COME On England's World Cup Women's team ... is quite rightly the rallying, roaring cry in France.

While Europe belongs to Liverpool FC, and the UK's respective national squads fight for UEFA's Euro 2020 qualification, there is still one other trophy out there to play for - The Brexit Challenge Cup.

Bring on the Poisoned Chalice.

Tomorrow this knockout competition sees ten MP players compete for a place in the final line-up to become Prime Minister.

By June 22, 160,000 blue, rosette-wearing Tory members will vote on just two candidates decided by their own elected MPs.

But only one will have their name engraved on the virtual trophy by July 22 ready for a bruising Brexit 'premier-ship' season.

It will be a token cabinet post for the runner- up or, according to mood swings, sweet FA.

Theresa May's goal-less campaign led to her sick-as-a-parrot departure from Number 10.

Tactically flawed, too many nil-nil draws and three seasons without any Brexit silverware saw Mrs May heading for the backbench dug-out of destiny.

Now it's a whole new ball game for the dis-united Tories.

We, the rest of the electorate, have no say in choosing our next national manager and will watch it all unfold on our TV screens.

History being made with plenty of ballot box action replays.

Presently it is like tuning in to a Sport Relief version of Lord Sugar's reality show The Apprentice.

There's ambitious hopefuls from the self-assured to the deluded and from the power dressed to the less-sartorial.

You can predict who is likely to trip up or warrant a red card.

Any broken promises will - like the Tories 2017 manifesto pledge to keep the free TV licence for over 75s - be deemed foul play.

After the summer recess the new super fit PM will have to put all previous Brexit own goals behind them.

But who do the pundits believe stands the best chance of wearing the coveted PM arm band?

Michael Gove has proved he has a good nose for politics but will he ultimately be sniffed out?

Jeremy Hunt knows through his negotiating experience how to swerve away from metaphorical milk-shakes.

And then there is the top striker: the point-scoring; publicity-prolific and selfish goal poacher Boris Johnson.

I first met BJ in 1984 at the Oxford Union Debating Society where the politicians of tomorrow honed their Westminister credentials in a scaled-down Houses of Parliament.

I was at Ruskin College studying Public Speaking. He was at Balliol where he was reading Classics.

The ex-Eton, Bullingdon boy Boris was already a celebrity.

It was always useful research hearing him public speak ... so to speak. He was the George best of the despatch box.

I shall never forget my first meeting and subsequent impression of a seriously-focused, ambitious solo operator who simply wanted to be prime minister.

Following his career over the past 35 years I believe he will do it.

But, beware Boris, underdogs have a habit of shaking up cup finals and elections.

This is one Match of the Day worth the wait for.

But whoever makes the final of the virtual Brexit Challenge Cup remember there is no extra time when the final whistle blows.


McGEAR ... McFab.

Mike McCartney photographer, pop star, children's author and charity supporter changed his name to McGear in the '60s when he was part of the band Scaffold and as a solo performer.

Next week his acclaimed album from 1974, called McGear, is remastered and re-released.

Yet the icing on the cake for this Wirral resident is being honoured in the Queen's birthday Honours like Elvis Costello who was brought up in Birkenhead.

Mike, who is name-checked in the lyrics of brother Paul's hit song Let 'Em In, will receive a British Empire Medal.

Personally, I shall never forget Mike's kindness to me when I had a near-fatal accident.

Caring Mike has a great sense of humour too - as shown by his Facebook response to his royal reward. Mike posted: "OMG - Our Mike's Gong."

As his beloved dad Jim used to say to his youngest son: 'Put it there.'


CHARLES Dickens said of childhood we can only get back to the place but never the time.

Happily, we adults can dream back to childhood with the Toy Story franchise.

Toy Story 4 is released on June 21 and you only have to watch the stunning trailer to know this is going to be tissues-at-the-ready time.

Tom Hanks, who voices hero Woody, was near to tears when he recorded his final words. He calls it a 'profound' ending.

For millions of fans it is much-needed unabashed, sentimental escapism with no strings attached.


THE show must go on, sang Leo Sayer who is the most optimistic of 70-year-olds.

Leo's Just A Boy tour visits New Brighton's Floral Pavilion on Saturday.

Much-loved Leo has revealed that he was the last person to speak to both Elvis Presley and John Lennon on their respective phones before they passed on.

Call me superstitious, but the last time I contacted Leo I decided to e-mail him.


And finally ...

THERE could be competition on the Liverpool to London West Coast line in 2021.

A promise of the 'most advanced and customer focused train service including guaranteed 'seat for everyone' boasts the competitive operator or is this just Virgin on the ridiculous?

Peter Grant