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ARCH IRRITANT

ASTRAGAL

Last Saturday saw the moment all footballing architecture fans had been waiting for. There were trials and tribulations, tears, recrimination, months turning to years of delays, but finally it happened. Yes, at last a wheezing Astragal took to the pitch to make his debut for the Wandsworth Common over-60s five-a-side team. Oh, and the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea kicked off in Norman Foster and HOK's new Wembley Stadium as well.

Although the cup final itself left much to be desired, with Didier Drogba's goal breaking the torpor late on just as the excitement of penalties was looming, the stadium was nothing less than a triumph.

Boasting more WCs than any other venue in the world and room for 90,000 rabid spectators to sit in comfort, it is a delight. But Astragal did spot one aw, which lies in the iconic arch. TV commentators John Motson and Martin Tyler, neither of whom has ever been known to pass up a punning opportunity, spent large parts of the game referring to 'the arch rivals clashing under the arch'.

Groan. Red card!

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