Tag Archives: accolade

Chelsea are the world"s best team according to statistics

REVEALED: Chelsea are the best team in the world… the news that will get United and City fired up

and February 28 2013, have produced some results that seem bizarre.

Another accolade: Chelsea should enjoy being No 1 in the world while it lasts

Another accolade: Chelsea should enjoy being No 1 in the world while it lasts

In second place are Atletico Madrid and third, Chelsea's vanquished Champions League final opponents Bayern Munich.

Fourth are Club World Cup champions Corinthians, while the mighty Barcelona are down in fifth.

The rankings are calculated by including results from national league matches, continental and intercontinental competitions and the most important national cup competition, ignoring results before the last 16 phase.

Nothing special: Cristiano Ronaldo and his friends are down in seventh

Nothing special: Cristiano Ronaldo and his friends are down in seventh

Results are awarded points depending on the level of competition. A draw in a national league game is worth two points and a win is four.

Champions League draws and wins are worth seven and 14 respectively, while Club World Cup semi-finals are worth the same.

A win in the Club World Cup final is worth 21 points – which explains how high up Corinthians are.

Lowly: Manchester United are only 19th, according to these bizarre rankings

Lowly: Manchester United are only 19th, according to these bizarre rankings

Celtic are level with Manchester United in 19th, while Liverpool are 25th, Tottenham 37th and Arsenal 50th.

Premier League Champions Manchester City languish in 56th, largely because of their shoddy Champions League showings.

Off target: Man City are low down after poor European showings

Off target: Man City are low down after poor European showings

The top 20 sides in the world

1. Chelsea (307)
2. Atletico Madrid (304)
3. Bayern Munich (292)
4. Corinthians (287)
5. Barcelona (283)
6. Boca Juniors (281)
7. Real Madrid (277)
8. Juventus (241)
9. Inter Milan (234)
10. Sao Paulo (230)
11. Universidad de Chile Santiago (223)
12. Fluminense (222)
13. Basel (220)
14. Fenerbahce (216)
= Lazio
16. Dortmund (215)
17. Lyon (214)
18. PSG (210)
19. Manchester United (205)
= Club Libertad Asuncion
= Celtic

Other English sides in the top 100

25. Liverpool (200)
37. Tottenham (186)
50. Arsenal (169)
56. Man City (161)
65. Newcastle (152)

Top 400 teams here

Steven Gerrard is the best Liverpool have ever had, says Jamie Carragher

Gerrard is the best player Liverpool have ever had, says Anfield pal Carragher

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

09:47 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:47 GMT, 21 January 2013

Steven Gerrard was heralded as Liverpool's greatest player ever by team-mate Jamie Carragher after the England captain was honoured by the Football Writers' Association at a gala tribute dinner in London.

The 32-year-old midfielder collected the prestigious accolade from FWA chairman Andy Dunn, of the Sunday Mirror.

Hitting the heights: Steven Gerrard is Liverpool's greatest, says Jamie Carragher

Hitting the heights: Steven Gerrard is Liverpool's greatest, says Jamie Carragher

Tributes were paid by former manager Gerard Houllier, who brought Gerrard into the Liverpool first team as a raw youngster, and his long-serving team-mate Carragher, while former Reds boss Kenny Dalglish also passed on his congratulations as he was unable to attend.

Carragher is in no doubt of Gerrard's place among Anfield legends. 'I think we are in the presence of the greatest player ever to play for Liverpool,' said Carragher.

'People will say I am biased because we are good friends and because of the trophies we have won together, but it is a fair accolade to give him.

No 1: Carragher paid tribute to Gerrard following his latest award

No 1: Carragher paid tribute to Gerrard following his latest award

'There are guys like Kenny [Dalglish], Graeme Souness, Ian Rush, all world-class players, but the difference was they were in a world-class team – and Stevie has not played in a world-class team.'

Carragher added: 'Stevie's one strength is he has no weakness, he can run, tackle pass and score goals.

'Football is a team game, but special players do special things at special times, and that is Steven Gerrard.'

Former Liverpool striker Rush and England manager Roy Hodgson were among the guests at The Savoy, along with current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Bradley Wiggins knighthood in Honours List

Don't call me Sir Brad! Knighthood caps stunning year for Wiggins …but Le Tour and Olympic hero stays cool as ever over honour

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UPDATED:

09:26 GMT, 29 December 2012

Bradley Wiggins has been rewarded with a knighthood after winning the Tour de France and Olympic gold – but immediately warned: 'Don't call me Sir Brad!'.

Wiggins followed his historic win in France, the first by a British cyclist, by winning a fourth gold medal and first on the road while Ben Ainslie was also knighted after becoming the most successful Olympic sailor of all time with his fourth successive gold.

Scroll down for videos and a full list of Olympic Honours

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins

Champagne moments: Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France (left) and then Olympic gold in London

Wiggins said: 'It's not something I'll use on a daily basis but it's nice to have in the trophy cabinet as the ultimate accolade as a sportsman, being knighted by your country for not only the success this year but 12 years now of consistent work and performing – four Olympic Games, seven medals.

VIDEO Sir Bradley not entirely comfortable being called that yet

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'It's quite something really. I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight so it's an incredible honour but there's a slight element of disbelief, and it will take a while to sink in.'

Ainslie announced his Olympic retirement last month and will now concentrate on the America's Cup, which Britain has never won.

The 35-year-old said: 'This is an incredible honour. When I set out Olympic sailing 20 years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen.

Unstoppable: Ben Ainslie won his fourth successive gold medal at the London Olympics

Unstoppable: Ben Ainslie won his fourth successive gold medal at the London Olympics

'I couldn't have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.'

All the 2012 gold medallists end the year with an honour, although seven athletes who had previously received honours, including Sir Chris Hoy, were not recognised further this time.

Along with Ainslie and Wiggins, inspirational British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford is also knighted after he once again masterminded a stunning medal haul as well as leading Team Sky to a one-two in the Tour de France.

Brailsford is renowned as a team player and admitted to being not entirely comfortable with an individual honour such as this.

High praise: David Brailsford will also receive a knighthood for guiding the cycling team to stunning success

High praise: David Brailsford will also receive a knighthood for guiding the cycling team to stunning success

He said: 'I can totally understand it with Chris (Hoy) when he won his three gold medals, or with Brad, because to have done what he has done is pretty amazing.

'But I guess it does feel a little bit uncomfortable given the hard work that everyone puts in that there is an individual recognition rather than a group recognition. That is a bit of a challenge – but it is a great honour nevertheless.'

VIDEO Sir Dave Brailsford: 'It's going to take getting used to'

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A fourth knighthood goes to David Tanner, the performance director for British Rowing, who also oversaw a record medal haul as Britain's rowers won four golds and nine medals in all.

Four Olympic stars are made CBEs, including the king and queen of British athletics, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, after they lit up the Olympic Stadium.

London was the swansong for cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who added a second Olympic gold and is made a CBE after playing a trailblazing role for women sprinters on the track.

Poster girls: Jessica Ennis (above) delivered gold in the heptathlon while Victoria Pendleton also triumphed

Poster girls: Jessica Ennis (above) delivered gold in the heptathlon while Victoria Pendleton also triumphed

Victoria Pendleton

Rower Katherine Grainger receives the same honour in the year she finally made it gold with Anna Watkins in the double sculls following three successive silvers.

The Scot said: 'I am surprised and delighted to receive this new accolade, which, for me, brings 2012 to such a wonderful conclusion.

'In the last few months it has been become wonderfully apparent just how much our Olympic achievements have meant to everyone up and down the country.

'I fully appreciate this new accolade and I'd be thrilled if it helps with the efforts of everyone on Team GB to produce a meaningful legacy.'

Looking good: Rower Katherine Grainger will receive a CBE after winning gold with Anna Watkins

Looking good: Rower Katherine Grainger will receive a CBE after winning gold with Anna Watkins

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins

Three of Britain's double gold medallists have been awarded OBEs – dressage star Charlotte Dujardin and cycling couple Jason Kenny and Laura Trott – along with tennis' Andy Murray, who was both a gold medallist and a grand slam winner in 2012.

Murray revealed after his triumph that his friends had been teasing him about the possibility of a knighthood – something he definitely was not expecting.

The world No 3 said: 'A lot of my friends have been messaging me about it and I don't really know what to say. I think it should take more than one or two good tournaments to deserve something like that. It would probably be a bit rash.'

Apart from Hoy, rowers Pete Reed, Tom James and Andrew Triggs Hodge, cyclists Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas and show jumper Nick Skelton, all other gold medallists receive MBEs.

Among them is long jumper Greg Rutherford, who joined Ennis and Farah in winning gold in an unforgettable Super Saturday night in the Olympic Stadium.

Super Saturday: Mo Farah (above) and Greg Rutherford (below) won gold medals on an unforgettable night

Super Saturday: Mo Farah (above) and Greg Rutherford (below) won gold medals on an unforgettable night

Greg Rutherford

He said: 'I am delighted and feel very proud to be receiving this great honour. This has been an incredible year for me and winning a gold medal at a home Games was a dream come true.'

Also honoured with MBEs are 51-year-old three-day eventer Mary King, who won team silver in London, and gymnast Louis Smith, now a three-time Olympic medallist.

'This year has been like no other for so many reasons,' said the 23-year-old, who this month added the Strictly Come Dancing title to his Olympic gongs.

'For me it's obviously one I'll never forget and I wasn't sure it could get any better but to be awarded an MBE is the icing on the cake and without a doubt the proudest moment of my life.'

Dancing king: Louis Smith won silver at the Olympics before appearing on Strictly Come Dancing

Dancing king: Louis Smith won silver at the Olympics before appearing on Strictly Come Dancing

Boxer Nicola Adams – the first woman to win a boxing gold medal in the history of the Olympics – was also awarded an MBE.

'It is really good to receive such a prestigious honour,' said Adams, 30, from Leeds.

'Everything is all a bit surreal for me.

'It has been an incredible year. To have achieved so much in that time – it is really hard to put it into words how amazing this year has been.

'I have won an Olympic gold medal and have met the Queen.'

Pioneer: Nicola Adams (right) was the first woman to win a boxing gold medal

Pioneer: Nicola Adams (right) was the first woman to win a boxing gold medal

Two-time London 2012 Olympic champion Jason Kenny meanwhile received word of his OBE while in Australia training for further glory.

The 24-year-old from Bolton won sprint and team sprint gold at the Olympic Velodrome in August as Britain's cyclists won seven out of 10 titles on the track.

Kenny, who received an MBE after winning his first Olympic title in Beijing in 2008, was at a training camp in Perth, Western Australia when his mother opened an official letter from the Palace detailing his New Year Honour while he was on the other end of the phone.

'My mum opened a letter for me whilst I was in Perth,' he said.

'It's something really special that you don't ever plan for. It's something you can share with the family and something really nice when it comes along.

Team work: Jason Kenny (left) won double gold at the velodrome

Team work: Jason Kenny (left) won double gold at the velodrome

'It's a great honour and it's not every day you get to go to Buckingham Palace, so to get that invite is really special.'

A number of coaches also receive MBEs – Malcolm Brown for triathlon, shooting's Ian Coley, equestrian performance director Will Connell, Paul Hall for gymnastics, David Howlett for sailing, boxing's Rob McCracken and Paul Thompson and Robin Williams for rowing.

The men and women who brought the Games to London and made it happen feature heavily in the honours, too, led by organising committee chair Lord Coe, who is made a Companion of Honour.

He described the list as 'a wonderful end to this unique Olympic and Paralympic Year'.

He said: 'It recognises the achievements of our sportsmen and women who inspired the nation.

Recognised: Lord Sebastian Coe was honoured after bringing the Games to London

Recognised: Lord Sebastian Coe was honoured after bringing the Games to London

'This year's list also recognises those behind the scenes at LOCOG for outstanding leadership and delivery of the world's largest sporting events.

'I am incredibly proud of them all and our partners who made Britain proud this summer.'

Coe's deputy, Sir Keith Mills, is made a Knight Grand Cross while LOCOG chief executive Lord Deighton becomes a Knight Commander.

Other figures to receive honours include LOCOG's director of sport Debbie Jevans and London 2012 director Neale Coleman, who are both made CBEs, while communications chief Jackie Brock-Doyle becomes an OBE.

OLYMPIC ATHLETES HONOURED

Knighthood

Ben Ainslie – sailing
Bradley Wiggins – cycling

CBE

Katherine Grainger – rowing
Jessica Ennis – athletics
Mo Farah – athletics
Victoria Pendleton – cycling

OBE

Charlotte Dujardin – equestrian
Jason Kenny – cycling
Andy Murray – tennis
Laura Trott – cycling

MBE

Nicola Adams – boxing
Tim Baillie – canoeing
Laura Bechtolsheimer – equestrian
Scott Brash – equestrian

Alistair Brownlee – triathlon
Steven Burke – cycling

Luke Campbell – boxing
Peter Charles – equestrian
Katherine Copeland – rowing
Helen Glover – rowing
Alex Gregory – rowing
Carl Hester – equestrian
Philip Hindes – cycling
Sophie Hosking – rowing
Jade Jones – taekwondo
Anthony Joshua – boxing
Peter Kennaugh – cycling
Dani King – cycling
Mary King – equestrian
Ben Maher – equestrian
Ed McKeever – canoeing
Joanna Rowsell – cycling
Greg Rutherford – athletics
Louis Smith – gymnastics
Heather Stanning – rowing
Etienne Stott – canoeing
Anna Watkins – rowing
Peter Wilson – shooting

Sports Personality winner Bradley Wiggins hails extraordinary year of British achievement

'It was THE year to be British, wasn't it' Wiggins hails unforgettable 2012 as he collects Sports Personality award

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UPDATED:

00:15 GMT, 17 December 2012

Bradley Wiggins thanked his nan, Maureen Cousins, for voting for him so many times as he picked up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 16,000-strong crowd chanted ‘Wiggo’ as the 32-year-old seven-time Olympic medallist collected his award last night at the ExCeL in east London. But the cyclist thought he had missed out when Jessica Ennis was announced as the runner-up.

Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah did not make the top three in an astonishing year for British sport.

Popular champion: Bradley Wiggins was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2012 at a glittering ceremony in East London

Popular champion: Bradley Wiggins was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2012 at a glittering ceremony in East London

Wiggins said: ‘Thank you very much to
everyone who picked the phone up and voted. We’ve had all that jungle
stuff (I’m a Celebrity) and the X Factor so for people to pick up and
vote is phenomenal. To my nan, the cheque’s in the post because you
pressed redial so many times.

‘What a year. It was the year to be
British, wasn’t it When they mentioned Mo I thought: “Oh God, I’m not
even in the top three.” To stand on the stage with the likes of these
people next to me, it’s incredible. If I stood here as the only gold
medallist it would mean nothing.

‘I’d like to thank my team-mates
because I wouldn’t be here without them. Cycling is a team sport and I
couldn’t have done it without the team behind me.

‘We’re just the athletes. That sounds really demeaning but there is an incredible team of people behind every one of us.’

Winner: Wiggins was presented with his accolade by David Beckham and the Duchess of Cambridge

Winner: Wiggins was presented with his accolade by David Beckham and the Duchess of Cambridge

Sky procycling team rider Bradley Wiggins of Britain celebrates his overall victory on the podium

Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain celebrates after the Men's Individual Time Trial Road Cycling

Extraordinary achievements: Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France (left) and then took gold in the Olympic time trial in London

Lord Coe was introduced by David
Beckham as the ‘man that has run the Olympics and won the Olympics’ as
he picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award. The double Olympic 1500
metres gold medallist and chairman of the London 2012 organising
committee received his trophy from the Duchess of Cambridge.

Lord Coe said: ‘I’m so honoured to be
the recipient of this award tonight. I’m also incredibly lucky. For the
larger part of my life I’ve woken up knowing sport is going to shape
that day.

‘Thanks to the extraordinary athletes
we’ve celebrated tonight, who made this year what it has been. Thanks to
the millions of people the length and breadth of the country, whose
generosity of spirit made this Games what they were and, of course,
thanks to our Games makers.Nobody could have done this alone. It has
been an extraordinary night for me — I could never forget it.’

Sir Roger Bannister presented the
Team of the Year award to Victoria Pendleton, who received it on behalf
of Team GB and Paralympics GB, who won a record 185 medals at London
2012.

Delivering the Games: Lord Coe was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award after organising the London Olympics

Delivering the Games: Lord Coe was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award after organising the London Olympics

Dave Brailsford, the performance
director of British cycling, beat Ennis’s coach, Toni Minichiello, and
rowing coach Paul Thompson to be Coach of the Year. Brailsford, said:
‘It’s a huge privilege to win this because it was a fantastic summer of
sport. There is a great team behind me at British Cycling and Team
Sky.

‘They did a brilliant job. Our opponents thought our wheels were rounder than theirs.

‘It’s great because everyone sniggered when we said we would win the Tour de France in five years with a clean British rider.’

Our Greatest Team: Victoria Pendleton (centre) and Jonnie Peacock (right) received the Team of the Year award from Sir Roger Bannister on behalf of Team GB and Paralympics GB

Our Greatest Team: Victoria Pendleton (centre) and Jonnie Peacock (right) received the Team of the Year award from Sir Roger Bannister on behalf of Team GB and Paralympics GB

Paralympic swimmer Josef Craig, 15,
Britain’s youngest 2012 gold medal winner, was the BBC Young Sports
Personality of the Year.

Fabrice Muamba, who suffered an
on-pitch cardiac arrest during Bolton’s game at Tottenham in March,
presented the BBC Sport Unsung Hero Award to husband and wife team Sue
and Jim Houghton.

FIFA announce Puskas Award 2012 shortlist

VIDEO: Ben Arfa joins Messi, Neymar, Falcao and co on FIFA's shortlist for 2012s best goal

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UPDATED:

15:20 GMT, 14 November 2012

Hatem Ben Arfa's superb solo goal for Newcastle against Bolton last season has ensured a Premier League presence on the shortlist for FIFA's Puskas Award 2012.

The annual celebration of great goals contains the best strikes from around the world, and was won last year by Brazilian superstar Neymar.

The 20-year-old Santos ace is included once again this year, as is Lionel Messi for a sublime effort in Argentina's friendly with Brazil.

Scroll down to see all 10 goals on the FIFA Puskas Award shortlist

Slalom: Hatem Ben Arfa's goal against Bolton last season set pulses racing

Slalom: Hatem Ben Arfa's goal against Bolton last season set pulses racing

Former Chelsea youngster Miroslav Stoch also features, while Radamel Falcao, the in-demand Atletico Madrid striker, has a chance of glory thanks to his goal against America de Cali.

Strangely, Ben Arfa's goal wasn't even voted as Newcastle's best of the previous campaign, with that accolade going to the Premier League goal of the season, Papiss Cisse's wonder-strike against Chelsea.

The award is named after Real Madrid and Hungarian legend Ferenc Pusks, who tormented defenders the world over during the 1950s.

Fans are invited to vote for their favourite on the FIFA website, with the eventual winner being announced at the Ballon d’Or 2012 gala in January.

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Jonny Wilkinson wins Ian Wooldridge award

Pride of a lion: Wooldridge award goes to delighted England hero Wilkinson

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 2 November 2012

When Jonny Wilkinson was told he had won this year’s Ian Wooldridge Award, while on his way to be interviewed on a beach in the south of France, his delight was evident and genuine. He understood just what this particular accolade represents.

The former England and Lions fly-half has had more than his fair share of plaudits and prizes over the course of a glittering, record-breaking career.

In that greatest of all years, 2003, Wilkinson wound up with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and IRB Player of the Year awards, to complement the World Cup and Grand Slam successes.

Mile wide smile: Jonny Wilkinson with the award and a column written by Ian Wooldridge about him

Mile wide smile: Jonny Wilkinson with the award and a column written by Ian Wooldridge about him

For some time, Wilkinson was also the leading points-scorer in the history of international rugby and after calling time on his England career at the end of last year, his haul from 97 Tests for his country and the Lions stands at a staggering 1,246 points. There is an outside chance that tally may yet increase as the 33-year-old has indicated his desire to win selection for the 2013 Lions tour of Australia.

The fact that this award has been bestowed on him is testament to his enduring ability to kick goals and win games, now solely on behalf of his club, Toulon.

Wilkinson remains a potent sporting figure, yet being voted winner of the prize created in honour of Sportsmail’s iconic columnist is an indication of his standing in the public’s affections.

It also serves as a tribute to the way he has played the game throughout his career — with endless commitment, a sense of fair play and a strength of spirit which helped him recover and prosper after so many injury setbacks.

‘For me to be involved in anything like this is fantastic,’ said Wilkinson. ‘I appreciate what it stands for. It touches me enormously. The way Ian Wooldridge wrote showed clearly what he stood for and that was an inspirational message to me.’ The way ‘Woollers’ would endlessly champion Corinthian values struck a chord with Wilkinson, who added: ‘I met him several times. He wrote stories that my family and I took huge pleasure in.

Well done: Wilkinson is presented with his trophy

Well done: Wilkinson is presented with his trophy

‘Because of his values, his column was something we regularly talked about as a family. My dad would often ring me up and tell me to read his column that day. I didn’t really read newspapers, but I would read his columns.

Roll of honour
2008 Chrissie Wellington2009 Rebecca Adlington2010 Jessica Ennis2011 Amy Williams 2012 Jonny Wilkinson

‘He just hit it from an angle that resonated with everything that we believed in. Whatever big events were going on, he would look at it from that angle and I just remember thinking the whole time that he was a guy driving his own values, no matter how the world and the media was driven. He didn’t change to fit in. That meant I liked to read what he wrote because you always got consistency. It felt like you could rely on him and respect where he was coming from.’

In the fifth year of the award, Wilkinson is the first male recipient. Previous winners have been triathlete Chrissie Wellington, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and, last year, Winter Olympics gold medallist Amy Williams. When Ennis was mentioned as a previous winner, he was especially delighted to be in such exalted company.

‘That’s awesome,’ said Wilkinson. ‘I’m surprised Jess Ennis hasn’t won it again, to be honest! It is a great thing for me to be part of and it’s great that people think of me that way.’

Last season, thanks in large part to the
exploits of their English playmaker, Toulon reached the final of the
French Top 14 league, only to lose to mighty Toulouse. The Cote d’Azur
club have responded by setting the pace in the current campaign —
leading the table with eight wins from nine matches. Their only defeat
was at Toulouse, when Wilkinson was rested.

Take down: Wilkinson is tackled

Take down: Wilkinson is tackled

On Thursday he was back in the old
routine, kicking all the points, with eight penalties from nine attempts
as his side beat Stade Francais 24-19 at home.

For
the first time, when fully fit, the former Newcastle No 10 will be a
distant observer during an autumn series. The man who was the darling of
Twickenham for many years believes England go into the QBE
Internationals against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand
with cause for optimism.

‘I see England in a good place, definitely, but this autumn series is crucial,’ he said. ‘You know you’re going to be facing big teams but crucially you’re facing them at home. The expectation level is key. Within the team it should be, “We’re looking at nailing all four of these”.

Kick king: Wilkinson thinks England are in a good place

Kick king: Wilkinson thinks England are in a good place

‘If you do it, suddenly you’re on a roll and that starts to look after games for you. If you do it now, then you’re in 2003 territory. There were a few great performances on tour in South Africa, so England should be looking to beat these teams. I believe we can.

‘The team are showing signs of toughness and in order to get that ball rolling, you’ve got to have that foundation of toughness. That’s the thing I’m enjoying about England at the moment. The guys feel that, if they go down by 20 points — or whatever it was in the first 15 minutes against South Africa (in Johannesburg) — there was no-one saying, “We’re going to get beaten by 80 points”. Instead they were saying, “OK, that’s a bad start but let’s turn it around”.’

No doubt when England are in action again, Wilkinson will feel a pang of regret he is no longer involved. But he has plenty to occupy him in Toulon and the move has reinvigorated him. The way he’s going, there’s time for a few more awards before he calls it a day.

David James presented with MBE

James receives MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to football and charity

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UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 25 October 2012

David James was presented with an MBE on for services to football and charity on Thursday.

The former England goalkeeper, who now plays for League One AFC Bournemouth, received the accolade from HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

James, 42, has won 53 caps for his country and has played for Watford, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and Bristol City in a 23-year career.

Honour: David James was made an MBE for services to football and charity at Buckingham Palace

Honour: David James was made an MBE for services to football and charity at Buckingham Palace

David James is awarded his MBE by the Prince of Wales

David James receives his MBE from the Prince of Wales

Hold still! James receives his MBE from HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

The stopper is second on the Premier League's all-time appearance list, with over 500 matches, and holds the record for the most clean sheets with 173.

He has also been recgonised for his work with the David James Foundation, which helps communities in Malawi improve their food supply by farming the land they live on.

James is also involved with the Special Olympics Charity and Access Sport, which offers sports provision to deprived areas of the UK.

An unorthodox back four: James poses for a picture with some Buckingham Palace regulars

An unorthodox back four: James poses for a picture with some Buckingham Palace regulars

Receiving his award, James said: 'I am extremely honoured to be receiving an MBE today. It is not an award that one sets out to achieve, making me even more appreciative to those that put my name forward.

'I have had many years playing football, years that have given me tremendous enjoyment. They have also allowed me to get involved in many charitable campaigns, for this, I am very grateful.'

Jessica Ennis named European Athlete of the Year

Another honour for Ennis as Olympic golden girl is voted European Athlete of the Year

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UPDATED:

16:28 GMT, 4 October 2012

Jessica Ennis has been voted European female Athlete of the Year following her Olympic heptathlon triumph in London.

The 26-year-old from Sheffield becomes only the third British athlete to win the accolade following her British record win in August.

Dame Kelly Holmes was honoured in 2004 after winning two Olympic golds and Sally Gunnell took the prize in 1993.

Golden Girl: Jessica Ennis was been named European female Athlete of the Year

Golden Girl: Jessica Ennis was been named European female Athlete of the Year

Another award! Ennis will receive her honour at a ceremony in Malta on October 13

Another award! Ennis will receive her honour at a ceremony in Malta on October 13

It should be a double for British athletics as Mo Farah is expected to win the male award at the ceremony in Malta on October 13.

A panel of judges placed Ennis ahead of Olympic high jump gold medallist Anna Chicherova of Russia and javelin gold winner Barbora Spotakova from the Czech Republic.

Jerome Sinclair becomes Liverpool"s youngest ever player

Mersey Boys: As Sinclair becomes their youngest ever player, what happened to Liverpool's other teenage debutants

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UPDATED:

12:04 GMT, 27 September 2012

As the famous football maxim goes – ‘If you’re good enough,
you’re old enough.’

Brendan Rodgers is clearly someone who subscribes to that theory as he
brought Jerome Sinclair on as a late substitute for his first-team debut in the
League Cup tie at West Bromwich on Wednesday night.

And in doing so, Sinclair made history as the youngest
player to wear the colours of Liverpool at a fresh 16 years and six days.

In fact, his inclusion in the squad seemed to take some
of the Liverpool officials by surprise – he was listed as Jordan on the
teamsheet.

Youngest ever: Jerome Sinclair (left) made his Liverpool debut in the League Cup tie with West Bromwich at 16 years and six days

Youngest ever: Jerome Sinclair (left) made his Liverpool debut in the League Cup tie with West Bromwich at 16 years and six days

Born in Birmingham and educated at the West Brom academy,
Sinclair moved to Liverpool as a 14-year-old in 2011 and quickly broke into the
Under-18 side.

The striker’s first-team debut came just a week after his
maiden appearance for the Under-21s in a NextGen Series match with Inter Milan.

Sinclair looks set for a bright future, but how did
things turn out for other young Liverpool debutants

2. Jack Robinson

Debut: 16 years
and 250 days, vs. Hull City on May 9, 2010

Until Wednesday night, the accolade of being the youngest
player to appear in a Liverpool shirt belonged to Jack Robinson, who made a
five minute cameo on the final day of the 2009-2010 season at Hull.

The left-back then made his breakthrough into the
first-team the following season, with a particularly impressive display against
Theo Walcott in a match at Arsenal.

The arrival of Jose Enrique limited Robinson’s chances,
but Liverpool showed faith in his long-term future by offering him a long-term
contract in October 2011.

His two appearances in the League Cup last season were
enough to earn him a winners’ medal and a start in the recent Europa League
qualifying match at Hearts suggested Rodgers trusts in his talent too.

Defender of the tradition: Jack Robinson was Liverpool's youngest debutant until Wednesday night

Defender of the tradition: Jack Robinson was Liverpool's youngest debutant until Wednesday night

3. Raheem Sterling

Debut: 17 years
and 107 days, vs. Wigan Athletic on March 24, 2012

A prodigious talent with a very bright future, Sterling
has seized his opportunity on the Premier League stage this season with a
series of fearless performances.

The winger was especially impressive in the away Europa
League tie with Hearts and on his home Premier League debut against Manchester
City, giving Kolo Toure a torrid afternoon with his direct running.

The good start to his top flight career even earned
Sterling a call-up to the England squad for the latest World Cup qualifier
against Ukraine.

Initially at Queens Park Rangers, Sterling was brought to
Merseyside by Rafa Benitez for an initial fee of 600,000 – though this could
rise to as much as 5m if he continues to impress in the first team.

Rising star: Raheem Sterling gave Hearts a torrid time in the Europa League qualifier at Tynecastle earlier this season

Rising star: Raheem Sterling gave Hearts a torrid time in the Europa League qualifier at Tynecastle earlier this season

4. Max Thompson

Debut: 17 years
and 128 days, vs. Tottenham Hotspur on May 8, 1974

Thompson’s record as the youngest Liverpool debutant
stood for 36 years until broken by Robinson. The central defender made his one
and only league appearance for Liverpool against Spurs at the tail end of the
1973-1974 season.

Thompson went on to spent four years at Blackpool and two
at Swansea City, before an itinerant career took him to Bournemouth, Port Vale
and a number of non-league sides.

5. Michael Owen

Debut: 17 years
and 143 days, vs. Wimbledon on May 6, 1997

It was obvious from a very young age that Owen was a
special talent and after scoring a bag full of goals in the youth team, he was
fast-tracked into the senior side with the highest of recommendations.

When Roy Evans first selected Owen for first team duty,
Liverpool’s Director of Youth Steve Heighway had no doubts: ‘He is ready for
whatever you throw at him; nothing fazes Michael Owen. He’s ready. If the
manager wants a recommendation from me, Michael gets it.’

How right he was. Owen made his debut against Wimbledon
in May 1997, a glimmer of optimism in a dismal defeat that handed Manchester
United the title.

Dream debut: Michael Owen slots the ball past Neil Sullivan on his maiden Liverpool appearance in 1997

Dream debut: Michael Owen slots the ball past Neil Sullivan on his maiden Liverpool appearance in 1997

His first full season was exceptional – installed in
Liverpool’s first choice frontline, Owen won the Premier League Golden Boot and
the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

He scored 23 goals in total and made his bow on the
international stage for England – notably when scoring against Argentina at the
1998 World Cup.

6. John Morrissey

Debut: 17 years,
158 days, vs. Stoke City on September 23, 1957

Local born Outside Left Johnny Morrissey signed
professional forms at Anfield at the age of 17 and soon made his first-team
bow.

In five seasons at Liverpool, he made only 36 league
appearances and was second in the pecking order to Alan A’Court.

But his departure was controversial – the Liverpool board
decided to send him across Stanley Park to Everton without the blessing of
manager Bill Shankly.

Mersey man: Johnny Morrissey (bottom row, second from right) made his Liverpool debut aged 17 and later played for Everton

Mersey man: Johnny Morrissey (bottom row, second from right) made his Liverpool debut aged 17 and later played for Everton

Shankly didn’t take too kindly to his authority being undermined
by those upstairs and actually drafted a letter of resignation before being talked
round.

In the end, the move was probably better for Morrissey,
who played more than 250 games for Everton and won the league championship and FA
Cup.

THE REST OF THE LIVERPOOL TOP TEN

7. Reg Blore – Debut: 17 years, 213 days vs. Stoke City on October 17, 1959

8. Phil Charnock – Debut: 17 years, 215 days vs. Apollon Limassol on September 16, 1992

9. Ian Callaghan – Debut: 18 years, six days vs. Bristol Rovers on April 16, 1960

10. Harold Barton – Debut: 18 years, nine days vs. Blackburn Rovers on October 9, 1929

AND HERE'S HOW IT STARTED FOR OTHER BIG NAMES…

Steven Gerrard

Debut: 18 years and 182 days, vs. Blackburn Rovers on November 29, 1998

Considering what a great player he became, Gerrard's debut is largely forgettable as he came on for the last few minutes against Blackburn at Anfield as a replacement for Vegard Heggem.

Further opportunities followed during the 1998-1999 campaign as Jamie Redknapp struggled with injury but Gerrard's performances were hallmarked by nerves and he didn't make much of an impact.

Reflecting on his first few starts in an interview to mark ten years at Anfield, Gerrard said: 'I was out of position and out of my depth.'

But his rapid improvement led to a regular first-team slot and Anfield immortality.

Fresh-faced: Steven Gerrard is challenged by future England teammate Emile Heskey on one of his early Liverpool appearances

Fresh-faced: Steven Gerrard is challenged by future England teammate Emile Heskey on one of his early Liverpool appearances

Robbie Fowler

Debut: 18 years and 166 days, vs. Fulham on September 22, 1993

Fresh from helping the England Under-18 side win the European Championships in the summer of 1993, Fowler scored on his debut for Liverpool's first team in a 3-1 League Cup first round tie at Fulham.

Two weeks later, he scored all five goals in the return leg to truly announce his arrival.
Fowler's first league goals quickly followed, including a hat-trick in only his fifth league start against Southampton.

In all, he scored 183 goals in his two spells at Anfield.

Eyes on the ball: Fowler scores the third goal on his debut against Fulham in 1993

Eyes on the ball: Fowler scores the third goal on his debut against Fulham in 1993

Jamie Carragher

Debut: 18 years, 345 days, vs. Middlesbrough on January 8, 1997

Like Owen, Jamie Carragher had been part of the FA Youth Cup winning side of 1996 and Roy Evans handed him a first-team debut in a League Cup quarter-final defeat to Middlesbrough in January 1997.

Carragher played the last 15 minutes as a replacement from Rob Jones, but couldn't help avert a 2-1 reverse to the eventual cup finalists.

Three days later, he was given a league debut against West Ham, again as a substitute and Carragher then scored on his first start in the next game with Aston Villa.

Opening chapter: Jamie Carragher in an early game for Liverpool, against Celta Vigo in the UEFA Cup

Opening chapter: Jamie Carragher in an early game for Liverpool, against Celta Vigo in the UEFA Cup

London 2012 Paralympics: Helena Lucas wins gold as Britain win first ever sailing medals

Helena rules the waves! First for Britain as Lucas strikes Paralympics sailing gold

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UPDATED:

14:02 GMT, 6 September 2012

Great Britain claimed its first ever Paralympic sailing medals on Thursday, with Helena Lucas the star of the show as she collected gold in the 2.4mR class.

Team GB is the most successful nation in Olympic sailing history but, somewhat surprisingly, their Paralympic counterparts came into London 2012 without a medal since the sport's introduction 12 years ago.

Glory days: Helena Lucas celebrates her win

Glory days: Helena Lucas celebrates her win

Golden girl: Lucas has earned the top accolade in the 2.4mR class

Golden girl: Lucas has earned the top accolade in the 2.4mR class

However, that barren spell was ended as,
with the final race of the series cancelled due to a lack of wind,
medals were awarded on the standings after the opening 10 races.

As a result, Lucas deservedly took gold in the 2.4mR class after a week of domination from the only woman in the 16-boat fleet.

Deserved: Lucas was good value for her medal

Deserved: Lucas was good value for her medal

Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell also
leave London 2012 with a medal, although bronze is not the colour the
four-time world champions had been hoping for.

Great Britain only missed out on the podium in one of the three Paralympic classes after the cancellation of race 11 prevented the Sonar team clawing their way back into medal contention.

Bronze: Alexandra Rickham (left) and Niki Birrell (right) finished third

Bronze: Alexandra Rickham (left) and Niki Birrell (right) finished third

John Robertson, Stephen Thomas and
Hannah Stodel were third in the standings until they were handed a
four-point penalty last night for for a rule infringement, which dropped
them down to fifth overall.

After a request to re-open the case was rejected overnight, the British team saw a further protest against the international jury fail on Thursday.