Paper Round

Tough-tackling Anglo-Scottish midfielders have long held the belief that there is no such thing as a friendly game of football, but you would be forgiven for assuming a game organised to raise money for charity would be one of the easier rides for a referee.

Not so. Cornish paper the West Briton reported that a match between rival teams from the town of Helston, held in aid of cancer charity Clic Sargent, had to be abandoned after a no-holds-barred melee left one player in hospital with a split eyebrow.

It is not yet known if any funds were raised, but at least the player was clearly none the worse for the battering his head received. "Football is football, isn't it?" he said, with impeccable logic.

If the football was somewhat agricultural, that's nothing compared with the pedigree English longhorn heifer that a Yorkshire farmer donated to Cancer Research UK.

The Bradford Telegraph and Argus reported that the cow, which could raise £3,000 at auction, was donated by farmers David and Angela Blockley after their son, Richard, recovered from thyroid cancer.

Jamie Strachan, area volunteer manager for CRUK, said: "We have had some unusual donations before, but this is a new one to me." Other gifts have apparently included a flame-thrower, a stuffed parrot and a surfboard.

Among the numerous Labour conference fringe events to which Gordon Brown was driven by his PR advisers, like a cow pursued by a gadfly, was a disco organised by gay rights charity Stonewall.

"He really enjoyed the evening," said Ben Summerskill, the charity's chief executive, according to The Independent. It noted that the PM worked the room for all of 10 minutes and then made an exit to the strains of Abba's Dancing Queen.

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