Tag Archives: artist

Madness at Chelsea! Suggs visits Blues

It really is Madness at Chelsea! Superfan Suggs drops in to visit Blues

PUBLISHED:

13:35 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:35 GMT, 1 March 2013

There was more Madness at Chelsea on Friday morning as superfan Suggs turned up at their Cobham training ground.

The players are preparing to face West Bromwich Albion at the end of an eventful week which saw interim boss Rafa Benitez launch an extraordinary attack on the club's fans and owner Roman Abramovich.

Benitez slammed the supporters after Wednesday's win at Middlesbrough, claiming they were not doing the team any favours by continuing to boo him.

Our house: Suggs paid a visit to Chelsea's Cobham training ground

Our house: Suggs paid a visit to Chelsea's Cobham training ground

But Suggs' commitment to the Stamford
Bridge outfit can never be doubted. The 52-year-old, who has a string
of hits under his belt with Madness and as a solo artist, reached No 22
in the charts in 1997 with Blue Day, the song he recorded with the
players for the FA Cup final.

The west Londoners beat Middlesbrough
2-0 in the Wembley showpiece with former manager Roberto Di Matteo
scoring after 42 seconds.

Thew club's official Twitter page
said this morning: 'We've been fortunate enough to welcome legendary
Chelsea fan Suggs to Cobham this morning! #CFC #BlueDay.'

Rafael Nadal inspired by Ronaldo

Nadal takes inspiration from Ronaldo after Brazil legend watches Rafa's winning return

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:52 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:52 GMT, 18 February 2013

Rafael Nadal is drawing inspiration from Brazilian football great Ronaldo to continue his successful return from injury.

With Ronaldo watching, Nadal took an important step on Sunday by winning the Brazil Open for his first title after a seven-month layoff to treat his left knee. Now he wants to repeat the Brazilian’s successful story of recovery from much more serious injuries.

Nadal said Ronaldo is “an example” to be followed because of his determination to rebound from a series of knee injuries that threatened his career.

Fan: Former footballer Ronaldo (left) watched Rafael Nadal with Brazilian mixed martial artist Anderson Silva

Fan: Former footballer Ronaldo (left) watched Rafael Nadal with Brazilian mixed martial artist Anderson Silva

Despite winning again, the Spaniard is still bothered by his knee and said he is far from fully recovered, although he hopes the victory in front of Ronaldo will mark a new beginning in his career.

'Ronaldo is an example to a lot of people because of all that he was able to achieve despite what he had to go through with all the knee problems in his career,' Nadal said. 'He is definitely an example to me. He’s an example of determination and hard work.'

Ronaldo ended his career as one of the world’s top strikers after overcoming three serious knee operations. The former Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan striker won two World Cups with Brazil and remains the tournament’s all-time leading scorer with 15 goals.

Nadal said he has always admired Ronaldo, and as a kid proudly took a photo with the striker when he played for Barcelona in the late 1990s.

'He was unstoppable, one of the best players of all time despite all the bad luck he had with the knee,' Nadal said.

The Spaniard was out of action since last year because a torn and inflamed tendon in his knee, an injury that he says is improving but still bothers him from time to time. He downplayed his difficulties compared to Ronaldo’s, but said he now has a better understanding of what the Brazilian had to go through.

'I didn’t have so many problems, I never needed the surgeries,' Nadal said. 'But I can imagine how hard it must have been for Ronaldo with the complicated surgeries that he had to go through.'

Taste of victory: Nadal bites the trophy of the Brazil Open after beating David Nalbandian

Taste of victory: Nadal bites the trophy of the Brazil Open after beating David Nalbandian

Nadal beat former world No. 3 David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 in Brazil on Sunday, winning his 51st career title and first since beating Novak Djokovic to lift his seventh Roland Garros trophy last June.

The Brazil Open was Nadal’s second tournament since his return. He played at the VTR Open in Chile the week before, losing the singles and doubles final. The final in Brazil was only his eighth singles match since the comeback. He withdrew from the doubles in Sao Paulo to rest his knee for the singles tournament.

Nadal looked far from his best in his first two tournaments and said that the knee injury still limited him physically.

'There are days that the knee still hurts and it’s very complicated,' he said. 'I need some time to keep improving and become more competitive again. Let’s see how it goes.'

Road to recovery: Nadal found some form in Sao Paulo yesterday

Road to recovery: Nadal found some form in Sao Paulo yesterday

The 11-time Grand Slam champion admitted that the level of the competition in Brazil was not as high as in other tournaments but said that it wasn’t bad either, giving him the perfect opportunity to put his knee to test.

Nadal will play another clay-court tournament in Mexico later this month and the goal is to be fully fit again by the time Roland Garros arrives in May, although his future schedule will depend on how the knee holds up. He had intended to play in Indian Wells in March, but on Sunday said that he won’t know whether he will make it until closer to the tournament.

'We are thinking day-to-day, week-to-week,' the 26-year-old Nadal said. 'We’ll see how I feel before making a decision on where I’ll be playing in the near future, it will depend on how the knee improves.'

Daniel Sturridge stars in spoken word film for Street League

Poetry in motion: Sturridge stars in spoken word film to help disadvantaged youngsters

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UPDATED:

13:43 GMT, 8 December 2012

Daniel Sturridge may have been frustrated by injury in the last few weeks but the Chelsea man has not been wasting his time.

The England striker has starred in this video, which is designed to show the emotional connection that young people have with football and how it can be a positive force in their lives.

Scroll down for video

Artist: Daniel Sturridge delivered the spoken word piece perfectly

Artist: Daniel Sturridge delivered the spoken word piece perfectly

The patient, clearly-spoken narration from spoken word poet Polarbear brings his words to life.

Sturridge presented a check for 50,000 euros on behalf of Hyundai to streetfootballworld and its UK network member and charity, Street League.

The cheque is part of a larger 250,000 euro donation which is intended to help disadvantaged youngsters across Europe develop life and employability skills.

Skills: Sturridge saw how Street League helps disadvantaged youngsters develop life and employability skills

Skills: Sturridge saw how Street League helps disadvantaged youngsters develop life and employability skills

Street League

After recording the video and training with the 16-25 year-old participants, Sturridge had a question and answer session with them.

Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins has also been involved in the programme.

He spoke about presentation skills, the importance of hard work and of discipline.

Wilkins said: 'My dad was a hard man. When we finished playing, I would say “can I go and have a beer” And he would say “Yes perfect! Go and have a beer, but you’re in at 10 o’clock”.

'I was 18 years old, playing a man’s sport and he said I had to be in at 10! I would ask if there would be any consequences and he would say “Well, you’ll just get locked out. It is my house where you live under my roof and do as I say”.'

DAVID LLOYD – BUMBLE"S TEST DIARY: Sir Ian Botham goes to see Rolling Stones concert

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Why Monty bowling on this pitch is 'Satisfaction' guaranteed… but unlike that old rocker Beefy, 'Wild Horses' can't drag me away from the cricket

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 23 November 2012

CLASSIC PITCH = CLASSIC MATCH

This is a cracking pitch and it promises to be a classic Test match. A spinning pitch makes for a great game. Some resolute batting from Pujara and Ashwin during some superb India resistance, and they could have a good score already.

SWANNING AROUND IN THE SHADOW OF MONTY

A big tick for Monty Panesar. He was handled very well by Alastair Cook, who brought him on in the seventh over. His dismissal of Tendulkar was a classic and it was great to see him and Graeme Swann bowl together, although it is interesting that when Monty plays, he tends to push Swann into the background. It might be that Swann thrives as being the main man in a four-pronged attack while he is less effective when there is another spinner in the side.

Perilous place: Stuart Broad's vice-captaincy does not guarantee him selection and his poor displays have put his place in the side in jeopardy

Perilous place: Stuart Broad's vice-captaincy does not guarantee him selection and his poor displays have put his place in the side in jeopardy

VICE-CAPTAINCY DOESN'T GUARANTEE SELECTION

Stuart Broad is out of sorts..he’s running on empty. I know him well and he will be frustrated that his contribution is not as it should be. Quick bowlers need to be used in short, sharp bursts in India and his pace is down. He needs a break and England should freshen things up for the next Test. They are under no obligation to pick him just because he is vice-captain. Why do we even need one

MY PRINCELY PORTRAIT

Former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell is now a world-renowned artist…and he’s doing my portrait. It’s a work in progress. I’ve sat with him for two hours so far and he won’t let me see it, he says it’s bad luck. But crikey, having my portrait done…I feel like Prince Philip!

Ugly mug: Bumble is having his portrait painted by former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell

Ugly mug: Bumble is having his portrait painted by former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell

Prince Philip

Jack the lad: Former England wicketkeeper turned professional artist Jack Russell is painting Bumble's portrait

Royal appointment: Bumble says that sitting for Russell (right) makes him feel like Prince Philip (left)

JIMMY'S DODGY BARNET

Jimmy Anderson is supposed to be a fashion icon, a star of magazines. So who on earth was let loose with the scissors to give him that haircut Whichever of his team-mates it was, they must have done it when he was asleep.

ROLLING WITH SIR BEEFY

Ian Botham is off to see the Rolling Stones in London this weekend and it promises to be a fantastic occasion. All together now: 'This could be the last time…'

Sir Ian Botham

The Rolling Stones Grrr!

Old rocker: Sir Ian (left) will be rocking it out at this weekend's Rolling Stones gig, titled Grrr! (right)

More from David Lloyd…

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Drop Trott, it's time to wield the axe because India are having England for breakfast
19/11/12

Bumble's diary: Cook doesn't perspire and never changes his gloves, magnificent
18/11/12

Bumble's Test diary: England finally wake up and join the Test series
18/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: How the utter madness of England sending in Jimmy left me calling for Sunny and Cher
16/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: England have picked the wrong team… but why I'm in a tizz over Chas
15/11/12

Bumble's guide to Twenty20 Finals day: Yorkshire v Sussex, Somerset v Hampshire
23/08/12

Bumble at the Test: KP's Headingley innings was my magic moment, will it be his last
20/08/12

Bumble at the Test: Polly thriller as Shaun finally gets to ring the Lord's bell
19/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Zlatan Ibrahimovic analysis by Paul Trevillion

As artist Paul Trevillion analyses Ibrahimovic's wonder goal, Sportsmail looks as why we all now know he's a genius…

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UPDATED:

07:50 GMT, 16 November 2012

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave himself the perfect 10 but for once he may have been guilty of underestimating his own importance.

For a start there was the wonder goal, a 30-yard propeller kick, the final piece in his four-goal demolition of England which quickly became an internet sensation, hailed as one of the best goals ever.

But there was more to it, because after a night when the Swedes declared their handsome new national stadium open for business, their captain’s heroics were considered capable of healing social wounds and stemming the rise of the political far-right in the country.

Even in slow motion, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's incredible acrobatic propeller kick is difficult to comprehend. He is 6ft 5in and 15st, so how did he leap eight feet in the air to score a 30-year goal Artist Paul Trevillion explains…

1: Quick of thought and totally focused, he sights the ball and bends his knees to prepare

1: Quick of thought and totally focused, he sights the ball and bends his knees to prepare

2: The non-kicking left foot leaves the ground first

2: The non-kicking left foot leaves the ground first

3: The left foot's rapid upward swing gets him airbourne

3: The left foot's rapid upward swing gets him airbourne

4: In mid-air, he brings the kicking foot into play

4: In mid-air, he brings the kicking foot into play

5: The right foot strikes the ball in a looping goal-bound trajectory

5: The right foot strikes the ball in a looping goal-bound trajectory

6: The momentum of the strike spins him over before landing and celebrating

6: The momentum of the strike spins him over before landing and celebrating

Main man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his goal

Main man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his goal

It was, in short, some performance. ‘Zlatan’s Arena’ wrote the newspaper Expressen in honour of Ibrahimovic, who was born in Sweden of mixed Balkan descent. He is, indeed, some footballer, although it wasn’t always quite like this. Just as England debate how to get the best from Wayne Rooney, the Swedes for years did the same with their talisman.

Ibrahimovic had everything a modern centre forward might want and he won the title each year, be it with Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona or AC Milan. Yet rarely did he summon such form with any consistency in a Sweden shirt.

When England beat the Swedes in a friendly at Wembley this time last year, he was anonymous, apparently uninterested, emitting strong vibes of impatience at the failings of his team-mates. It came soon after the publication of his book I, Zlatan in which he dared to criticise Pep Guardiola and recalled how he told the all-conquering Barcelona boss: ‘I am a Ferrari and you are driving me as if I am a Fiat.’

His strike-rate against English teams
had been appalling, even though in 2010 he scored twice for Barca
against Arsenal. Despite his unwavering self-belief, Ibrahimovic was
conscious of popular opinion in England. The statistics would roll out
every time he played here, along with the fact that, for all his
posturing arrogance, he has failed to win the Champions League.

This year, however, something changed
regarding Ibra the Enigma and his relationship with English football.
It started when AC Milan destroyed Arsenal in the San Siro in February.
Ibrahimovic scored once but there was more.

He
was majestic as he orchestrated a 4-0 win for the Italian champions and
he tormented England again in Kiev at Euro 2012, where he was the best
player on the pitch despite defeat, as he embraced his new
responsibilities in the national team.

When
Erik Hamren took control he made a significant tactical tweak,
abandoning the 4-4-2 formation to which Swedish football had been wed
for many years.

Hamren
adopted the increasingly fashionable 4-2-3-1 system but Ibrahimovic, who
seemed to be the perfect centre forward for such a system, would be his
playmaker in the No 10 role, as well as his captain.

In
Stockholm, the stage was set as Sweden declared its new 50,000-seat
Friends Arena open for business with the nation locked in a debate about
immigration, prompted by growing support for far-right party Sweden
Democrats.

Ibrahimovic, born in Malmo to parents
from Bosnia and Croatia, is a totem for Sweden in the 21st century and
his heroics against England on Wednesday were celebrated across the
country.

After
recovering from four down to draw 4-4 with Germany in a World Cup
qualifier last month, Swedish fans rejoiced in a thrilling 4-2 win
against England, the beauty of the final goal and one of the great
individual efforts. But there was more.

Sportbladet
dubbed him ‘Sweden’s Pride’, and Pontus Wernbloom said: ‘They probably
weren’t happy with that, the idiots. I hope Zlatan shut them up.’

Kim
Kallstrom added: ‘He is a modern Swede who stands for new Sweden. With
foreign-born parents and certain problems in society, he can hopefully
unite the country in a good way.’

If he does this, Ibrahimovic may be
justified in upgrading the mark he awarded himself for his contribution
to Swedish football from a 10 to an 11.

West Ham"s Carlton Cole trains with UFC star Jimi Manuwa

Hammer No, Cole is nails! West Ham striker trains with British UFC fighter

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UPDATED:

12:04 GMT, 25 October 2012

Sam Allardyce's critics often complain about the uncompromising, physical style of his teams' football. But surely even Big Sam's not taken to preparing West Ham for battle by training his men in mixed martial arts

Thankfully for Barclays Premier League defenders up and down the country, the picture below of Hammers striker Carlton Cole with Ultimate Fighting Championship star Jimi Manuwa is just from a one-off, special training session organised by the club.

Manuwa, a West Ham fan who is undefeated in 12 bouts and goes by the nickname of 'The Posterboy', put Cole through a series of boxing and kickboxing drills before showing the former England man some basic mixed martial arts grappling techniques.

Hammers are 'nails': West Ham tough guy Carlton Cole (right) with UFC mixed martial artist Jimi Manuwa

Hammers are 'nails': West Ham tough guy Carlton Cole (right) with UFC mixed martial artist Jimi Manuwa

As a strapping striker, Cole is used to scrapping with brusing centre-halves most weeks, but Sportsmail doesn't fancy his chances much against Manuwa.

And Cole himself was quick to recognise that even the most grizzly of defenders was nothing compared with stepping into the MMA octagon.

Back to the day job: Centre-forward Cole in action for West Ham against QPR earlier this season

Back to the day job: Centre-forward Cole in action for West Ham against QPR earlier this season

Speaking about his day with Manuwa,
Cole told West Ham's officical website: 'It was really interesting
because he wasn’t a boxer. Boxers are different, because Jimi is trained
to hurt people!

'Basically,
he has got a different training regime to a footballer. He is all about
fighting, getting in amongst it and getting jabbed and kicked and
dishing the same out to his opponent.

Unbeaten: Manuwa lands a blow on Kyle Kingsbury during their light-heavyweight fight in September

Unbeaten: Manuwa lands a blow on Kyle Kingsbury during their light-heavyweight fight in September

'It was a bit aggressive for me and I wouldn’t want to be in his position because it is a really tough sport.

'I
am a big fan of the sport. I have a few DVDs of UFC fighting and Jimi
recently got signed to the UFC, which is the big time in MMA. He has
done really well and I am happy for him.'

Cole did see benefits to his day's training, however, and is now planning to watch Manuwa in action in the UFC.

He said: 'We do a lot of core work and he does that as well because he has to be strong all-around.

'He
taught me a few things about boxing and all round but hopefully I wont
have to use that in football otherwise I will be sent off. There are
similarities in the training and how intense it is.'

He added: 'I am a big UFC fan, it’s exciting to watch, there is always so much going on. Jimi has been doing really well and, on behalf of us here at West Ham United, we wish him well for his next fight and hope to see him visit us again here soon.'

After training in the ring, Cole was then able to help out Manuwa with his penalty-taking technique.

'It’s been a privilege to come down to train with Coley,' said Manuwa.

'I’ll definitely be supporting the Hammers in their upcoming season, and I hope he’ll be able to make it to my next fight with the UFC, or even pop down to my gym to finish off his training.'

Pub chain launches tribute to Sports Personality contenders

Pub chain 'steaks' a claim for the most bizarre tribute to our British sporting heroes

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UPDATED:

12:10 GMT, 9 October 2012

After such a 'rare' year of British sporting success, the 'steaks' are higher than ever for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award.

And one pub chain are saying 'well done' to the likes of Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis on their inspirational achievements by branding their faces on slabs of meat.

In the run-up to the December awards ceremony, Flaming Grill are launching a cook-a-likes range where you can literally eat the face of our sporting heroes.

Cook-a-likes! Pub chain Flaming Grill have branded their steaks with the faces of British sporting heroes

Cook-a-likes! Pub chain Flaming Grill have branded their steaks with the faces of British sporting heroes

The pub company worked in collaboration with food artist Prudence Staite to come up with the themed menu, which includes Bradley Grillins, Rory McIl'rump' and Sir-loin Chris Hoy.

Olympic and US Open champion Andy Moo-ray, heptathlon golden girl Jess-steak-a Ennis and double winner Flaming Mo Farah complete the line-up.

The faces will appear on the pub's rump, sirloin, T-Bone and Rib-Eye steaks, as well as the Lamb Rump and Tuna Steak.

Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis

Andy Murray with the US Open trophy

'Rare' year of success: Jessica Ennis and Andy Murray are two of the
British sporting heroes to have their faces branded on the steaks

December's Sports Personality is set to be the most hotly contested ever following a year of unprecedented British sporting success.

Tour de France and Olympic time trial winner Wiggins remains the favourite with the bookmakers, but is being pushed hard by Murray, Farah and Ennis in the betting markets.

Paralympic heroes David Weir, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds could also feature in the shortlist, as well as Ryder Cup golfer Ian Poulter and sailor Ben Ainslie.

Kevin Pietersen dances Gangnam style on Indian cricket show

It's cricket 'Gangnam Style' as Pietersen tries to imitate Gayle on Indian television show

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UPDATED:

15:16 GMT, 8 October 2012

If anyone is wondering what Kevin Pietersen has been up while his England teammates crashed out of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, then look no further.

While most television pundits offer a few half-formed soundbites to pass the time between the live action, KP has been busy reinventing the job description.

He was challenged to upstage West Indies big hitter Chris Gayle at his favourite dance move – the Gangnam style made famous by Korean rapper PSY.

Scroll down to watch the video

Smooth moves: Pietersen tries to imitate Chris Gayle by dancing Gangnam Style in a TV studio

Smooth moves: Pietersen tries to imitate Chris Gayle by dancing Gangnam Style in a TV studio

Yee-haw! KP goes for the rodeo part of the dance made famous by K-Pop artist PSY

Yee-haw! KP goes for the rodeo part of the dance made famous by K-Pop artist PSY

Gayle has made the thrusting hips, chicken elbows and rodeo arms of the dance craze his trademark on the cricket field as the West Indies stormed to victory in the tournament.

But KP, dressed in a sharp grey suit and shades, gave a pretty good imitation on ESPN-Star's Cricket Extra programme.

Pietersen, who has been re-admitted into the England team following his text message scandal with former captain Andrew Strauss, has been working as a pundit on the show.

Rhythm: Pietersen wins up to his grand Gangnam finale

Rhythm: Pietersen wins up to his grand Gangnam finale

Champion moves: Gayle performs the dance after the West Indies win the World Twenty20

Champion moves: Gayle performs the dance after the West Indies win the World Twenty20

But his moves didn't impress fellow analysts Sourav Ganguly and Wasim Akram, who both said Gayle had the better rhythm.

Gayle was the first to bring the Gangnam style, which has been the number one single in the UK and across Europe, to the cricket pitch.

In a recent interview, Gayle said: 'I saw the video a couple of months ago. When it came out, there was a lot of talk about it. That's how I got into it.

'It depends on what sort of mood I'm in. It's a good dance to be honest. I enjoy it. Everybody does.'

Now watch the video of KP dancing Gangnam Style

DM.videoMuted = true;

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YouTube: SouravGangulyCo
]

London 2012 Olympics: Daley Thompson"s top 10 world Olympians

Daley's top 10 world Olympians: Legend's list of the best from around the globe

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UPDATED:

01:55 GMT, 28 July 2012

Sportsmail's Daley Thompson chose his top 10 Olympians from across the ages and iconic artist Paul Trevillion was on hand to put pencil to paper.

Carl Lewis

1. Carl Lewis (USA)

Los Angeles 1984: Gold 100m, Gold 200m, Gold 4x100m relay, Gold long jump.
Seoul 1988: Gold 100m, Silver 200m, Gold long jump.
Barcelona 1992: Gold 4x100m relay, Gold long jump.
Atlanta 1996: Gold long jump

Just so, so good. I don’t even like the fella and he has to make my list. He was the fastest man on earth and easily the best long jumper, but the only chink in his athletic armour was that he never broke the long jump world record. Mike Powell beat him to it, which was a travesty. Lewis was so physically capable I can't believe he didn't do it.

Viktor Saneyev

2. Viktor Saneyev (USSR)

Mexico City 1968: Gold triple jump. Munich 1972: Gold triple jump. Montreal 1976: Gold triple jump. Moscow 1980: Silver triple tump.

For me, this is the most physically demanding event. The training for it is really tough. Four Games, three golds, enough said.

Birget Fischer
3. Birgit Fischer (East Germany/Germany)

Moscow 1980: Gold canoeing K-1 500m. Seoul 1988: Gold K-2 500m, Gold K-4 500m, Silver K-1 500m. Barcelona 1992: Gold K-1 500m, Silver K-4 500m.
Atlanta 1996: Gold K-4 500m, Silver K-2 500m. Sydney 2000: Gold K-2 500m, Gold K-4 500m. Athens 2004: Gold K-4 500m, Silver K-2 500m.

Sickness has robbed Birgit of competing at the highest level for 32 years of Olympic Games. She was supposed to be here this summer going for gold after winning her first in 1980. To reach the pinnacle every four years for so long is phenomenal, which is why she’s one of my top non-British Olympians. Incredible.

Jim Thorpe
4. Jim Thorpe (USA)

Stockholm 1912: Gold pentathlon, Gold decathlon.

King Gustav of Sweden described him as ‘the world’s greatest athlete’, which was true until I came along! Now he’s the second greatest athlete. Thorpe’s Native American name of ‘Bright Path’ was pretty cool, too.

Lasse Viren

5. Lasse Viren (Finland)

Munich 1972: Gold 5,000m, Gold 10,000m. Montreal 1976: Gold 5,000m, Gold 10,000m.

The first bloke to do the ‘double double’. An amazing achievement. He even finished fifth in the marathon just 18 hours after claiming gold in the 5,000m at Montreal. That blows my mind.

Dawn Fraser

6. Dawn Fraser (Australia)

Melbourne 1956: Gold 100m freestyle, Gold 4x100m freestyle, Silver 400m freestyle.
Rome 1960: Gold 100m freestyle, Silver 4x100m freestyle, Silver 4x100m medley.
Tokyo 1964: Gold 100m freestyle, Silver 4x100m freestyle.

Great personality, great athlete. A typical Aussie who worked hard and played hard. Then played some more. Three swimming sprint golds in a row is seriously impressive.

Emil Zatopek
7. Emil Zatopek (Czechoslovakia)

London 1948: Gold 10,000m, Silver 5,000m.
Helsinki 1952: Gold marathon, Gold 10,000m, Gold 5,000m.

I fell in love with this incredible distance runner because of two brilliant stories. When I was little I read about how he’d train by running while holding his breath and that his wife would go out and find him unconscious.

I was also told that Ron Clarke, probably the greatest athlete never to win Olympic gold, went to visit Zatopek and after he left he found that the Czech had slipped one of his gold medals into Clarke’s bag. Classy gesture.

Fanny Blackers-Koen
8. Fanny Blankers-Koen (Holland)

London 1948: Gold 100m, Gold 200m, Gold 80m hurdles, Gold 4x100m relay.

After all those years of war and deprivation, the world needed a lift and got one. Fanny was just an ordinary person with extraordinary ability.

Jesse Owens
9. Jesse Owens (USA)

Berlin 1936: Gold 100m, Gold 200m, Gold 4x100m relay, Gold long jump.

Iconic. To go to Germany at that time and beat the Germans ensures he’s a shoo-in on this list.

Mark Spitz
10. Mark Spitz (USA)

Mexico City 1968: Gold 4x100m freestyle, Gold 4x200m freestyle, Silver 100m butterfly, Bronze 100m freestyle.
Munich 1972: Gold 100m butterfly, Gold 100m freestyle, Gold 200m butterfly, Gold 200m freestyle, Gold 4x100m freestyle, Gold 4x100m medley, Gold 4x200m freestyle.

I saw from Spitz that you could make a living being an athlete. Everything just added up after I saw him make $1million after he finished competing.

P.S SPECIAL MENTION…

British sports administrator Sir Denis Follows was told not to take a British team to the Moscow Games in 1980 as Margaret Thatcher’s government wanted us to boycott those Olympics. Sir Denis, chairman of the BOA, refused which was certainly good news for Seb and me.

Euro 2012: Mario Balotelli has image created in Italian field

Balotelli spurred onto glory by giant crop circle of his head in Italian field

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UPDATED:

07:34 GMT, 25 June 2012

Italy and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was spurred onto glory against England by a unlikely tribute before the game in Kiev.

An artist in his homeland ploughed a field to show show the back of the strikers head.

Dario Gambarini has used tractors to similar effect to create images of Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela among others in the past opted to create Balotelli ahead of the big game.

Support: Italian artist Dario Gambarin shows the back of the head of Mario Balotelli cut into a wheat filed near Verona

Support: Italian artist Dario Gambarin shows the back of the head of Mario Balotelli cut into a wheat filed near Verona

The 2,700 square metre piece was created in Castagnaro, near the artist’s native Verona.

Rather than show Balotelli’s face, however, Gambarini broke with tradition to portray the Manchester City striker’s trademark Mohawk haircut, with the word ‘Italia’ visible at the top of his shirt.

Sky high: The Balotelli creation was clear for all to see

Sky high: The Balotelli creation was clear for all to see

'I wanted to pay homage to all the Azzuri,’ Gambarini said. ‘But it seemed ideal to reproduce the blonde Mohawk of Balotelli on a field of threshed wheat.'

Balotelli scored the first penalty in Italy's 4-2 shoot-out win over England on Sunday night.