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Brendan Rodgers arrives at court to support son Anton charged with sexual assault and voyeurism

Liverpool boss Rodgers arrives in court to support son charged with sexual assault and voyeurism

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

13:31 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 21 January 2013

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was at the Old Bailey today as his son Anton arrived to face trial accused of sexual assault and voyeurism.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at the Jury’s Inn hotel in Brighton, East Sussex, in July 2011.

Brighton and Hove Albion players Rodgers, 19, Lewis Dunk, 21, George Barker, 21, and former team-mate Steve Cook, 21, who now plays for Bournemouth, deny the charges.

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

The players are alleged to have assaulted a woman at the hotel. Rodgers, Barker and Cook are on bail.

The trial is not due to open in front of a jury until tomorrow.

Strolling: Rodgers walks to the court

Anton Rodgers, 19

Brighton defender Ben Sampayo, 19, has been told no further action will be taken against him over the alleged incident after he was arrested.

A sixth player, Seagulls midfielder Tommy Elphick, 24, was released without charge following the original arrests in January.

The charges come after a four-month investigation by Sussex Police.

Mark Clattenburg returns for Liverpool v Fulham – Graham Poll on Premier League referee appointments

Clattenburg returns to the middle… and he'll be under extra scrutiny

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UPDATED:

07:30 GMT, 21 December 2012

Referees perform under massive pressure and very close scrutiny every weekend. I cannot think of another job where every single piece of work is analysed and rated with a mark.

There are two people who are in the stadium to assess and rate the team of match officials performance.

One acts as a referee observer and is usually a former top level referee who has the task of ensuring that the referee applies laws of the game as well as give feedback on the technical aspects of the four officials' performances.

The second is in attendance as a Professional Game Match Officials Match Delegate and they are former players, managers or administrators who are asked to look at the game from the ‘users’ perspective.

Back in action: Mark Clattenburg returns this weekend and takes charge at Anfield

Back in action: Mark Clattenburg returns this weekend and takes charge at Anfield

This weekend Simon Barker, Kenny Hibbitt and Iffy Onuora are among the former players and former manager Peter Shreeves are on duty.

They are supposed to give the referee a balanced approach; too lenient and the former referee will pull him up, too slavish to law and the former player will question the impact on the game.

It is an interesting system which I think applies too much pressure on an already beleaguered referee, who really just needs a friendly ‘coach’ who he can open and honest with.

They need to be able to develop their skill and overcome difficulties rather than two people there to award a mark, who will highlight deficiencies and will affect their grading and possible future appointments.

Ones to watch this weekend…

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City (Saturday, 3pm)
Referee: Lee Mason Games: 10, Yellow Cards: 29, Red Cards: 0.

WHO'S IN CHARGE…

Saturday
Man City v Reading – Mike Dean G11, YC39 RC1
Newcastle v QPR – Kevin Friend G9, YC33, RC1
Southampton v Sunderland – Howard Webb G12, YC45, RC2
West Brom v Norwich – Martin Atkinson G14, YC57 RC0
West Ham v Everton – Anthony Taylor G11 YC20 RC3
Wigan v Arsenal – Jon Moss G8 YC23 RC1

Sunday
Chelsea v Aston Villa – Phil Dowd G11, YC34, RC2

This weekend, the main focus will surely be on the holding and blocking ‘dark arts’ after the Marouane Fellaini head butt so where better to start than White Hart Lane.

Mason will be expected to do a better job at detecting and punishing holding at set pieces with Stoke City than Mark Halsey did last weekend.

Ryan Shawcross’ arms could be clearly seen across Fellaini’s waist as the Stoke defender held him from behind.

Making a point: Referee Lee Mason will have to keep on top of the 'dark arts' at White Hart Lane

Making a point: Referee Lee Mason will have to keep on top of the 'dark arts' at White Hart Lane

Halsey's ‘reward’ is to be fourth official at Wigan on Saturday and then drive to Carlisle United on Boxing Day!

I expect Mason to adopt the policy of delaying the taking of the kick from being taken while he warns players not to hold but that is proving ineffective.

Also, given that Stoke are the away team, it will be easier for Mason to award a penalty against them than if they were playing at The Britannia. I trust I don’t have to explain why…

Liverpool v Fulham (Saturday, 5.15pm)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg G8, YC31, RC4

Clattenburg steps back after two weekends as fourth official in which he failed to avoid controversy by reporting Gareth Barry for offensive language after the Manchester derby.

He comes back with a live game and will undoubtedly be under pressure to award Liverpool their first penalty of the season and will have to be on his best form to keep Luis Suarez out of his notebook.

The good news for Clattenburg is that however this game goes, he is appointed to another top flight game just four days later between Aston Villa and Tottenham… and that is another televised game!

Swansea City v Manchester United (Sunday, 4pm)
Referee: Michael Oliver G10, YC20, RC1

There will be plenty of interest in young Oliver's handling of Manchester United as he has unfairly been highlighted as one who favours them.

Although they lost at Wolves the first time he refereed the league leaders, he has refereed them three times since and they have won them all.

Nothing unusual there but with Oliver refusing to give a clear Fulham penalty in the 1-0 United win late last season at Old Trafford eyebrows were raised.

United stand: The spotlight will be on young referee Michael Oliver at the Liberty Stadum

United stand: The spotlight will be on young referee Michael Oliver at the Liberty Stadum

Then this season, Oliver gave United a penalty after a clear dive by Danny Welbeck in the home win against Wigan and rumours persisted.

It is really tough establishing yourself as a young official at this level and Oliver (who is an excellent referee) would like to lose this reputation, so he could do with an incident free game at The Liberty Stadium.

SPOTY 2012: Bradley Wiggins is the champion of champions

Jonathan McEvoy: 'Champion of Champions' Wiggins caps a year to cherish as the nation crowns him Sports Personality

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UPDATED:

00:34 GMT, 17 December 2012

The everyman and his nan won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award last night. Bradley Wiggins, the fellow who could not care less about his image, is the champion of champions in the year of sporting years.

Britain’s first Tour de France winner, and gold medallist in the Olympic time-trial, jokingly thanked his grandmother Maureen for pressing the redial button.

He won because he was, even among the dozen greats in the running, the supreme candidate.

Scroll down for video

The Nation's Choice: Bradley Wiggins has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2012

The Nation's Choice: Bradley Wiggins has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2012

Great achievement: Wiggins was presented with the award by David Beckham and the Duchess of Cambridge

Great achievement: Wiggins was presented with the award by David Beckham and the Duchess of Cambridge

He attracted 492,064 of almost 1.63million votes — 30.25 per cent. Jessica Ennis, the girl-next-door heptathlete who turned into the lady in red last night, was second, 120,000 votes adrift.

Andy Murray, who ended the nation’s long wait for a male tennis grand slam winner, was third, a further 140,000 or so behind. Mo Farah was fourth another 100,000 back.

Some viewers complained they could not cast their vote in the early surge. Show organisers insisted it was not a substantial number – and, certainly, the outcome was not distorted.

In fact it was so straightforward for Wiggins that the only possible impediment would have been if he said something silly to offend Middle England. Always a possibility for this straight-talker.

But he was well behaved, even if at the start he appeared perhaps a little lubricated by the BBC’s pre-show largesse. Like the others, Wiggins talked of the team behind the athletes.

He called Sue Barker ‘Susan’ for comic effect. He poked fun at Gary Lineker’s thick make-up and later kissed him.

Golden Duo: Sport Personality of the Year Bradley Wiggins with runner-up Jessica Ennis
Golden Duo: Sport Personality of the Year Bradley Wiggins with runner-up Jessica Ennis

THE RESULTS

1. BRADLEY WIGGINS – 492,064 votes – 30.25%

2. JESSICA ENNIS – 372,765 – 22.92%

3. ANDY MURRAY – 230,444 – 14.17%

4. MO FARAH – 131,327 – 8.07%

5. DAVID WEIR – 114,633 – 7.05%

6. ELLIE SIMMONDS – 102,894 – 6.33%

7. SIR CHRIS HOY – 42,961 – 2.64%

8. NICOLA ADAMS – 35,560 – 2.19%

9. BEN AINSLIE – 35,373 – 2.17%

10. RORY MCILROY – 29,729 – 1.83%

11. KATHERINE GRAINGER – 28,606 – 1.76%

12. SARAH STOREY – 10,342 – 0.64%

TOTAL VOTES CAST: 1,626,718

After receiving the accolade from the Duchess of Cambridge, he promised not to swear. His wife, Cath, murmured, ‘Oh God’.

He was fine. The crowd loved him, chanting ‘Wiggo, Wiggo.’ As Lord Coe observed, he has a ‘rock-star quality’.

The fans and stars alike streamed
here, 16,000 souls wanting to drain every last drop of Olympic
champagne. And the BBC even altered their rules to keep the party going
right to the end of their annual knees-up.

‘For the avoidance of doubt,’ the
Beeb’s published criteria for the Team of the Year Award read, ‘it
excludes Team GB/Paralympics GB but includes the likes of British
Cycling, the rowing coxless four and European Ryder Cup.’

But, no, that did not fit the spirit
of the age. It did not reflect the all-embracing hug we have all enjoyed
sharing. So the judges rightly exercised their right to amend the
criteria — and I’m not congratulating them just because my boss was one
of them.

Popular choice: Bradley Wiggins was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year following his Tour de France and Olympic triumphs

Sky procycling team rider Bradley Wiggins of Britain celebrates his overall victory on the podium after the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France

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

Champion: The award caps a wonderful year for Wiggins, who won the Tour de France (left) and Olympic time trial gold

VIDEO: Bradley Wiggins receives his award

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REACTION TO THE WIGGINS WIN

UK Prime Minister on Twitter: 'PM: “Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins -a truly inspirational winner, after an incredible year for British sport”. #SPOTY'

Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: 'Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins winning #Spoty'

British Cycling president Brian Cookson: 'Bradley's win is a high point of what has been the greatest year in British Cycling's history.

'To win the Tour de France and gold in the Olympic time-trial in the same year is a feat that has anchored our sport in the mainstream of British life.

'The fact that three out of the 12 nominees this year are cyclists [Sir Chris Hoy and Sarah Storey were the others] is recognition of the hard work and dedication of not just our amazing athletes but of everyone who works in cycling.

'Dave Brailsford's win as Coach of the Year and BMX rider Quillan Isidore making it on to the short list for Young Sports Personality shows the success cycling has enjoyed across all disciplines.

'A cyclist has been crowned Sports Personality three times in the last five years, proving that cycling is the sport that has redefined our national sporting identity.'

Runner-up: Jessica Ennis came second after winning the Olympic heptathlon gold

Runner-up: Jessica Ennis came second after winning the Olympic heptathlon gold

Golden Girl: Olympic champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis is interviewed by Sue Barker on stage

Golden Girl: Olympic champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis is interviewed by Sue Barker on stage

Man in Miami: Third-placed Andy Murray was presented with his award by boxer and former SPOTY winner Lennox Lewis in Miami

Man in Miami: Third-placed Andy Murray was presented with his award by boxer and former SPOTY winner Lennox Lewis in Miami

So, that problem cleared, the party
was on. The 800-plus athletes of our British Olympic and Paralympic
teams were thrust into the centre of the occasion, winning the Team
Award. Who could begrudge them after 185 medals

Coe, now undisputedly the dominant
figure in British sport, got the Lifetime Achievement Award for
producing the Games. He also deserves a gold medal for all the ceremony
speeches he has made in the last few weeks.

VIDEO: Lord Coe receives his Lifetime Achievement award

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Lifetime achievement: Lord Coe was honoured for helping deliver the London Olympics and Paralympics

Lifetime achievement: Lord Coe was honoured for helping deliver the London Olympics and Paralympics

But, by the time the main award was
handed out, Wiggins’ boss Dave Brailsford, 48-year-old performance
director of British Cycling, had been named Coach of the Year. He is the
embodiment of the modern Lottery-era coach. Professional, clinical,
organised.

The top-performing sport at Beijing
four years ago, British Cycling won eight gold and 22 medals at this
year’s Olympics and Paralympics. And add in the small matter of
masterminding Team Sky’s Tour de France win.

Cycling has been swept from the margins to become a major British sport. Tell your boy to go into the bike shop business.

Stars: The Duchess of Cambridge and David Beckham presented the Sports Personality and Lifetime Achievement awards

Stars: The Duchess of Cambridge and David Beckham presented the Sports Personality and Lifetime Achievement awards

Who else could win the Overseas Sports
Personality of the Year but Usain Bolt In fact, he seemed bored in his
acceptance speech from Jamaica. So many awards, so many thank yous.

More sombrely, for the Helen Rollason
Award for Outstanding Achievement the Olympic symbolism stretched back
to 2005. The winner was Martine Wright, the Paralympic sitting
volleyball player who lost both legs in the 7/7 bombings. That horror
befell London the day after Coe & Co won the bid in Singapore.

Wright’s inspirational journey lent a
nice symmetry to proceedings. ‘I’d like to thank Liz for saving my life
that day,’ she said of PC Elizabeth Kenworthy. ‘This is also for the 52
who died. Now we have to go on and inspire a nation.’

The only bauble that departed from the
Olympic script was the Unsung Hero Award for Sue and Jim Houghton, the
inspiration behind a community centre in Leicestershire. One sport they
have contributed to: pigeon racing.

The Houghtons were the only unsung
heroes of the night. The hymns of praise to our Olympians rang loud and
clear at the end of a year the memory of which will never leave us.

THE SPORTS PERSONALITY WINNERS IN FULL

Sports Personality of the Year – Bradley Wiggins

Lifetime Achievement Award – Lord Coe

Overseas Sports Personality of the Year – Usain Bolt

Coach of the Year – Dave Brailsford, Performance Director of British Cycling

Team of the Year – Team GB and Paralympic GB

Unsung Hero Award – Sue and Jim Houghton – Spent 25 years transforming a derelict Leicestershire sports ground into a community facility

Helen Rollason Award – Martine Wright – 7/7 survivor who played sitting volleyball for Paralympics GB

Young Sports Personality of the Year – Josef Craig, Britain's youngest goal medallist at the 2012 Paralympics in the S7 400m freestyle swimming


Superman: Mo Farah, the double Olympic champion, is quizzed by Gary Lineker

Superman: Mo Farah, the double Olympic champion, is quizzed by Gary Lineker

Champion: Rower Katherine Grainger talks about her Olympic achievements with Clare Balding

Champion: Rower Katherine Grainger talks about her Olympic achievements with Clare Balding

City slickers: Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero (left) are interviewed by Gary Lineker to celebrate City's first Premier League title triumph

City slickers: Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero (left) are interviewed by Gary Lineker to celebrate City's first Premier League title triumph

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BRADLEY WIGGINS

1980: Born April 28 in Ghent, Belgium before growing up in London. Son of Australian former racing cyclist Gary Wiggins.
1992: Begins track cycling at Herne Hill Velodrome, London.
1997: Wins individual pursuit gold at Junior World Track Championships in Cuba.
2000: March – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester.
October – Bronze in team pursuit at Olympic Games in Sydney.
2001: September – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
2002: July – Silver for England in team pursuit and individual pursuit at Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Gold in individual pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
2003: August – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
September – Wins opening stage of Tour de l'Avenir.
2004: August – Olympic gold in individual pursuit at Athens Olympics. Also wins silver in team pursuit alongside Steve Cummings, Paul Manning and Rob Hayles and bronze in Madison alongside Rob Hayles to become first Briton since 1964 to win three medals at one Games.
2005: September – Wins stage eight of Tour de l'Avenir.
2006: July – Makes Tour de France debut, riding for French team Cofidis.
2007: March – Wins gold in the individual pursuit and team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Palma, Majorca.
June – Prologue victory in Dauphine Libere.
July – Finishes fourth in Tour de France prologue in London behind Swiss winner Fabian Cancellara but his team, Cofidis, later withdraw after team-mate Cristian Moreni fails a drugs test.
2008: January – Wiggins' estranged father, Gary Wiggins, is discovered unconscious in New South Wales and later dies.
March – Wins individual pursuit, team pursuit and Madison gold at Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester.
August 16 – Successfully defends Olympic individual pursuit title with gold at the Laoshan Velodrome.
August 18 – Olympic team pursuit gold alongside Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning in a world record of three minutes 53.314 seconds.
August 19 – Favourite for Olympic Madison alongside Mark Cavendish but ninth-placed finish results in Manxman suffering the ignominy of being the only member of GB's track team to leave the Laoshan Velodrome without a medal and has a public falling-out with Wiggins.
October – Releases autobiography titled 'In Pursuit of Glory' detailing his struggle with alcohol after Athens Games.
2009: July – Secures fourth place in Tour de France, matching highest-ever placing by a British rider.
September – Wins British Time-Trial Championship.
October – Wins stage five time-trial and overall title at Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia.
December 10 – Signs four-year deal with Team Sky, the BSkyB-backed road team which is being led by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.
2010: February 7 – Makes Team Sky debut at Tour of Qatar, helping squad to victory in the race's opening team time-trial.
March – Finishes third overall in the Tour of Murcia.
May – Wins Giro d'Italia prologue to become second Briton to wear race leader's pink jersey, the maglia rosa. The victory gives Team Sky a Grand Tour stage win at the first attempt.
July – Finishes 24th on Team Sky's Tour de France debut, upgraded to 23rd after Alberto Contador is stripped of the title for a doping offence.
2011: March – Finishes third overall in Paris-Nice stage race.
May – Wins fourth stage of Bayern-Rundfahrt as team-mate Geraint Thomas wins overall.
June – Wins traditional Tour de France warm-up Criterium du Dauphine. Wins British Championships road race.
July 8 – Abandons Tour de France after fracturing collarbone in crash on seventh stage. Wiggins was sixth overall, 10 seconds behind race leader Thor Hushovd, entering the stage.
September – Finishes third overall at the Vuelta a Espana, with Team Sky colleague Chris Froome second. Finishes second in World Championships time-trial before helping Cavendish win the road race.
2012: February: Wins stage five of Volta ao Algarve.
March – Wins Paris-Nice overall, completing victory with win on stage eight.
April – Triumphs in Tour de Romandie, winning stages one and five.
June – Successfully defends his Criterium du Dauphine title and wins stage four time-trial for an unprecedented series of results.
July 7 – Takes the Tour de France yellow jersey after stage seven.
July 9 – Enhances hold on maillot jaune ahead of the first rest day with a first Tour stage win, on the stage nine time-trial to Besancon.
July 21 – Wins the time-trial on the Tour's penultimate day to all but secure victory.
July 22 – Confirmed as Britain's first-ever winner of the Tour de France.
August 1 – Claims gold medal for Team GB at London 2012 in Olympic road time-trial.
November 7 – Taken to hospital after a collision with a car near his home in Lancashire. Wiggins suffered bruising, a fractured rib, a bruised lung and a dislocated finger.
December 16 – Wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, finishing ahead of second-placed

Sue Barker is a hit during Wimbledon – Edge of the Box

Barker hits the target in more ways than one during Wimbledon fortnight

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UPDATED:

09:50 GMT, 9 July 2012

It has certainly been a long, long time coming. There are going to be people out there reading this who probably thought they’d never see it in their lifetime. But it has happened, and how a nation has cheered.

Mind you, I never imagined that it would be some sort of high tech bazooka that would do the trick! Nevertheless, it was such a weapon that finally put pay to the opera-singing Go Compare man from the series of increasingly irksome adverts. While even more extraordinarily – at the hands of Sue Barker: Ninja Assassin!

Only during Wimbledon fortnight would Sue really hit the spot as a commercial icon, because she – just like the still essentially genteel and polite event from SW19 – makes absolute perfect sense for those two weeks of the year.

Day job: Sue Barker features in the new Go Compare advert

Day job: Sue Barker features in the new Go Compare advert

More from Mark Webster…

Edge of the Box: Too much of Lawro as Martinez stars for ITV at Euro 2012
02/07/12

Edge of the Box: Well that was worth the trip! The BBC boys arrive at the Euros… and England bow out
25/06/12

Edge of the Box: Premier League TV deal could turn American sports fans into basket cases if we lose NBA
18/06/12

Edge of the Box: BBC and ITV take pragmatic approach to England's charge at Euro 2012
12/06/12

Edge of the Box: Just when should we get excited about the summer of sport
03/06/12

Edge of the Box: Hodgson's outfit give Euro night a very English feel
27/05/12

Edge of the Box: Chelsea show the rest how to do Saturday night drama… and prove Britain does have talent
20/05/12

Stelling and Co provide perfect backdrop to 'Squeaky Bum Sunday' as Merson steals the show
13/05/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

However, it is not only some rather clever creative types who have spotted that. The BBC also realises that Wimbledon is quintessentially ‘them’. And that’s a ‘them’ in a Tom and Barbara from The Good Life, The Harpers from My Family and The Brockmans in Outnumbered, kind of way.

Therefore they took full advantage of their trip back down to the smoke to fill up both BBC1 and BBC2 with loads of action and give us BBC Breakfast weather from courtside and much of their sport coverage. Indeed, one evening they even managed to cancel a screening of Raiders Of The Lost Ark for an extended trip to the suburbs, so just like Indie with the sword-twirling assassin, there was no messing about.

At one point, this resulted on the first Saturday morning in some real car crash telly as uber coach Nick Bolitierri couldn’t quite find the right place to stand as presenter Mike Bushell was giving us the sport news. Nick shuffled forwards and backwards (probably with a cameraman waving frantically at him) as he waited for his interview, like a player not sure whether to attack the net. Then when he did get started, he was in the darkest of sunglasses and then suddenly, after a brief clip, he wasn’t!

Finally, he finished his chat, only to be seen still lurking in the corner of the picture, this time texting away. Probably asking someone ‘did you see it How did I do’.

The real early drama of this Wimbledon, though, finished on the first Saturday, under the lights and closed roof of Centre Court at 11.02 pm. It seemed to really touch a nerve in the process, reap great praise for the subtle, sparse commentary of David Mercer and, of course, get a nation twitching once more, about Andy Murray.

Under the lights: Andy Murray beat Marcus Baghdatis at 11.02pm last Saturday

Under the lights: Andy Murray beat Marcus Baghdatis at 11.02pm last Saturday

Now as Martin Samuel so eloquently put it in his column on Saturday, Andy Murray, to become Andy Murray, has had to be his own man. Now that man, I think it’s fair to say, may be a natural on court, but is not so much on camera.

And why should he be After all, it’s surely his skills as a player that keeps Simon Fuller in conker coloured hair dye, not whether he’s likely to threaten Matt or Tuffers' captains chairs on A Question Of Sport. However, the BBC’s Gary Richardson didn’t seem to accept this. His attempts to continually tug at Murray’s emotional heartstrings in post-match interviews felt more like he was pulling hairs out of his arm.

His conversation after the semi-final victory in which he asked Andy what his mum and dad were feeling, and Murray replied ‘no idea, I’m not bothered. It’s harder for me’ was as dour a moment as surely any Scotsman has ever been part.

Overcome: Murray was in tears after his Wimbledon defeat to Roger Federer

Overcome: Murray was in tears after his Wimbledon defeat to Roger Federer

Yet come Sunday afternoon, none of this mattered as the great British hope contributed to a fabulous few hours of televised sport – his efforts only bettered by the mercurial talent on the other side of the net.

This was sheer sporting excellence we were being shown – frequently accompanied by a series of stunning slow motion montages and endless, shots of Mrs Murray; too much, too mum – but if we wanted a tennis ‘personality’, we’d better have been paying attention right at the start of the second set.

The commentary team for the final were the excellent Tim Henman and Andrew Castle – the Mark Nicholas of cat gut (well nylon) against fluff – with Boris Becker. And it was Boris who pointed us out John MCEnroe (‘one of the greatest’, said Becker) in a US commentary box , which was real shame for us, as he had been the star of the BBC show for the two weeks.

Main man: John McEnroe was sorely missed in the commentary box on Sunday

Main man: John McEnroe was sorely missed in the commentary box on Sunday

He was part of the genuinely star-studded build up (including a great interview with Rod Laver) to Sunday’s action but it was on commentary that we most missed his insightfulness, wit and sheer joy in being part of the proceedings. Boris has certainly got all of that, but not in ‘Mac’s’ lavish quantities.

So it was those three fellows that brought the men’s singles final home, and in the end the covered Centre Court turned out to be a Temple of Doom for Andy Murray. But all was certainly not gloom, as we enjoyed yet another epic session of sporting action in a summer that may be dead damp, but is starting to get red hot.

WEDGIESMonday morning on Eurosport from the Tour De France and ending up in a pile on the floor in a spectacular crash, the aptly named Vladimir Karpets.Thursday night on Channel 4, with his usual good grace and class, Michael Johnson traced his own family’s slave roots in an attempt to find the truth behind a provocative theory in Survival Of The Fastest.
Saturday night live, and Channel 5 continued to develop their potential boxing box office hit, Tyson Fury. But they might want to do a bit of work on those shorts.

Live Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray v Roger Federer

WIMBLEDON 2012 LIVE: Andy Murray takes on Roger Federer in the men's final

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UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 8 July 2012

SW19 essentials

All the latest Wimbledon news

Full results from the singles

Join
Sportsmail for the very best live coverage throughout the 2012
Wimbledon Championships.

We'll bring you all the latest news, scores and
pictures as they arrive from the All England Club, plus we'll have
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Our
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news and views from behind the scenes – and don't forget you can send
your comments throughout the day to [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @martin_domin

2.13pm: Solid start from Murray as his backhand dominates the opening point but Federer pulls level with a serve down the line. The Swiss comes to the net to volley his way to a 30-15 lead but dumps Murray's next return into the net for 30-30. Federer then sends a forehand long and Murray has a break point already! Federer sends a volley surprisingly long and Murray breaks! His name's pretty much on the trophy already! No 1-0 (Murray first)

2.10pm: Roger Federer will serve first in the men's singles final at Wimbledon.

2.05pm: Both players come on to Centre Court to rapturous applause and after the coin toss, the two begin their warm-up.

Here we go: Andy Murray and Roger Federer take to Centre Court at Wimbledon

Here we go: Andy Murray and Roger Federer take to Centre Court at Wimbledon

2pm: Here they come….

1.59pm: Bit of a faux pas from Sue Barker. She seems to think the First Minister of Scotland is Sir Alex Ferguson!

1.55pm: This is Federer's 24th Grand Slam final and he's won 16 of them. Formidable stats and it shows just what Murray is up against. We're expecting the players on court any minute now.

1.50pm: Sir Alex Ferguson has arrived at Wimbledon to cheer on his fellow Scot. He offered his best wishes to Murray this morning. David Beckham will be in the Royal Box while David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Alex Salmond are also in attendance.

1.45pm: Fifteen minutes until the talking stops and we find out if Murray is the real deal. The covers are now off the court and for now, the sun is shining.

Out in force: Tennis fans gather at Wimbledon ahead of the men's final on Centre Court

Out in force: Tennis fans gather at Wimbledon ahead of the men's final on Centre Court

Tennis fans gather on 'Murray Mount,' to watch the final day at Wimbledon,

1.40pm: The roof has been opened on Centre Court but no sooner had we glimpsed the sky, the rain came down again. I know the organisers want this to be an outdoor tournament but let's get the roof closed so that we can enjoy what promises to be a thrilling race.

1.35pm: Worth remembering that Roger will be the new world No 1 if he wins today. I'm sure there are plenty of people who wondered if that would ever happen again after Djokovic's stunning year in 2011.

1.30pm: Federer also lost in the final of the warm-up tournament in Halle to Tommy Haas but he seems to have found his form at the right time.

1.25pm: What of Roger Federer If the only match you've seen of his at Wimbledon this year was his semi-final against Novak Djokovic, you'd be right to wonder just how Murray can win. Federer was in sublime form against the world No 1 but his route to the final hasn't been without trouble.

Albert Ramos and Fabio Fognini were brushed aside in straight sets but the Swiss almost came a cropper in the third round against Frenchman Julien Benneteau but he scraped through in five sets. Federer also lost the first set to Xavier Malisse but recovered to win in four despite suffering a back injury.

It was in the last eight that we finally saw the best of the six-times champion when he demolished Mikhail Youzhny before he saw off Djokovic in four.

History books: Bunny Austin was the last British man to reach the Wimbledon final way back in 1938

History books: Bunny Austin was the last British man to reach the Wimbledon final way back in 1938

1.20pm: Interestingly, on this day in 1877, the first Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship was held. The only title being contested, the men's singles, was won by Spencer Gore who beat his fellow Briton WC Marshall 6-1 6-2 6-4.

1.15pm: Just 45 minutes until the players take to court. There's no doubt Murray has had the harder route to the final. Not one of his matches can be considered 'easy'. Even a fading Nikolai Davydenko was a tough first round opponent and subsequent ties against Ivo Karlovic, Marcus Baghdatis, Marin Cilic, David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were all tough affairs.

1.05pm: Murray does of course have a winning record (8-7) against Federer but the pair have never met on grass, only ever on hard courts. Federer won their only meeting this year in straight sets and of course the Swiss has twice beaten the Scot in two Grand Slam finals, at the US Open and Australian Open.

1pm: Some reading material for you to peruse as we await the action:

John Lloyd believes Andy Murray can stun Roger Federer on Centre CourtHow Murray started out on the road to tennis stardomWill Murray, Andy's dad, on what will be the proudest day of his life

Queue: Tennis fans make their way to Murray Mount to watch the Wimbledon final on Sunday

Queue: Tennis fans make their way to Murray Mount to watch the Wimbledon final on Sunday

Come rain or shine: The weather failed to put the fans off as they prepared to watch Andy Murray

12.50pm: Murray had a brief practice session with fellow Brit Oli Golding this morning before the heavens opened but I doubt that will have hampered his preparations.

12.45pm: I'm interested to hear your thoughts ahead of what is a huge day for British sport (don't forget the Grand Prix, live with Phil Duncan here). I'm particularly keen to know if you'll be supporting Murray this afternoon Despite our wait for a British finalist/champion, the Scot doesn't curry favour with everyone. Why not Email me at [email protected]

12.40pm: It is, of course, raining at Wimbledon so it looks like we will have out first ever indoor final at SW19.

12.30pm: Well, today is the day. Finally. Many thought it would never arrive but Britain finally has a men's finalist at Wimbledon. Can Andy Murray win one more match, against Roger Federer, a become the first Brit to lift the trophy since Fred Perry in 1936

We'll find out over the next few hours with play due to get underway at 2pm. Stick with Sportsmail to ensure you don't miss a single shot.

D-day: Andy Murray takes on Roger Federer for a place in the Wimbledon history books

D-day: Andy Murray takes on Roger Federer for a place in the Wimbledon history books

Wimbledon 2012: Laura Robson – I would love to play with Andy Murray

Wimbledon Locker Room: Robson – I would love to play with Murray

|

UPDATED:

21:24 GMT, 5 July 2012

Laura Robson's Wimbledon came to an
end on Centre Court as she and her British partner Dominic Inglot fell
at the third round stage of the mixed doubles, 7-6, 7-6 to Scot Colin
Fleming and Su-Wei Hsieh from Chinese Taipei.

Robson, whose serve was excellent
throughout the clash, will now play two clay tournaments before
switching her attention back to SW19 for the Olympics.

Narrow defeat: Laura Robson and Dominic Inglot

Narrow defeat: Laura Robson and Dominic Inglot

The 18-year-old reiterated her desire to play in the mixed doubles as well as the women's doubles at London 2012 if the opportunity arose.

'I think we're just going to see who's doing what that week,' she said.

WEATHER FORECAST

Heavy rain could see the covers kept on until lunchtime, but sunny intervals should prevail in the afternoon before the rain returns late on.

Maximum temperature 20C.

Wind from the south-west, 7mph.

WHERE TO WATCH

TV: BBC2’s coverage starts at
12.30pm with Sue Barker, while
BBC1 join in at 1.45pm.

Today at Wimbledon is shown
at 8pm on BBC2.

RADIO: BBC 5 Live from 1pm.

'It sort of depends on whether Andy (Murray) wants to play. At the moment he's said singles and doubles is enough but hopefully he'll change his mind. I would love to (play with him).'

Her conquerors Fleming and Su-Wei will take on third seeds Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik for a place in the semi-finals.

Elsewhere, Wales's Evan Hoyt and South African partner Wayne Montgomery are through to the quarter-finals of the boys' doubles.

They first beat seventh seeds Kyle Edmund, from Yorkshire, and Stefano Napolitano, then toppled Anton Desyatnik and Marat Deviatiarov.

In the last eight they face Filip Bergevi and Mikael Torpegaard, who beat British second seeds Liam Broady and Joshua Ward-Hibbert yesterday.

Luke Bambridge is another Briton in that tournament. He and Japan's Kaichi Uchida play Australian fourth seeds Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios after knocking out the eighth-ranked Americans MacKenzie McDonald and Spencer Papa.

WIMBLEDON 2012 LIVE: Day four news as it happens

WIMBLEDON 2012 LIVE: Follow all the latest news from day four at the Championships

|

UPDATED:

11:07 GMT, 28 June 2012

SW19 essentials

All the latest Wimbledon news

Full results from the singles

Today's order of play

Join
Sportsmail for the very best live coverage throughout the 2012
Wimbledon Championships.

We'll bring you all the latest news, scores and
pictures as they arrive from the All England Club, plus we'll have
game-by-game coverage of the key matches.

Our
unrivalled team of reporters at Wimbledon will bring you the latest
news and views from behind the scenes – and don't forget you can send
your comments throughout the day to [email protected]

12.05: Laura Robson is out there on the practice courts. She is in doubles action with Heather Watson later.

Laura Robson

Laura Robson

11.57: Errani has taken the first two games on Court Two. There are still thousands of empty seats by the way.

11.50: Keothavong is under way in her match. She's right up against it though

11.45: I'm watching pictures of Virginia Wade and John Lloyd speaking with Sue Barker, with people in the background setting up picnics and trying to gain a good vantage point in front of the big screen. Pure Middle England.

11.35: Rafael Nadal is also in action later, against Czech player Lukas Rosol. Whisper it quietly, but this might just be the most interesting day of the tournament so far.

11.25: There's plenty of British interest on this fourth day. James Ward takes on Mardy Fish first up on Court One. Anne Keothavong plays Sara Errani first on Court Two, and that match begins shortly.

11.15: It's an absolutely lovely day here in London by the way. It feels genuinely hot out there.

Fan-tastic: There were long queues again outside Wimbledon on the fourth day of the tournament

Fan-tastic: There were long queues again outside Wimbledon on the fourth day of the tournament

11.10: Come on, Andy. That's something that might well be heard at Wimbledon today. Murray is in second round action against Ivo Karlovic. To mark your card timings wise, the match is second on Centre Court after Serena Williams plays Melinda Czink. With that first match beginning at 1pm, we expect Murray to begin some time between 2pm and 3pm.

11.00: If I'm not mistaken, the time has ticked round to eleven o'clock. It's time for day four of Wimbledon. Yes. you're invited too.

Raring to go: Andy Murray (left) takes on Ivo Karlovic for a place in the third round of Wimbledon

Raring to go: Andy Murray (left) takes on Ivo Karlovic for a place in the third round of Wimbledon

Southend 2 Crewe 2 (agg 2-3): Railwaymen reach League Two play-off Final

Southend 2 Crewe 2 (agg 2-3): Railwaymen chug into League Two play-off final

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

21:02 GMT, 16 May 2012

|

UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 16 May 2012

Seventeen-year-old Max Clayton scored the goal which sent Crewe to Wembley for the npower League Two play-off final.

Substitute Clayton had only been on the field 10 minutes when he tucked the ball home to put his side 3-1 ahead on aggregate in the 86th minute.

Ajay Leitch-Smith had earlier opened the scoring for the visitors before Neil Harris levelled for Southend in the second half.

Delight: Ajay Leitch-Smith of Crewe celebrates his goal, and is mobbed by his team-mates below

Delight: Ajay Leitch-Smith of Crewe celebrates his goal, and is mobbed by his team-mates below

Celebration

Clayton's strike appeared to be enough but Chris Barker ensured a nervy final few minutes for the visitors when he headed Southend level on 88 minutes.

But Crewe, who won the first leg courtesy of Adam Dugdale's goal, held out to book a place in next weekend's final against Cheltenham or Torquay.

Southend, looking to reach a Wembley final for the first time in their history, threatened in the early stages with Bilel Mohsni testing goalkeeper Steve Phillips from long range and Sean Clohessy firing over.

However, Crewe stunned the home crowd in the 24th minute thanks to a superb strike from Leitch-Smith.

Ashley Westwood won the ball in midfield and fed Leitch-Smith, who still had plenty to do in the corner of Southend's penalty area.

But the 22-year-old striker turned back inside Clohessy, shifting the ball onto his right food before sending his shot arrowing across Shrimpers goalkeeper Cameron Belford and inside the far post.

Relief: Crewe enjoy Max Clayton's goal

Relief: Crewe enjoy Max Clayton's goal

Southend thought they had scored eight minutes later after Phillips spilled Ryan Hall's shot at the feet of Freddy Eastwood, but he was offside when he swept the ball home.

Moments later it was Belford's turn to blunder, gifting Crewe a chance to put the game to bed when his attempted clearance flew straight to Byron Moore.

The winger found himself clean through, just inside the area, but his composure deserted him as he shanked a shot embarrassingly high and wide, almost clearing the stand behind the goal.

Belford made amends either side of half-time, denying Leitch-Smith as he burst through again before diving to his left to keep out a fierce volley from Moore.

Southend must have known their luck was out when they were denied by the woodwork twice in as many minutes.

Tussle: Byron Moore of Crewe battles with Southend United's Peter Gilbert

Tussle: Byron Moore of Crewe battles with Southend United's Peter Gilbert

First Michael Timlin's shot from outside the box clipped the upright, and moments later Eastwood's low drive thumped the inside of the opposite post and rolled agonisingly across the goal-line to safety.

The hosts did haul themselves back into the tie just after the hour mark, substitute Harris profiting from another Phillips error to slide the ball home.

But as Southend poured forward they were undone on the counter-attack, with Clayton holding the ball up before rolling it inside Phillips' near post.

Barker immediately headed Southend level again three minutes from time but Crewe, who finished 11 points behind their opponents in seventh, are now just 90 minutes from promotion.

Brendan Rodgers"s son charged with sexual assault and voyeurism

Son of Swansea boss Rodgers is one of four players charged with sexual assault and voyeurism

|

UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 30 April 2012

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers’ son is one of four players charged with sexual assault and voyeurism.

Brighton trio Anton Rodgers, Lewis Dunk and George Barker have been charged by Sussex Police in relation to an alleged incident on July 17 last year.

Father: Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers

Father: Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers

Bournemouth defender Steve Cook, who was playing for Brighton at the time, has also been charged.

Dunk and Barker, both 20, Rodgers, 19, and Cook, 21, have been bailed to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on May 11.

Brighton defender Ben Sampayo, 19, has been told no further action will be taken against him over the alleged incident after he was arrested.

A sixth player, Seagulls midfielder Tommy Elphick, 24, was released without charge following the original arrests in January.

The charges come after a four-month investigation by Sussex Police.