Tag Archives: applause

WTA Charleston – Family Circle Cup: Serena Williams beats Venus Williams 6-1 6-2 in semi-final

Serena shows big sister Venus tough love with straight-sets thrashing in Charleston

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:18 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

Serena Williams demolished her older sister Venus 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

At times it was painful to watch, with Serena appearing uncomfortable with how she dismantled her sister – at one point not even challenging a ball that was called in when clearly wide – and the whole affair was over in 54 minutes.

Venus was constantly troubled by her serve, producing eight double faults, and it took until the third game of the second set for the former world No 1 to hold. Serena led applause for Venus after the match and chose to speak of her sister's return after a back injury which forced her withdrawal from March's Sony Open.

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

She said: 'It's really exciting…it's hard on our bodies. We're doing great and we were just excited that one of us was going to the final.'

It was the first time the sisters had faced each other since 2009 and while Serena has been in the ascendancy for some years, the first game gave no hint of the steamrollering to come.

Instead, Serena seemed to be going through the motions and her serve was not its usual formidable weapon, although the world number one held. A fierce cross-court shot gave Serena break point in the following game which had set the tone for the match with regards to Venus' serve, a double fault bringing up 2-0.

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

The younger sister was getting into her stride, a 110mph serve produced en route to 3-0 in contrast to Venus. Serena was quicker to everything and she moved to a 4-0 lead by passing Venus as she came into the net with a looping shot.

Venus finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth game when a fearsome forehand down the line gave Serena no chance.

However, Serena immediately broke back when Venus produced two successive double faults and she went on to win the set to love.

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

The crowd were urging Venus on but initially it had little effect as Serena took a 2-0 lead in the second. Venus held to the delight of the stands and she was certainly moving her sister around the court more, but the match was moving towards an inevitable conclusion.

The decisive break came in the seventh game as Venus netted with Serena going 5-2 up, and a long return saw her win to love.

Serena said: 'I felt great. I am really looking forward not only to tomorrow but the rest of the clay court season.'

Serena will meet Jelena Jankovic in the final after the Serbian beat unseeded Stefanie Voegele 6-4 6-7 (6/8) 6-2 in a match lasting two hours eight minutes.

Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 in Mexican Open final

Nadal crushes Ferrer to claim Mexican Open title… and he's raring to go for Indian Wells!

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

12:32 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:44 GMT, 3 March 2013

A dominant Rafa Nadal dismantled fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 on Saturday to win his second Mexican Open title and continue his successful comeback from a long injury lay-off.

Nadal, ranked fifth in the world, needed just over an hour to dispatch top seed Ferrer and was delighted with his form.

'For me, I played almost perfectly,' said Nadal following the match. 'My knee responded well all week.'

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Moving on: The Spaniard will play in the Indian Wells Masters tournament next week

Nadal also confirmed he would play in next week's Indian Wells hard-court tournament, despite speculation he might skip the event to spare his knee.

'My heart tells me I should continue competing, that I need to move on to the next tournament,' he added.

Nadal had been sidelined for more than seven months due to a partially torn tendon in his knee. He made his return early last month at the Chilean Open, losing in the final to Argentine Horacio Zeballos. A week later he claimed the Brazil Open title.

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against Ferrer

The former world number one charged out of the blocks and won the first eight games against three-time defending champion Ferrer, who saw his 19-match winning streak at the clay-court event come to an end.

'Rafa was just better than me today,' said Ferrer.

World No 4 Ferrer waited 44 minutes to win his first game of the final, the crowd erupting in applause as he put away a service winner to trail 2-1 in the second set.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Success: Nadal added the Mexican title to his triumph in Brazil and final in Chile since his return from injury

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

With Ferrer serving down 3-1, an extended rally in which both players scrambled back and forth from the net ended with a top-spin lob winner by Nadal, bringing the crowd to its feet and the score to 30-30.

Second seed Nadal, the 2005 Mexican Open champion, won the next two points to go up two breaks in the set and virtually put the match away.

Everton beam Hillsborough message on to Anfield to support charity single

Let's make Hillsborough song No 1 together! Everton beam message of support on to Anfield as families finally close in on justice

|

UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 20 December 2012

Everton projected an image of unity on to Anfield on Wednesday night to show their solidarity with the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims.

The picture carried the words 'Let's make it No 1 together' which refer to the Justice Collective's bid to get their single to the top of the charts this week.

A cover version of 1969 Hollies hit 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', the song has been heavily promoted by the club's famous figures over the past few weeks.

Justice: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the Hillsborough charity single

Justice: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the Hillsborough charity single

Where to get the single

Click here to buy from iTunes

Or text the word ‘Justice’ to 80010 from your mobile in the UK (1 + standard network rate)

Earlier in the day the High Court quashed the original inquest verdicts returned on the 96 fans who died in the 1989 disaster.

A fresh inquest was ordered after an application by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

More than 40 families, who had travelled to London for the hearing, burst into applause when the judges granted the application.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge described what happened in 1989 as 'catastrophic'.

Referring to the families, many of
whom were weeping in court, he said there had been a 'profound, almost
palpable belief that justice has not been done and that it cannot be
done without and until the full truth is revealed'.

Delight: Trevor Hicks holds up a newspaper on the steps of the High Court in London earlier today

Delight: Trevor Hicks holds up a newspaper on the steps of the High Court in London earlier today

Joyous: Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), Margaret Aspinall (right) and Jenni Hicks (left) show their delight after the hearing

Joyous: Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), Margaret Aspinall (right) and Jenni Hicks (left) show their delight after the hearing

He continued: 'We must record our
admiration and respect for their determined search for the truth about
the circumstances of the disaster and why and how it had occurred, which
– despite disappointments and setbacks – has continued for nearly
quarter of a century.'

On the day the charity single was released comedian John
Bishop joined Kenny Dalglish in the campaign to get the song to the top
of the charts for Christmas.

Dalglish, Paul McCartney and Alan Hansen are among the cast of stars of Justice Collective and were joined by Robbie Williams, Gerry Marsden, Melanie C, Paloma Faith and Shane MacGowan in the bid to raise vital cash for the families continuing to fight for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Scroll down to watch the video of the song

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

First in line: Dalglish sells the first copies of the single which hopes to raise 1m

First in line: Dalglish sells the first copies of the single which hopes to raise 1m

VIDEO Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop launch the single

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv32625','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv32625”,
'videoPlayer' : “2040124924001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2249313/Hillsborough-charity-single-hoping-Christmas-No-1.html”

});

VIDEO Hillsborough charity single He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv31539','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv31539”,
'videoPlayer' : “2010986574001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2242915/Hillsborough-charity-single-revealed-including-Alan-Hansen-Paul-McCartney-Kenny-Dalglish-Robbie-Williams.html”

});

Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

He ain't heavy: Former manager Kenny Dalglish and Peter Reid
Who's singing what

The road is long – ANDY BROWN

With many a winding turn – ANDY BROWN

That leads us to who knows where – GERRY MARSDEN

Who knows when – PAUL HEATON

But I'm strong – GLENN TILBROOK

Strong enough to carry him – GLENN TILBROOK

He ain't heavy, he's my brother – JOHN POWER/ROBBIE WILLIAMS

So on we go – JOHN POWER

His welfare is of my concern – MELANIE C

No burden is he to bear – ROBBIE WILLIAMS

We'll get there – ROBBIE/MELANIE C

For I know – REBECCA FERGUSON

He would not encumber me – HOLLY JOHNSON

He ain't heavy, he's my brother- HOLLY JOHNSON/REBECCA F

If I'm laden at all – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

I'm laden with sadness – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

That everyone's heart – PALOMA FAITH

Isn't filled with the gladness- PALOMA FAITH

Of love for one another – ELIZA DOOLITTLE

It's a long, long road – DAVE McCABE

From which there is no return – PETER HOOTON

While we're on the way to there – REN HARVIEU / JON McCLURE

Why not share- JON McCLURE / REN HARVIEU

And the load – DAVE McCABE

It doesn't weigh me down at all – MACCA

Coz he ain't heavy – MACCA

(He ain’t heavy) – SHANE MACGOWAN

He's my brother – SHANE MACGOWAN/ BEVERLEY K

He's my brother – ALL (most)

He ain't heavy, he's my brother … – ALL (most)

Royal Trophy 2012: Ryo Ishikawa could make the difference in Brunei

Japan's superstar Ishikawa could be the difference in Asia's bid to topple Europe in Royal Trophy

|

UPDATED:

15:48 GMT, 15 December 2012

The first thing that set Ryo Ishikawa apart from the other golfers at the Royal Trophy, Ryder Cup stars and all, came during the tournament’s opening ceremony.

Each player was introduced to polite and respectful applause. Then came Ryo, and suddenly the room was not filled with dignitaries and journalists but squealing teenagers.

Ishikawa attracts a fanatical following from his homeland of Japan wherever he plays across the globe. Whenever he takes to the course there are as many photographers as paying spectators following his every move.

Eyes on the prize: Ishikawa struck two outstanding shots in the fourballs

Eyes on the prize: Ishikawa struck two outstanding shots in the fourballs

Young, squeaky clean, good looking but entirely unthreatening… as a colleague here in Brunei put it, Ishikawa could well be described as the Justin Bieber of golf.

But, like when asking anyone over the age of 16 what their favourite Bieber song is, mention Ishikawa and most golf fans’ faces will turn blank.

To be fair to Ryo, his music does not make a proportion of the public want to pull their own fingernails out. Although it must be said we’ve never heard him sing. Let’s keep it that way.

So what’s all the fuss about Well, apart from the boyband looks, he donated his earnings on tour in 2011 to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief fund, plus an additional 750 for every birdie he made during the year. So he’s a nice boy – but is he a top-class golfer

The Ishikawa frenzy erupted when he became the youngest ever winner on the Japan Golf Tour aged just 15. Now 21, Ryo has won another 10 titles but only last month ended a barren run of two years without a victory. He has also never made his presence felt at any of the major championships, beyond the sizable boost to the local economies provided by the ever-present, and ultimately disappointed, throng of Japanese tourists.

Joining the scrum following Ishikawa during his fourball match at the Royal Trophy on Saturday, there were encouraging signs early on.

Up for grabs: The Royal Trophy was on display as Ye Yang tees off

Up for grabs: The Royal Trophy was on display as Ye Yang tees off

A wedge approach into the par-four first was accompanied by a long, posed follow-through – the equivalent of the ‘save for the cameras’ in football – as the ball flew straight at the flag and stopped four feet from the pin.

Ishikawa is known as ‘the Bashful Prince’ back home, but this was a showman working the crowd in a way the rather arrogant Prince, of musical fame, would approve.

But it was not to last. The putt shaved the hole leaving Ishikawa flabbergasted. A stunning approach to the fifth was a rare highlight in a round consisting mainly of piercing drives but sloppy iron play.

Despite being 50 yards longer off the tee than one of his opponents, Francesco Molinari, he was unable to match the two-time Ryder Cup veteran’s precision into the greens.

Then he started to falter off the tee too, splashing down in the lake with an ugly slice on the eighth, and began to find fairway bunkers with ease.

As Duran Duran might have sung, his name is Ryo and he likes playing from the sand. Ishikawa and fellow Japenese Yoshinori Fujimoto found themselves two holes down to the Molinari brothers at the turn and wilting in the stifling tropical heat.

All looked lost, but Fujimoto had other ideas. Sleeves pulled up, in the manner of Andy Roddick, over his impossibly square shoulders, he started firing at pins and sparked life back into the contest. And then, the moment we’d all been waiting for.

Raptures: Ishikawa received a warm reception in the opening ceremony, a much louder applause than Ryder Cup stars such as Miguel Angel Jimenez

Raptures: Ishikawa received a warm reception in the opening ceremony, a much louder applause than Ryder Cup stars such as Miguel Angel Jimenez

With his playing partner in trouble after driving towards the beach on the 549-yard long 15th, an under-pressure Ishikawa launched a lusty blow off the tee before firing a laser-guided missile into the green. His ball finished nine feet from the pin and the putt was sunk for an eagle three, the first of the week on any par-five here.

The fire was lit in Ishikawa’s belly and he followed that with another belter into the green at the short 16th.

Fujimoto’s birdie meant he did not need to complete his own near-certain two. After finding sand off the tee on the 17th, he blasted his approach out of the bunker to 10 feet. The Molinaris missed longer birdie putts and the match was over, the Japanese winning three up.

It wasn’t the most polished performance and it remains to be seen whether he can succeed under such an intense media glare. Helping Asia to come from a point behind and beat Europe in Sunday’s singles here may also be beyond his powers.

He takes on Henrik Stenson tomorrow.

But with two of the most fabulous blows you will ever see in any golf tournament across the globe, this young superstar won a new admirer.

If Ishikawa really is the Justin Bieber of golf… then I’m a Belieber.

Robin van Persie deserves respect from Arsenal fans, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Van Persie deserves nothing but respect from Arsenal fans, insists Ferguson

|

UPDATED:

14:32 GMT, 2 November 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would be surprised if Robin van Persie was not given a warm reception by Arsenal fans this weekend.

The prolific Dutchman is poised to face his former club for the first time since joining United in a 24million summer deal as the Gunners visit Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Van Persie scored 37 goals for the Londoners last season but, with his contract running down, opted not to renew and the club sold to their rivals.

All smiles: Van Persie trains at Carrington on Friday

All smiles: Van Persie trains at Carrington on Friday

All smiles: Van Persie trains at Carrington on Friday alongside team-mate Wayne Rooney

The 29-year-old has since made a fine start at United, scoring nine times in 12 appearances.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said Van Persie, who was brought to England from Feyenoord by the Gunners in 2004, deserves respect and Ferguson agrees.

Ferguson said: 'I think Arsene has laid his seed for his supporters in terms of respecting him.

'I think, if you think about all the former players who have come back to Old Trafford, they always get a warm applause.

'I don't think he'll have a problem
tomorrow. I think the fans will recognise the eight years he gave them
and I think that will be nice.'

As
well as scoring goals, Van Persie has made a good all-round
contribution to the United cause and Ferguson thinks he has settled
quickly because no acclimatisation was necessary.

Ferguson said: 'He is a mature player and I think that helps, and the experience he has got playing eight years in England.

Dutch of class: Van Persie has got his United career off to a flying start

Dutch of class: Van Persie has got his United career off to a flying start

'The fact he has played in England makes it easier to go to another English club.

'It has been very satisfying for us. It has been a fantastic start and hopefully he keeps it going.'

Van Persie was on target for Arsenal on their forgettable last visit to Old Trafford in August last year, when they were hammered 8-2.

Ferguson is certainly not expecting a repeat of that extraordinary scoreline.

He said: 'It won't happen tomorrow, that's for sure.

'There is no point living in the past, we have just got to look forward to tomorrow.

'It
could be a way of motivating Arsenal, that is possible, but I think we
have got to have the motivation to make sure we win the match.'

Having
beaten leaders Chelsea last weekend, United, possibly only briefly,
could go top of the table with victory in the lunchtime kick-off.

Last time out: Van Persie has a penalty saved by David De Gea during Arsenal's 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford last year

Last time out: Van Persie has a penalty saved by David De Gea during Arsenal's 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford

But Ferguson, whose side enjoyed a fierce top-of-the-table rivalry with Arsenal in the last decade, believes Wenger's men are a tougher proposition than in the recent past.

Ferguson, who reaches the 26th anniversary of his appointment by United next week, said: 'Of course every game against Arsenal is always a big one.

'Since I have come down here it has always been a most important derby game, in the sense that both teams have been challenging for the league. It won't be any different tomorrow.

'I think they have improved defensively this year, there is no question about that. They are a solid team.

'I think they are stronger – physically stronger – if you look at the make-up of their team.

'(Lukas) Podolski, (Olivier) Giroud, all these players they have brought in are more physical types of player than they have had in the past.'

Both sides go into the game on the back of remarkable Capital One Cup ties that went to extra time in midweek.

Ready to go: Ferguson overseas training on Friday as his team prepare for the visit of Arsenal

Ready to go: Ferguson overseas training on Friday as his team prepare for the visit of Arsenal

Ready to go: Ferguson overseas training on Friday as his team prepare for the visit of Arsenal

Arsenal overturned a 4-0 deficit to beat Reading 7-5 and progress to the quarter-finals, while United were undone 5-4 at Chelsea despite leading 3-2 in the final minute of normal time.

Ferguson said: 'You have to give amazing credit to Arsenal. It has been an amazing turnaround.

'It was one of those crazy games – 12 goals in that game and nine in ours the next night.

'Twenty-one goals in those two League Cup games. Capital One, the sponsors, will be rubbing their hands.

'It's probably the best night they're ever going to get. A great advert for the cup.'

Ferguson made 10 changes for what was a second match against Chelsea in the space of three days but, despite it not being top priority, he was still bothered by the loss and his porous defence.

He said: 'It was frustrating. I think the laws of the game have changed, the linesman giving offside against Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) in his own half.

'That's a new one, and they scored from that. But football's football.

'The one thing that came out of it was it was a fantastic game of football.

'Nine goals – we are now in a situation where we need to score six goals to win games!'

Brendan Rodgers praises Liverpool players after Anzhi Mackhachkala victory

Rodgers hails Liverpool heroes following hard-fought Europa win over Anzhi

|

UPDATED:

21:52 GMT, 25 October 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers lauded his players as 'terrific' and 'outstanding' after seeing them down big-spending Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala and move into top spot in Group A of the Europa League.

Despite playing rivals Everton in the Barclays Premier League this weekend, Rodgers opted to name a strong starting line-up at Anfield which included the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez and he was rewarded with a 1-0 win.

'Great credit to the players, to be fair I haven't even been thinking about the derby game, for us it's really just about one game at a time at the moment and Anzhi are a very good side with some outstanding players,' he told ITV4.

Calling the shots: Rodgers has heaped praise on his side following victory over Anzhi

Calling the shots: Rodgers has heaped praise on his side following victory over Anzhi

'Tonight was an excellent performance.

'I thought the players were terrific, they took control of the game, and then when they had to dig deep towards the end they put their bodies on the line and got their blocks in and they were outstanding.'

Rodgers was also pleased with another clean sheet, which means Liverpool have now not conceded since their 3-2 home defeat to Udinese at the start of the month.

'It's three clean sheets in a row which is important for us and we're now adding that bit of steel and concentration to some of the footballing elements that we're working on,' he added.

'It was a good win and we can now recover and look forward to the weekend.'

The winning goal came from Stewart Downing, who cracked home an unstoppable effort from outside the box in the 53rd minute after coming in from the left flank.

Rodgers said of the winger: 'It was brilliant goal. He's had a rough ride here really, it's been difficult time for him, but he got a great round of applause from the Kop and if you can get that from the Kop then it'll give you a massive lift going forward.

'He's a good guy, he's working very hard and he's a very important member of our team.'

Downing has struggled to tie down a first-team berth at Liverpool and he said: 'Football's like that, you have your ups and downs, it's how you respond to it. I'm working hard and trying to get back into the team.'

Wonder goal: Downing's fine effort sealed the three points at Anfield

Wonder goal: Downing's fine effort sealed the three points at Anfield

Wonder goal: Downing's fine effort sealed the three points at Anfield

Liverpool captain Gerrard added of the win: 'We're very pleased with the three points. The objective before the game was to get the win, it didn't matter how we did it.

'But we played some decent stuff along the way today so we're very pleased, and what a goal to win it.'

Sam's the man: Eto'o's presence wasn't enough to break down the Reds

Sam's the man: Eto'o's presence wasn't enough to break down the Reds

Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson to lay floral tribute for Hillsborough

Sir Bobby to pay tribute: Ferguson and Charlton to lay floral tribute to the 96 at Anfield

|

UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 21 September 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton will lay a floral tribute to the 96 Hillsborough victims before the start of Liverpool's game with Manchester United.

It is possible Ferguson and Charlton will make what will be a hugely emotional gesture in front of The Kop, although plans are still being finalised ahead of Liverpool's first match at Anfield since the release of the independent report into the April 1989 disaster.

Respect: Sir Bobby Charlton will lay a floral tribute to remember the Hillsborough victims

Respect: Sir Bobby Charlton will lay a floral tribute to remember the Hillsborough victims

Enlarge

Manchester united Ferguson

Both Liverpool and United will come out
wearing tracksuit tops with '96' on the back, while team captains Steven
Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic will stand shoulder-to-shoulder and release
96 red balloons in memory of those who lost their lives.

A
mosaic will also go up on three sides of Anfield to spell '96',
'Justice' and 'The Truth' during the singing of You'll Never Walk Alone,
but there will not be a minute's applause or a minute's silence.

Former
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will return to Anfield for the first
time since he left in May, with his wife Marina, to show his support for
the bereaved families.

Huge efforts have been made by both
clubs in a bid to ensure the occasion passes without incident and
current Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is adamant that the two sets of
supporters will act in keeping with the occasion.

'This will be an emotionally charged game,' said Rodgers. 'I would not
want to sit here and tell Liverpool supporters how to behave.

'They are educated in the values of humanity. The message has been clear from Sir Alex, too.

'It is important to pay our respects to the families.'

A copy of Sir Alex's letter to the United supporters will be handed to every Old Trafford fan at the turnstiles, and Ferguson added: 'There is a point where you go beyond the pale.

'And I think in the past it has been that way. You have to remember that it is not all the supporters – it is a minority.

'And a minority can create the headlines in order to get a voice.'

Rodgers, meanwhile, has no doubt that Luis Suarez will shake hands with Patrice Evra if the two men come face-to-face and he said: 'Enough has been said on that matter over the last year.

'Luis is a good guy and a good man. The time has come to move on.'

Luis Suarez ordered to make up with Patrice Evra

Hand of peace: Suarez ordered to make up with Evra and quell hatred

|

UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 16 September 2012

Liverpool will order Luis Suarez to shake hands with Manchester United rival Patrice Evra as the two clubs bid to defuse next Sunday’s potentially explosive clash.

The teams meet at Anfield with emotions running high after sick chants aimed at Liverpool were heard at Old Trafford on Saturday and with memories of last season’s racism controversy between Suarez and Evra still fresh.

United chief executive David Gill will this week hold talks with Liverpool counterpart Ian Ayre in a bid to ensure the Barclays Premier League clash passes off without controversy. And Liverpool will tell Suarez to shake hands with Evra and are confident he will comply this time, unlike last season when he snubbed the United defender.

No repeat: Luis Suarez refused to shake the hand of Patrice Evra last season

No repeat: Luis Suarez refused to shake the hand of Patrice Evra last season

Neither club want anything to happen to further tarnish the name of the English game and are on red alert after United were forced to condemn a minority of their fans for singing anti-Liverpool songs during their win over Wigan at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The FA are happy with United’s response and will not be getting involved.

The Premier League also confirmed they would take no action over the chants.

It is understood Gill and Ayre will talk early this week about how to minimise the risk of an explosive incident and the best way to show respect to the 96 Hillsborough victims.

A minute’s silence is the preferred option but it is possible a minute’s applause will be held to minimise the chance of disruption.

Warning: Suarez will be ordered to shake Evra's hand next weekend

Warning: Suarez will be ordered to shake Evra's hand next weekend

United may also lay a wreath in memory of the victims before kick-off, just as former Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson did when the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster fell the day the two rivals met at Old Trafford four years ago.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said
last Friday he hoped the magnitude of the occasion would ensure he
didn’t have to appeal personally to his club’s travelling supporters
ahead of Sunday’s game.

However, this view may change in the wake of the weekend’s events.

During
the first half of United’s 4-0 win over Wigan, a chant of ‘Stand up if
you hate Scousers’ was followed by the usual disrespectful adaptation
of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Justice: Reading joined several clubs in remembering the Hillsborough 96

Justice: Reading joined several clubs in remembering the Hillsborough 96

That much may have passed without comment, but a line may just have been crossed when a section of the Stretford End broke into a chorus of ‘Always the victim, it’s never your fault.’ It was scarcely audible, and some didn’t hear it at all, but enough did for it to cause a furore, with the topic dominating Twitter and BBC Radio 5 Live’s 606 phone-in programme.

United swiftly issued a statement which read: ‘The manager has made the club’s position on this very clear, and it is now up to the fans to respect that. The club deplore it.’

Labour shadow health minister Andy
Burnham said on Radio 5 Live: ‘I know it’s a minority and the vast
majority of United fans would condemn it, but they are disrespecting
their manager because he’d asked them not to and I think football has to
get rid of this.

‘This ridiculous thing where people are chanting about death, it’s just got to go.’

Sort it out: Sir Alex Ferguson called on fans to stop singing vile songs

Sort it out: Sir Alex Ferguson called on fans to stop singing vile songs

Supporters group MUST echoed the official Old Trafford stance but warned against over-reacting for fear of inflaming hostilities ahead of next weekend’s showdown.

A statement said: ‘MUST wishes to make it absolutely clear that we condemn any chants relating to Hillsborough or indeed any other human tragedy.

‘We did hear the usual anti-Liverpool chants at the match today but we’re pleased to say, despite some reports to the contrary, there was nothing specifically referencing Hillsborough. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is irresponsible, given the forthcoming fixture between the clubs.’

Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle revealed the PFA failed in bids to get Liverpool and Manchester United together over the issue and QPR and Chelsea over the Anton Ferdinand-John Terry row.

Hillsborough latest: Liverpool fans to mark papers release with minutes applause

Liverpool fans to mark Hillsborough truth coming out with applause after six minutes

|

UPDATED:

21:22 GMT, 14 September 2012

A call for Liverpool fans to mark the efforts of Hillsborough campaigners with a minute’s applause six minutes into Saturday’s game is gaining momentum.

It was also revealed that Liverpool and
Sunderland players will wear black armbands at the Stadium of Light in memory of the 96 Hillsborough victims.

It comes as Sir Alex Ferguson has called for an end to the hostility between Manchester United and Liverpool.

Showing their respects: The Liverpool players will wear black armbands to remember the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough in 1989

Showing their respects: The Liverpool players will wear black armbands to remember the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough in 1989

The north west giants have a long history and a bitter rivalry both on and off the pitch.

But following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report – which cleared Liverpool supporters of any blame in the 1989 tragedy in which 96 supporters died – Ferguson is keen for a better relationship and more friendly rivalry to develop.

Call a halt: Sir Alex Ferguson wants an end to vile chants at stadiums

Call a halt: Sir Alex Ferguson wants an end to vile chants at stadiums

'We are two great clubs, ourselves and Liverpool,' said Ferguson, ahead of Saturday's clash with Wigan. 'We should understand each other's problems. Maybe a line will be drawn in the sand in terms of their behaviour towards each other.'

Following Wednesday's revelations, Liverpool boss Rodgers added his own sentiments to those of Sir Matt Busby’s son, Sandy, and Reds legend Robbie Fowler, who condemned songs about Hillsborough and Munich.

He said: 'I speak as a human being and I don't ever like to hear anything like that associating other clubs' tragedies and death.

'But let’s hope that we can all move on and hopefully we will all learn from this process.'

The teams face each other next weekend at Anfield, and will be hoping for none of the controversy of last season.

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches after racially abusing Patrice Evra when the sides met last October at Anfield.

Fight goes on: Family and friends of the the victims of Hillsborough finally succeeded in getting disclosure of the independent report into the 1989 disaster

Fight goes on: Family and friends of the the victims of Hillsborough finally succeeded in getting disclosure of the independent report into the 1989 disaster

Fight goes on: Family and friends of the the victims of Hillsborough finally succeeded in getting disclosure of the independent report into the 1989 disaster

He then refused to shake the
defender's hand before the game at Old Trafford in February this year,
sparking an ill-tempered game which United won 2-1.

Other previous matches between the teams
have been marred by chants about United’s 1958 Munich air disaster and
the tragedies involving Liverpool at Heysel and Hillsborough.

Tense: Meetings between the two sides have been fraught with controversy on the pitch, especially recently following the race row between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez

Tense: Meetings between the two sides have been fraught with controversy on the pitch, especially recently following the race row between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill said the game, which is close to a sell-out, will be ‘highly-charged’.

That will particularly be the case for visiting supporters and the Liverpool squad, especially captain Steven Gerrard, whose 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley died in the disaster.

O’Neill said: ‘It is a total vindication for the Liverpool people who felt it was worthy to fight it all the way. They must draw some sort of comfort from this, even though 96 people lost their lives.’

Andy Murray on his own in British tennis

In a world of one: Brit pack failing to close gap on trailblazer Murray

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 12 September 2012

While Britain’s No 1 male tennis player walked through Heathrow to spontaneous applause on Wednesday, the national No 2 was at a small tournament in a small town in Luxembourg.

The worlds of US Open champion Andy Murray and Josh Goodall, the world No 200, are further apart than ever now, with the latter in the second round of a 50,000 Challenger event taking place in Petange, calling itself the Roller Open.

Murray flew in overnight from New York and will not have been displeased with the relative lack of clamour at Heathrow, where his walk through the arrivals hall to a waiting car met with spontaneous applause from onlookers.

The champions returns: US Open winner Andy Murray and his girlfriend Kim Sears (right) arrive back at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday

The champions returns: US Open winner Andy Murray and his girlfriend Kim Sears (right) arrive back at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday

Before that he stood, unmolested, by the carousel waiting for luggage, chatting happily with a couple of us doing the same thing. As ever in these situations he was friendly to all-comers and keen to catch up on the latest sports gossip, intrigued by football results and the rumpus surrounding Rory McIlroy’s Olympic representation.

All appeared reassuringly un-life-changing, as he hoped it would, although he will see what impact he has made if he attends Glasgow’s Olympic parade on Friday, which he still plans to do.

Goodall, by contrast, is an anonymous foot soldier, the 26-year-old from Basingstoke continuing his struggle to break through to the big leagues with a second-round defeat in Luxembourg, where Jamie Murray is playing doubles.

Jamie Baker, the national No 3, lost in the first round there, and the fact is the men’s rankings still make alarming reading for British tennis, with only four players in the top 300.

Lagging behind: No 2 Josh Goodall is ranked someway below Murray

Lagging behind: No 2 Josh Goodall is ranked someway below Murray

Among those charged with changing that is Leon Smith, the coach who guided Murray’s junior career, including the junior US Open junior win.

He was, he admits, ‘very emotional’ watching Monday’s final at home, although his focus now as Davis Cup captain and head of national training at the Lawn Tennis Association is on developing talent to support Murray.

After two years and four months in the post he is confident it will not be too long before his former charge is not in such glorious isolation as a star of the world game.

‘Andy is a one-off, no country can just produce players like him and, coming through the juniors from 11 to 17, he hit all the benchmarks that predicted future success,’ said Smith. ‘What we are starting to do is put through good development plans for our younger players. While there is a lot more to do we are starting to see the fruits of some of the things going on.’

Talking a good game: Murray talks to the Press as he arrives back at Heathrow

Talking a good game: Murray talks to the Press as he arrives back at Heathrow

Smith is referring to the age group hitting their late teens, a few of whom offer hope of making decent careers for themselves.

Last year three British boys reached the US Open semi-finals, with Twickenham’s Oliver Golding winning the title. Shortly after Great Britain won the junior equivalent of the Davis Cup, spearheaded by Yorkshire’s Kyle Edmund, and on Sunday Stockport’s Liam Broady reached the junior final at Flushing Meadows.

Greg Rusedski, Britain’s last New York finalist before Murray, is being used to help that generation.

‘Greg’s one of the good coaches we have got working with them,’ said Smith. ‘The focus is on preparing them, then sending them away on five- or six-week trips to tough environments where they will really learn. Places like Spain and the clay, and South America.

Tough task: Greg Rusedski is coaching the tennis stars of tomorrow

Tough task: Greg Rusedski is coaching the tennis stars of tomorrow

‘The thing you are seeing is that you have got to move well to make it, so putting in the physical work to do that is a big part.’

As for the twentysomethings like Goodall, Baker and the injured James Ward, they are being kept going with a new bonus scheme that gives financial support related to results.

But Smith conceded the emerging juniors are ‘not a massive group’. The real challenge is broadening the playing base.

Until it is made easier for talented children and supportive parents to find ways to the top, we will rely on mavericks like Andy and Judy Murray.