Who will be Jamie Vardy’s successor?

Has LCFC found Vardy’s replacement or is Patson Daka the solution? Azim Saiyed reports.

Who will be Jamie Vardy’s successor?
Has LCFC found Vardy’s replacement or is Patson Daka the solution?

Leicester Panthers fall to defeat in season opener

The Leicester Panthers lost their first game back after a 27-year-break since playing under that name, as they fell to a 61-24 defeat against a strong Edinburgh Wolves side. Rian Fearnehough reports.

Leicester Panthers fall to defeat in season opener

‘Run for Redfern’: more than 60 joggers join Leicester fundraising challenge in memory of much-loved former DMU student

By Alfie Linville-Sibley

The second annual ‘Run for Redfern’ arrived at the steps of the De Montfort University student union at the weekend as scores of joggers honoured the memory of much-loved DMU alumnus Adam Redfern.

The air was filled with cheers and applause on Sunday as students, staff, and Adam’s friends crossed the finish line, blazing red in their ‘Run for Redfern’ tees, after the completing the 5km course across Leicester from Victoria Park to the heart of the DMU campus. 

More than 60 runners took part in the run, raising up to £1,500 for the Adam Redfern Memorial Fund, which provides a student scholarship and aims to make DMU a ‘heart safe campus’. Adam died of a sudden heart attack while out jogging in March 2021. He was just 28.

After starting at 11am, all the runners were over the line by noon. Following the race, Adam’s parents, Christine and Ian Redfern, gave a short speech to the runners in the DSU in front of a banner bearing a picture of their son.

“We wanted to give everybody a chance to run and remember Adam this year, and seeing this growth in just one year is amazing,” Ian said.

The first ‘Run for Redfern was held in 2022, with eight of Adam’s friends running on a sponsorship basis. Between them, they raised £3,000 for the memorial fund.

Elgan Hughes, one of those original eight, said: “Seeing so many students sat in the Union on a cold Sunday morning like this is amazing. After last year we realised Adam deserved something bigger to remember him, so we decided to open it up to everyone this year.”

“Hopefully next year everyone that’s here today will bring a friend along, and then the same will happen the year after, that’s the ultimate goal,” Elgan said.

“It was a big job to organise this, between the council and the staff at the Union and De Montfort everybody involved was fantastic. Hopefully, we’ll see you all again next March for an even bigger Run for Redfern,” Ian Redfern said.

Adam Redfern

The memorial fund keeps Adam’s memory alive by creating opportunities for students with a flair for journalism, media or sport through a scholarship, allowing third-year students the chance to pursue their passions.

Adam, who has been described as “the best of DMU in one person”, was a Journalism (BA) graduate who went on to work as part of the Student Union and later joined DMU’s social media team.

Christine Redfern said: “The first scholarship has gone out this year to a film student, and seeing what she’s doing with the opportunity is amazing.”

The memorial foundation is also aiming to fund the installation and related training for on-campus defibrillators to make DMU ‘heart safe’ and raise awareness for SADS (sudden arrhythmic death syndrome), when someone dies following an unexplained cardiac arrest.

Runner Richard Bowden, a former colleague of Adam’s, said: “Adam was always looking for opportunities to support students. He made lots of DSU roles paid so students would be more rewarded and the DSU would be better staffed.”

Click here to make a donation to the Adam Redfern Memorial Fund.

Industrial action sees massive UK rise in days lost since 2019

Bu Kas Ellis

DAYS lost due to industrial action have increased dramatically since 2019.

The Office for National Statistics released information regarding the amount of days lost in select months in 2022 after previously suspending data collection due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A member of the University and College Union spoke about the rise.

Alistair Jones, a politics professor at De Montfort University has been a part of the union for 32 years.

“The main cause for strikes is pay, especially with inflation, but also terms and conditions,” Prof Jones said. “I’ve been a part of half a dozen strikes during my time at De Montfort, and almost all have been in relation to pay.”

Casualisation of work, short term contracts, and workloads were also factors at play for the rise in labour disputes.

Recent figures provided by the Office for National Statistics showed a significant increase of working days lost from the average number of 19,500 days lost in 2019.

In June 2022, there were 70,500 working days lost, and in July 2022, there were 87,600 working days lost.

The figures for August, September, and October 2022 saw an increase too, with 356,000 days, 209,000 days, and 417,00 days lost respectively.

The June and July report also showed that the regions with the highest amount of working days lost were Yorkshire and The Humber, and the North West.

The industry with the most working days lost was transport and storage.

When asked about any particular factors that made the rise from 2019 so significant, Prof Jones said: “It’s not just from COVID-19, we were on strike in the weeks leading up to the shut-down. This is something that has been building up.

“It’s mainly from the cost of living crisis that we’re in.”

According to an October and November 2022 report, the Office for National Statistics found that 91 per cent of adults in the UK reported an increase in their cost of living compared to last year.

Seventy four per cent of adults reported an increase in their cost of living compared to one month ago.

The average pay rise over the last decade has been only 2.5 per cent in the public sector.

Prof Jones explained that in the 30 years that he’s worked at the university, his pay rise has doubled as opposed to the cost of living, which has tripled.

“Across the public sector, we’ve been hammered. We’ve simply decided that enough is enough.”

Game review: SpongeBob SquarePants The Cosmic Shake

Review by John Perry

If you’re looking for a brand-new platforming adventure that comes complete with an intoxicating hit of nostalgia, look no further than The Cosmic Shake.

This single-player video game from publishers THQ Nordic encompasses classic platform gameplay, goofy but creative combat, feelgood comedy and SpongeBob’s signature dry wit in one amazingly animated package to delight fans young and old.

The story is simple, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. After all the key demographic for Cosmic Shake is mostly children, fans of the series and potential parents playing the game with their sprogs. It opens with SpongeBob causing a ruckus in Bikini Bottom after a good idea, in theory, ends up releasing an evil jelly cataclysm from King Neptune himself. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would write.

This transports all the characters you know and love – Mr Krabs, Patrick, Sandy, Plankton and more – into bizarre alternative dimensions that you’re tasked with exploring, before rescuing them to save the day. There are seven of these distinct worlds you’ll encounter on your spongetastic travels, ranging from a western-like land, a movie set, a sea of pirates and more. Let’s not spoil all the surprises, as some of them are a joy to experience for the first time.

All the original voice actors return to lend their nuance comedic and childish whimsy to the narrative. And visually, the game is striking, to say the least, with great artistic styling to rival – if not better – most modern platformers available on the market. The cutscenes stand out in particular, and they would grace an actual SpongeBob movie.

Gameplay is simplistic but rewarding, with new abilities being unlocked world-to-world, so there’s always something to work towards with a fresh feel to each stage. You can even return to those worlds to uncover things you did not have access to before, which is a nice touch. Purple Lamp Studios, the developers have clearly been inspired by the likes of Crash Bandicoot, Astro Bot and other great platformers. Keeping the moment-to-moment gameplay enjoyable is the aim, and they hit the target:  you never know quite what is coming next. I didn’t expect to be using an empty pizza box to glide around, for example, nor did I anticipate a fish hook could prove quite so handy. It has an in-universe use for everything.

During your world-hopping adventures, you will have more than 30 distinct, memorable and hilarious costumes to kit out SpongeBob himself. The majority of them are unlocked via gameplay but some were downloadable content for an additional price or with the “BFF Collector’s Edition” that Is available to pre-order now. Hardcore fans with extra cash to splash … knock yourselves out.

The music is also worth a mention here as it takes you back to watching the cartoon all those years ago, with around 100 songs from the original series to enjoy.

Every aspect has been carefully crafted by designers who love everything that makes SpongeBob, SpongeBob. Even the loading screens use the “A Few Hours Later” transitions.

It’s just a pure-hearted, wholesome, comedic piece of fun for all the family to enjoy. It has strong themes of positivity, learning from mistakes and when to trust strangers. That will teach its younger audience an important lesson. And for the rest of us, there are the twists and broken fourth walls to relish.

I couldn’t fault it. It’s well worth your time and money.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake lands on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch tomorrow (January 31) for the retail price of around £30, depending on the edition you buy.