Tag Archives: evening

Rio Ferdinand will not complain over coin thrower

Rio will not pursue complaint against coin thrower who left him bleeding during derby

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

11:30 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:36 GMT, 5 January 2013

Rio Ferdinand has told police he does not want to press charges against the fan who threw a coin at him during a heated Manchester derby.

The Manchester United defender, 34, was struck by a two-pence piece last month.

Blood was seen streaming from the cut as United won 3-2 at the Eithad Stadium thanks to Robin van Persie's late winner.

Nasty: Rio Ferdinand was left bleeding after being hit by a coin last month

Nasty: Rio Ferdinand was left bleeding after being hit by a coin last month

Police began an investigation into the incident but having contacted United, were told Ferdinand did not wish to pursue a complaint, reports the Manchester Evening News.

As a result, the probe was dropped and the offender is now unlikely to face punishment.

Manchester City apologised to the player immediately and Ferdinand himself made light of the altercation.

Agony: Ferdinand recalls after being hit during the Manchester derby

Agony: Ferdinand recalls after being hit during the Manchester derby

He posted a message on Twitter which read: 'what a result, 3points! Sweet! Whoever threw that coin, what a shot! Can’t believe it was a copper 2p….could have at least been a 1 coin!;

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said afterwards: 'It’s just unfortunate towards the end a City fan runs on and then they throw coins at our players and that. I don’t think you need that.”

Van Persie added: 'That should not really happen on a football pitch.'

Raring to go: Ferdinand could feature for United at West Ham in the FA Cup

Raring to go: Ferdinand could feature for United at West Ham in the FA Cup

Meanwhile, the City fan who stormed on to the
football field to confront Ferdinand at the end of the match has been banned from attending matches for three years.

Matthew Stott, 21, was told he came close to going to prison, but instead his 56-day jail term was suspended for 12 months.

Stott
had to be restrained by City goalkeeper Joe Hart from confronting
Ferdinand.

Stoke v Liverpool live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Stoke v Liverpool – as it happens from the Britannia Stadium

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UPDATED:

19:33 GMT, 26 December 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Stoke's home game with Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium concludes the Boxing Day action. The Potters battled to a well fought 0-0 draw at Tottenham last weekend but face a Reds side fresh from beating Fulham 4-0.

STOKE v LIVERPOOL: KO 7.45pm

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson, Kightly, Nzonzi, Whelan, Etherington, Walters, Jones.

Subs: Sorensen, Adam, Whitehead, Upson, Crouch, Shotton, Jerome.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Downing, Shelvey, Fernandez Saez, Suarez.

Subs: Jones, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Allen, Sterling.

Referee: Howard Webb

7.32pm: Stoke are unbeaten at The Britannia this season from the eight games they have played at home.

7.30pm: Team news is in and for Stoke winger Michael Kightly returned to the Potters team as manager Tony Pulis made only one change.

Ryan Shotton made way with midfielder Charlie Adam returning to the bench after compassionate leave following the death of his father.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers named the same side which beat Fulham on Saturday, meaning young Spaniard Suso kept his place ahead of Raheem Sterling.

7.25pm: Both Stoke and Liverpool are level on 25 points in the table with the Reds ahead on goal difference. Both teams will hope a win can move them closer to the European places.

7.20pm: Good evening and welcome to the final of the Boxing Day fixtures, it has been quite a day so far and you can read all of the match reports and reaction for the games so far – here

Conclusion: Stoke host Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium to bring a climax to the Boxing Day action

Conclusion: Stoke host Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium to bring a climax to the Boxing Day action

Referees have to be strict at Christmas – Graham Poll

Forget about alcohol and stuffing yourself… referees have to reign it in at Christmas

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UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 25 December 2012

Christmas is the time to relax and spend time with friends, eat a little too much and have a drink or two.

Then, perhaps, on Boxing Day pop down to watch the local team, allow the fresh air to clear your head and get ready for more food and drink… unless you are a professional referee.

How would you fancy a greatly shortened Christmas Day, with no alcohol and not too many sausage rolls or much turkey and then saying goodbye to your family to drive 200 miles to a hotel where you spend Christmas night on your own

Hold it: Referees are not allowed to tuck in with abandon at Christmas

Hold it: Referees are not allowed to tuck in with abandon at Christmas

At least players have their team-mates with them and travel together.

I remember being appointed to Middlesbrough v Liverpool on Boxing Day 1998 when we had two very young children and found it incredibly difficult to leave them – just to be abused by fans at The Riverside!

My mood wasn’t improved by a telephone call on the way home appointing me to another Premier League game on 28th with a long journey, after being promised the day off.

There was also the game on Boxing Day 1994 when I certainly didn’t have the Christmas spirit at The Dell, cautioning 11 and sending one off in a feisty encounter between Southampton and Wimbledon.

Fortunately this year not too many referees appear to have to travel on Christmas evening and those who do are not fathers of very young children.

Referees happily accept this very different Christmas to serve the game they love, not that the fans appreciate that of course and no doubt they will still get their share of abuse from the terraces.

Personality: Phil Dowd is liked by the players

Personality: Phil Dowd is liked by the players

Fulham v Southampton
Referee Phil Dowd G12, YC34, RC2

Assistants: S Child & L Betts

4th Official: D Coote

Phil Dowd, who oversaw Chelsea’s 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa, returns to West London from his home in The Potteries for Southampton’s visit to Fulham.

Those who watch Dowd a lot often remark on his shape being less than athletic.

Having trained with him I can assure them that he is fit and you don’t need to be a racehorse to referee at the very top level.

His
personality shines through when he referees and is generally
appreciated by players, even when he is awarding two penalties against
them when trailing by 6 goals!

This on paper should be another relatively low key game but one which both teams will think they can win and so will have its moments and the crowd at Craven Cottage are never the most referee friendly.

Norwich City v Chelsea
Referee: Jon Moss G9, YC25, RC1

Assistants: P Kirkup & D Bryan

4th Official: A Madley

Jon Moss is another who will be staying in an hotel, The Holiday Inn at Norwich, before Boxing Day’s game at Carrow Road as his journey from West Yorkshire is too far to leave until match day.

Moss goes into his 10th Premier League game of the season well aware that many felt he should have awarded Wigan a couple of penalties for hand ball against Arsenal on Saturday and will do well not to award a ‘soft’ spot kick in this game.

However hard you try to block out the last game there is always some effect, especially when the games come as close together as they do over the Christmas period.

Penalty doubts: Jon Moss knows he could have given Wigan some spot kicks

Penalty doubts: Jon Moss knows he could have given Wigan some spot kicks

Arsenal v West Ham United
Referee: Andre Marriner G10, YC38, RC0

Assistants: M Mullarkey & D Cann

4th Official: L Probert

Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Mark Clattenburg G9, YC34, RC4

Assistants: S Ledger & M McDonough

4th Official: A Taylor

Everton v Wigan Athletic
Referee: Lee Mason G11, YC36, RC0

Assistants: A Garratt & S Massey

4th Official: M Oliver

Manchester United v Newcastle United
Referee: Mike Dean G12, YC44, RC1

Assistants: J Collin & J Brooks

4th Official: N Swarbrick

Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion
Referee: Chris Foy G12, YC20, RC0

Assistants: S Beck & H Lennard

4th Official: A Davies

Reading v Swansea City
Referee: Mike Jones G11, YC41, RC1

Assistants: R Ganfield & M Wilkes

4th Official: D Phillips

Stoke City v Liverpool

Referee: Howard Webb G13, YC48, RC2

Assistants: S Burt & D England

4th Official – D Drysdale

Sunderland v Manchester City
Referee: Kevin Friend G10, YC38, RC1

Assistants: A Halliday & G Beswick

4th Official: K Wright

Paul Lambert settlement reached between Norwich City and Aston Villa

Norwich and Aston Villa finally reach settlement over Lambert's controversial summer switch

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UPDATED:

21:56 GMT, 23 December 2012

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and his former club Norwich have agreed a settlement over the dispute regarding his departure from Carrow Road.

Lambert and Norwich were both suing each other for breach of contract and the issue was due to go before a Premier League tribunal next month, but has now been resolved.

The Scot left Norwich in the summer after three successful years in which he led the Canaries to successive promotions and 12th place in the Barclays Premier League.

Settlement: Lambert saluted the Norwich fans on his return to Carrow Road

Settlement: Lambert saluted the Norwich fans on his return to Carrow Road

Lambert has always believed he did nothing wrong in the sense he was entitled to talk to any interested clubs.

Villa were also adamant that they acted in a proper manner and would have met the terms of Lambert's contract.

The two clubs issued a statement on Sunday evening which read: 'Paul Lambert, Norwich City and Aston Villa have agreed settlement in respect of the dispute regarding Paul Lambert's departure from Norwich City.

'Villa will pay Norwich City the original amount as agreed in the contract between Paul Lambert and Norwich City, and Norwich City will pay Paul Lambert the bonus he was entitled to after completion of the 2011/12 season.

Turning back the clock: Lambert celebrates promotion in May 2011

Turning back the clock: Lambert celebrates promotion in May 2011

'This represents a final settlement of all claims and disputes between the parties. No further comment will be made.'

Lambert had been upset when Norwich chairman Alan Bowkett made the dispute public at a fans' forum earlier this season and claimed he had left all of his previous clubs in a similar manner.

But Lambert said before the recent Capital One Cup quarter-final between the clubs that he hoped agreement could be reached in the dispute and that has now happened.

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

Farah and Co can push TV Superstars to a longer run

PUBLISHED:

22:35 GMT, 22 December 2012

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UPDATED:

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
bike.

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
15/12/12

Nick Harris: Europe to fight winter World Cup plans
08/12/12

Nick Harris: 5.5bn – The staggering sum TV companies around the world will pay to screen the Premier League
24/11/12

Nick Harris: 2012 heroes miss out on Christmas books bonanza
17/11/12

Nick Harris: Another blow for Wiggins as his throne fails to sell
10/11/12

Nick Harris: Olympic chiefs told athletes to cash in and charge 10,000 for appearances
03/11/12

Nick Harris: United to top rich league again with half a billion
27/10/12

Nick Harris: 1.3m Olympic 'freebies' to blame for those empty seats
20/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

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.'

Des Kelly: Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

All you need for the festive season… my Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

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UPDATED:

00:44 GMT, 22 December 2012

Christmas is a time for giving. It’s a time for giving your work colleague a seasonal dose of the Noro-virus. Giving the pungent postman a wide berth. And giving children chocolates you secretly suspect may have been hanging in that old sock since last year.

Giving is what the season is all about. However, if you haven’t bought anything by now, it may be too late already. Nobody goes shopping in actual shops these days. Shops are merely places where you inspect the things you intend to buy online for less money when you get home.

If my experience last year is anything to go by, these are delivered sometime around January 4, long after family members gather around a tree to sing carols, notice there are no presents and cry ‘Santa is dead!’ or ‘You obviously don’t love me!’

So which gifts are perfect for the sports fan Here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set
The Ramires-izer Translation Machine
Follow Des on Twitter

More from Des here: @DesKellyDM

We live in the age of the iPhone and the App. But this magnificent device takes us to another level of sophistication. New voice recognition software doesn’t just interpret what any ‘foreign’ individual says; it takes a perfectly ordinary remark and transforms it into a damaging racial slur.

Allow me to demonstrate the power of the Ramires-izer:
Speaker A: What a lovely evening we’re having.
Ramires-izer translation: Shut up you monkey.

This brilliant gadget can generate endless hours of misinformation, huge FA inquiry costs, massive lawyers’ fees and career-threatening hostility for those who have been Ramires-ized.

Use it NOW — and issue a mealy-mouthed statement of ‘regret’ a few weeks later.

Price: a considerable amount of lost credit.

On sale at the Chelsea Megastore.

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

The Inflatable Anfield Striker

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Take the concept of playing a ‘false No 9’ to a whole new level with this revolutionary invention, one that is certain to shake the world of football to its foundations.

Are you tired of seeing your team run out without a recognised centre forward like Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers Do you worry other clubs might spot the owners are trying to bluff their way through a Premier League campaign on the cheap

Fear no more. Just ask the board to pump some of their hot air into the Inflatable Anfield Striker.
It will fool opposition defenders and confound Arsenal’s zonal marking tactics.

And our Inflatable No 9 is GUARANTEED to be faster than Per Mertesacker; CERTAIN to seize on a careless error by David Luiz and HIGHLY LIKELY to drink less than Andy Carroll.

Available for a bargain price of 50million. Order now to avoid disappointment in the January sales.

Mario’s Man-Maps

Are
you lost Are you too dim to operate a satellite navigation device Are
you male and, therefore, genetically prevented from asking for
directions Scientific studies prove men are biologically incapable of
admitting they are unable to find their way.

This
is why, during reproduction, millions of male sperm cells are released
in a desperate attempt to find a female egg placed directly ahead of
them that, in relative terms, is also the size of Wales (it’s always
‘the size of Wales’).

Even then, only one completes the journey.

We have the solution men have been
looking for, but refused to admit they couldn’t find. You will never be
lost again with Mario’s Man-Maps, officially endorsed by the
hard-of-thinking Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.

Like
Mario, simply turn off the SatNav in your vehicle, reach for your
detailed map, open it carefully — and then wave it around out the window
of the car until it attracts the attention of a passing taxi driver.

Now
pass the cabbie the address of the destination and follow him. This
gives you the dual comfort of never having to leave your Bentley AND
never having to use your brain.

Price: 500, cash only, from Manchester to London.

Flammable. Keep away from fireworks. Can also be used when you take your employer to a tribunal and they tell you to ‘get lost’.


Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set

Create cocktails of drugs in the comfort of your own home with Lance Armstrong’s amazing chemistry set. If, like Lance, you have spent years living a lie and covering up a career built on the illegal use of blood-boosters, steroids, human growth hormones and masking agents, there is only one way to forget the humiliation. More drugs! Spend your retirement years mixing mind-bending substances that completely erase the concept of guilt from your memory.

This allows you to spout blanket denials, pledge to take lie detector tests and pose in front of Tour de France yellow jerseys boasting of your ‘victories’ without any sense of shame whatsoever. What better way to show the drugs do work

Price: about 100m of sponsorship.

Available from all good… bad chemists.

Previously sold as the Ben Johnson Chemistry Set. Syringes not included.

British Swimming Lead Medals
Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Who needs gold medals Who needs to stay afloat British Swimming will take you under with their lovingly crafted, heavy lead gongs.

Former performance director Michael Scott inspired Team GB to new lows in the pool at London 2012 with his unique coaching mantra ‘I’d rather do it Down Under’.

In honour of the ex-coach, who is now back in Australia, where he appeared to be living most of the time anyway, you can go ‘down under’ too.

Just hang this expensive dead weight around your neck in honour of the pathetic splash that swimming bosses delivered despite 25m of public funding.

Price: 8.4m per medal.

Special offer: To sink without trace, add a pair of concrete boots branded with the name of British Swimming CEO David Sparkes — and receive a chauffeur-driven Mercedes FREE!

The ‘BaleBag’ safety shirt

Based on the latest automotive airbag technology and championed by Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, this innovative football jersey automatically senses when a player has thrown himself through the air.

In the moment after a player dives — I mean ‘protects himself from injury by evading contact from a defender’, this shirt registers the change in gravitational force and air pressure and immediately inflates.

This prevents the player suffering further injuries during contact with the turf from a great height. The BaleBag Safety Range includes inflatable elbow and kneepads as optional extras.

Price: contact your insurers.

Also available: the YoungBag Safety Shirt, endorsed by Ashley Young.

Gareth Bale
The FergieTime Chronograph

Liverpudlians have long suspected the concept of time has a Manchester bias — which they have sought to correct by trying to turn the clock back to the 1980s, when they were good. But Sir Alex Ferguson’s new range of watches will extend time like never before and comes with a host of new features:

The in-built calendar not only adds minutes to real time, but entire days. So while the record books say Ferguson’s birthday is December 31, in FergieTime this becomes November 61.FergieTime watches link directly with a referee’s timepiece and fourth official’s electronic scoreboard, to allow the manager to directly input the minutes he wishes to add.Alternatively, you can press FergieTime’s unique ‘Play Until We Score’ feature and just let the timepiece do its business automatically.

Price: 25 years at the top.

Retirement clocks not available until 2014.

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

Italian Football Yearbook 2013-14
HEAR DES ON THE RADIO

Don’t miss the ‘Christmas edition’ of The Press Pass on talkSPORT on Sunday at 6pm — by Christmas edition, I mean we’ll do most of the usual stuff, but with a sleighbell sound effect in the background. I’ll also be wrestling on air with
Micky Quinn on Christmas Eve from 10am until 1pm. Verbally, not in reality. That’s a horrible
image at any time of year.

No football fan or player can live without this superb guide to Italian football’s season ahead. It is in the style of England’s famous Rothmans Yearbook, once prized by collectors. Unfortunately, most of those collectors are now dead due to their susceptibility to cigarette brand sponsorship.

But the Italian Football Yearbook not only beings you all the teams, fixtures, players and statistics —but ALL THE RESULTS for next season as well! Take a look…

September 29, 2013 — Juventus 3 Napoli 0. Scorers: Vucinic, Pirlo, Marchisio. Half-time: 1-0.

This guide taps into the Italian game’s unique tradition where clubs, referees and directors decide the outcome of matches well in advance and Juventus collect the Scudetto.

Price: How much have you got

Coming soon: the 2013 Pakistani edition of Wisden, edited by former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt. With all the results for the coming year, including our new dot-ball feature for spot- betting success.

And One Genuine Suggestion…

If you do want a small sporting gift for yourself, download the Hillsborough Justice Collective’s cover of The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.

They aim to top the UK singles charts on Christmas Day and all the proceeds will go to the families of 96 fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final — and help them continue to fight one of the most disgraceful establishment cover-ups in British history.

Well done to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright for choosing the song. And not only will you be helping the noblest of causes, but you will also be keeping a Simon Cowell act off the top spot as well.

* Happy Christmas to you all and many thanks for all the emails, tweets, the handwritten letters, books, holiday offers, complimentary sporting goods, recommendations, anonymous tips, nude photographs and unsolicited bundles of cash that you send to me throughout the year. I cherish each and every one of them.

Phil Taylor out for revenge against Robert Thornton at the World Darts Championship

Taylor out for revenge against Thornton at the World Darts Championship

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UPDATED:

01:10 GMT, 22 December 2012

Phil Taylor will look to avenge his
two defeats to Robert Thornton this year when they meet in the last 16
of the World Darts Championship after the pair both won their
second-round matches on Friday.

The Power lost to The Thorn in the
UK Open final and was then dumped out of the World Grand Prix by the
Scot but he will get his chance at revenge on Sunday night in the last
match before the Christmas break at Ally Pally.

On his way: Phil Taylor celebrates

On his way: Phil Taylor celebrates

Taylor came from a set down to cruise past Jerry Hendriks 4-1 after Thornton saw off Paul Nicholson 6-5 in the final set of their thrilling second-round match.

Day eight results

Afternoon session

Andy Hamilton 4-1 Richie Burnett
Dave Chisnall 4-1 Daryl Gurney
Gary Anderson 4-3 John Bowles

Evening session

Terry Jenkins 4-1 John Part
Paul Nicholson 3-4 R Thornton
Phil Taylor 4-1 Jerry Hendriks

The 15-time world champion was far from his vintage best and Hendriks capitalised to take the opening set. The first three legs went with throw with Hendriks ahead 2-1 before the underdog broke throw to take the set 3-1.

But The Power upped his game and was too good for Hendriks as he reeled off the next four sets without losing a leg.

After the match, he told Sky Sports: 'I'm happy with 4-1 but I'm not happy with the performance. I was trying everything and the more he struggled the more I struggled myself.

'I just lost concentration. I tried to gee myself up and get myself going but it was hard work.

Early promise: Jerry Hendriks took the first set

Early promise: Jerry Hendriks took the first set

'I did think Paul (Nicholson) was going to beat him (Thornton) but Robert will feed off that and so will I because both of us know if we play like that in the next round we will be out. You don't win a world championship playing like that.'

Thornton will look to complete a hat-trick of wins over Taylor after The Thorn coming through a classic against Nicholson in a deciding leg.

It was a match that swung one way and then another and, in the end, only a tie-break in the seventh set separated the two players.

Nicholson led 2-1 and should've moved two sets clear but poor scoring in the deciding leg of the fourth set allowed Thornton to level at 2-2.

The UK Open champion then took a 3-2 lead and checked out 136 to break Nicholson's throw in leg three of the sixth set to move 2-1 up and throw for the match.

Delight: Robert Thornton celebrates his win

Delight: Robert Thornton celebrates his win

But Thornton blew four darts at doubles and Nicholson levelled at 2-2 with a 62 checkout before a 78 checkout in the deciding leg took the match into a final set.

And Thornton would get more chances to win the match as he broke the throw with a 124 checkout to lead 3-2 before missing double 15 for the match.

Nicholson then broke throw to lead 4-3 but a brilliant 130 checkout from Thornton levelled the set at 4-4 and The Thorn hit double 16 in the 11th and deciding leg to seal a dramatic win.

Terry Jenkins started the evening session with a comfortable 4-1 over Canadian three-time world champion John Part.

Part won just two legs in the first three sets and despite rallying to take the fourth set it was too little too late for Dart Maple as The Bull won the fifth set 3-1 to move into the last 16.

Ready to rock: Darts fans in fancy dress

Ready to rock: Darts fans in fancy dress

Jenkins will play Andy Hamilton on Sunday night for a place in the quarter-finals after The Hammer started the day with a 4-1 win over Richie Burnett.

It was a solid performance from Hamilton, who averaged 97.27 and had a finishing success of 45%, but four of the five sets went to the deciding leg as Burnett pushed the 2012 world finalist all the way.

Also in the afternoon session, Gary Anderson came through a Christmas cracker as he beat John Bowles 6-4 in the final set despite a lowly 28% double success rate.

The Flying Scotsman hit 19 180s and averaged over 98 but his poor finishing allowed Bowles to stay in the match and the underdog almost pulled off an upset.

There were no finishing problems at the start for Anderson as he won the opening leg with a 142 checkout on his way to taking the opening set.

And Anderson led 2-1 before Bowles won the next two sets on deciding legs to leave the Scot staring at another early exit from the World Darts Championship.

Colourful: Gary Anderson

Colourful: Gary Anderson

The 2011 Premier League winner won the sixth set thanks to an 11-dart finish in the deciding leg to send the match into a final set.

Bowles took a giant stride towards victory as he went 2-0 in the set but he missed one dart at tops which would've sealed the match before Anderson fought back to level at 2-2.

With the players tied at 4-4 in the seventh set, Anderson broke Bowles's throw with a 12-dart leg before closing out the match with double four in the 10th leg.

In Friday's other match, Dave Chisnall saw off a fine performance from Daryl Gurney with a 4-1 victory in a high-quality encounter.

The margin of Chizzy's win was harsh on the Northern Irishman Gurney as he won 11 out of the 25 legs as well as hitting 11 180s compared to Chisnall's 10.

But Chizzy won six legs against the throw compared to Gurney's five as he won four of the five sets which all went to a deciding leg.

Saturday will see six more second-round matches with Adrian Lewis in action in the evening session and Raymond van Barneveld headlining the afternoon session.

Also in the afternoon, Kevin Painter plays Ronnie Baxter and Mark Webster tackles Colin Lloyd before Simon Whitlock and Wes Newton take to the oche in the evening.

Roberto Martinez confirms signing of Roger Espinoza

Two out, one in! Martinez loses Lopez and McCarthy through injury but confirms Espinoza

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UPDATED:

20:19 GMT, 19 December 2012

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has revealed defender Adrian Lopez could be sidelined for 10 weeks with the hamstring tear he suffered in Saturday's defeat at Norwich.

James McCarthy's ankle problem, sustained in the same game, appears to have been only a short-term setback, but for Lopez the verdict was far from encouraging.

Martinez told the Wigan Evening Post: 'We are waiting on the results of another scan, but Adrian has a tear to his hamstring and it will probably be between six and 10 weeks.

'It's a shame': Wigan defender Adrian Lopez (left) could be out for up to 10 weeks after injuring his hamstring in the defeat against Norwich

'It's a shame': Wigan defender Adrian Lopez (left) could be out for up to 10 weeks after injuring his hamstring in the defeat against Norwich

'It's a shame because Adrian has never had a soft-tissue injury before.

'He is a sprinter and he has a real sprinter's muscles – you don't usually see people like him picking up this kind of injury.'

Wigan's Adrian Lopez

Blow: Lopez had played Wigan's last five games, coming into the side as defenders Ivan Ramis, Antolin Alcaraz and Gary Caldwell have all suffered injuries

Midfielder McCarthy had to be substituted at half-time at Carrow Road after being left with a hurt ankle following what Latics manager Martinez branded a 'nasty challenge'.

Martinez has since received an update on McCarthy's situation, and said: 'We've had the scan and he has a sprain in his ankle, and we need to see how that develops.

'Any sort of injury is disappointing, although we are relieved that it is not a really bad tear to his ligament.

James McCarthy

Too early: Midfielder James McCarthy has been working hard to play against Arsenal Saturday, but according to Roberto Martinez, it's 'too early to tell'

'He's been working really hard this past two days, accelerating the recovery process, but it's too early to tell if he'll be okay for the weekend.'

Wigan, who have dropped into the relegation zone, play Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Defenders Gary Caldwell, Ivan Ramis (both hamstring) and Antolin Alcaraz (groin) could return, while midfielder Ben Watson, who fractured his shin in November, is to have his cast removed tomorrow.

Wigan defender Gary Caldwell

Wigan defender Ivan Ramis

Injuries: Wigan have also been without defenders Gary Caldwell (left), Ivan Ramis (right) and Antolin Alcaraz (not pictured) at various stages this season

Martinez was delighted to have confirmation that Sporting Kansas City's versatile Honduras midfielder Roger Espinoza will be joining Wigan in January after being granted permission to work in the UK.

'He is someone who physically is really capable and has a gifted left foot,' Martinez told www.wiganlatics.co.uk.

'Having someone with such a good left foot gives a balance to the squad because most players are primarily right-footed.

'He's developed his tactical awareness and has learned how to play in different systems.

'Roger can play in any position in the midfield and can even play out in a wide left position, so we are delighted to capture a player with such versatility and stature.'

Reinforcements: Roberto Martinez has confirmed the signing of versatile Honduran midfielder Roger Espinoza

Reinforcements: Roberto Martinez has confirmed the signing of versatile Honduran midfielder Roger Espinoza from MLS side Sporting Kansas City

Man City youngster Courtney Meppen-Walter was not racing friend before car crash, say police

City youngster Meppen-Walter was NOT racing a friend before car crash which left two dead, according to police

PUBLISHED:

15:34 GMT, 18 December 2012

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UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 18 December 2012

Police have stated that Manchester City youth player Courtney Meppen-Walter was not racing a friend before a car crash, which resulted in the death of two people.

The 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of death by dangerous driving in September after the crash between his Mercedes and a Nissan Micra.

Kulwant Singh, 32, who was driving the Nissan, was killed along with his sister, Ravel Kaur-Singh, 37.

Tragic: Courtney Meppen-Walters was involved in a car crash which resulted in two people being killed

Tragic: Courtney Meppen-Walters was involved in a car crash which resulted in two people being killed

A GMP spokesman told Manchester Evening News: ‘The driver of the Mercedes, an 18-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been rebailed until January 24.

‘A file has been prepared and sent to the Crown Prosecution Service to make a final decision.’

The 19-year-old driver of a Volkswagen Golf was released from bail without charge and the spokesman added that the GMP were satisfied that the two cars were not racing before the fatal incident on September 1.

The police had been investigating whether the crash was caused by the footballer racing the other driver on Bury New Road in north Manchester.

Sgt Danny Byrne told the MEN: ‘Having reviewed all the available information and evidence, I am satisfied that the vehicles were not racing each other and the driver of the VW Golf is not involved in this incident.

‘A file of evidence has now been completed and passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on the driver of the Mercedes.’

Ravel Kaur-Singh’s two sons, aged 16 and 17, who were passengers in the back seat, are making a good recovery from the head injuries they sustained, according to police.

Manchester City want to trial standing area

Champions City plan standing trial as campaign for terracing return gathers momentum

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UPDATED:

13:29 GMT, 17 December 2012

Manchester City want to spearhead the campaign to bring safe standing to the Premier League.

The champions are planning to trial a return to terracing but need the backing of the Football Association.

Aston Villa and West Ham are the only other top-flight clubs to openly back the initiative.

Plans: Manchester City want to introduce safe standing to the Etihad Stadium

Plans: Manchester City want to introduce safe standing to the Etihad Stadium

'Manchester City Football Club is supportive of
initiatives to enhance safely, our fans’ matchday experience if
supported by the appropriate football authorities,' a spokesman told the Manchester Evening News.

Standing was banned in the top two divisions following the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Disaster.

A total of 96 Liverpool fans were killed in 1989 but the Hillsborough Independent Panel recently placed the blame for the tragedy at the door of South Yorkshire Police.

That was a boost to the campaign to bring safe standing back to the Premier League.

Campaign: Support is growing for standing areas like those in Germany (below)

Campaign: Support is growing for standing areas like those in Germany (below)

Campaign: Support is growing for standing areas like those in Germany (below)

National fans group the Football Supporters Federation believe the introduction of 'rail seat' zones, which are present in Germany's Bundesliga, would improve the atmosphere in English grounds.

They took their campaign to Parliament earlier this month and were backed by 13 clubs, including Villa.

But City's bitter rivals Manchester United oppose the idea.

A source told the MEN that OId Trafford would be 'incapable' of supporting standing sections.