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   Sunday, 8 December, 2002, 17:14 GMT
Chocolate sweetener for Paula

It's every girl's dream - being paid to eat chocolate.

And Paula Radcliffe has capped a golden year by winning the ultimate sponsorship deal with Cadbury Trebor Bassett.

The marathon world record holder will receive part of her payment in Dairy Milk, the golden girl's chocolate of choice.

"Given that I regularly eat four squares of chocolate before training and major races, I'm delighted," Radcliffe said.

"And one thing's for sure, I certainly won't be running low in supplies in the near future."

Radcliffe's deal follows one involving Shane Warne and a baked bean company, although the Aussie spinner gave his canned goodies to the Salvation Army, rather than scoff them all himself.

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff celebrates his new contract with Ginsters

But news of Radcliffe's unusual payday could send a wealth of sport stars scurrying to their agents to set up similar arrangements.

Andy Flintoff may consider an approach to pie-makers Ginsters while Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri, with his creative use of the English language, might look at endorsing the Oxford dictionary.

Meanwhile, British skier Alain Baxter could be tempted by the prospect of a never-ending supply of nasal sprays to perk him up in the morning.

Portly Paul Gascoigne will be feeling rather hard done by if he doesn't engineer a Radcliffe-type arrangement with McDonalds, who he endorsed earlier this year.

And Leeds United fans will be wondering whether their players are receiving some added bonuses from their shirt sponsors, given their recent lackadaisical performances.

Terry Venables' side are sponsored by a brand of the students' favourite: cider.

See also:

07 Dec 02 | Funny Old Game
04 Dec 02 | The Ashes
05 Dec 02 | Funny Old Game
04 Dec 02 | Funny Old Game
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