Tag Archives: brother

Haroon Khan wins his debut fight

Younger Khan follows in Amir's footsteps by winning debut fight on points over Fidoe

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

21:10 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:49 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Haroon Khan's bid to follow in the footsteps of big brother Amir began seamlessly on Saturday night with a points victory over Brett Fidoe in Sheffield.

The 21-year-old made his professional debut just hours before his elder sibling's clash with Julio Diaz and never looked in serious trouble at the Motorpoint Arena.

Boxing at super flyweight, Khan was however too eager to impress at times – an accusation levelled at his brother throughout his career – but came through unscathed.

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Representing Pakistan, Khan won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and is now working under Salford-based trainer Oliver Harrison who guided Amir to a 17-fight undefeated professional career before their sudden split in 2008.

Fidoe, meanwhile, began his career with successive defeats at the tail end of last year before halting the slide with his sole victory to date in February.

Such was the ease with which he was expected to be deposed, the 22-year-old already had his next assignment lined up – against an unbeaten prospect in Manchester in just 13 days time.

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Making his debut six months after turning professional, Khan was afforded a warm welcome by the simmering crowd and he looked determined to give them something to cheer about from the first bell.

Abandoning his jab, he repeatedly attempted to land the overhand right, only for Fidoe to slip it with ease.

The few punches that did land came from Khan however and that pattern continued into the second session.

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

At the start of the third stanza, Khan threw an eye-catching three-punch combination and although the first two missed the target, the third, a left, landed flush.

He had further success when he switched downstairs to the body and had by this time built up a commanding lead.

To Fidoe's credit, he came out swinging for the final three minutes and deserved the consolation of winning the round only to be forced to share the spoils as the referee awarded Khan victory by 40 points to 37.

Ronnie O"Sullivan says snooker return could be car crash TV

It could be car crash television, but I'll still be worth watching! Returning O'Sullivan says appearance at Crucible will be like a reality TV show

By
Matt Mcgeehan, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:30 GMT, 15 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:48 GMT, 15 April 2013

Snooker's biggest star Ronnie O'Sullivan joked that his return for the Betfair World Championship at the Crucible will be like watching Big Brother.

The 37-year-old has taken most of this season off, but is returning for the spring showpiece in Sheffield.

And he said: 'It's like my own reality TV show. It could be car crash, it could be good. You just don't know.

'I’ve never been one for doing Big Brother but this is about as close as it gets to it. It’s definitely exciting for me and everyone looking in.

Making his return: Ronnie O'Sullivan poses during the media launch for the World Championship at The Groucho Club in London on Monday

Making his return: Ronnie O'Sullivan poses during the media launch for the World Championship at The Groucho Club in London on Monday

'If I'm cueing all right and feeling all right, then I should be a match for anyone, but who knows'

The snooker world waits with bated breath to see what kind of form O'Sullivan will be in at the Crucible.

He insists that his desire for success, focus, to lose weight and reconnect with friends encouraged him to return to defend his title.

The 37-year-old Chigwell cueman
confirmed in February that he would defend the title he won 12 months
ago, despite not competing in a tournament since.

'There's a part of me that wants
instant success,' the four-time champion said. 'That would be nice, but
for me it's just about having fun. I felt it was time to have some sort
of focus in my life.

'Running was a massive part of my
life and I found I got that lazy having nothing to do, I had too much
time to even go and run in the end. I started putting weight on.

'I realised that snooker gave me an
opportunity to meet some good people, to travel and that's kind of what I
missed, missing the routine.'

Ready for the big one: World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and Ronnie O'Sullivan attend the media launch for the World Championship

Ready for the big one: World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and Ronnie O'Sullivan attend the media launch for the World Championship

O'Sullivan has lost a stone since
deciding to come back by returning to a routine and plans to run during
the 17-day World Championship, which begins on Saturday with his
first-round match against Marcus Campbell.

O'Sullivan believes he has plenty to
offer the game, adding: 'If you look at it statistically I've done
pretty well, but from my own perspective I feel like I've still
underachieved. I'd like to win another world title in my forties. I've
not set myself the goal to win this year's world title because that
would be a bit of a silly goal.

'I'd like to be a world champion when
I'm 40. It gives me a bit of leeway. It's the long game I'm looking at,
rather than just the short-term. This is just the start.'

Winning on his comeback would be an
overwhelming experience, O'Sullivan admitted. 'It would be a fairytale
dream, but last year was my greatest performance,' he said.

'I'd had a good season and it was
expected by pretty much everyone that I was going to win the tournament
before it started. To me that is the ultimate achievement, because
anything other than a win would've been seen as a failure in most
people's eyes.

'This year it's a different ball
game. I've come here with no matches under my belt. It'll just be nice
to be out there playing. I don't have anything to prove to the general
public.'

Champion: O'Sullivan celebrates last year's win in Sheffield

Champion: O'Sullivan celebrates last year's win in Sheffield

O'Sullivan is something of an enigma
and has worked with Dr Steve Peters, the sports psychiatrist who worked
with British Cycling and whom he now regards as a friend. O'Sullivan is
instinctive in his game and his life and his recent practice sessions
with Peter Ebdon were 'by coincidence' in Sheffield.

'Peter was the only decent player for
me to play. I had no choice,' O'Sullivan said. 'That's not being
horrible because I love Peter. And I can handle him better now since
I've been working with Steve Peters. I wish I'd been working with him 20
years ago.'

O'Sullivan was speaking at the Groucho Club in London's Soho alongside world No 1 Mark Selby, who is favourite for the title.

Selby, described as an 'invoicing
operation' by World Snooker chief Barry Hearn, has won the UK
Championship and Masters tournaments this year and is aiming to become
the fourth player – after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams –
to win the 'triple crown' in the same season.

The 29-year-old from Leicester said:
'It's a tough tournament to win. There's a lot of great players in it.
It's great to have Ronnie back playing as well, so it's going to be
tough.

'He's one of the most natural players
to ever play our game. If any one player can do it (win after a year
out), Ronnie's the person.'

Cesar Azpilicueta says Chelsea team-mates call him Dave

Alright, Dave Azpilicueta says Chelsea team-mates have given up trying to pronounce his name… just like Rodney and Trigger in Only Fools And Horses

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:52 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:49 GMT, 30 March 2013

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta says his team-mates have dropped their attempts to pronounce his name – and instead simply call the Spaniard ‘Dave’.

The former Marseille full back moved to the Premier League last summer, but his colleagues at Chelsea have struggled to say his surname correctly ever since.

'Cesar’s not even that hard,’ he was quoted in the Daily Telegraph saying. ‘But I suppose Azpilicueta is. Some said my name was too difficult to pronounce and could they call me Dave. It’s stuck. It’s also done affectionately.'

Cesar Azpilicueta

Nicholas Lyndhurst

All right, Dave: Cesar Azpilicueta (left) says his team-mates have given up using his name and have decided to call him 'Dave' like Rodney Trotter (right, centre) was in Only Fools And Horses by the character Trigger

Adapting: Azpilicueta (right) believes he is getting used to the speed of the Premier League

Adapting: Azpilicueta (right) believes he is getting used to the speed of the Premier League

Although Azpilicueta may not know it, his nickname might have been borrowed from one of Britain’s best-loved sitcoms: Only Fools And Horses.

Rodney Trotter struggled throughout the hit TV series, as Trigger failed to use his name because – despite knowing Nicholas Lyndhurst's character well through his brother Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter – he earnestly believed his name was Dave.

Meanwhile, Azpilicueta believes he is adapting to the English style of play, and is beginning to get used to the lifestyle in London with the help of countryman and team-mate Juan Mata.

Azpilicueta told the Guardian: ‘He (Mata) is like a London tour guide,' Azpilicueta told The Guardian. “I say ‘Juan, I want to go out and eat’ and he knows just the place.’

Good friends: Azpilicueta says countryman Juan Mata (right) has helped him settle in London

Good friends: Azpilicueta says countryman Juan Mata (right) has helped him settle in London

Azpilicueta chose to sing Spanish song La Raja de Tu Falda by Estopa as his initiation into the squad. Although his team-mates enjoyed his rendition of the song about a driver who careers off the road because he was staring at an attractive woman, most of it was lost in translation.

He added: 'Some of them danced. But they had no idea what the song was about and they didn’t understand a word.'

VIDEO: Watch one of Rodney and Trigger's finest ever scenes

'My name is Rodney!' Classic Only Fools and Horses

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Greg Dyke announced as new FA Chairman

Former Man United director Dyke voted as new FA chairman, replacing outgoing Bernstein

By
Charles Sale

PUBLISHED:

11:30 GMT, 21 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:54 GMT, 21 March 2013

Former Manchester United director and TV mogul Greg Dyke has been voted through as the next FA chairman, replacing the outgoing incumbent David Bernstein.

Dyke, 65, will replace Bernstein when he leaves the post after two-and-a-half years in July – and takes the helm from Saturday July 13.

Dyke told the FA website: 'Football has always been a big part of my life whether playing 11-a-side on Sunday mornings or six-a-side on Thursday evenings.

Main man: Former United director Dyke will take the helm at the FA

Main man: Former United director Dyke will take the helm at the FA

'I was brought up in a household where my father was much more interested in whether or not you had won at football than whether you had passed your exams. In my case that was just as well.

'I still turn out to play six-a-side some Thursday evenings although at my age I seem to spend more time injured than playing.

'I supported my local team Brentford as a kid where my elder brother was a junior, watched York City while at university and followed Manchester United whenever I could.

'I got involved in how the game was run
when I was first involved in buying sports rights as Chairman of ITV
Sport in the late eighties and later at the BBC.

Game over: Bernstein's (left) tenure at the FA will soon come to an end

Game over: Bernstein's (left) tenure at the FA will soon come to an end

'I learnt a lot in the years when I was on the Board of Manchester United and have seen the other side of the professional game at Brentford.'

The FA said in a statement: 'The Football Association Board has today unanimously approved the nomination for Greg Dyke to be appointed independent FA chairman.

'Dyke, 65, will take over as chairman from David Bernstein when he leaves the post after two-and-a-half years in July – subject to approval by the FA council. The appointment will take effect from Saturday, July 13.

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford – where he became non-executive chairman in 2006

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford

'This follows a recruitment process led
by FA independent director Roger Devlin (chairman of the nominations
committee) with fellow board members Roger Burden and Keith Lamb.

'In a high-profile broadcasting industry career, Dyke has worked as director general of the BBC and managing director of London Weekend Television.

'Dyke has had a long background in football. He was a director of Manchester United in the late nineties and since 2006 he has been non-executive chairman of Brentford Football Club, the team he supported as a boy. He will relinquish this role at the end of the season to take up his new post at the FA.'

Red alert: United director Gill (seen with Dyke) is also on the FA board

Red alert: United director Gill (seen with Dyke) is also on the FA board

Brazilian star Kaka should make summer move to United States, says his brother

Brazilian star Kaka dreaming of summer move to United States, says his brother

PUBLISHED:

20:13 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:43 GMT, 28 February 2013

Real Madrid outcast Kaka has set his sights on a move to America, according to his brother Digao.

The former AC Milan playmaker has
been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu in the summer after the
Rossoneri failed to re-sign him in the January transfer window due to
financial reasons.

American dream: Real Madrid's Kaka could be on his way to MLS

American dream: Real Madrid's Kaka could be on his way to MLS

Kaka has expressed interest in moving to the MLS and younger brother Digao, a defender with the New York Red Bulls, has been taking steps to persuade him to join him.

'It's hard to say. Football changes very rapidly. It is a dream that he has, to come and play in the USA, and hopefully it will come true soon,' Digao told Goal.com.

'I think he's been very curious about football in the United States and New York and about my experience living here.

'I've been relaying good things to him. He's expressed his interest in one day playing in the United States.'

Amir Khan will fight in Britain for first time in two years against Julio Diaz

Khan will fight on British soil for first time in two years when he takes on Diaz

Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo and Khan's brother Haroon making their professional debuts on the undercard.

Premier League January transfer window is in its tenth year

Stick or twist, buy or sell The January transfer window is in its tenth year and has become the last chance saloon for top clubs

: 60m

Sir Alex Ferguson hates it and has publicly said so. His actions back up his words. In a decade he has forked out 36million in total, or one Andy Carroll, in the winter.

True, he has parted with 15m for Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace this month but that is a long-term strategy which sees the winger return to Selhurst Park on loan anyway.

Harry Redknapp, on the other hand is king of the January sales. Nose pressed up against the door, elbows at the ready, QPR boss Redknapp is still unlikely to beat his 2009 Tottenham high of 48m, however.

Not surprisingly, Spurs, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have tended to go for it over the last 10 years.

Roman Abramovich has dipped his hand into his pocket to the tune of 126m, which means Chelsea are top of the table at something. City are second on 109m, Spurs third on 91m and Liverpool fourth having spent 81m, which is 34m more than fifth-placed Aston Villa.

Consider 2003. The whole of the Barclays Premier League only managed to cough up 35m.

And compare that with 2011 when the deafening sound of cash registers in England could be heard all over the world as the clubs paid out an astronomical 225m.

Big spender: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has shelled out 126m on January signings over the last decade

Big spender: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has shelled out 126m on January signings over the last decade

Last year it was back down to 60m, as common sense and the UEFA threat of financial fair play prevailed. Think Carroll and Fernando Torres and think folly.

Going back to 2003, a total of 925m has been spent in January yet this window continues to be the baby brother of the summer marketplace where a staggering 3,955m (3.95billions) has been spent.

JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW FACTS AND FIGURES

Biggest average PL spenders in
January: Chelsea 12.3m, QPR 11m, Man City 10.9m, Tottenham 9.1m,
Liverpool 8.1m, West Ham 5.71m.

Smallest average PL spenders in
January: West Brom 0.67m, Swansea 1m, Everton 1.4m, Fulham 2m,
Sunderland 2.29m, Southampton 2.33m.

Largest amount spent by one club: Chelsea, 75m, 2011

Biggest buy of first window in 2003: Jonathan Woodgate (Leeds to Newcastle) 9m

Most expensive player: Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea) 50m

Most expensive British player: Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool) 35m

TEN YEARS OF THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW

2003

Total spent: 35m

Wallet breaker: Jonathan Woodgate (Leeds to Newcastle) 9m

Spot on: Stephen Clemence, who joined Birmingham in a 900,000 deal from Spurs and proved to be a stalwart under Steve Bruce

Oh dear: Lee Bowyer arrived at West Ham from Leeds United for about 100,000 and was heralded as the man who could save them from relegation. The fans disagreed, and protested against the signing outside Upton Park. Nagged by injuries, Bowyer made just 10 appearances and did little to prevent West Ham’s relegation.

Big spend: Newcastle paid 9m to bring defender Jonathan Woodgate in from Leeds United in the first January transfer window back in 2003

Big spend: Newcastle paid 9m to bring defender Jonathan Woodgate in from Leeds United in the first January transfer window back in 2003

Deepest pockets: In a precursor of big-spending to come, Man City brought in Robbie Fowler from Leeds United for 6m and David Sommeil from Bordeaux for 3.5m as they sought to preserve their Premier League status. OK, I lied, it wasn’t big spending at all, but it was much more than everyone else.

Trolley dash: Steve Bruce went to town, signing five players for Birmingham City – they were Christophe Dugarry (loan), Clemence (900,000), Jamie Clapham (1.3m), Matthew Upson (3m) and Piotr Swierczewski (loan).

If the shirt fits: Robbie Fowler joined Man City from Leeds United for 6m in a bid to boost City's chances of staying in the Premier League

If the shirt fits: Robbie Fowler joined Man City from Leeds United for 6m in a bid to boost City's chances of staying in the Premier League

Tight wads: Anyone doing half-all right, really – Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool saw no need to spend a penny during January.

Ticking clock: Woodgate’s was a deadline day move, as was Michael Ricketts’s 3.5m switch from Bolton to Middlesbrough.

2004

Total spent: 50m

Wallet breaker: Jose Antonio Reyes (Sevilla to Arsenal) 19.5m

Spot on: The arrival of record buy Reyes proved to be the final piece in the jigsaw as Arsenal leapfrogged Manchester United to win the title

Oh dear: Middlesbrough fans who remembered the magic of Juninho would have been giddy with excitement when Steve McClaren brought World Cup winner Ricardinho to the Riverside – and for a negligible fee. Three months later he was off, having completely failed to play any first team football or show any appetite for being on Teesside.

New surroundings: Jose Antonio Reyes was the final piece in Arsenal's title-winning jigsaw in 2004

New surroundings: Jose Antonio Reyes was the final piece in Arsenal's title-winning jigsaw in 2004

Deepest pockets: The Reyes fee eclipsed the spending of most clubs, but, unlike 12 months earlier, the big guns were willing to shell out. Man United, concerned about Arsenal stealing their title, paid 12.8m for Louis Saha, and Chelsea flexed their newly bulging financial muscles again by buying Scott Parker for 10m.

Trolley dash: Definitely West Ham, who acquired Andy Melville on a free from Fulham, Nigel Reo-Coker from struggling Wimbledon and got Bobby Zamora from Spurs when they sold Jermain Defoe.

Better late than never: Jermain Defoe's transfer from West Ham to Tottenham was finally completed on February 2

Better late than never: Jermain Defoe's transfer from West Ham to Tottenham was finally completed on February 2

Tight wads: Liverpool again saw no need to open their wallets.

Ticking clock: The 7m Defoe switch dragged on even beyond the conventional window – being completed on February 2.

2005

Total spent: 50m

Wallet breaker: Jean-Alain Boumsong (Rangers to Newcastle) 8m

Spot on: Mikel Arteta said ‘Hola!’ to the Premier League in January 2005, joining Everton on a six-month loan from Real Sociedad. He liked Merseyside so much, he stayed.

Oh dear: Nigel Quashie – With plenty of experience of relegation battles, Harry Redknapp raided old club Portsmouth to bring Quashie along the south coast to Southampton. ‘I am certain we will stay up,’ said Quashie in a fan-friendly soundbite. ‘I would have not have come here if I had any doubts about that.’ Five months later, they were relegated.

Vamos! Mikel Arteta joined Everton in the 2005 January transfer window, initially on loan, and then made the deal permanent that summer

Vamos! Mikel Arteta joined Everton in the 2005 January transfer window, initially on loan, and then made the deal permanent that summer

Deepest pockets: Newcastle spent more than anyone else, over 10m on Boumsong, Celestine Babayaro and Amady Faye.

Trolley dash: Newcastle aside, it was probably Spurs, who acquired four players, including two on Deadline Day. The first two were loan moves, for Mounir El Hamdaoui, who never made a competitive appearance, and Mido. Then, they gave Nottingham Forest a combined 8m for Andy Reid and Michael Dawson.

Tight wads: Man United saw no need to sign anyone, nor did Jose Mourinho want to upset the balance of his title-bound squad.

New one-two: Tottenham brought in Mido (centre) and Michael Dawson (right) during the January 2005 window

New one-two: Tottenham brought in Mido (centre) and Michael Dawson (right) during the January 2005 window

Ticking clock: It was a very busy deadline day, with plenty of cash being spent. Other than the aforementioned Spurs signings, Man City offloaded Nicolas Anelka to Fenerbahce to 7m, Celtic took Craig Bellamy on loan, Barry Ferguson went from Blackburn to Rangers for 4.5m and Jermaine Pennant went on loan to Birmingham from Arsenal.

2006

Total spent: 70m

Wallet breaker: Three at 7m. Dean Ashton, Norwich to West Ham; Emmanuel Adebayor, Monaco to Arsenal; Nemanja Vidic, Spartak Moscow to Manchester United.

Spot on: Manchester United who ‘only’ bought two players, Vidic and Patrice Evra (Monaco) for 12m and look how they turned out.

Defensive wall: Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra proved to be excellent buys for Manchester United in 2006

Defensive wall: Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra proved to be excellent buys for Manchester United in 2006

Oh dear: Emmanuel Olisadebe arrived at Fratton Park for an undisclosed fee from Panathinaikos. The Nigerian-born Poland striker, who had question marks over his real age, was crocked almost from the start and released in the summer.

Deepest pockets: Arsene Wenger (seriously), Arsenal. 15m total on Adebayor, Theo Walcott (Southampton) 5m and Abou Diaby (Auxerre) 3m. (Walcott and Diaby eventually cost 12m & 6m respectively)

Trolley dash: Harry Redknapp, Portsmouth – nine players for a total of 12m, a year after he recruited five when he was Southampton manager.

Pleased as punch: Emmanuel Adebayor joined Arsenal in January 2006

Pleased as punch: Emmanuel Adebayor joined Arsenal in January 2006

Tight wads: Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Newcastle

Ticking clock: DJ Campbell, who worked in a warehouse a year earlier, joined Birmingham City from Brentford in a 1m deal right on deadline. And Danny Murphy completed a 2m midnight switch from Charlton to Tottenham.

2007

Total spent: 62m

Wallet breaker: Ashley Young (Watford) to Aston Villa 8m (rising to 10.65m)

Spot on: Young, brought in on deadline day with John Carew (swap Milan Baros, Lyon), the winger proved that Martin O’Neill was right to take the gamble.

Oh dear: Lucas Neill, wooed by 75,000-a-week wages, snubbed Liverpool to make the most of Alan Curbishley’s panic buying spree at West Ham, and was injured on his debut.

Good business: Both Watford and Aston Villa were pleased with their transaction for Ashley Young

Good business: Both Watford and Aston Villa were pleased with their transaction for Ashley Young

Deepest pockets: West Ham 16.5m. Matthew Upson (Birmingham) 6m, Luis Boa Morte (Fulham) 4.5m, Callum Davenport (Spurs) 3m, Nigel Quashie (West Brom) 1.5m, Neill (Blackburn) 1.5m.

Trolley dash: Liverpool. Seven players to pip West Ham, but only one purchase, Alvaro Arbeloa (Deportivo) 2.6m but including loan deals for Javier Mascherano (West Ham), Emiliano Insua (Boca) and Daniele Padelli (Sampdoria).

Tight wads: Chelsea, Arsenal

Ticking clock: Tottenham pulled the plug on the 4m sale of Mido to Manchester City just before midnight.

2008

Total spent: 160m

Wallet breaker: Nicolas Anelka (Bolton) 15m who went to Chelsea

39 reasons to smile: Nicolas Anelka joined Chelsea from Bolton for !5m in 2008

39 reasons to smile: Nicolas Anelka joined Chelsea from Bolton for !5m in 2008

Spot on: Gary Cahill was snapped up by Bolton from Aston Villa for 4.5m and has since joined Chelsea and played for England .

Oh dear: Felipe Caicedo, who became the biggest transfer in Swiss League history when he joined Manchester City from Basle for 5.2m. Sven Goran Eriksson apparently ‘won the race’ for the Ecuadorian with Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and AC Milan.

Deepest pockets: Chelsea, 27.5m on Anelka, Branislav Ivanovic (Lokomotiv Moscow) 9m and Franco Di Santo (Audra) 3.5m.

Record breaker: Basle received the highest fee ever for a club in the Swiss League for Felipe Caicedo

Record breaker: Basle received the highest fee ever for a club in the Swiss League for Felipe Caicedo

Trolley dash: Derby boss Paul Jewell, fighting a losing relegation battle, brought in eight players for 3.8m including Robbie Savage, Danny Mills, Hossam Ghaly, Laurent Robert and Roy Carroll.

Tight wads: No-one

Ticking clock: Brazil striker Afonso Alves completed a 13.5m move from Heerenveen to Middlesbrough after winning his appeal for a work permit.

2009

Total spent: 180m

Wallet breaker: Midfielder Nigel de Jong (Hamburg to Man City) 16m

Spot on: Jermain Defoe has scored 68 goals in his five seasons at Spurs since this January move.

Oh dear: Savio Nsereko. Who Ugandan-born German, bought by West Ham for 9m to replace Craig Bellamy and who was shipped out to Fiorentina very quickly.

Twin buys: Manchester City splashed out on Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong in the 2009 transfer window

Twin buys: Manchester City splashed out on Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong in the 2009 transfer window

Deepest pockets: It was a 48m tie between Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp and Manchester City’s Mark Hughes. Spurs forked out 3m on Pascal Chimbonda (Sunderland), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth) 15m, Wilson Palacios (Wigan) 14m and Robbie Keane (Liverpool) 16m. Hughes bought De Jong (Hamburg) 16m, Craig Bellamy (West Ham) 12m, Wayne Bridge (Chelsea) 12m, Shay Given (Newcastle) 8m.

Trolley dash: Portsmouth spent 7.6m on six players including Nadir Belhadj (Lens) and a loan for Jermaine Pennant from Liverpool.

Joy of six: Nadir Belhadj was one of half a dozen players signed by Portsmouth in 2009's winter transfer window

Joy of six: Nadir Belhadj was one of half a dozen players signed by Portsmouth in 2009's winter transfer window

Hands in pockets: Liverpool

Ticking clock: Snowstorms hit England, which saved the day as far as Andrey Arshavin was concerned. The Russian was allowed to complete his 15m move to Arsenal 24 hours late.

2010

Total spent: 30m

Wallet breaker: Younes Kaboul (Portsmouth to Spurs) 11m

Spot on: Stoke paid 3.25m for Portsmouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and, although he had to wait for his chance, the Bosnian has emerged as a top Premier League player

Oh dear: Benni McCarthy, who cost West Ham 2.5m from Blackburn. Injured on his debut and fitness and attitude questioned.

Safe hands: Stoke bought goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in 2010 and he's turned into one of the Premier League's best

Safe hands: Stoke bought goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in 2010 and he's turned into one of the Premier League's best

Deepest pockets: In a recession-hit year, Tottenham bought Kaboul back from Portsmouth and signed Eidur Gudjohnsen on loan to be top spenders

Trolley dash: Wigan spent 3.5m on five players including Gary Caldwell (Celtic 1m) and Victor Moses (Crystal Palace 2.5m)

Tight wads: Aston Villa, Chelsea

Ticking clock: Robbie Keane left Tottenham for Celtic on loan after a call at 5pm on deadline day

2011

Total spent: 225m

Wallet breaker: Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea) 50m

Spot on: Luis Suarez, who arrived at Liverpool for 22.8m with 35m Andy Carroll.

Oh dear: Would it be terribly obvious to suggest Torres

Great expectations: Fernando Torres moved to Chelsea for 50m, the biggest ever transfer fee in this country

Great expectations: Fernando Torres moved to Chelsea for 50m, the biggest ever transfer fee in this country

Deepest pockets: Chelsea who spent 50m on Torres and 25m on David Luiz (Benfica)

Trolley dash: Gerard Houllier was given the go-ahead to buy big as Aston Villa fought relegation. He brought in four players including 18m (up to 24m) on Darren Bent (Sunderland) and 6m to Lyon for Jean Makoun.

New kid in town: Gerard Houllier brought in Darren Bent in an attempt to save Villa from relegation

New kid in town: Gerard Houllier brought in Darren Bent in an attempt to save Villa from relegation

Tight wads: No-one

Ticking clock: Charlie Adam thought he was set for a move to Liverpool from Blackpool. He had to wait until the following summer.

2012

Total spent: 60m

Wallet breaker: Papiss Cisse (Freiburg to Newcastle United) 10m

Spot on: Gary Cahill proved 7m well spent for Chelsea, putting in a succession of solid defensive performances as the Blues ended the season as surprise European champions. Also, Cisse returned an incredible 13 goals in just 14 games for Newcastle, including that incredible strike at Chelsea.

Great buy: Papiss Cisse scored 13 goals in 14 matches after joining Newcastle

Great buy: Papiss Cisse scored 13 goals in 14 matches after joining Newcastle

Oh dear: Marvin Sordell, 3m from Watford, was only given three matches for Bolton in their bid to avoid relegation. If he was the solution to their problems, it was a funny way of showing it.

Deepest pockets: Chelsea spent in the region of 20m on Kevin de Bruyne, Cahill, Lucas Piazon and Patrick Bamford.

Trolley dash: QPR brought in seven players to try and prevent their Premier League return lasting just a single season. Among them were Bobby Zamora, Djibril Cisse and Nedum Onuoha.

Shrewd signing: Gary Cahill joined Chelsea last January for 7m and ended up a European champion

Shrewd signing: Gary Cahill joined Chelsea last January for 7m and ended up a European champion

Tight wads: Stoke brought in nobody.

Ticking clock: QPR left it late, with the Cisse and Zamora moves going through at the eleventh hour.

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

Rigadin De Beauchene lands Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick

PUBLISHED:

16:02 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:51 GMT, 12 January 2013

Rigadin De Beauchene (5-1) put the icing on the cake of what has been a bountiful start to the month for trainer Venetia Williams when getting up in the shadow of the post to deny Godsmejudge and the gallant Pete The Feat in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick.

The eight-year-old put his jumping issues behind him under a determined Robbie Dunne to pull the race out of the fire after he was seemingly booked for third at the second-last fence.

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

New star: Nigel Twiston-Davies has a leading candidate for Cheltenham

Dunne intentionally steered a wide
course on Rigadin De Beauchene in the straight, a ploy that paid off as
the combination reeled in the battling leaders with 50 yards to travel
to win by half a length.

Williams said: 'Robbie swept wide
into the straight and managed to get the horse to meet the last fence on
a good stride which I think was very important.

'His owner Andrew Wiles hopes he may
emulate his half-brother Miko De Beauchene and win the Welsh National
next season. I think Andrew might have reservations about him going for
the Grand National itself though. He's had issues with his jumping.'

Williams said she was encouraged
about a good run from her gelding after the horse that beat him in the
mud at Lingfield went on to land the Sussex National.

Dunne said: 'We were going a good
gallop when he made a mistake down the back and he also got in tight to a
couple. But overall he jumped much better today, having had a
confidence-booster at Lingfield.'

Noel Fehily was proud of the gallant Pete The Feat whose unbeaten run of five this season was finally broken back in third.

He said: 'It was another very good run. He's jumped from fence to fence and galloped to the line.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies can be forgiven if he starts getting excited about The New One (1-2 favourite) who routed the opposition in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

So far the only defeat he has
suffered in his career came in the Festival Bumper where he was sixth
but nothing in this Grade Two could live with him.

His jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: 'The sky is the limit.'

Nigel Twiston-Davies said: 'He seems
to have so much speed and staying power and it's a shame we haven't
really learned anything, as some of the others didn't go in the ground
and he wasn't tested.

'He won but we still don't know
enough about him and that encourages me to look at the programme book
and find another two-and-a-half-miler for him in order to give him some
more experience.'

Sarah Such, joint-owner of the winner,
was out of breath after cheering The New One home and exclaimed:
'Amazing. I can't breath he is absolutely wonderful, a really special
horse.'

Team Twiston-Davies also took the concluding bumper with Pure Science (5-1), a nine-length winner.

Rocky Creek boosted his claims for the RSA Chase and was cut to 12-1 from 20s for that Cheltenham Festival contest after flooring Highland Lodge in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Novices' Chase.

Paddy Power were impressed with the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old after he readily brushed aside Highland Lodge in the home straight of the three-mile contest to leave that rival exhausted on the run-in.

The pair had taken each other on at the last three of the fences down the back stretch with Rocky Creek nudging into the lead under a confident Daryl Jacob before the second last.

At this point the 7-4 chance jumped to the front where Tour Des Champs fell and brought down the weakening Forgotten Gold. Rocky Creek then forged steadily clear of Highland Lodge, who stopped to a walk on the flat and was caught by 16-1 shot Fill The Power for second.

Jacob believes the winner could be a factor in the RSA given the right underfoot conditions.

He said: 'I had the favourite covered and just wanted him to give me a lead into the straight before pressing on.

'He's a horse for the future and will be a truly super chaser in time. He's a possible Cheltenham horse for sure providing the ground there isn't too quick.'

Ely Brown booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival when avenging his 2012 defeat in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier.

Second to Thehillofuisneach here 12 months ago, Charlie Longsdon's charge travelled well and readily outstayed Holywell and Hada Men by a length and a quarter and four under Noel Fehily.

According to his trainer, Ely Brown needed to win today in order to guarantee a run in the Final at Cheltenham in March.

Longsdon said: 'I said to Noel he had to win again if he was going to get to Cheltenham and after this he certainly deserves to take his chance.

'If he goes up 5lb it will be his ticket booked. He was second here last year and when I looked down today's field I thought it was quite a lot tougher.

'He had a hard race at Aintree. We gave him plenty of time to recover from that and he was pinging after his last outing at Haydock.'

Rody (11-2) earned glowing praise from his pilot Paddy Brennan who described the Tom George-trained gelding as 'as good a jumper as you could possibly wish to see' following his resounding success in the Betfred 'The Bonus King' Handicap Chase.

Giving weight to all seven of his rivals in the two-mile contest, Rody made it three wins from his last four starts as he continually made ground on Eastlake at his fences.

Brennan sent him on rounding the home bend and the combination pulled eight lengths clear, with Kapga De Cerisy a neck back in third. The winner is owned by Tony Dalton and Jennifer Laing who both work for Saatchi and Saatchi.

Laing said: 'He's a happy horse who really likes being at the racecourse. He wasn't as good over hurdles because he used to brush through them, but he gives the fences more respect.'

Brennan added: 'It's his jumping that wins him his races, I've been very impressed with him.'

Flaming Charmer caused a minor shock in the opener, posting a 14-1 triumph for owners Chasing Gold, trainer Colin Tizzard and jockey Brendan Powell.

The five-year-old proved too strong for Thunder Sheikh to deny Timmy Murphy a winner on his first ride back from injury in the Betfred Goals Galore Novices' Handicap Hurdle.

On ground described as soft by the winning jockey, Flaming Charmer outstayed his foes and Powell said: 'He's a nice horse for the future and I think he'll stay further.'

Tom Chadney, spokeman for Chasing Gold, said: 'The reason I bought him was because his dam is Kates Charm who won the Cleeve Hurdle and was a very good mare for Robert Alner.

'We have nine horses spread around the country with seven trainers. It enables our members to watch the horses run wherever they are based.'

Neil Ruddock Celebrity Big Brother bath time

Did the water jump out when you got in, Razor Bath time for Ruddock in the Celeb Big Brother house

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

15:50 GMT, 7 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 7 January 2013

Who knows what Neil Ruddock's motives for going into the Celebrity Big Brother house were, but we hope losing a few pounds is somewhere on his list of priorities.

There's no doubt 'Razor' has earned the right to treat himself now that his playing days are behind him. But he's clearly treating himself a little too often.

The former Millwall, Tottenham and Liverpool defender has joined Frankie Dettori and host of other celebs hoping to win cash for their chosen charity.

He's big Big Brother contestant: Ruddock in all his glory, heading for a bath

He's big Big Brother contestant: Ruddock in all his glory, heading for a bath

This is not the first time that the 44-year-old has ventured into the world of reality television since he hung up his boots in 2003. Ruddock appeared on 'I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!' in 2004.

While his television career has introduced his loutishness to a wider audience, Ruddock's behaviour gained him infamy in the footballing world in his mid-90s hey-day.

On the pitch, Ruddock was famously involved in a scuffle with Manchester United legend Eric Cantona, while he broke both of Cantona's United team-mate Andrew Cole's legs in a challenge in a reserve match in the same year.

One question: Is Ruddock really big, or is that bath really small

One question: Is Ruddock really big, or is that bath really small

Off the pitch, Razor earned himself a reputation as a heavy drinker and
womaniser during a career which spanned 17 years and took in eight
clubs.

Never the slimmest in his playing days, Ruddock has swelled to a size surely even he would have gawked at back in his prime. Maybe a spell away from the fridge will do him good.

Slim pickings: Ruddock cut a leaner figure in his playing days

Slim pickings: Ruddock cut a leaner figure in his playing days

Kauto Stone yet to find a jockey for King George VI Chase after Jacob suspension.

Kauto Stone yet to find a jockey for King George VI Chase after Jacob suspension

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UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 17 December 2012

Connections of Kauto Star’s half-brother Kauto Stone have still to decide who will partner the six-year-old in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day in the absence of the suspended Daryl Jacob.

Jacob was on board Kauto Stone when he landed the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal but will miss the lucrative Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban for dropping his hands and mistaking the winning line at Wincanton on December 6.

As usual, Tony McCoy’s name has been in the frame but Charlie Liverton, racing manager to owner Robin Geffen, stated that as yet things are still up in the air and discussions are ongoing.

Jacob will miss the Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban

Jacob will miss the Christmas period after picking up a 10-day ban

Liverton said: ‘Nothing has been finalised yet. Mr (Robin) Geffen (owner) and Paul Nicholls still need to sit down and come to a decision.

‘He's very much on target for the race, though, and has been doing everything nicely since Down Royal, touch wood.’

Meanwhile, trainer David Pipe has not ruled out the King George for Grands Crus who recently had a wind operation after disappointing when a red-hot favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month.

Pipe said: ‘He just had a routine gallop and everything is fine, I just wanted to keep everyone informed with his progress. He will be left in at the five-day stage and a decision on the King George will be made very late, as I've always said it will be.’

Grands Crus is as short as 10-1 for the King George, for which Long Run is the general 7-2 favourite.