KEITH Anderson, the Scottish cross-country champion and a former chef

at London gentlemen's club Boodles, may not have served his last

surprise on British endurance running, writes Doug Gillon.

The 37-year-old Anderson has been discounted by the specialist media

-- usually an essential ingredient of the recipe for success -- and so

must be fancied to grab a berth in Britain's team for the world

cross-country championships when the trial takes place at Druridge Bay

Country Park, Northumberland, tomorrow.

The man whom Scotland ignored, and allowed to pull on an England vest

by default -- they did not select him despite his declaration of

availability -- has already had one laugh at Scotland's expense, winning

the national title at Perth.

Anderson's father is Scots, and Keith went to school in the shadow of

Barlinnie prison, but he escaped the selectors' notice, even after

winning several major hill races.

However, he would really rub in the embarrassment if he gained a world

place ahead of the seven Scottish contenders who line up this weekend --

Chris Robison, Tommy Murray, Dave Cavers, Adrian Callan, Robert Quinn,

Colin Donnelly, and Graeme Wight.

Former British fell-running champion Anderson is unique, not only in

reaching his peak at such an advanced age, but also in doing all his

quality training on a treadmill.

Having given up the kitchen to become a mature student, Anderson is

coached by Dr Tony Trowbridge, clinical scientist and reader in medical

physics at Sheffield University.

He bases his methods on those of the East Germans, and so effective

are they that when Anderson ran the only track race of his life, the

5000 metres at last year's Yorkshire championships, he won, and

collected the Sebastian Coe award for the most meritorious performance

of the meeting.

In addition, he ran second to Commonwealth marathon medallist Mark

Hudspith in the AAA half marathon, and was fourth in the English

national cross-country -- a range of ability unmatched by any other

British runner.

For all that, Robison and Murray, whom Anderson beat at Perth, believe

they can snatch British places themselves. The first seven to finish are

guaranteed, with the two final places at the selectors' discretion.

But the most consistent Scot is Vikki McPherson, the Commonwealth team

captain, who has defied English bias by qualifying in each of the past

three years. The City of Glasgow woman has every chance of doing so

again, despite accountancy studies.

* BRIAN Whittle, twice European indoor 400m silver medallist,

yesterday withdrew from the UK team for the World Indoor Championships,

which begin in Barcelona next Friday.