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Sarah Story named Dame in New Year Honours List

Fairy Storey! Dame Sarah and Weirwolf head list of Paralympic heroes honoured

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UPDATED:

00:02 GMT, 29 December 2012

Sarah Storey won Great Britain's first gold medal of a memorable Paralympic Games and has now completed a stunning 2012 by being named a Dame in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Storey, like David Weir, finished with four gold medals from four events and carried the Union Flag at the closing ceremony along with the wheelchair racer, who has been awarded a CBE.

Scroll down for a full list of Paralympic Honours

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

Stars: Sarah Storey (above) has been named a Dame while David Weir (below) has been awarded a CBE

David Weir celebrates winning Gold during the Men's 800m - T54 Final

Storey has been honoured for a Paralympic career which began as a 14-year-old swimmer in Barcelona in 1992 and featured four Games in the pool before she switched to the bike ahead of the Beijing Games in 2008.

In London, her sixth Games, the 35-year-old from Disley, Cheshire, took her tally to 11 Paralympic gold medals, equalling former wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's haul.

Storey and Weir were Britain's most prolific winners at the Paralympics as the hosts won 34 gold and 120 medals in all, while the nation marvelled at the athletes' ability, forgetting the impairment of an individual and concentrating on the sport.

'Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept the DBE,' said Storey, who recently announced she was pregnant.

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

Laden: Storey won four golds in London

'I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success.

'I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself.

'Now to be a dame is beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I cannot thank my family, friends, coaches and support staff over all the years enough for their devotion in helping me to follow the path of becoming the best athlete I can possibly be.'

Weir won the last home gold of a memorable summer with victory in the marathon on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

The 33-year-old from Wallington, Surrey, led the athletics team to a series of stirring triumphs, including for amputee sprinter Jonnie Peacock, who won the blue riband event of the Games, the T44 100metres, ahead of the likes of Oscar Pistorius.

Peacock is awarded an MBE, as are fellow athletes Richard Whitehead, Aled Davies, Mickey Bushell, Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies and Josie Pearson, who all won Paralympic gold to send a capacity 80,000 Olympic Stadium crowd into raptures.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds was once again the darling of the Games, dealing with the expectation and her image staring down on all entering the Olympic Park from the Westfield Shopping Centre, by taking two titles before her 18th birthday, four years after two wins as a 13-year-old.

Simmonds is awarded an OBE, an honour also bestowed upon Sophie Christiansen, who won three equestrian gold medals in Greenwich.

She said: 'It's been a great honour to be included in the list which caps an amazing year for me personally and for British sport.'

Natasha Baker won two para-equestrian titles and is awarded an MBE along with Christiansen's team-mates in the team championship Deborah Criddle and Sophie Wells.

Ten-time Paralympic champion Lee
Pearson, the fourth member of the winning quartet, did not receive an
honour, having been made an MBE following the 2008 Games.

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Sealed with a kiss: Ellie Simmonds (above) and Jonnie Peacock (below) were also among the gold medals

Jonnie Peacock

Storey's husband Barney also did not make the list, despite claiming his third Paralympic title in London.

His tandem partner Neil Fachie was awarded an MBE, as was tandem pilot rider Craig MacLean, who won an Olympic medal in Sydney in 2000 and piloted Anthony Kappes to gold in London.
Like Barney Storey, Kappes was not honoured this time around.

Road cyclist David Stone won road race gold at Brands Hatch, but also missed out on a fresh honour, having already been made an MBE.

All other London 2012 gold medal winners were honoured, with boccia player Nigel Murray given an MBE for his long and distinguished career which has featured two Paralympic titles and bronze in London.

PARALYMPIC ATHLETES HONOURED

DAME

Sarah Storey – cycling

CBE

David Weir – athletics

OBE

Sophie Christiansen – equestrian

Ellie Simmonds – swimming

MBE

Jessica-Jane Applegate – athletics
Natasha Baker – equestrian
Danielle Brown – archery
Mickey Bushell – athletics

Hannah Cockroft – athletics
Mark Colbourne – cycling
Josef Craig – swimming
Deborah Criddle – equestrian
Aled Davies – athleticsNeil Fachie – cycling
Jonathan Fox – swimming
Heather Frederiksen – swimming
Oliver Hynd – swimming
Helena Lucas – sailing
Craig MacLean – cycling
Nigel Murray – boccia
Jonnie Peacock – athletics
Josie Pearson – athletics
Pam Relph – rowing
Naomi Riches – rowing
James Roe – rowing
David Smith – rowing
Lily van den Broecke – rowing
Sophie Wells – equestrian
Richard Whitehead – athletics

Sport dominates Twitter talk in 2012 with help from dancing Boris Johnson

Sport dominates Twitter talk in 2012 (with a little help from dancing Boris Johnson)

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 11 December 2012

A bumper year for sport has been confirmed by twitter results that show that seven out of the top 10 highest spikes in conversation on the social media website are related to sport.

The results are based on data that measures the number of UK tweets sent per second.

Here are the top 10 according to twitter’s official UK blog: ‘

1. Olympics: David Cameron, Samantha Cameron and Boris Johnson dancing together at the Olympic closing ceremony (Sunday, August 12)

Stop right now: Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Samantha Cameron dance to Spice Girls during the Olympic Closing Ceremony

Stop right now: Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Samantha Cameron dance to Spice Girls during the Olympic Closing Ceremony

2. Euro 2012: England vs Italy, England lose on penalties (Sunday, June 24)

3. X Factor: James Arthur and Ella Henderson in bottom two, Ella voted off (Sunday, November 18)

4. Olympics: Bolt wins the Men’s 100 Metres Olympic final (Sunday August 5)

Bolt saw off competition from compatriot Yohan Blake in London to retain the 100m and 200m Olympic titles he won in Beijing

Bolt saw off competition from compatriot Yohan Blake in London to retain the 100m and 200m Olympic titles he won in Beijing

5. Olympics: Mr Bean’s Chariots of Fire sketch in the Opening Ceremony (Friday, July 27)

6. X Factor: Rylan and Kye deadlock (Sunday, November 4)

7. Euro 2012: England vs Sweden, Theo Walcott’s goal to bring England level at 2-2

Walcott's strike against Sweden helped England top Group D in Euro 2012 but Roy Hodgson's men lost in the quarter finals to Italy on penalties

Walcott's strike against Sweden helped England top Group D in Euro 2012 but Roy Hodgson's men lost in the quarter finals to Italy on penalties

8. X Factor: Gary Barlow storms off X Factor as Carolynne Poole was voted off in favour of Rylan (Sunday October 7)

9. Euro 2012: England vs France, Joleon Lescott’s goal put England up 1-0 (Monday June 11)

10. Champions League: Man City vs Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal put Real 3-2 ahead, ultimately resulting in a victory (Tuesday September 18)

It was a year that saw some extraordinary firsts for twitter. In May, footballer Eden Hazard (@HazardEden10) revealed that he was joining Chelsea exclusively via his twitter feed, writing: ‘I’m signing for the champion’s league winner’.

Hazard signing for Chelsea

Twitter saw more than 700,000 #PrayforMuamba messages in support of footballer Fabrice Muamba (@FMuamba) when he suffered a heart attack on the pitch in March of this year: ‘Pray for fab god willing he will pull through #PrayForMuamba.’

After his Olympic success, Usain Bolt (@usainbolt) said he wanted a trial at Manchester United… And Rio Ferdinand (@RioFerdy5) stepped in to help, only on Twitter.

Usain Bolt and Rio Ferdinand talk about a football trial

Chelsea also announced that they had sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo on twitter, before also confirming Sportsmail on twitter that they were replacing him with Rafa Benitez.

Twitter Chelsea sack Di Matteo and hire Benitez

Olympic Stadium bid: West Ham set to win

West Ham winning race for Olympic Stadium with club set to be announced as preferred bidder

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UPDATED:

07:40 GMT, 29 November 2012

West Ham are set to be named as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium next week amid fresh efforts to plug the gap in funding required to convert the venue into a football ground.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) board is meeting on December 5 and sources close to the process say it is expected that the football club will be given a major step towards become the stadium's tenants.

Preferred bidder status will not involve the signing of any contracts but will put West Ham in the driving seat to securing a new home under a 99-year lease.

Up for auction: West Ham are the favourites for the Olympic Stdaium (above)

Up for auction: West Ham are the favourites for the Olympic Stdaium (above)

The funding gap for converting the stadium into a football ground with retractable seating over the running track is understood to now be down to around 20million after West Ham and Newham Council agreed to put in more money.

There is now set to be further efforts to secure the final outstanding cash with approaches to the Treasury and the London mayor's office.

Even so, the total cost will be at least 160million and one lingering fear is that those costs could spiral in the future, with a key element of future negotiations being who would underwrite any such increases.

The Hammers are one of four bidders hoping to be chosen as the new anchor tenant for the Olympic Stadium, which has cost 486million so far and has been vacant since hosting the closing ceremony to the Paralympics at the start of September.

The Barclays Premier League club are
competing against npower League One side Leyton Orient, a football
business college and a group keen to bring Formula One racing to the
Olympic Park.

Funding gap: The stadium will need to be converted

Funding gap: The stadium will need to be converted

West Ham's latest offer is believed to be a 15m upfront contribution, a 5million improvement on the original offer, as well as rent of 2.5m a year and 6m-a-year income for the LLDC from stadium naming rights and catering revenues.

The LLDC confirmed this month that the stadium will not re-open until 2015 at the earliest and possibly the summer of 2016 – which would be two years later than expected.

The delay was branded 'a farce' by UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner – his organisation had planned events such as Diamond League meetings, trials and school competitions from 2014 and is hosting the 2017 world championships.

Warner said two weeks ago: 'All of the legacy use was scheduled to start in two years' time and now it might be four years' time which strikes me as ludicrous and to be a paralysis of decision-making which I hope the mayor [Boris Johnson] is going to cut through.

'I wouldn't say this is a Whitehall farce but this is fast becoming a Stratford farce.'

Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata and Michu buy Real Oviedo shares

Mata, Cazorla and Michu answer desperate call of old club Real Oviedo with share purchase

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 7 November 2012

Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata and Michu have teamed up in an effort to save their former club Real Oviedo from going out of business.

The Asturias side, who play in the Spanish third tier, are in a desperate financial state and it is understood they could go out of business within a fortnight if they don’t raise €2million.

But Arsenal’s Cazorla, Mata of Chelsea and Swansea revelation Michu have bought shares in the club where they each started their careers in an effort to keep them afloat.

Help: Michu, Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata have bought shares in Real Oviedo

Help: Michu, Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata have bought shares in Real Oviedo

Santi Cazorla

Juan Mata

Michu, who played at Oviedo from the age of five until he was 21, said: 'Myself, Mata and Cazorla have all bought shares, but it would be wrong of me to say how much. We just wanted to try and help save the club we all played for.

'The economy in Spain is very bad and the club needs around €2m to survive. A lot of people have bought shares and hopefully it will be enough by the closing date of November 17. It’s my local club, a club I love, so I hope it will be enough.’

WANT TO HELP

You can buy shares in Real Oviedo for just 10. Click here to find out how

Michu hopes his hometown club can experience a similar revival to that of Swansea, which almost went out of business 10 years ago.

He added: ‘Swansea fans should know how much it means to me and the Oviedo supporters.

'I remember reading up on the history of Swansea when I first arrived here; I remember reading how the Swansea supporters bought shares in this club when it was in trouble 10 years ago – and again many years before that.

'And look at the club now; in the Premier League and winning at places like Anfield. Hopefully this SOS can have a similar reaction.'

Stop the strops, warns Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho

Stop the strops, Mourinho orders Real Madrid stars to focus on Barcelona

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UPDATED:

21:28 GMT, 6 October 2012

Jose Mourinho has urged his players to
stop complaining about team selection and focus on closing the gap by
beating La Liga leaders Barcelona at Camp Nou.

'Now is not the time for dramas if a certain player is left on the bench,' he said.

Warning: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho

Warning: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho

'I am paid to pick the team. Some players don't make the first team and that is the end of it. I pick the team on form.'

Madrid have already lost twice in the league and will be 11 points behind Barcelona if they lose.

Defeat would also hand Mourinho's rival Tito Vilanova a seventh victory and the record for the most consecutive wins at the start of a season for any Barcelona coach.

Ryder Cup 2012: Jose Maria Olazabal: I went through hell… I couldn"t speak

I went through hell… I couldn't speak, reveals captain Ollie after epic comeback

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UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 1 October 2012

Jose Maria Olazabal said he had 'gone through hell' during Europe's Ryder Cup triumph – at one point being too emotional to speak to Lee Westwood.

The 46-year-old captain was one of many members of the European team who flew home without sleeping following a party that went on into the early hours.

Before leaving, he revealed the strain he had been under.

Feeling the pressure: Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal during the singles

Feeling the pressure: Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal during the singles

‘You go through hell, it was torture because you can’t do anything about it, you don’t hit the shots,’ he said.

‘I looked at the leaderboard and the first five matches were blue and I thought, “This might happen”. Lee then came on the tee and asked me how I was doing and I had to walk away.’

Olazabal’s emotions poured out after the victory as he drew inspiration from the memory of his great friend and former Ryder Cup partner Seve Ballesteros.

Sealed with a kiss: Olazabal gets his hands on the Ryder Cup on Sunday

Sealed with a kiss: Olazabal gets his hands on the Ryder Cup on Sunday

At the closing ceremony he had told his players: ‘Every man dies but not every man has the chance to live. You have made me feel alive again this week.’

Olazabal put victory down to two passages of play. ‘Justin Rose knocking in that huge putt on the 17th then birdieing the next, then Sergio Garcia winning the last two holes to win his point. Without them we would not have win.’

Ryder Cup 2012: Hole-by-hole guide to Medinah No 3

Your essential hole-by-hole guide to Medinah No 3 – the venue for the Ryder Cup 2012… plus schedule for the three big days

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UPDATED:

08:30 GMT, 25 September 2012

The venue for this year's Ryder Cup is the Medinah Country Club in Illinois, where the No 3 course will challenge the best players from the United States and Europe. Here, Sportsmail guides you through all 18 holes.

GOLF Ryder Cup2012.jpg

Ryder Cup 2012 schedule (All times BST)

Friday, September 28 – Foursomes – 1:20 PM First Tee Time; Fourballs – 6:05 PM or 7:05 PM First Tee Time

Saturday, September 29 – Foursomes – 1:20 PM First Tee Time; Fourballs – 6:05 PM First Tee Time

Sunday, September 30 – Singles – 5:03 PM-7:04 PM Tee Times; Closing Ceremony 11:30 PM (Approximately 30 minutes after play concludes)

Lukas Podolski says Arsenal must improve

We must improve, says Podolski after Arsenal see off plucky Montpellier

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UPDATED:

11:06 GMT, 19 September 2012

Equaliser: Podolski netted in Montpellier on Tuesday night

Equaliser: Podolski netted in Montpellier on Tuesday night

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski was delighted to get off to a winning start in the Champions League at Montpellier on Tuesday night, but he has warned his team-mates that they must perform better in their remaining group games.

Podolski netted Arsenal's equaliser at the Stade de la Mosson shortly before Gervinho grabbed what proved to be the winner inside 20 minutes.

The French side had the better of the closing stages though, and Podolski feels Arsenal were guilty of taking their foot off the gas in the second half.

'I think we played well in the first half. In the second half, we weren’t as good as we didn’t do enough up front,' he told uefa.com.

'Montpellier played well in the second half, and we didn’t impose ourselves going forward. We must improve. But we picked up the three points, it’s always difficult away from home, and we’re happy we did it.'

The goal was a third in five games for 27-year-old Podolski, and he admitted he has been pleased with his start to life at the Emirates.

Three and easy: Podolski has made an impressive start to his Arsenal career

Three and easy: Podolski has made an impressive start to his Arsenal career

Three and easy: Podolski has made an impressive start to his Arsenal career

He added: 'Everything’s going well for me at the moment, and I’m happy to be able to help the team out. But the team has also taken me in well, I feel great here, and I hope it continues like that.'

Podolski's German international team-mate Per Mertesacker was also critical of Arsenal's performance, claiming they were lucky to win and that Montpellier deserved something from the game.

'We were lucky, but got the win and we’re very happy,' said the Gunners defender, 27. 'It seemed like Montpellier didn’t have anything to lose, particularly in the second half.

'Technically they were very good, and passed the ball well. Sometimes you have to be clever, stay focused, and try to stay calm in your half of the pitch. That’s what we did. They deserved to get more from the game though.'

David Weir and Sarah Storey will carry British flag in London 2012 Paralympics closing ceremony

Fairy Storey for Sarah and Weir as pair rewarded with flag duties in closing ceremony

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 9 September 2012

David Weir and Sarah Storey, who each won four gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, will carry the British flag together in the closing ceremony on Sunday night.

The move is a change to the normal protocol of selecting a single individual, and team officials had to gain permission from the International Paralympic Committee to make the move.

'During the London 2012 Paralympic Games, ParalympicsGB has witnessed some outstanding performances, and most notably from Sarah Storey and David Weir,' said chef de mission Craig Hunter.

Selected: David Weir has been rewarded for his superb performances along with Sarah Storey

Selected: David Weir has been rewarded for his superb performances along with Sarah Storey

'I'm thrilled and delighted that the IPC has recognised and agreed to our request to allow joint flagbearers at the closing ceremony.

'These athletes represent the spirit of Paralympic athleticism.'

Wheelchair racer Weir has lit up the Olympic Stadium over the last 10 days, with victories over 5000m, 1500m and 800m and won Britain's last gold of the Games in the T54 Marathon this morning.

At the end of his fourth Games, the 33-year-old Londoner now has a career haul of six gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

'It will be a great honour to come out to the closing ceremony carrying that flag,' said Weir.

'I'm a proud Brit and Sarah is as well. She has done fantastically well too.

'To do it as a Londoner in front of a London crowd makes it even more special.'

Golden girl: Storey with husband Barney (right)

Golden girl: Storey with husband Barney (right)

Storey starred in the Velodrome and on the road, taking individual pursuit and 500m time trial victories on the track before moving to Brands Hatch where she won the Time Trial and triumphed in emphatic fashion in the C5 Road Race on Thursday.

That win brought her 11th career gold, making Mancunian Storey – a former swimmer who switched to cycling in 2005 – Britain's most decorated female Paralympian.

With eight silver medals and three bronze in a 20-year career she surpassed former wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's collection of 11 golds, four silvers and one bronze.

'I'm amazed at the news, I never expected it,' said Storey, 34.

Amazed: Storey said she never expected the honour

Amazed: Storey said she never expected the honour

'I've not been to a Paralympic ceremony since Athens and can't wait to see the stadium tonight. It's a huge honour and it should be a very exciting night.'

Weir said he had hoped to be nominated to carry the flag in the opening ceremony but the athletics team chose not to attend as they finished Games preparations at a holding camp in Portugal.

Tennis player Peter Norfolk was nominated in an athletes' vote to perform the honour.

'Our sport rules meant that wasn't possible so I had to forgot about it and focus on my performance,' said Weir

'The Games has been special for everyone; every Paralympian has said it's been special. So to go out in the stadium tonight will be a tearjerker. Not much is going to top this.'

Premier League players without a club as transfer deadline day approaches

Meet the Freebie XI! The Premier League players without a club as deadline day approaches

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UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 28 August 2012

With the transfer window closing on Friday, managers have
just hours left to finalise their playing staff for the season. Cue frantic
cheque book scribbling, rushing to and from hospital for medicals and deadline
day clockwatch excitement on Sky Sports News.

But amid the transfer madness, there are plenty of players without a club to play for. These free agents, all with plenty still to offer, were released by their clubs over the summer and haven't yet committed to someone else.

Here, Sportsmail looks at some of the names still
on display in the transfer window.

Between the sticks

Craig Gordon

One of nine players released by Sunderland at the start
of the summer, Scottish international goalkeeper Gordon has yet to find a new
club after being linked to clubs as diverse as Celtic, Udinese and Bristol
City.

After an eight-month injury lay-off at the start of last
season, Gordon, 29, found himself out of favour at Sunderland and he made just
one appearance.

He remains an outstanding keeper and has been told by Scotland
manager Craig Levein to find a club if he wants to be part of the 2014 World
Cup qualifiers.

Scotland international goalkeeper Craig Gordon is one of the biggest names still unattached before the close of the summer transfer window

Scotland international goalkeeper Craig Gordon is one of the biggest names still unattached before the close of the summer transfer window

Defensive line

Michel Salgado

Former Spain right-back Salgado fell victim to the
pre-season clear-out at Blackburn following their relegation from the Premier
League. After ten sparkling years at Real Madrid, in which he won the Champions
League twice and four La Liga titles, Salgado’s move to Blackburn was intended
as a final move.

But after starting last season as Steve Kean’s first
choice, until an injury curtailed his season, Salgado has not announced his
retirement and clearly feels that, at 36, there is more in the tank.

He has already dismissed offers to end his
career in Qatar or alongside former Real teammate David Beckham at LA Galaxy
and intends to remain in England.

Salgado, seen here challenging Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, is looking for a new club at 36

Salgado, seen here challenging Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, is looking for a new club at 36

Danny Gabbidon

Welsh international Gabbidon, 33, was unable to hold down
a regular starting place under Mark Hughes at Queens Park Rangers last season
and found himself part of the summer clear-out at Loftus Road.

Veteran of 46 Wales caps and almost 400 career outings,
Gabbidon could surely serve as a tough tackling centre-half for a side in the
top couple of divisions in English football.

Papa Bouba Diop

Diop will play no part in West Ham’s return to the
Premier League after his contract wasn’t renewed and it looks as though the
powerful and versatile Senegalese player will once again by moving this summer.

Deployable either as a defensive midfielder or a
centre-back, Diop, best known for scoring the goal that beat France at the 2002
World Cup, made 16 league appearances for the Hammers in their promotion
campaign.

Papa Bouba Diop is looking for another club after being released by West Ham over the summer

Papa Bouba Diop is looking for another club after being released by West Ham over the summer

Salif Diao

Diop’s compatriot blew full time on five-and-a-half-years
with Stoke City at the end of last season, saying he would prefer to continue
playing than take up the coaching role offered by Tony Pulis.

He played just 14 matches last season, mainly in the
Europa League, and struggled with a knee injury. The 35-year-old will be
looking for his fifth club in England – Liverpool were the first, with loan
spells at Birmingham and Portsmouth later on – to round off his career.

Midfield men

Ricardo Gardner

A club servant of 14 years, Jamaican winger Gardner, 33,
parted company with Bolton following their relegation from the top flight. His
mammoth tally of 409 club appearances made him a fan favourite and the second
longest serving foreign player in the Premier League – his teammate Jussi
Jaaskelainen being the first.

But chances in the starting XI became few and far between
in the last two seasons and Gardner was left with no choice but to make a
wrenching exit. Suitable for any club seeking cover on the left of midfield or
at left wing-back.

Owen Hargreaves

No fitness videos on YouTube this summer, but Hargreaves
is once again facing a deadline day without a club to play for. He has been
training with QPR over the summer in a desperate bid to salvage his career, but
the London club have not signed the hard-working defensive midfielder.

He spent last season with Manchester City but made just
one league appearance despite remaining clear of the knee problems which have
dogged his career. Once again finds himself looking for a club willing to give
him another chance.

Owen Hargreaves celebrates scoring for Man City against Birmingham in the Carling Cup last season but the former England midfielder spent only was year at the club

Owen Hargreaves celebrates scoring for Man City against Birmingham in the Carling Cup last season but the former England midfielder spent only was year at the club

Ferrie Bodde

Another player who has fallen foul of persistent
injuries, Bodde was released after five years at Swansea back in June. The
Dutch midfielder suffered three cruciate ligament injuries during his time at
the Liberty Stadium, restricting him to just 54 games over five seasons.

His latest setback came in February when he was injured
after just two minutes of a reserve game, underwent surgery and was ruled out
for another six months.

There was no place for Bodde in the plans of new
manager Michael Laudrup and he is on the look-out for a new club.

Nigel Reo-Coker

Reo-Coker triggered a relegation release clause when
Bolton dropped out of the top flight at the end of last season and the
midfielder has yet to be picked up by another club.

His obvious intention was to sign for another Premier
League club, having previously played for West Ham and Aston Villa, but he may
have to compromise with time running out.

The Bolton defender Zat Knight has
called for Reo-Coker, who was once tipped to be an England regular, to return
to the Reebok Stadium and help their efforts to bounce back.

Nigel Reo-Coker celebrates scoring for Bolton against Liverpool last season but he was released after the club's relegation from the Premier League

Nigel Reo-Coker celebrates scoring for Bolton against Liverpool last season but he was released after the club's relegation from the Premier League

Strike-force

Michael Owen

Predictably given their transfer targets, Owen was
released by Manchester United having slipped to at best sixth on the club’s
striking pecking order.

The 32-year-old said this week that he has no doubt
he’ll sign for a Premier League club before the end of the transfer window,
with Stoke City and Everton reportedly interested.

He spent three seasons at Old Trafford, scoring 17 times
in 52 games, which was nothing like his early career form for Liverpool after
suffering a number of injury setbacks.

The striker, who has 40 goals for
England, is keen to continue playing in the Premier League before concentrating
on his future horse racing career.

Michael Owen has started his own stables in Cheshire but insists he is not yet ready to quit football

Michael Owen has started his own stables in Cheshire but insists he is not yet ready to quit football

Emile Heskey

A former partner of Owen for Liverpool and England,
Heskey found himself a free agent after being released by Aston Villa this
summer. He managed just one goal in 34 appearances last season as Villa
struggled in the Premier League.

He has been linked with a number of Championship clubs
over the summer, including Ipswich Town, Hull City and Leicester City, but none
has made a move to sign him. He reportedly dismissed out of hand a guarantee of
first-team football on 90-a-week from Blackpool.

On the bench

Marcus Hahnemann

Released by Everton after failing to force Tim Howard out
of the first team last season, experienced goalkeeper Hahnemann is looking for a
club with which to end his career, having turned 40 over the summer.

Previous spells at Reading and Wolves provided a wealth
of Premier League experience, with nearly 500 career appearances to his name.
Hahnemann would surely make a worthy understudy for a lower half Premier League
or Championship team.

Vince Grella

Australian defensive midfielder Grella was another
departure from Ewood Park, though his exit has been likely for some time having
made just nine appearances in the last two seasons.

Grella, 32, does have a
chequered record with injuries, after a succession of knee, groin and calf
knocks severely limited his playing time at Blackburn.

In fact, club owners Venky’s took the unusual step of
disclosing the salaries of Grella – and others – to speed up a potential move.

It revealed that the player was on 30,000-a-week with an appearance bonus of
2,000-a-game, something that hasn’t been called upon much of late.

James McFadden

Former Scotland international McFadden is looking for a
new club for a second consecutive summer after being shown the door by Everton.
His second spell at Goodison Park was unsuccessful, however, and he had to wait
until April to make a start.

Following his departure, he has been training with
Motherwell, his first club, but manager Stuart McCall dismissed any speculation
that the Fir Park club might sign him.

James McFadden's return to Everton lasted just one season and the striker is now looking for a new club

James McFadden's return to Everton lasted just one season and the striker is now looking for a new club

Ivan Klasnic

Yet another player to leave Bolton in the summer spring
clean, Croatian striker Klasnic was courted by Sheffield Wednesday a couple of
months ago, only for the deal to fizzle out.

The 32-year-old was Bolton’s top scorer
with nine goals in a miserable season and would surely guarantee at least that
number of goals for his new club.

John Carew

A turbulent summer for the Norwegian, who was released by
West Ham after their promotion and declared bankrupt after owing the French tax
authorities a six-figure sum.

The clubs have hardly been scrambling for the
32-year-old forward either, after he scored just two goals last season in 15
games.