Tag Archives: books

Chris Gayle hits fastest ever T20 hundred

VIDEO: Fuelled by eggs 'n' pancakes, Gayle smashes fastest ton EVER… in just 30 balls!

Andrew Magee and Sunni Upal


12:05 GMT, 23 April 2013



18:49 GMT, 23 April 2013

Chris Gayle smashed his way into the record books on Tuesday as he hit the fastest-ever century in professional cricket.

The West Indian opener reached triple figures after just 30 balls and clubbed a brutal 175 not out, including 13 fours and 17 sixes, for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL — which is a new T20 record.

Gayle also propelled Bangalore to the highest-ever T20 score of 263 as they crushed the Pune Warriors by 130 runs. Gayle alone scored 42 more runs than the entire opposition.

Scroll down to watch Gayle's innings

World record: Gayle (right) took just 30 balls to reach his hundred

World record: Gayle (right) took just 30 balls to reach his hundred

Centre stage: Gayle hit 11 sixes on his way to his hundred

Centre stage: Gayle hit 11 sixes on his way to his hundred

Centre stage: Gayle hit 11 sixes on his way to his hundred


175* Gayle's innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore is the new record individual score in T20 cricket.

30 Number of balls Gayle took to reach 100 — the fastest-ever century in cricket history.

17 Sixes hit by Gayle in his innings — a new T20 record. The West Indian also smashed 13 fours, just for good measure.

263 The total reached by Bangalore after 20 overs — another T20 record for most runs in an innings.

42 The runs by which Gayle outscored the opposition, the Pune Warriors.

The Jamaican has earned a reputation
as one of the most destructive players in the star-studded tournament
and he showed why with a sublime powerful hitting display on Tuesday.

Gayle said: 'I'm lost for words. It
was just one of those days when I was hitting it really well and the
ball was coming out of the middle of the bat.

'We got a pretty good total
and I'm really happy with the performance.

‘All I had for breakfast this morning was a plain omelette, two pancakes and a hot chocolate.’

India captain MS Dhoni tweeted: ‘Life
is all about taking the right decision. Seeing Gayle bat today, I think I
took the right decision being a wicketkeeper.’

Andrew Symonds previously held the
record for the fastest-ever century after hitting a 34-ball ton in an
English domestic match between Kent and Middlesex in 2004.

Previous best: Andrew Symonds took just 34 balls to score a hundred against Middlesex in 2004

Previous best: Andrew Symonds took just 34 balls to score a hundred against Middlesex in 2004

Gayle’s 17 sixes was also a new record, beating the 16 hit by Graham Napier for Essex against Sussex in 2008.

A boundary at the start of the 18th
over on Tuesday took Gayle onto 160, ahead of the previous highest T20
score of 158 set by Brendon McCullum in the first ever IPL match in

As if all those runs weren’t enough,
Gayle also chipped in with two late wickets. If only there was an
outstanding candidate for the man of the match award…

Gayle force: The West Indian is widely regarded as the best T20 batsman in the world

Gayle force: The West Indian is widely regarded as the best T20 batsman in the world

Gayle force: The West Indian is widely regarded as the best T20 batsman in the world

VIDEO: Watch Chris Gayle's record innings

The Masters: Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus in our five of the best at Augusta National

The Masters: An old Golden Bear and a young Tiger plus Faldo, Mickelson and Crenshaw – five of the best at Augusta


08:59 GMT, 8 April 2013



08:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

The Masters almost always produces dramatic golf worthy of the beautiful backdrop of Augusta National.

Here, Sportsmail picks out five of the most memorable tournaments starting with the legend that is Jack Nicklaus way back in 1986.

1) 1986 – Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus was 46, had not won a tournament in two years or a major in six, and was being written off as a spent force. But the Golden Bear produced one more back-nine charge in the 50th Masters, coming home in 30 for a final round of 65 to beat Greg Norman and Tom Kite by a single shot.

Nicklaus went eagle-birdie-birdie on the 15th, 16th and 17th as Seve Ballesteros squandered the lead by hitting his approach to the 15th into the water short of the green.

Dry Spell: Jack Nicklaus' win in 1986 was his first victory in a major in six years

Dry Spell: Jack Nicklaus' win in 1986 was his first victory in a major in six years

Handing over: Bernhard Langer (left) hands Nickalus his sixth Green Jacket

Handing over: Bernhard Langer (left) hands Nickalus his sixth Green Jacket

2) 1997 – Tiger Woods

Kite was again the runner-up 11 years later, but this time by an incredible 12 shots as Woods tore up the record books to claim his first major title. That had looked distinctly unlikely as the 21-year-old played the front nine of his opening round in 40, but he came back in 30 to lie just three shots off the lead.

A second-round 66 took Woods three clear of Colin Montgomerie, a lead he extended to nine shots after round three and a record 12 after a closing 69 made him the youngest ever winner at Augusta.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Passing the torch: Tiger Woods tore up the record books to win his first title at just 21-years-old

3) 2004 – Phil Mickelson

'I don't think any Masters will ever compare to the '86 Masters but, for me, this one does.'

That was the verdict of an emotional Mickelson after he had broken his major duck at the 47th time of asking. Mickelson had shared the lead with Chris Di Marco heading into the final round, but struggled to a front-nine 38 before a brilliant back nine of 31, culminating in a decisive birdie on the 18th, was enough to beat Ernie Els by a shot after the South African's excellent 67.

Crowd Pleaser: Phil Mickelson broke his major duck at the 47th time of asking

Crowd pleaser: Phil Mickelson broke his major duck at the 47th time of asking

Only just: A decisive birdie on the 18th hole gave Mickelson the title by just a single shot

Only just: A decisive birdie on the 18th hole gave Mickelson the title by just a single shot

4) 1995 – Ben Crenshaw

At 43, Crenshaw was not quite as old as Nicklaus in 1986, but his second Masters title in 1995 was equally remarkable and emotional.

Harvey Penick, who was Crenshaw's golf coach since he was seven years old, had died the week before and Crenshaw spent the Tuesday of Masters week at Penick's funeral in Austin, Texas.

The image of Crenshaw doubled over in grief and happiness after his final putt dropped – he did not have a single three-putt in 72 holes – has become an iconic Augusta image.

Ben Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw

Emotional: Ben Crenshaw is hugged by his caddy Carl Jackson after winning for the second time at AQugusta National. Harvey Penick, who had coached Crenshaw since he was seven, died a week before the tournament

5) 1996 – Nick Faldo

Greg Norman had finished third behind Crenshaw in 1995, but it was the manner of his second-place finish to Nick Faldo the following year which was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Norman led from the outset after an opening 63, the joint lowest score ever in a major championship and only the second 63 ever at Augusta, and after adding rounds of 69 and 71 he was six shots clear of Faldo heading into the final round.

However, his lead was down to two shots by the turn and a back nine of 40 – despite two birdies – meant a closing 78 to Faldo's 67 and a five-shot winning margin for the Englishman.

Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo

Picking up the pieces: Nick Faldo took advantage of an awful final round from Greg Norman to win in 1996

Newcastle"s Yohan Cabaye talks about his battle with depression

Cabaye reveals battle with depression and how words from Wilkinson and Nadal helped him bounce back

. It was then depression caught up with him.

Cabaye told L’Equipe: ‘Depression I am not afraid to say that. It was that.

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

‘I was reassured reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal, who both talked about the same thing. They talked about post competition depression and the need to have a break.

‘Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played. It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.

‘My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat. I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn’t have any winter break so then to resume in July 2012, it was very difficult.

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

'Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do.

‘On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football.’

Cabaye believes that rather than a curse, his groin injury at the end of last year helped reignite his time at Newcastle.

‘I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing. Maybe that is why I was back earlier than expected.

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

‘I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn’t experience it (depression) you cannot understand. But I was not worried.

‘My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better.’

Nick Harris Mo Farah can push TV Superstars to a longer run

Farah and Co can push TV Superstars to a longer run


22:35 GMT, 22 December 2012



23:02 GMT, 22 December 2012

The BBC hope their festive Olympic
Superstars show will lead to a longer-term revival of the hit programme
of the 1970s and 1980s – although one of the London 2012 athletes who
features in the Christmas special jokes that he will be hiding in
embarrassment when it is screened.

Superstars became a family favourite
as top sportsmen from Formula One's James Hunt to judo star Brian Jacks
took part and through famous moments such as Kevin Keegan crashing his

Paddle power: Mo Farah has fun in the kayak head-to-head with Peter Wilson

Paddle power: Mo Farah has fun in the kayak head-to-head with Peter Wilson

The Olympic special, to be screened next
Saturday evening, pits 16 heroes from London 2012 against each other –
from double gold-winning runner Mo Farah to boxing's Nicola Adams and
Anthony Joshua, triathlon's Brownlee brothers, rower Kath Grainger and
equestrian pin-up Laura Bechtolsheimer among others.

More from Nick Harris…

Nick Harris: Beckham in talks over ownership of MLS club

Nick Harris: Europe to fight winter World Cup plans

Nick Harris: 5.5bn – The staggering sum TV companies around the world will pay to screen the Premier League

Nick Harris: 2012 heroes miss out on Christmas books bonanza

Nick Harris: Another blow for Wiggins as his throne fails to sell

Nick Harris: Olympic chiefs told athletes to cash in and charge 10,000 for appearances

Nick Harris: United to top rich league again with half a billion

Nick Harris: 1.3m Olympic 'freebies' to blame for those empty seats


Peter Wilson, who won shooting gold in
the double trap, said: 'Once it's screened, I'm never going to live down
how bad I was! I'll probably buy myself a one-way ticket to Timbuktu to
avoid the embarrassment.'

Wilson says that for 'must watch TV', fans should tune in for the kayak head-to-head between himself and Farah.

'The two worst kayakers against each other,' he said.

'I went out like a dingbat and ended up against the wall and Mo went the wrong way, about 18 times, then capsized.'

In other events, Wilson reveals, 'me and the javelin did not see eye to eye and the 800 metres was so tough it felt like my lungs were bleeding. My sport is all about standing still and I was up against these supreme athletes like the Brownlees, Robbie Grabarz and Anthony Joshua.'

The BBC paid the competitors undisclosed fees for taking part. 'But it wasn't about the money, it was great fun to do, even if it won't be for me to watch it,' said Wilson.

The show's main presenter, Gabby Logan, confirmed that the BBC want further shows.

'Hopefully, we're trying to do another one so we want contestants to tell their friends that they all had a great time and keep the calibre of the guests really high profile,' she said.

'This will stand the show in good stead to hopefully re-establish Superstars again. I think it would be great to mix Olympians up with other sportspeople – rugby, footballers and cricketers. That would be the nub of it.'

Selling: Carl Hester open to offers

Selling: Carl Hester open to offers

Hester still a seller

Olympic dressage gold medallist Carl Hester is still hopeful of selling wonder horse Valegro, despite dismissing reports that a Saudi prince wanted to buy the gelding for 20million as 'complete and utter fantasy'.

Hester joked that he 'spotted a few billionaires' watching as Charlotte Dujardin triumphed again on Valegro at Olympia last week.

He says he remains hopeful of 'developments in the New Year' and would be open to British investors securing the horse for Dujardin, who won two gold medals on him at London 2012, to ride towards Rio in four years' time.

Leeds fans urge new owners to reveal details of 17m takeover

Leeds United supporters have greeted the takeover of their club by the Dubaibased GFH Capital with cautious optimism but say they want more details about the new owners' finances, background and plans.

GFHC now own 100 per cent of Leeds in a takeover that sources say cost 17million up front to buy out chairman Ken Bates and other shareholders, and will cost a further 17m when Leeds win promotion. GFHC and Leeds have declined to confirm any financial details.

Bates was unpopular with some fans but will remain as chairman until the end of this season and then become president.

Neither GFHC nor Leeds have said whether he will be paid for those roles.

End of an era: Ken Bates

End of an era: Ken Bates

Dan Moylan, of the Square Ball fanzine, said: 'On the one hand I'm happy because, to all intents and purposes, it's the end of Ken Bates's tenure and the new owners are saying all the right things. On the other hand we now need the new owners to flesh out their plans with hard detail and tell us what the plan is in a year, two years, three years. They say they want Leeds to be sustainable. How will that happen'

The takeover does not include GFHC buying Leeds's Elland Road stadium or the Thorp Arch training ground, both of which are owned by unknown parties through an offshore firm in the Caribbean.

John Boocock, founder of the Leeds List group, the oldest online community of Leeds fans, which started in 1996, said: 'We want to know where the cash to buy the club came from, why the company that controls the club will not be registered in Britain where we can examine the accounts, but in the Cayman Islands, and what money precisely will be available in January.

'We weren't too impressed by the claim that the squad is good enough when we get players back from injury.'

Gary Cooper, head of the Leeds United Supporters Trust, said: 'The new owners did well in saying they want to work with the fans and the community and a lot of the supporter base will buy into that.

'We're led to believe we'll get the chance soon to meet the owners and we hope we will be able to get answers to all our outstanding questions.'

Asked for further details about the GFHC takeover, a Leeds spokesman told Inside Sport: 'The new owners answered all the questions they were asked at their press conference and won't be answering any more.'

Stoke defender Ryan Shotton found not guilty after fight outside night club

Stoke defender Shotton found not guilty after fight outside nightclub



13:09 GMT, 18 December 2012

Shotton has been on Stoke's books all his career

Shotton has been on Stoke's books all his career

Stoke defender Ryan Shotton has been found not guilty of punching a man on a night out.

Shotton was found to have acted in defence of his friend when he knocked out Mark McDonald in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

The fight happened in the early hours of Sunday, June 24.

The single punch 28-year-old Shotton delivered knocked McDonald out, leaving him with a cut, magistrates sitting at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard.

Shotton pleaded not guilty on the basis of self-defence following the fight with McDonald and his friend David Broomhall.

McDonald and Shotton, who was with friends, had an altercation on the fringes of Torch nightclub’s dancefloor. All parties were drinking on the night.

McDonald and Shotton were shown on the CCTV face to face, with Shotton then punched once in the face by McDonald.

Shotton said he had 'never seen' McDonald before that moment and was taken by surprise.

He said he 'leaned in' to hear what McDonald was saying but that McDonald used the opportunity to land 'a cheeky shot'.

Asked what McDonald said to him, Shotton replied: 'He said “why do you think you run Stoke-on-Trent You don’t run it, I run it. Don’t you know who I am”

'I thought he was just somebody who had come over to talk about football but he was aggressive.'

Mr Broomhall described that altercation as 'a bit of a scuffle; handbags'.

Shotton pleaded not guilty on the basis of self-defence

Shotton pleaded not guilty on the basis of self-defence

Both parties ended up leaving the club within a few minutes of each other.

Outside, Mr McDonald and Mr Broomhall tried to get into another nightclub called Pink when Mr Broomhall said he spotted Shotton and two friends 'walking towards us'.

He said: 'Mr Shotton was beckoning with his arm to Mark to come over.'

Shotton told a different story, saying as he walked along the road 'two men started walking towards us' from across the street.

'I recognised him from earlier and thought “he’s here for round two”,' he told magistrates.

'He came over to me and his body language was very aggressive. His fists were clenched and I was aware he’d struck before.

'I did it (punched him) to protect my friend because he turned towards him just at that moment.'

Outside court, Shotton, who has made seven league appearances for Stoke this season, said he was 'a happy man' and that he had received 'justice'.

Jimmy Anderson joins Ian Botham on 528 wickets

Anderson joins the greats with wicket No 528 pegging him level with Botham



22:25 GMT, 15 December 2012

If Jimmy Anderson could have chosen the perfect delivery with which to grab his personal share of England’s sporting history, this would have been close to it, and his reaction showed he thought so, too.

Standing one wicket shy of Sir Ian Botham’s record number of wickets in all international cricket for his country, the 30-year-old roared in to bowl the last ball of his 14th over of a long and thus far fruitless day.

Finding the swing and seam movement with which he had run through the Indian top order on Friday but only been able to tap into sporadically on Saturday, he speared an absolute snorter into the pads of left-hander Ravindra Jadeja and wheeled round just in time to see umpire Kumar Dharmasena raise a finger.

Achievement: Jimmy Anderson made his mark in the record books when he took his 528th wicket

Achievement: Jimmy Anderson made his mark in the record books when he took his 528th wicket

A leap in the air, followed by a punch of his clenched right fist and a howl of joy, Anderson was engulfed by his team-mates. No wonder.

At one stage it looked probable that England might go wicketless all day for only the fourth time ever, but that strike was Anderson’s fourth of the innings for 68 runs in 26 overs as India ended the third day on 297-8 in response to England’s 330.

In terms of the series, it was his 12th wicket at an average of 29.16, which includes the record ninth Test dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar. It was also his 46th strike of 2012, confirming him as the leading wicket-taker among the world’s pacemen since January 1. And it was his 288th Test wicket, bringing him well in range of England’s all-time top four — Botham (383), Bob Willis (325), Fred Trueman (307) and Derek Underwood (297).

Legend: Ian Botham also scored an impressive 5,200 Test runs

Legend: Ian Botham also scored an impressive 5,200 Test runs

His international career began 10 years ago on Saturday, on December 15, 2002, in a one-dayer against Australia in Melbourne. He has since added 222 one-day international wickets and 18 Twenty20 scalps, putting him level pegging with Botham on 528 wickets in all cricket for England, with power to add.

Most importantly for him and his colleagues and their efforts to cross the ‘final frontier’ of success in the sub-continent, in taking himself to the brink of greatness — at least statistically — Anderson improved the chances of rewriting an unwanted record by becoming the first England team to win in India for 27 years.

And how they needed it. Where Anderson had made England look almost unstoppable in rifling out Virender Sehwag, Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir on day two as India slid to 71-4 overnight and a deficit of 243, they had made just one breakthrough before Anderson intervened.

In a painstaking fifth-wicket stand, Virat Kohli and skipper MS Dhoni dug in a pitch deader than the dodo and, with less than an hour left, it seemed India might bat all day without losing a wicket, a feat last achieved against England by Australia at Trent Bridge in 1989.

Kohli’s 343 minutes of resistance ended when he played outside a rare turning ball from Graeme Swann which would have clipped leg stump, and England celebrated as though as they had won the series there and then.

You could hardly blame them, because they had waited 84 overs for something to shout about.

Tale of the day

Dhoni has 99 problems
MS Dhoni became the 15th player to be run out on 99 in Tests and the first captain. Michael Atherton, before he was England skipper, knows how Dhoni feels, having been dismissed the same way against Australia at Lord’s in 1993 (right), slipping after being sent back by Mike Gatting.

Bresnan on a dry run
At the close yesterday, Tim Bresnan had not taken a Test wicket in 74 overs. His last success was at Headingley in August, when he dismissed South Africa captain Graeme Smith. After going wicketless in games at Lord’s and Ahmedabad he toiled away for 26 overs in Nagpur without joy.

Kohli grinds it out
Until now, century-maker Virat Kohli had endured a shocking series, failing to score above 20 in his first six innings in the series. The 295 balls he faced in scoring 103 in Nagpur beat the total of 240 he had encountered in the rest of the series put together.

Gower’s mark is safe
As England took drinks after a fruitless 76 overs, they must have thought they might go a day without a wicket. It has happened three times to them; in 1960 against West Indies in Bridgetown, 1982 against India in Chennai and under David Gower in 1989 against Australia at Trent Bridge.

Then, after Anderson dismissed Jadeja at 288-6 to ensure Dhoni now had to shoulder even more of the burden of dragging his side into a first-innings lead, up stepped captain Alastair Cook to set them alight.

In his first series as full-time captain, Cook has already done more than enough with the bat, of course, but he may look back on the brilliant direct hit with which he ran out Dhoni on 99 by no more than an inch with as much satisfaction as he feels for any of his three centuries.

Dhoni had been stuck in the nineties for 17 overs and the best part of an hour when he pushed a ball from Anderson to the right of Cook at midwicket.

He might have thought, wrongly, that, as Cook bats left-handed, the ball had gone towards his weaker arm.

More likely, though, is that he was
desperate for a single to take him to the century that would have been
the perfect response to those critics calling for his head. He probably
wasn’t thinking of anything much else as he set off, before veering
slightly to avoid the bowler.

Cook’s throw hit the target from side-on and Dharmasena called for the
television umpire to judge the call, the cheers of the crowd turned
instantly to stunned silence. Not bad for a man whose appointment as
one-day captain prompted former England skipper Mike Atherton to object
on the grounds that he was a ‘donkey’ in the field.

replays showed the airborne bat had come to ground on the line rather
than over it as the ball struck, all the noise was coming from the Barmy

And they hit the roof
when Swann fizzed one past Piyush Chawla’s outside edge into off stump
to leave India on 297-8 at the close. That meant that England were still
33 runs ahead and just two days of solid cricket away from crossing
what Cook calls the ‘final frontier’.

If they manage it, after having being so badly pummeled in the first Test in Ahmedabad, this team will feel it may be the start of something big.

For Anderson, the record-equalling wicket was the continuation of something that could end up being huge.

New records to come

We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

David Moyes hails Tim Howard on eve of his 200th consecutive Everton appearance

Moyes hails history man Howard set to become second player to make 200 consecutive appearances



22:30 GMT, 14 December 2012

David Moyes has paid a glowing tribute to Tim Howard as the Everton goalkeeper prepares to add his name to the Barclays Premier League history books.

Howard will become only the second man in the Premier League era to make 200 consecutive appearances when he takes to the field at Stoke this afternoon – the only other player to achieve the feat is his compatriot Brad Friedel.

There have been questions raised about Howard’s form this season, particularly after he was culpable for goals against Newcastle, Southampton and Norwich, but Moyes has been quick to defend a player he took from Manchester United in 2006 to replace Nigel Martyn.

Up for it: Tim Howard is on the verge of becoming the second ever player to hit 200 consecutive games

Up for it: Tim Howard is on the verge of becoming the second ever player to hit 200 consecutive games

There will come a time in the future when Moyes knows Howard needs replacing and Everton’s manager is already on the lookout for a potential successor – he enquired about England Under-21 international Jack Butland in the summer.

Moyes, though, is adamant that the day when he is no longer Everton’s No 1 is a long way off and has hailed the talent and durability which has made him one of the best in the league.

‘Tim has not had many instances in his time here where he would warrant criticism,’ said Moyes.

‘Before him, Nigel was reliable, consistent and a great man to work with. To try and find another keeper like that, who you think most weeks you can trust, was not easy – But Tim has been that.

Superb: Moyes gave Howard a glowing review and said he was a pleasure to work with

Superb: Moyes gave Howard a glowing review and said he was a pleasure to work with

Current consecutive appearance standings

Date achieved


Consecutive apps


Friedel, Brad



Howard, Tim



Reina, Pepe



James, David



Lampard, Frank



James, David



Green, Robert



Given, Shay



Jaaskelainen, Jussi



Holland, Matt


‘He has to be kept on his toes like everyone else and there are standards we feel, like everyone, he has to get to. But he has been fantastic for us, he really has. Since we took him from Manchester United, he has been an excellent goalkeeper and a great guy to work with.

‘I think he is very conscientious about his work and how he goes about it. He has helped us in so many games and he is a big part of what we do. He is a big voice in the dressing room as well.

'Tim has competition and in the main his play has been very good. We are really comfortable with him.’

Moyes will work closely with his goalkeeping coach Chris Woods when recruiting another goalkeeper and Birmingham keeper Butland, who has also been watched by Liverpool, is a player who would fit the bill.

Onwards: David Moyes says despite Howard's excellence he will still be considering the club's future keeper

Onwards: David Moyes says despite Howard's excellence he will still be considering the club's future keeper

‘You are always planning for who is the next Nigel Martyn Who is the next Tim Howard We are always looking to see who that next one would be,’ said Moyes.

‘You have to do that. We have enquired a couple of times about Butland, but not recently.’

Everton jumped into the top four last week with a dramatic win against Tottenham and the progress they have made over the last 12 months is significant as on this weekend last year, they were 15th with 17 points.

They must do without influential forward Kevin Mirallas, though, at Stoke.

The Belgian has suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem and Moyes, who has revealed that Tony Hibbert requires surgery to repair a calf injury, said: ‘It is a worry because we are missing a really good player and someone who gives us a different attacking dimension.’

Glen Johnson studying for Maths degree

I'll show you: Johnson aims to prove his teachers wrong as Liverpool star takes up a Maths degree



12:10 GMT, 10 December 2012

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson is aiming to prove his old school teachers teachers wrong by gaining a degree in maths.

While many footballers spend their spare time playing golf, computer games or shopping, the England defender spends his days with his head buried in text books.

The 28-year-old – who has been shortlisted for England's player of the year award – is half-way through the second year of his Open University degree, having passed his first year.

Opening the scoring: Glen Johnson celebrates after netting a goal against former club West Ham

Opening the scoring: Glen Johnson celebrates after netting a goal against former club West Ham

Johnson, who scored the first goal in Liverpool's 3-2 win over former club West Ham on Sunday, told The Sun: 'I love the planning, equations and problem-solving.

'For example, working out how much fuel a plane needs. I was good at maths at school but I didn’t really think of anything else but football. My teachers used to say, ‘You ain’t going to achieve anything’. So I was thinking, ‘I’ll show you’.

Doing the day job: Johnson is studying for a maths degree when he is not busy playing for Liverpool and England

Doing the day job: Johnson is studying for a maths degree when he is not busy playing for Liverpool and England

'The last thing they’d expect me to do is a maths degree. But anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it.'

Former Burnley defender and chairman of the PFA Clarke Carlisle became the first footballer to appear on game show Countdown in 2010, and has also made a couple appearances on the political debate show Question Time.

Working from home: Johnson is enrolled at The Open University

Working from home: Johnson is enrolled at The Open University

2012 heroes miss out on Christmas books bonanza

2012 heroes miss out on Christmas books bonanza



23:22 GMT, 17 November 2012

The biggest British stars of the summer's Olympics are capitalising on their Games glory with autobiographies aimed at the lucrative Christmas market – but the giants of the Paralympics are missing out after failing to anticipate a booming demand for their own inspirational stories.

Olympic gold medal winners Bradley Wiggins, Jess Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farah and Chris Hoy have all got new or updated books on the shelves or in production, and hope to spend the festive season revelling in the fruits of their literary labours.

2012 star: David Weir

Missing out: Four-time 2012 gold winner David Weir

But no books are expected soon, certainly not this year, by arguably the three stand-out stars of the Paralympics: four-times 2012 gold winner David Weir, double gold-winning swimmer Ellie Simmonds, 18, and Jonnie Peacock, 19, who became a megastar in the T44 100 metres.

Simmonds' spokesman, Adam Wheatley, said no book had been planned because 'we didn't want to pre-empt success or apply any additional pressure to have a publisher writing copy during training and getting pictures pre-Olympics.'

He added that talks are on-going with publishers but 'we were very conscious not to trot a book out just for the Christmas market, it has to be right'.

Peacock's name was chanted by 80,000 fans in the Olympic Stadium before winning a final in which he left Paralympic legend Oscar Pistorius in his wake and eventually fourth. His agent, Lu Napthine, said there are 'no concrete plans' for a book, but his advisers are 'keen to capitalise on the interest in Jonnie at the moment on the back of the Paralympics'.

Easy rider: Wiggins leaving his home in the village of Eccleston in Lancashire on Friday morning

Covered: Gold medal winner Bradley Wiggins

Weir is expected to tell his own compelling story in an autobiography ghosted by the BBC's highly respected sports editor David Bond, although one source concedes that better planning and a realisation that the Paralympics were going to be such a hit might have led to swifter publication.

'Some publishers say these books should be out now, in 2012, and might miss their moment,' said one publishing source.

Another, veteran literary agent David Luxton, who has worked on autobiographies by Jenson Button, Mark Cavendish, Fernando Torres and Robbie Fowler among others, said: 'If books are brought out next year, it is quite likely that there will be other elements to the stories because they will have moved on with their careers and lives that will make it a good read and strong selling point.'

A new poll of 1,200 people conducted by StreetGames, a charity that promotes sport for young people in deprived communities, cements the notion that both summer Games gripped the nation equally, finding that the five most inspirational athletes of the summer to young people were Ennis, Simmonds, Farah, Pendleton and Peacock.

Premiership clubs are accused of docking England players' wages

Some of England's leading Premiership rugby clubs stand accused of 'morally abhorrent' behaviour for issuing contracts that see players docked up to half of their weekly salaries (as much as 2,500 in some cases) for playing for England.

Europe's top clubs were last week heavily criticised for allegedly blackmailing players from Fiji and other Pacific nations to turn their backs on Test rugby in order to bolster their clubs' league hopes on international weekends.

Now Inside Sport has learned that despite being financially rewarded by the RFU for producing home-grown talent, top Premiership clubs are understood to dock player's wages if they miss a first-team fixture in order to play for their country.

The practice is a clear breach of International Rugby Board Regulation 9.3, which states: 'No union, association, rugby body or club, whether by contract, conduct or otherwise, may inhibit, prevent, discourage, dis-incentivise or render unavailable any player from selection, attendance and appearance in a national representative team or national squad session.'

England players receive up to 15,000 in national appearance fees but Rugby Players' Association chief executive Damian Hopley insists the practice of reducing club salaries remains a serious blight on the game.

'It is something we have taken up with all parties because we don't think it is fair,' he said.

'It is immoral to penalise a player for reaching his potential in international sport … morally it is abhorrent. … there are three clubs that we know currently practise it.

'It is disappointing and we are working as hard as possible to put an end to it.'

Veteran former BBC commentator Clive Everton was the 'voice of snooker' during the golden age of the baize in the Eighties when up to 18.5million watched the world finals.

But in a new book that also details his demise at the Beeb, where he was axed from regular slots in 2009, he claims 'the first clear sign of trouble' arrived in 2006 when he wrote 'an accurate but unflattering profile' of Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, who had been drafted on to snooker's ruling body.

Everton says this upset acquaintances of Richards, who worked for the independent firm that produced the BBC's coverage, and his position was shaky from that point onwards. Sir Dave did not respond to requests for a comment.

Bristol City 3 Burnley 4: Chris McCann scores late winner

Bristol City 3 Burnley 4: McCann scores winner in SIXTH minute of injury time after thrilling clash



21:21 GMT, 23 October 2012

Chris McCann grabbed a winner deep into stoppage time as Burnley edged a seven-goal thriller in the npower Championship at Ashton Gate.

Substitute Paul Anderson looked to have secured a 90th-minute point for Bristol City when Albert Adomah's free-kick cannoned back off the bar, but midfielder McCann headed home Kieran Trippier's raking set-piece in the sixth minute of time added on.

Charlie Austin escaped the attentions of the City defence to give Burnley a ninth-minute lead, scoring for the eighth consecutive match to equal a club record set by Ray Pointer in the 1958/59 season.

Classic: Burnley edged out Bristol City in a seven-goal thriller

Classic: Burnley edged out Bristol City in a seven-goal thriller

Match facts

Bristol City: Heaton, Mark Wilson, Fontaine (Louis Carey 55), McManus, Foster, Adomah, Morris, Skuse, Bryan (Anderson 64), Baldock, Davies (Taylor 64).

Subs Not Used: Gerken, Pitman, James Wilson.

Goals: Davies 17, Baldock 77 pen, Anderson 90.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier ,Duff, Shackell, Mee, Stock, Paterson (Ings 78), McCann, Marney, Stanislas (Stewart 87), Austin (Vokes 90).

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Edgar, O'Neill, Mills.

Booked: Duff, Stock, McCann, Mee.

Goals: Austin 9, 59 pen, Paterson 60, McCann 90.

Attendance: 11,836

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey).

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

The 23-year-old's 13 goals in this period compared to Pointer's 12 put him one ahead in the record books – a position Burnley were not in for very long on the pitch thanks to Steven Davies' free-kick.

City were on top for the rest of the opening period but were left to rue their failure to make the pressure count as Burnley raced clear with a quickfire double.

Handball in the area by Mark Wilson allowed Austin to make it 14 in eight and Martin Paterson's deflected strike found the net moments later.

Sam Baldock's penalty set up a grandstand finish and both sides obliged, leaving Burnley caretaker manager Terry Pashley with two wins from as many games in charge.

McCann's lofted pass from deep caught out the Robins backline and Austin stole in to round goalkeeper Tom Heaton and seemingly inevitably open the scoring.

Burnley's enterprising start was emphatically checked in the 17th minute when Michael Duff fouled Davies just outside the D.

Complaints from the visitors that Davies had gone to ground a little easily were compounded when the same player picked himself up and arched the free-kick over the defensive wall and into the net.

Burnley found themselves largely on the back foot after City's equaliser, but it remained all square at half-time after Liam Fontaine fizzed a volley over from Stephen McManus' header.

A quiet start to the second half exploded around the hour as Pashley's men took first control of the contest.

Paterson's header from Junior Stanislas' cross struck Wilson on the hand, referee Lee Collins pointed to the spot and Austin duly obliged to register his 18th goal of the season after 59 minutes.

It was three a minute later when Paterson's back-post effort from McCann's cross took a wicked deflection off Richard Foster to leave Heaton with no chance.

City were handed a lifeline in the 75th minute when Burnley centre-back Michael Duff was adjudged to have fouled McManus from Wilson's corner and Baldock slammed the penalty into the centre of the goal.

Adomah fired against the underside of the bar after being fouled by Brian Stock to leave Anderson with a simple finish – a luxury McCann was not afforded when he angled home at the death to condemn City to a third straight loss.