unfit. The game should never have allowed the game to commence.

"This goes deeper than a group of 22 boys turning up to kick a balloon of air around. By allowing that game to commence, the ref ensured that none of our teams were able to play for three weeks."

● The semi-finals of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup take place on Sunday. Winners North West Neasden A take on treble-chasing Redbridge Jewish Care A at the Hive in Edgware while 2009 winners Hendon United A take on Division Four minnows Los Blancos in west Hendon.

Last updated: 1:24pm, March 3 2011