While the more deserving await the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award verdict on Sunday night, here is our list of sporting anti-heroes from 2019
The Military World Games may have received little publicity in Britain, which is not one of the 140 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe who participate, but it was one of the year’s greatest festivals of sport, attracting nearly 10,000 participants to the Chinese city of Wuhan in October.Continue reading...
The British & Irish Lions are the lifeblood of the international game, and efforts must be made to secure the team’s future
The itinerary announced last week for the Lions tour to South Africa in 2021 was to many a notice of execution. Five weeks, eight matches, just two midweek outings and no games in between the three Tests. And the Gallagher Premiership final will be played one week before the opener in Cape Town against the Stormers.
When Warren Gatland returned from the 2017 trip to New Zealand, he said he would not be tempted by another tour, worn out by media ridicule in his home country and anticipating the cut in the length of future itineraries that would make planning even more difficult and threaten a core principle of the tourists: that every player will have the chance to compete for a place in the Test side.Continue reading...
The former Tottenham striker talks about being a spoilt brat at Real Madrid, thriving at Granada and his son’s love for Harry Kane
Never mind Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Nazario or Roberto Carlos, forget Raúl, Luis Figo and David Beckham, and as for Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, nah. Ignore the galácticos, the hundreds of footballers who have shared his 14-year journey across eight clubs, three countries and the Spanish national team; when Roberto Soldado really wants to impress his son, he tells him he used to play with Harry Kane.
There is a big grin, a flash of pride, and the former Tottenham striker imitates conversations with nine-year-old Enzo, all wide-eyed in wonder. “He’s really into football and if we’re watching the Premier League or Harry scoring for England, I’m there saying: ‘I played with this guy.’ ‘Yeah?!’ ‘Yeah.’ It’s nice. I’m really happy for him, his success, especially because of the person he is.” Soldado pauses, then bursts out laughing. “I’d have just liked him to have waited a little bit.”Continue reading...
Natalie Sciver scored a series-clinching unbeaten century as England women made it back-to-back wins over Pakistan with victory by 127 runs in the second ODI in Kuala Lumpur.
Sciver made 100 off 85 balls while captain Heather Knight made 86 off 100 and Fran Wilson clubbed three sixes as she contributed 85 off just 49 balls, helping England set an imposing target of 328.Continue reading...
• Masters has held role on interim basis for more than a year
• Move comes after two previous picks never started the job
The Premier League has appointed Richard Masters as its chief executive, ending a long and troubled attempt to fill the position vacated by Richard Scudamore.
Masters took the role of interim chief executive after Scudamore departed in November 2018 and is the third person to have accepted the job.Continue reading...
• Ferrari admit they have spoken with world champion
• Ferrari would veto bid by Mercedes chief Toto Wolff to run F1
Ferrari have admitted for the first time that Lewis Hamilton, whose £40m-a-year deal with Mercedes expires at the end of next season, has discussed joining them.
Ferrari’s no-nonsense chief executive, Louis Camilleri, also scuppered any ambition Toto Wolff has of leaving Mercedes to run Formula One by stating the Scuderia would be prepared to block such a move.Continue reading...
Organisers criticised over environmental impact as site is thousands of miles from host city
The 2024 Paris Olympics has chosen Tahiti as the site for its surfing events arguing that the waves are more dependable than the French coast, despite being nearly 10,000 miles (more than 15,000km) from the host city.
Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity, which is an administrative division of France with semi-autonomous status. The International Olympic Committee still has to approve the choice, but Paris organisers believed the famous waves at Teahupo’o in Tahiti – among the most spectacular and powerful in the world – meant it would be a more predictable wave site than the Atlantic coast of France.Continue reading...
Liverpool are in advanced talks with Red Bull Salzburg to sign the Japanese forward Takumi Minamino for a fee of £7.25m.Continue reading...
Marnus Labuschagne’s third straight century put Australia on top in the first Test against New Zealand in Perth. After Labuschagne’s 110 not out gave Australia the upper hand, they lost two late wickets in an enthralling final session against the pink ball at Optus Stadium.
Steve Smith fell for 43 before Matthew Wade left an in-swinger from Tim Southee that took his off stump, leaving Travis Head (20 not out) to survive a nervous last half-hour.Continue reading...
Ronnie O’Sullivan caused a stir over his reluctance to shake hands before his Scottish Open match against James Cahill before comfortably progressing to the third round.
O’Sullivan attempted to fist bump both his opponent and the referee, explaining his actions later when he said: “I’ll admit I’m a bit OCD with germs.”Continue reading...
Also featuring a confused Tiémoué Bakayoko, an NFL-style NBA pass and Damon Hill on Reeves and Mortimer
1) Artem Bahmet, remember the name. Why? Because the unranked Ukrainian lost all 48 points in a 6-0, 6-0 defeat by Krittin Koaykul in a qualifier at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 event in Doha. The lesser-spotted golden set. Look how bad he is? Then look again. Tennis may just have found its own Maurice Flitcroft.
2) South African spin bowler Tabraiz Shamsi is not the only sportsperson to perform an on-pitch magic trick. Here’s Venezuela forward César Martínez making the ball levitate after scoring for Zamora in 2015. No, we don’t know how he did it either. And who can forget the little magician Santi Cazorla appearing from thin air when he returned to Villarreal in 2018.Continue reading...
The Rockets superstar has a kindred spirit in the Juventus frontman, bound by a robotic ruthlessness that will never win over the masses beyond the confines of their home arenas
Not even his most ardent critics – and there are plenty of them – dispute James Harden’s greatness. His numbers are undeniable, he efficacy is unimpeachable, and his continued evolution, still adding wrinkles to his game at 30, is inspiring.
Yet it’s unlikely the Houston Rockets guard will ever be universally adored, at least not to the extent of a LeBron James or even a Stephen Curry. It is a question of style, rather than substance, that prevents so many basketball fans truly taking Harden into their heart. And, in this regard, there are parallels to be drawn between the NBA scoring machine and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.Continue reading...
Third baseman Anthony Rendon and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $245m, seven-year contract Wednesday, a source has told the Associated Press. The news was also reported by MLB Network and ESPN.
Rendon will get a $4m signing bonus, and salaries of $25.5m next season, $27.5m in 2021, $36m in 2022 and $38m each year from 2023-26. He would receive a $250,000 bonus for World Series MVP, $150,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $125,000 for election as an All-Star starter and $100,000 for selection as a reserve.Continue reading...
• Freeman’s barrister makes explosive allegations at tribunal
• Shane Sutton says he never tested positive in career
Richard Freeman’s barrister has claimed a current British Cycling coach used a Coke can containing urine to try to help Shane Sutton cover up a doping offence during his riding career.
The allegation was among several against Sutton raised by the former British Cycling doctor’s barrister, Mary O’Rourke QC, during Dr Freeman’s medical tribuna lon Tuesday.Continue reading...
Andrew Balding is among those to question new rules that would see apprentice Flat jockeys keep more prize money
New rules which will mean apprentice Flat jockeys keep a greater percentage of prize money and riding fees have prompted a series of complaints from leading trainers.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced the revised structure last week, but Andrew Balding, whose former apprentices include Derby winner William Buick and the new champion jockey, Oisin Murphy, has voiced his disapproval after Richard Fahey and Richard Hannon did so on Wednesday.Continue reading...
• British Olympic Association support calls over Wada ban
• Russian speaker suggests country host alternative Games
The British Olympic Association has called for the “fullest possible sanctions” to be taken against Russia following the four-year World Anti‑Doping Agency ban imposed this week for alleged manipulation of doping data.
While Wada also agreed that individual Russian athletes would still be able to compete internationally if they could prove they were not tainted, the BOA has demanded “undeniable proof” that those Russian athletes who travel to Tokyo are clean.Continue reading...
Gabriel Jesus was Manchester City’s star performer with a hat-trick that made it 500 goals in an impressive 199 games of Pep Guardiola’s management. “It’s nice, these four years together we’ve had fun and an incredible amount of good moments. Hopefully we can [do] 500 more – in two months,” said the manager, joking.
Jesus said: “When I was young, I’d think about the Champions League. It’s a very special moment when I score and a hat-trick as well.”Continue reading...
Major League Baseball has interviewed almost 60 people and obtained tens of thousands of electronic messages in its investigation into allegations the Houston Astros broke rules by using a television camera to steal signs.
Former Houston pitcher Mike Fiers sparked the investigation when he told the Athletic last month the Astros had used the camera to steal signs in 2017 during the team’s run to its first World Series title.Continue reading...
Having some time away has felt liberating so I don’t want to rush my return, but I’m eager to experience the buzz of playing for England again
Representing England has always been a privilege and my decision to take a break from Test cricket at the end of the home summer was made to ensure that, hopefully, I can do it for a lot longer.
Last week there were conversations about whether I felt ready to return for the South Africa tour and naturally part of me was keen to get back out there. My record against them is pretty good and as a team we have happy memories of winning there four years ago.Continue reading...
Skateboarder could become GB’s youngest summer Olympian. She talks falling, food and hopes for the future
“Woah, did you see how high she went? That was four or five feet!” exclaims one of the kids at the Huntington Beach skatepark in California as Sky Brown launches herself into the air and performs a frontside grab.
She soars above the head of her younger brother, Ocean, who’s watching from the rim, and bails out of the landing at the last minute, dropping more than 10 feet into a concrete bowl before grinding safely to a halt on her knee-pads.Continue reading...
Swearing in the stands, long days of travel and night games. Sometimes junior baseball looks more like the big leagues
A baseball player strikes out. Disappointed, he turns to the stands where he makes eye contact with a man who yells, “WHAT A WASTE OF A SPACE.” The player slowly walks back to the dugout, his head hung low, a routine he seems familiar with. He is isn’t a major league superstar like Anthony Rendon, George Springer or Mike Trout, accustomed to the wrath of impatient fans. He is an eight-year-old boy and the disgusted fan is his father who, based on his body language, might as well have yelled, “What a waste of a life.”
This happened a month ago in a midst of an under-nine tournament as we waited for my son’s game, which happened to be against the kid with the angry father. I wanted to hug that kid or at least compliment him in front of his dad. That wasn’t necessary. His team demolished ours and the boy walked away with his father, who looked a little less incensed than he had a couple of hours prior.Continue reading...
Stadium was once a jewel but now it needs an urgent upgrade as Tottenham and others lead the way
Old Trafford is one of football’s most vibrant amphitheatres. During the 109-year history of Manchester United’s home, Billy Meredith, George Best, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo are a few of the greats to grace the stage of England’s record title winners.
Yet the venue has become tired and worn. When the Manchester rain poured hard last season the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand leaked. The seating is crammed and wifi patchy. The directors’ box has an antiquated feel and the bars and suites a faded glamour. A venue that hosted 1966 World Cup and Euro 96 matches has not staged a showpiece game since the 2003 European Cup final.Continue reading...
Rio dejection has given way to Tokyo hope with Australia tipped for success at this weekend’s Track Cycling World Cup in Brisbane
Australia’s track cyclists travelled to Rio de Janeiro in August 2016 with high hopes. The Australian Olympic Committee had predicted that the team would return from the Olympics with three gold medals. They had collected two gold, two silvers and a bronze medal just months earlier at the UCI Track World Championships. With the AOC and Australian Institute of Sport desperate to halt the nation’s slide down the Olympic medal tally, track cycling was seen as a safe bet.
They returned dejected. Two medals – one silver and one bronze – were all that Australia’s track cyclists had to show for millions of dollars of funding and thousands of hours of exertion at Cycling Australia’s high performance headquarters in Adelaide. “We did not have a great performance in Rio,” admits Steph Morton, who finished fourth in the team sprint. “It was hard to handle coming home,” says Annette Edmondson, part of the team pursuit squad that had their medal hopes dashed when they crashed in training.Continue reading...
With sponsors dropping out and the government withholding funding many wonder if the FAI can – or should – survive
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) had myriad reasons to duck a parliamentary grilling this week.
Years of greed and dysfunction at the heart of Irish football have come to head. The organisation is broke. Sponsors are dropping out and the government is withholding funding. Redundancies and cutbacks loom. Public anger is mounting and there are threats to staff. Many wonder if the FAI can – or should – survive.Continue reading...
• Left-back has no plans to discuss his future with manager
• Mourinho optimistic Luis Campos will join as sporting director
The discussion with Danny Rose had turned towards José Mourinho and how it felt to have a manager of his winning mentality in control at Tottenham. “Who said he’s in control of the club?” Rose shot back.
It was late on Wednesday night, in the aftermath of Spurs’s 3-1 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich and, although Rose did not specify, everybody knew who had the control. It is not Mourinho – rather the chairman, Daniel Levy, with whom it is fair to say Rose has had his differences.Continue reading...
The Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haaland is considering offers from Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig after visiting the two Bundesliga clubs but is expected to hold talks with Manchester United and Juventus before deciding on his future.Continue reading...
• City’s hat-trick striker finds not scoring hard to bear
• ‘Sometimes I miss because I put too much pressure on myself’
Gabriel Jesus has opened up about the anguish he experiences when he fails to score for Manchester City.
The striker’s hat-trick in the 4-1 win at Dinamo Zagreb took him to 10 goals in 21 appearances this season. Yet five were scored in his past three games and Jesus was candid about the weight of expectation he feels.Continue reading...
Everton’s stand-in manager and Newcastle striker triumphed this past week with traditional values but science is also needed
What a week old-fashioned centre-forwards have just had. First we saw Duncan Ferguson revive Everton’s fortunes from the touchline just by breathing on players who were struggling to make any impact under Marco Silva, then Andy Carroll came on at Newcastle and helped engineer a remarkable comeback against Southampton.
Carroll is a particularly interesting case because when occasionally deployed as an impact sub at West Ham it was usually a signal for spectators to express further dissatisfaction with the manager for not having any better ideas. Carroll as Plan B was, essentially, a sign of desperation, a last clutch at a straw. Yet Steve Bruce was rightly full of praise after the forward came on against Southampton and made an impact. “Big Andy coming on was a huge help,” the Newcastle manager said. “He showed glimpses of what he had 10 years ago.”
For the third year in a row all the Premier League clubs are in last 16, with Manchester City perhaps the most likely winners
Well, fancy seeing you here. For all the pep and vim, the high-energy caffeine-football combinations of Red Bull Salzburg, there was a feeling of certainty about Liverpool’s progress to the last 16 of the Champions League.
The ability of Jürgen Klopp’s team to win even when the opposition bring their A-game has been a feature of the season. A simple explanation, beyond luck and “LiVARpool” conspiracy theory, is that their base levels are just so high. This is a team of extreme qualities: physical strength, speed, attacking skills. They have more ways to win, more ways to wear you down, like a heavyweight champ who can dawdle through five rounds and still produce at any stage that lights-out right-hander.Continue reading...
Kieran Trippier was denied his first goal for Atlético Madrid when he was unable to score from a penalty in the second minute of their victory against Lokomotiv Moscow, but insisted that it was out of his mind as soon as Anton Kochenkov had pushed it against the post. The Englishman overcame that setback to help his side secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, where they have a 45% chance of meeting Liverpool or Manchester City. The former Spurs full-back, though, said he did not care whether he faces an English team.Continue reading...
José Mourinho rested key players with Tottenham already certain to finish this Champions League group in second place and the manager had wanted the club’s fringe players to show their ability; to give him one or two selection headaches for the Premier League challenges ahead.
First the good news. Ryan Sessegnon, on his first Spurs start, showed flickers of his pace on the left wing, worked diligently in defensive terms, made good decisions and enjoyed a moment he will never forget when he lashed home the equaliser for 1-1. Sessegnon had plenty of time to feel the hammer of his heart but he concentrated purely on the cleanness of the finish. It flew past Manuel Neuer from 12 yards, beating the Germany World Cup-winner at his near post.Continue reading...
Today’s fluff got its vote in early doors
Everton fans face the prospect of a Duncan Ferguson-Zlatan Ibrahimovic buddy movie if word reaching the Rumour Mill from Italy is proved correct. Big Zlat is back in Europe having come, seen and conquered MLS by getting knocked out in the play-offs each season and is still desperate for on-field action. Milan, one of his myriad former clubs and another institution seeking a redemptive hero, may though end up being his eventual short-term destination. At 38, daring to Zlatan is only likely to be a quick fix.Continue reading...
Memphis Depay lashed out at Lyon fans after ultras displayed a banner branding centre-back Marcelo a donkey. The Ligue 1 side have just qualified for the next stage of the Champions League after a 2-2 draw with RB Leipzig. After the final whistle the forward ran towards his supporters before attempting to pull the banner from a fan. Marcelo was also seen aiming a middle-finger gesture at Lyon supporters. Depay, the club captain, was barely able to contain his anger when speaking to French broadcaster RMC Sport after the game. 'Look in my eyes. I’m upset, angry. I don’t know what to say.'Continue reading...
José Mourinho has banned his Tottenham side from rewatching their 7-2 defeat to Bayern Munich. ‘I forbid any image of it [the 7-2],’ Mourinho said. ‘I watched it a couple of times: me, my staff and analysts try to go through every single aspect of that but not one single image for the boys.’ Mourinho has left Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen out of his squad because Spurs are already through to the next round of the competition.Continue reading...
Russia will be banned from the Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar after the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) voted unanimously to ban them for doping offences. Russia now has 21 days to appeal against the decision. Individual athletes will be able to compete, however they will not be able to represent Russia but instead compete under a neutral banner. As long as they can prove they are drug freeContinue reading...
Anthony Joshua says his points victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in their heavyweight title fight came thanks to his new back-to-basics gameplan. ‘Tonight it was just about winning and trusting my process,’ he said. ‘ I just took it back to the old school, 70s style ... hit and don’t get hit’Continue reading...
Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has called the decision by the World Anti Doping Agency (Wada) to ban Russia for four years 'anti-Russian hysteria'. The decision made on Monday will see Russia banned from competing at the Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Individual athletes will be able to compete, however they will not be able to represent Russia but instead compete under a neutral banner as long as they can prove they are drug freeContinue reading...
Duncan Ferguson was in jovial mood after he led Everton to victory over Chelsea – but said he is taking one game at a time. The caretaker manager inspired Everton to move out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 3-1 win.
'I don't know if I can go through this again to be honest with you,' Ferguson joked. 'I need my fitness level up that's for sure, the way I ran up and down the touchline.'
The hosts’ Michael Leitch deserves a special mention while England’s Tom Curry and Handre Pollard cannot be omitted
While South Africa’s final surge tipped the scales in a couple of positions, Pieter-Steph du Toit is an unlucky absentee. But how could you possibly omit the incredible Japan captain, Michael Leitch, or the youthful Tom Curry from the back row? Only one All Black tells its own story but the semi-final against England defined New Zealand’s World Cup. There is one place too, for an Argentinian – the hooker Julián Montoya. Handre Pollard kicked almost everything when it mattered, Kyle Sinckler and Maro Itoje are included on merit and Faf de Klerk is selected both for his nuisance value and world-class ability to spin the ball on one finger. John Denver’s ageless Take Me Home, Country Roads is the official team soundtrack.Continue reading...
Supporters from South Africa and England are considerably happier than their counterparts in Ireland and Georgia
The Pumas didn’t do as well as I had hoped. We knew the most important game was the one against France and we couldn’t find the win, even though it was close. We seemed a bit off-colour but can leave with our heads held high as the future of Argentinian rugby is looking better than ever. Maxi HellbergContinue reading...
Can-do spirit and a receptive host country look to have opened new markets for what has been a virtually landlocked sport
On stage at the World Rugby awards ceremony on Sunday evening the extraordinary Siya Kolisi was asked what kind of public reaction he and his team were expecting on their return to South Africa. “I’m not sure,” replied the Springbok captain, a note of uncertainty in his voice. He sounded like a bemused lottery winner still attempting to compute how much his life had just changed.
The heartfelt roar from the entire South Africa squad when Rassie Erasmus was announced as the world coach of the year was equally endearing. As Erasmus admitted, the team did not arrive in Japan necessarily expecting a successful outcome; in his view three key things – hard work, luck and destiny – propelled them to victory. His squad, he said, did not just want to boost their country’s spirits, they felt an absolute responsibility to do so. To paint their triumph merely as a nice rugby story ignores the inspirational bigger picture surrounding it.Continue reading...
Momentum proved a myth, cracking down on high tackles was a success and emerging nations showed their worth
It looked like advantage to the holders after they effectively decided the pool pecking order on the opening weekend, but it prompted South Africa’s head coach, Rassie Erasmus, to make a significant change. The Springboks conceded only four tries in the tournament, two against the All Blacks. Erasmus used a conventional split of five forwards and three backs on the bench on that evening, but he changed it to six-two for the pool match against Italy and the three knockout games, giving him an alternative tight five to maintain physical power and mental sharpness.Continue reading...
Japan’s hosting showed what the game might become while South Africa’s victory offered succour to its people
So in the end Jack did not kill the 15 giants. But still the Rugby World Cup had a different kind of fairytale finish. Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s first black captain, a kid from a township outside Port Elizabeth, led his team to a famous victory. And a team that once epitomised the apartheid regime was reborn, at last, as one offering the promise of togetherness. It was not long ago that the Springboks were jeered by black South Africans. Now they are being cheered by them. They have made good on Nelson Mandela’s words from 1995. “Sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does,” Mandela said, “Sport can create hope where once there was despair.”
We should not garnish it any more than that. If anything, this may be the moment to offer a timely reminder that we should not overreach or strain to explain the significance of all this. South Africa’s coach, Rassie Erasmus, was absolutely clear about the limits of what his team had achieved. The World Cup final had bought his country 80 minutes of togetherness, Erasmus said, and a couple of happy hours after the match when people back home had put aside their differences. Nothing more than that. The social problems he and Kolisi spoke so openly about this week will not be fixed by this victory. But it will give some succour and a hint, too, of what is possible.Continue reading...
From Japan’s Michael Leitch and England’s win over the All Blacks to TJ Perenara’s try of the tournament, the Guardian’s rugby experts hand out their awards
Robert Kitson Michael Leitch. Japan’s all-court rugby was among the tournament’s high spots and their captain was never far from the action. Semi Radradra might have pipped him had Fiji made the last eight.Continue reading...
Eddie Jones’s team played their ‘final’ against the All Blacks and could not reproduce this level when it mattered most
Warren Gatland was right about England after all. They played their “final” against the All Blacks and what struck me most is that their defeat by South Africa was so similar, just in reverse. Just as England stopped the All Blacks from playing, so the Springboks did the same to Eddie Jones’s side.Continue reading...
On the day of a Bayern Munich v Spurs match so uninteresting that expert analysis will presumably be provided by Danny Mills, one could be forgiven for thinking that the last round of Big Cup group games are always irritating and pointless. But that would be to ignore the evidence of Tuesday, when Liverpool delivered a Hollywood climax to Group E, Mohamed Salah channelling the Force with Skywalker-esque precision to hit a tiny target from a distance far, far away. Admittedly, that description only really works if you think RB Salzburg are comparable to the Death Star, Jordan Henderson is a wookiee and Jürgen Klopp would look ace in Princess Leia’s clobber. And maybe he would, The Fiver isn’t saying otherwise.Continue reading...
Plus: quickfire sackings of derby rivals, trading away-day thrashings and managers sent packing at half-time
“With the interim appointment of Freddie Ljungberg as Arsenal manager, the Gunners now have a former professional underwear model in charge,” begins Sam Rowe. “Are there any other managers who have once been models, past or present, excluding players modelling their team’s kit?”
Let’s start by giving you a bit of context on how and why Ljungberg came to be an underpants model. If you can remember back as far as 2006, you may recall seeing pictures of Ljungberg gazing out of huge billboards in just his smalls after signing a deal with Calvin Klein. The story goes that he only landed the contract because David Beckham was reluctant to compromise his image in the UK. Initially Ljungberg had no such reservations and was paired with the Russian model Natalia Vodianova for a global campaign but he soon grew weary of seeing his own flesh everywhere. “It’s weird to see yourself on billboards and I don’t really enjoy it now,” he said in 2007, when he hung up his briefs.Continue reading...
The tenth of a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images from the likes of Gerry Cranham, Mark Leech and Tom Jenkins – yours to own for just £55 including free delivery
While most other photographers took their places on the sidelines of the athletics track at the White City stadium for the 1965 British Games, photographer Gerry Cranham, always hunting something a little different, ducked down alongside one of the steeplechase hurdles and awaited his quarry. He knew his low vantage point, combined with the mirror-like surface of the water, would offer a crisp reflection of the action and the surrounding architecture; he knew, too, that having athletes leaping over his shoulder into the drink would fill the frame with drama. The resulting image is a dynamic example of Cranham’s vision and craft – it’s also a memento of one of London’s long-lost sporting stadia. Erected for the 1908 Olympics, the 93,000-capacity venue played host to numerous British Games, as well as greyhound racing, speedway, boxing, Queens Park Rangers Football Club and a match at the 1966 World Cup before being razed in 1985 to make way for the expansion of the BBC’s headquarters.Continue reading...
Who is flying the flag? Who lost his job? Who is a hypocrite?
Duncan Ferguson will take charge of Everton for their match against Chelsea this weekend after Marco Silva was sacked. Which of these statements about Ferguson is false?
He once scored a hat-trick of headers in the Premier League
He was in the Everton team the last time they won a trophy
He has scored more goals in the Premier League than any other Scottish player
He is Scotland’s all-time top goalscorer
Vivianne Miedema had an eventful afternoon when Arsenal played Bristol City in the Women’s Super League last weekend. What did she do?
She came on as a substitute in the 89th minute, scored in the 90th minute and was sent off in the 91st minute
She signed for Arsenal from Bristol City in the morning of the game and went on to score the winning goal against her old club
She was the referee and had to send off five players – and both managers
She scored six goals and set up four more
Andy Ruiz Jr is defending his heavyweight world titles against Anthony Joshua on Saturday at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia. How long did it take to build the 15,000-seat stadium?
Joshua and Ruiz have lost one fight each as professional fighters. Joshua’s defeat came against Ruiz. Who is the only boxer to have beaten Ruiz?
Paris is hosting the Olympics in 2024. Where do they want to hold the surfing tournament?
In a swimming pool below the Eiffel Tower
The River Seine
Angry Bordeaux fans invaded the pitch this week at the start of their league match against Nîmes. What happened when the game resumed 25 minutes later?
The Nîmes fans held their own pitch invasion to protest against their team
The Bordeaux fans left the stadium and went home
Bordeaux won 6-0
Bordeaux conceded three goals in 10 minutes and the fans invaded the pitch again
Roger Federer has been honoured many times in Switzerland. In the past he has featured on postage stamps and been given cows for winning trophies. How did the country pay tribute to Federer this week?
They renamed their stretch of the Rhine river the "Roger river"
He is becoming the first living person to have his face printed on a Swiss franc
The city Fribourg is being renamed "Federbourg"
They are giving anyone called Roger free personal training sessions
Which of these rules is changing next season in Formula One?
Cars will have to take at least four pit stops per race
Cars will not be allowed to carry adverts
Races will finish when the chequered flag flies – rather than the electronic panel they used this year
Driver will have to start races by running to their cars – like they once did in Le Mans
Paul Scholes criticised Freddie Ljungberg’s choice of clothing for his first game in charge of Arsenal, saying: "You would think he’d be out in a suit to show a bit of proudness that he took the job – a shirt and tie to show some discipline. I don’t think he’ll be the right man.” Why was this criticism a bit harsh?
Ljungberg was only put in charge 45 minutes before the match
Ljungberg had just led his team to a 4-1 win
Scholes didn’t wear a suit in his first game as a manager either
Scholes said it while wearing a snood
Watford have sacked two managers this season. How many league games have they won?
There was a local derby between two college football teams in Mississippi this week. It was a tight match but wide receiver Elijah Moore scored a touchdown in the final few seconds to almost certainly guarantee his team would win. But what happened next?
The electricity in the stadium failed, the digital scoreboard did not record his touchdown and the result stood as a draw
Moore celebrated on all fours like a dog taking a pee, the referee penalised his team and they lost the game
The referee ruled the touchdown illegal as a cat had been on the pitch
A mass brawl kicked off and the game was called off
1 and above.
Ah well. Have a good weekend
2 and above.
Ah well. Have a good weekend
3 and above.
Ah well. Have a good weekend
4 and above.
Ah well. Have a good weekend
7 and above.
A fine score. Have a great weekend
5 and above.
A solid score. Have a good weekend
6 and above.
A fine score. Have a great weekend
8 and above.
A fine score. Have a great weekend
9 and above.
You are a genius. Have a fantastic weekend
10 and above.
You are a genius. Have a fantastic weekend
0 and above.
Ah well. Have a good weekend
11 and above.
You are a genius. Have a fantastic weekendContinue reading...
The salary cap and CVC cash have turned the league on its head, putting an emphasis on who gets most out of players
When Bristol took on London Irish at Ashton Gate last Sunday it was the first time the two clubs had met in the Premiership for 10 years. One or other had been in the Championship in that time, mainly the Bears, and the presence of the two most recently promoted clubs in the top half of the Premiership is an indication of how the salary cap is working.
The top four clubs have had stints in the Championship in the past 12 years while the bottom four have always been in the Premiership: Saracens are bottom because they lost 35 points for breaching salary cap regulations but Leicester, Wasps and Bath, all former European Cup winners, have mustered four victories in 15 matches in the tournament this season, although between them they supplied 12 players for England’s World Cup campaign.Continue reading...
When international sport comes to the Arabian kingdom it must be with a raised voice on issues of human freedom
As Saturday night spilled into Sunday morning in Saudi Arabia, something unusual happens. The shrieking bass line of House of Pain’s Jump Around starts pumping out across the Diriyah stadium, where Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight showdown against Andy Ruiz Jr is about to begin. A few people stand up. Then several more. And suddenly hundreds of men and women in traditional dress are pogoing and waving their hands in delirium.
This, to put it mildly, is not something one expects to see in a country that is a byword for patriarchy and religious extremism. But when I speak to one local, he tells me this is another sign of the dizzying change of the past two years. “Although I agree a lot of bad things are still happening, it is improving,” he says. “In 10 years’ time we won’t be living in the same place.”Continue reading...
In 2000 Warren Gatland used World Cup players and Ireland lost so he tore up the teamsheet and turned things around
It has been a curious European Champions Cup season so far, with very few sides performing above pre-tournament expectations. Gloucester and an understandably distracted Saracens have sent out weakened teams for fixtures which could have transformed their campaigns, the Premiership leaders Northampton were ultimately unable to live with Leinster while Bath, La Rochelle and Ospreys are effectively down and out.
There are, however, three notable exceptions. Leinster, Exeter and Toulouse are all still unbeaten and, along with Saracens, Racing 92 and Clermont, it is already hard to see anyone from outside that sextet making the final in Marseille on 23 May. Any international coach looking for an injection of confidence and quality into his squad after the World Cup should, in theory, look no further.Continue reading...
Is there a better attacking player in England at present than Marcus Rashford, key to Manchester United’s derby win at City?
Is there a better attacking player in the country right now than Marcus Rashford? There’s a sentence you wouldn’t have expected to read eight weeks ago.
The answer, to be fair, is probably maybe; or may I introduce you to Sadio Mané, Son Heung-min and Jamie Vardy; or better still – never mind that, just enjoy the show.Continue reading...
Judged this week by the Guardian as the best female footballer on the planet, Matildas captain Sam Kerr now has her chance to prove it on the European club stage
Across all the years I’ve watched Sam Kerr play football, there’s one moment that stands out as a true illustration of her character, as an example of why she’s been voted The Guardian’s Best Female Footballer of 2019.
It’s not a goal, or a back-flip celebration, or a gesture of kindness towards a fan. It’s a moment of failure. One of the biggest in her career, perhaps, and one that feels more significant in hindsight.Continue reading...