Bell's passion for mediocrity

30th September 2005 at 01:00
It is becoming ever harder to tear chief inspector David Bell away from his beloved football club, Rushden and Diamonds. Since he moved to nearby Bedfordshire he has become a season ticket holder.

Earlier this year, he launched his report on the national literacy and numeracy strategy there. On Tuesday, he was at the club again to open Northamptonshire's pioneering centre where disaffected pupils boost their skills through football-based lessons.

The Glasgow-born chief inspector likes to support his local team. He was once a Rangers fan, then switched to Newcastle United while director of the city's education service. Now he supports the curiously named club that resulted from a merger in 1992 between Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds (the two sets of fans still don't speak). Perhaps he likes to hear the shout "David Bell, you're a shite and you know it!" knowing it is aimed at his namesake, an RD midfielder.

Despite the chief inspector's inspiring presence earlier in the day, RD lost 3-1 to Northampton on Tuesday and are now in 18th place in the Coca Cola league 2.

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