Tag Archives: factfile

Rio Ferdinand pulls out of England squad for San Marino and Montenegro

Ferdinand farce! Now defender pulls out of England squad over fitness fears leaving Hodgson with headache for Montenegro

and a few months later was fined 45,000 by the FA for acknowledging a tweet which referred to Ashley Cole – who gave evidence in defence of Terry in his trial after the Chelsea player was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton – as a 'choc ice'.

It's been a while: Ferdinand last played for England in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland June 2011

It's been a while: Ferdinand last played for England in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland June 2011

Selection poser: Roy Hodgson will have to do without Rio Ferdinand for England's World Cup double header

Selection poser: Roy Hodgson will have to do without Rio Ferdinand for England's World Cup double header

Low blow

Mouthy chat show host, former journalist and celebrity Arsenal fan Piers Morgan was quick to have a dig, tweeting: 'Sorry to see you've binned England on medical grounds, Sicknote @rioferdy5 -presumably they'll stop you playing in next few Utd games too'

Ferdinand last played for England in June 2011 in a World Cup qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley.

Meanwhile, left-back Leighton Baines is determined to take maximum points from San Marino and Montenegro.

England's next competitive match after the double header is in September and Everton defender Baines told told FATV 'The first game is one that everyone expects us to win and is a game we must win. And then it's a tougher game after that, one that's going to be really difficult and one that we really need to win.

'We want to finish the season in terms of qualifying on a high and in the best possible position to pick it up at the start of next season.

'The two draws (against Poland and Ukraine) put us under more pressure to win this one and the worst case is that we don't lose the game. Because there are plenty more games to come.'

RIO FERDINAND FACTFILE

1978: Born November 8, Peckham.

1995: Turns professional with West Ham.

1996: May – Makes West Ham debut as substitute in draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

1997: February – Scores first West Ham goal in defeat at Blackburn.

November – Becomes youngest defender to play for England when he makes debut against Cameroon at Wembley.

Debut: Ferdinand made his international bow as a substitute against Cameroon

Debut: Ferdinand made his international bow as a substitute against Cameroon

1998: Named in Glenn Hoddle's England World Cup squad but does not play at tournament in France.

2000: Left out of the England squad for Euro 2000 by Kevin Keegan. Makes British record 18million move to Leeds in November.

2002: Scores first England goal in 3-0 win over Denmark in World Cup second round.

July 21 – Leeds agree to sell Ferdinand to Manchester United for 29.1million, making him the world's most expensive defender.

2003: May – Earns first Premier League winner's medal.

October – Reported to the Football Association for failing to attend a drugs test, and left out of England squad for Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey because of the controversy.

December 18 – Receives eight-month ban and 50,000 fine over missed drugs test.

Big stage: Ferdinand (No 5) scored for England against Denmark at the World Cup in 2002

Big stage: Ferdinand (No 5) scored for England against Denmark at the World Cup in 2002

Big stage: Ferdinand (No 5) scored for England against Denmark at the World Cup in 2002

2004: January 20 – Ferdinand begins his ban, which means he misses Euro 2004.

2005: August 8 – Agrees new four-year deal with United.

2007: November 21 – Absent through injury as England lose 3-2 to Croatia at Wembley and fail to qualify for Euro 2008.

2008: March 26 – Captains England for the first time and wins his 65th cap in 1-0 defeat in France.

May 15 – Signs new five-year United deal.

May 21 – Captains United to a Champions League final victory over Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in Moscow.

2009: May 16 – United wrap up third successive Premier League title.

May 27 – Part of United team beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in Champions League final.

2010: February 5 – Succeeds John Terry as England skipper after Chelsea defender is stripped of post by manager Fabio Capello following allegations about Terry's private life.

June 4 – Ruled out of World Cup after injuring ligaments in his left knee in training.

2011: March 19 – Loses England captaincy to Terry, ahead of Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales.

May – Wins another Premier League title with United – his fifth. United lose 3-1 to Barca in Champions League final at Wembley.

Crocked: Ferdinand's 2010 World Cup was over before it had started after he was injured during training

Crocked: Ferdinand's 2010 World Cup was over before it had started after he was injured during training

2012: February – Rules himself out of the running to captain England after Terry is stripped of the duty pending the outcome of a July trial. Terry is due to answer a charge of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, but is later acquitted.

May 16 – Left out of England's squad for Euro 2012. He later writes on Twitter: “Absolutely loved playing for england… to say I'm gutted is an understatement of the highest order…”

August 17 – Fined 45,000 by the FA for acknowledging a tweet which referred to Ashley Cole – who gave evidence in defence of John Terry in his trial – as a 'choc ice'.

December 9 – Struck by a coin thrown from the crowd at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium as United claim a 3-2 derby victory.

2013: March 5 – Escapes UEFA action after sarcastically applauding Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir at the end of home defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

March 10 – Escapes FA sanction for appearing to barge Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to the ground.

March 14 – Recalled to the England squad for World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino and Montenegro.

March 18 – Pulls out of the squad over fitness concerns

Newcastle sign Mathieu Debuchy from Lille

Debuchy heading to Newcastle as Magpies seal 5.5m deal

|

UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

Newcastle United have agreed a deal with Lille for Mathieu Debuchy.
The French international, and friend of Magpies midfielder Yohan Cabaye, has finally completed his move to the north-east.

Debuchy was a target for Newcastle during the summer, but despite regular talks, they failed to land the defender.

Mathieu Debuchy

Alan Pardew

New arrival: Debuchy (left) will join up with Pardew (right) at Newcastle

The deal is believed to be worth
around 5.5million, and a resolution to the long-running saga will be a
relief for manager Alan Pardew.

Debuchy was vocal about his difficulties with the troubled Ligue 1 side.
Both he and departed goalkeeper Mickael Landreau waged war after Lille
boss Rudi Garcia axed the pair from the 'Conseil des Sages', a so-called
‘council of elders’ which used experienced players as a link between
coaches and the rest of the team.

Newcastle, meanwhile, could still be active in France this January, but have been told Marseille ace Loic Remy will cost 15m.

MATHIEU DEBUCHY FACTFILE

1985: Born July 28, Fretin, France.

2004: January – Makes professional debut for Lille

2005: May – Helps Lille finish second in Ligue 1 and qualify for the Champions League.

2006: March – Ruled out for six months with knee ligament injury.

2010: August – Called into France squad for the first time.

2011: May 14 – Wins Coupe de France as Lille beat Paris St Germain 1-0 in the final.

May 21 – Clinches Ligue 1 title with Lille to complete the double.

November – Makes debut for France against Albania.

2012: June – Plays in all four of France's matches at Euro 2012, including the 1-1 group stage draw with England.

December – Lille agree deal with Newcastle for sale of Debuchy.

Dougie Freedman set for Bolton as Crystal Palace eye Steve Coppell reunion

Freedman is Bolton bound as Crystal Palace court former manager Coppell

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 22 October 2012

Bolton offered Dougie Freedman a three-year deal worth 1.5million to become their new boss on Monday night as Crystal Palace look to offer Steve Coppell a fifth stint at the club.

Palace had put out a statement earlier in the day rejecting Bolton's approach for Freedman, but changed their stance once the 38-year-old Scot made it clear that he wanted to leave Selhurst Park.

Palace of dreams: Dougie Freedman is enduring a stellar campaign at Selhurst Park

Palace of dreams: Dougie Freedman is enjoying a stellar campaign so far

FREEDMAN FACTFILE

November 2007 – Appointed Crystal Palace reserve team manager while still playing for first-team

March 2010 – Retires from football, ending a 16-year career including two spells at Palace spanning 10 years

March 2010 – Returns to Palace as assistant to Paul Hart with the club in administration

June 2010 – Retained as Palace No 2 following George Burley's appointment as manager

January 2011 – Named Palace manager after being initially appointed as caretaker following Burley's New Year's Day sacking

May 2011 – Palace finish six points clear of relegation in 20th place having been 23rd and three points adrift when Freedman took over

November 2011 – Guides Palace to a memorable Carling Cup win at Manchester United

January 2012 – Palace narrowly miss out on a trip to Wembley after being beaten on penalties in their Carling Cup semi-final tie against Cardiff

May 2012 – Palace finish 17th in Championship

September 2012 – Named Championship manager of the month after picking up 13 points from a possible 15 and guiding Palace to fourth place

Palace playing career: Games 360 Goals 106

Managerial record: P90 W32 D27 L31 W%35.56

Sportsmail understands Bolton made contact with Palace on Saturday night before making their interest formal.

Palace owner Steve Parish is now considering a move for Coppell once Freedman's move has been ratified.

Parish is keen on including Coppell in a new-look football managerial set-up, though not necessarily as the club's next boss.

There could also be a role for ex-Palace striker Mark Bright, who works for the BBC.

Whether Coppell, who is director of football at Crawley Town, is keen on a return to Palace remains to be seen.

Caretaker boss Jimmy Phillips will be
in charge for Bolton's game at Wolves on Tuesday night but Freedman,
who was handed his first managerial job by Palace in January 2011, could
be in place for Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough.

Neighbours Blackburn suffered another
setback in their hunt for a successor to Steve Kean when Fulham refused
a request to speak to their first-team coach Billy McKinlay.

Blackburn have switched their sights to McKinlay after failing to prise Tim Sherwood, also an ex-Rovers player, from Tottenham.

Fulham insist they will allow
McKinlay to speak with Blackburn only once a compensation package has
been agreed, but the Championship club hope that McKinlay will force the
issue.

The 43-year-old Scot would bring in former Rovers striker Chris Sutton as his right-hand man.

Reunion: Crystal Palace have offered Coppell a sixth stint at the club

Reunion: Crystal Palace could offer Coppell a sixth stint at the club

Bolton make approach for Dougie Freedman

EXCLUSIVE: Bolton make official approach for Crystal Palace boss Freedman

|

UPDATED:

09:07 GMT, 22 October 2012

Bolton have made an official approach for Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman.

The Lancashire club have pinpointed the Scot as their No 1 choice to replace Owen Coyle, who was sacked after the club's disappointing start to the Championship season.

And Bolton have made contact with the south London club for permission to hold talks with Freedman over becoming the club's next manager.

Palace of dreams: Dougie Freedman is enduring a stellar campaign at Selhurst Park

Palace of dreams: Dougie Freedman is enjoying a stellar campaign so far

FREEDMAN FACTFILE

November 2007 – Appointed Crystal Palace reserve team manager while still playing for first-team

March 2010 – Retires from football, ending a 16-year career including two spells at Palace spanning 10 years

March 2010 – Returns to Palace as assistant to Paul Hart with the club in administration

May 2010 – Palace escape relegation from the Championship on the final day at Sheffield Wednesday

June 2010 – Retained as Palace No 2 following George Burley's appointment as manager

January 2011 – Appointed Palace manager after being initially appointed as caretaker following Burley's New Year's Day sacking

May 2011 – Palace finish six points clear of relegation in 20th place having been 23rd and three points adrift when Freedman took over

November 2011 – Guides Palace to a memorable Carling Cup quarter-final win over Manchester United at Old Trafford

January 2012 – Palace narrowly miss out on a trip to Wembley after being beaten on penalties in their Carling Cup semi-final tie against Cardiff

May 2012 – Palace finish 17th in Championship

September 2012 – Named Championship manager of the month after picking up 13 points from a possible 15 and guiding Palace to fourth place

Palace playing career: Games 360 Goals 106

Managerial record:
P90 W32 D27 L31 W%35.56

No decision has yet be taken by Palace owner Steve Parish with regards Bolton's approach.

Freedman has just six months left on
his current contract at Selhurst Park and has yet to be offered a new
one – despite the club's excellent start to the season.

Palace will struggle to match the three year 500,000-per-season three-year deal Bolton are willing to offer Freedman.

But Freedman's love for Palace is such that he would consider signing a new contract at Selhurst Park as long as it is clear the club are willing to do all they can to keep him.

Palace are on the brink of something special after Freedman guided them to six wins in their last eight matches.

It will be a huge wrench for Freedman to quit Palace after an incredible career with the club, but Bolton have put a long-term contract offer on the table with the addition of a massive promotion bonus.

The former Palace striker, who has hero status among supporters at Selhurst Park, has taken the club into the play-off positions after losing their opening three league games.

He has built his own team at Palace and is convinced they can push for promotion to the Barclays Premier League this season.

Bolton put him on their list to replace Coyle after the Eagles pulled off a stunning win at the Reebok in September.

Palace travel to Barnsley for a Championship fixture on Tuesday, but Bolton are pressing the young boss for a swift decision.

They want an immediate return to the Premier League after they were relegated under Coyle last term.

Freedman replaced George Burley as manager in 2011 and performed a miracle to keep the club in the Championship.

Hunt: Bolton chairman Phil Gartside is looking for a replacement for Owen Coyle

Hunt: Bolton chairman Phil Gartside is looking for a replacement for Owen Coyle

Last season he became one of the hottest managerial prospects in the game when he masterminded Palace's stunning Carling Cup win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

This season Palace have recovered from a disappointing start and boast the best young player in the division in Wilfried Zaha.

The winger is now an England Under 21 international and has developed into one of the biggest prospects in the game under Freedman's guidance.

Frankel wins Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot

Fantastic Frankel bows out in style with historic 14th consecutive victory at Ascot

|

UPDATED:

16:52 GMT, 20 October 2012

Frankel was at his majestic best as he went in retirement after making it a perfect 14 victories in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

The world's highest-rated racehorse, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, won his 10th Group One race with a trademark display of pure brilliance – despite being slowly away from the stalls and running in very testing conditions.

Sent off the 2-11 favourite, Khalid Abdullah's wonder colt took up the running from Cirrus Des Aigles over a furlong out under his ever-present jockey Tom Queally and pulled away from the French raider to win cosily by a length and three-quarters.

Unbeatable: Frankel made it 14 wins from as many races in the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Unbeatable: Frankel made it 14 wins from as many races in the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Frankel factfile

Sire: Galileo

Dam: Kind

Age: Four

Foaled: February 11, 2008

Owner: Prince Khalid Abdullah

Trainer: Sir Henry Cecil

Career earnings: 2,998,302.

Race record: Fourteen wins from 14 starts, including 10 victories at Group One level.

Group One victories: Champion Stakes (2012); Juddmonte International (2012); Sussex Stakes (2012); Queen Anne Stakes (2012); Lockinge Stakes (2012); Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2011); Sussex Stakes (2011); St James's Palace Stakes (2011): 2000 Guineas (2011); Dewhurst Stakes (2010)

Other notable wins: Greenham Stakes (2011), Royal Lodge Stakes (2010).

Cecil said: 'He didn't like the crowd
much but he was very relaxed. He's the best I've ever had. He's the
best I've ever seen. I'd be surprised if there's ever been any better.'

Abdullah confirmed Frankel had run his last race and would to be retired to stud.

He said: 'That is the end of it and he will retire.'

With Frankel missing the break by a
couple of lengths, Ian Mongan on Bullet Train, Frankel's brother and
regular pacemaker, was left looking for his stablemate.

However, Queally let the horse make up the ground in his own time and join the other five runners.

Meanwhile, Cirrus Des Aigles had gone to the front until Bullet Train went on to do the job he is used to.

Cirrus Des Aigles, rated the second
best in the field, tried to stretch Frankel by going on early in the
straight but the great horse was simply too good.

Nathaniel was two and a half lengths away in third.

Hug it out: Tom Queally grabs hold of Frankel's neck after their impressive victory

Hug it out: Tom Queally grabs hold of Frankel's neck after their impressive victory

This was only Frankel's second race
over 10 furlongs, having stepped up from a mile for the first time at
York in August in the Juddmonte International Stakes, sponsored by his
owner.

His previous 12 victories before that
had come over seven furlongs and a mile, and included the 2000 Guineas
at Newmarket, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at this meeting 12 months
ago as well as the St James's Palace Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes on
this track.

Forget it: Cirrus Des Aigles ridden by Olivier Peslier (right) had no chance of catching Frankel

Forget it: Cirrus Des Aigles ridden by Olivier Peslier (right) had no chance of catching Frankel

Queally said: 'He's just getting more and more relaxed as time goes on. He waited until the gates were open then he was away.

'I was happy all the way but there's
no doubt he's better on better ground. His class showed today. I walked
the track and I was a little worried about the conditions.

'Having walked it in the home straight I knew it wasn't too heavy for him to quicken up.

Royal approval: The Queen watched Frankel win the Champion Stakes at Ascot

Royal approval: The Queen watched Frankel win the Champion Stakes at Ascot

'You want every angle covered and
everything in your favour, so in that respect there was always a little
worry, but he was in great heart today and he looked a lot better than
he did 12 months ago on this day.

'He was so good today, even on that ground.'

Teddy Grimthorpe, the Abdullah's
racing manager, said: 'He's wonderful. He probably wasn't enjoying the
ground as he normally does, but he's produced it.

'I was quite relaxed when he missed
the break. He did it at York and the great thing is he got into a
rhythm. He wasn't pulling, he was just straightforward.

'He had a trouble-free passage, then
it always looked like he was going to win. He had it under control in
the straight and that is him.

Crowd pleaser: Tom Queally and Frankel pass the stands after winning the Champion Stakes

Crowd pleaser: Tom Queally and Frankel pass the stands after winning the Champion Stakes

'I was reasonably cool, but I began to yell a bit. The crowd's reaction is great – the greatest for the greatest.

'Frankel has brought a whole new
generation of people to the sport. He's brought a wider public
recognition of the sport and he's given them something to savour.

'He's the ultimate equine athlete. We've never seen anything like him.

'Prince Khalid said to me he has run
his last race and I think that is the correct decision – he has given us
three sensational years.'

Eyes down: Willie Carson and Claire Balding take in the action

Eyes down: Willie Carson and Claire Balding take in the action

Eyes down: Willie Carson and Claire Balding take in the action

Going gets tough: there had been worries about the state of the track ahead of the big race

Going gets tough: there had been worries about the state of the track ahead of the big race

Full house: It was no course to see the stadium packed to the rafters

Full house: It was no surprise to see the course packed to the rafters

Odds on: Frankel was the huge favourite to win

Odds on: Frankel was the huge favourite to win

London 2012 Olympics rowing: Great Britain win gold in women"s lightweight sculls

Golden girls! Hosking and Copeland create history on the lake after securing another win

|

UPDATED:

11:11 GMT, 4 August 2012

Great Britain's Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking have won the gold medal in the women's double sculls.

The British crew were roared to victory by over a length, with China in second and Greece in third.

More to follow…

We've done it! Great Britain's Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland celebrate winning gold

We've done it! Great Britain's Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland celebrate winning gold

KATHERINE COPELAND AND SOPHIE HOSKING FACTFILE

1986: Sophie Hosking born on January 25 in Wimbledon and learns to row at Kingston Grammar School.

1990: Kat Copeland born on December 1 in Ashington and begins to row at Yarm School at the age of 14.

2006: Hosking wins bronze in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the World Championships.

2007: Hosking wins silver in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the World Championships.

2009: Hosking wins bronze in the lightweight double sculls with Hester Goodsell at the World Championships. Copeland wins gold in the quadruple sculls at the Youth Olympic festival in Sydney.

2010: Copeland comes close to quitting the Great Britain set-up because she wants to remain based in the north-east.

2011: Copeland wins gold in the lightweight single scull at the Under-23 World Championships in Amsterdam. She wins silver in her first senior event, at the Munich World Cup.
: Hosking wins bronze with Goodsell at the World Championships in the lightweight double sculls

2012: May – Copeland and Hosking come together for the World Cup series, winning a silver in Belgrade but place out of the medals in Lucerne and Munich.

August 4 – Copeland and Hosking win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

Chelsea beat Tottenham to sign Oscar from Internacional

Exclusive: Chelsea win the Oscar… Roman beats AVB to grab 25m Brazil playmaker

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 9 July 2012

Chelsea have pulled off another transfer coup by clinching the signature of 25million Brazilian wonderkid Oscar.

Despite already splashing out 42m on Marko Marin and Eden Hazard, Roman Abramovich's latest revolution shows no signs of abating after he moved in for the Internacional playmaker who is regarded as one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Brazil in years.

To add further flavour to the European champions' deal, they have pipped their former manager Andre Villas-Boas in the process.

New signing: Chelsea have fought off competition from Spurs to sign Oscar

New recruit: Chelsea have fought off competition from Spurs to sign Oscar

Tottenham's new boss thought he was in a strong position to land 20-year-old Oscar after making an offer last week.

It was reported the bid was 11m, but sources in South America say it was much higher than that and a club-record offer of nearer 18m.

Chelsea, however, have moved quickly to swamp Tottenham's offer and beat their former charge to his signature.

Star man: The Internacional striker is one of world football's hottest prospects

Star man: The Internacional striker is one of world football's hottest prospects

OSCAR FACTFILE

Full name: Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior

Born: September 9, 1991 in
Americano, Sao Paulo.

Height: 5ft 10in.

2009: Sao Paulo, played 11 games.

From 2010: Signed for Internacional.

Has scored 19 goals in 70 games
for the club.

International: Six Brazil caps.

Scored hat-trick as Brazil won the 2011 FIFA Under 20
World Cup, beating Portugal 3-2.

Oscar shot to prominence last summer when he became the first player to score a hat-trick in the FIFA Under 20 World Cup final against Portugal.

The Brazilian – full name Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior – was also watched by Real Madrid and Barcelona.

He is adept as a playmaker or in the role behind the striker and equally comfortable on the left or right of midfield. He is described as a 'typically brilliant Brazilian No 10'.

The acquisition will put pressure on the
position of Stamford Bridge idol Juan Mata, who is expected to be
rested at the start of the season due to his participation in the
Olympics for Spain.

Losing battle: Tottenham's new boss AVB was also interested in the Brazil starlet

Losing battle: Tottenham's new boss AVB was also interested in the Brazil starlet

Chelsea fans will be able to get an early sight of the new signing as he is also a member of his country's Olympic squad.

Chelsea came in for criticism for the way they won the Champions League with an obdurate defensive style.

However, the signing of Oscar is
another bold statement of intent from Abramovich as he strives to make
Chelsea a more fluid, attacking team in the mould of Barcelona.

The
signing boosts the Brazilian contingent at Stamford Bridge, where Oscar
will be joining Ramires in midfield, David Luiz and exciting young
prospect Lucas Piazon.

Eden Hazard

Marko Marin

Summer signings: Hazard and Marin have already completed moves to Chelsea

Abramovich believes if manager Roberto Di Matteo can channel that flair alongside the defensive grit the squad showed to win the Champions League, then Chelsea will be well placed to mount more serious challenges on domestic and European honours.

And his spending hasn't finished yet, with Chelsea also linked to another Brazilian star, 25-year-old striker Hulk of Porto.

Mark Ramprakash retires from cricket

Ramprakash retires with immediate effect after losing his place with Surrey

|

UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 5 July 2012

Mark Ramprakash refused to mourn an unfulfilled England career as he ended a cricketing odyssey spanning quarter of a century.

The 42-year-old has retired from the game with immediate effect after being told by Surrey he no longer figured in their selection plans.

One of the most prolific and stylish batsmen in county cricket, he amassed 114 first-class centuries and 35,659 runs at an average of 53.14.

I quit: Mark Ramprakash announces his retirement from cricket on Thursday

I quit: Mark Ramprakash announces his retirement from cricket on Thursday

That average dropped to 27.32 during his 52 games for England, leading to the mystery of why such a gifted and technically brilliant player had struggled in the Test arena.

But Ramprakash enters retirement, announced at a press conference at The Oval on Thursday afternoon, satisfied he had given international cricket everything.

'I've been asked many time in recent years about regrets over my England career,' he said. 'You do the best you can at that time. I know I couldn't have trained any harder, I listened to other people and I did the best I could at that time.

'If you've done that, then you don't look back with any regrets. I went through many ups and downs at international level, but had some highlights.

'Playing my first Test in 1991 when we beat the West Indies was one, another was here in Ashes matches.

Ramprakash factfile

1969: Born at Bushey, Hertfordshire.

1987: Makes Middlesex debut.

1988: Man of the match after brilliant 56 in NatWest Trophy final win over Worcestershire.

1989: Scores maiden first-class century against Yorkshire at Headingley.

1991: Makes Test debut in England's home series against West Indies.

1993: Scores first Test half-century, 64, against Australia at The Oval on recall after a year out of the side.

1997: Appointed Middlesex captain.

1998: Scores maiden Test century, 154, against West Indies at Bridgetown.

2001: Moves to Surrey. Scores first Test century in England, 133 against Australia at The Oval.

2002: Wins last of his 52 Test caps during indifferent tour of New Zealand.

2003: Century against former club Middlesex makes him the first player to have scored a ton against all 18 first-class counties.

2006: Scores 2,278 first-class runs, including a career-best 301 not out, and averages more than 100 during his 20th county season. Achieves more fame as winner of TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

2007: Scores 2,026 runs at 101.3 to become first batsman to average more than 100 in consecutive English seasons. Named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

2008: Scores 100th first-class century against Yorkshire at Headingley.

2010: Is again the highest run scorer in England with 1,595 at an average of 61.34.

2011: Scores the 114th and final first-class 100 of his career but fails to reach 1,000 first-class runs in an English season for the first time since 1998 and averages only 33.33.

2012: Is dropped by Surrey after a poor start to the season.
July 5: Announces his retirement from first-class cricket.

'The best innings I ever played was here against Australia in 2001 (he scored 133). You remember any win for England.'

Ramprakash's last Test was in 2002, but he was touted for a comeback in the 2009 Ashes series on the back of his prolific county form which continued into 2010.

The decline began last season, however, when he averaged 33.33 and this year he was dropped by Surrey for the first time and subsequently failed to regain his form.

Media work will keep Ramprakash in the game, while the winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2006 may also pursue coaching.

'I had a tough start to this season, but I continued to try and remain fit and wanted to play,' said Ramprakash, whose contract was due to expire in September.

'However, last week I was informed I was not in Surrey's selection plans and therefore I felt the time was right to step aside.

'It was a very difficult decision to make. I wanted to finish my career strongly and felt September would likely be the time I look to new pastures.

'But having had a tough start and being left out of the side, that brought things forward. The last thing you want is to go on too long.

'I still felt I had something to offer and I want to go out and play tonight.

'I feel I can still play at this level, but a playing contract with another county isn't really in my mind at the moment

'I'm not sure what the future holds, but professional cricket has taught me many things about life. I look forward to new opportunities.

'Coaching does interest me without doubt, I enjoy bringing young players on.

Top class: Ramprakash hit 114 first-class hundreds in a long career

Top class: Ramprakash hit 114 first-class hundreds in a long career

'I've done the qualifications, so coaching is an option. I hope to pursue some media work as well.'

On the question of the toughest bowler he had faced, Ramprakash named four who stood out.

'I've faced spells where I've thought “this is tough, this is really quick” – Malcolm Marshall, Allan Donald, Brett Lee and Wasim Akram,' he said.

'There have been times when I thought “I'm struggling to get a bat on this”.'

Averaging 42 in 12 Tests against Australia only strengthens the enigmatic view of Ramprakash, but he remains proud of a career that began at Middlesex in 1987.

'I'd like to be remembered as someone who gave everything,' he said. 'I tried to be very competitive, fight for my side and contribute. I tried to do the hard yards for my team.'

Arsenal aim to sell flops after signing Olivier Giroud

Arsenal aim to offload Bendtner, Arshavin and host of flops after sealing Giroud deal

|

UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 26 June 2012

Arsenal have turned their attention to slashing the club’s wage bill after Olivier Giroud’s capture took their spending to 24million.

The Gunners have confirmed the signing of France striker Giroud from French champions Montpellier.

Speaking to Arsenal TV, the 25-year-old said he found his lack of action at Euro 2012 frustrating but vowed to show why manager Arsene Wenger has forked out 12.8m to land him.

Looking ahead: Olivier Giroud has been unveiled as Arsenal's second major summer signing

Looking ahead: Olivier Giroud has been unveiled as Arsenal's second major summer signing

‘I think I have the weapons to do well
here,’ he said. ‘I will need some time to adapt but I’m not worried
about that.’

Giroud follows Arsenal’s 11m capture of Cologne striker
Lukas Podolski.

The club now aim to shift unwanted
players, but deals to move Denilson to Sao Paulo, Carlos Vela to Real
Sociedad and Sebastien Squillaci to Bastia collapsed last week. They
hope to resurrect all three of the proposed transfers.

Arsenal also want to offload Andrey Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Park Chu-young and Johan Djourou.

Done deal: Arsenal have completed the signing of France striker Olivier Giroud

Done deal: Arsenal have completed the signing of France striker Olivier Giroud

OLIVIER GIROUD FACTFILE

1986: Born September 30 in Chambery, France.

1999: Joins first professional team, Grenoble, aged 13.

2005: Signs first professional contract at Grenoble aged 19, scoring 15 goals in 15 matches for the reserves and earning a call-up to the first team.

2006: Makes his debut in March, coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw with Gueugnon. Made a full member of the first team squad and assigned the number 22 shirt for the 2006/07 campaign.

2007: After a slow start scores his first goal for the club in February with an injury time winner against Le Havre.
Spends the 2007/08 season on loan at French third division side Istres scoring 14 goals in the campaign.

2008: Returns to parent club Grenoble only to be placed on the transfer list. Joins Ligue 2 side Tours FC in May, netting 14 goals in 27 appearances.

Celebration: Giroud toasts one of his goals for Montpellier

2010: Signs for Ligue 1 club Montpellier in January on a three-and-a-half-year deal for a fee of 2million euros. Loaned back to Tours for the remainder of the season, finishing up the league's top goalscorer and named in the league's team of the year.
July – Makes his club and European debut, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Hungarian side Gyori ETO in the Europa League. Montpellier go on to lose the tie on penalties in the second leg.

2011: Scores the winner in the 117th minute of the Coupe de la Ligue semi-final against Paris St Germain to send Montpellier through to their first major final since 1994.
Finishes the club's top goalscorer and rewarded with a contract extension until 2014 and a call-up to the national team in November for friendly matches against the United States and Belgium.

2012: February – Scores his first international goal in a 2-1 friendly win over Germany. Scored 21 goals for Montpellier as they win the Ligue 1 title.
June 26 – Arsenal announce agreement has been reached with the player over a long-term contract.

Euro 2012: Jack Butland replaces John Ruddy in England squad

Who is Jack Butland The lowdown on Ruddy's England Euros squad replacement

|

UPDATED:

09:39 GMT, 25 May 2012

After John Ruddy's withdrawal from the England Euro 2012 squad after breaking a finger, teenage stopper Jack Butland takes his place.

The 19-year-old Birmingham player has spent the season on loan at League Two Cheltenham.

After a superb season he has been linked with QPR, who are considering making a 6million bid, as well as Barclays Premier League giants Manchester United.

In the red: Jack Butland has featured for England U21s

In the red: Jack Butland has featured for England U21s

Unexpected: A month ago Butland might not have believed he would go to Euro 2012

Unexpected: A month ago Butland might not have believed he would go to Euro 2012

Butland helped Cheltenham reach the League Two play-off final but was recalled by the Midlands club before he got the chance to play at Wembley.

'It's been the most important part of my career so far,' Butland told the Birmingham Mail about his loan spell.

'I've played for England under-21s, in the under-20 World Cup and I've been part of the play-offs in the Championship.

'But in terms of helping my career and getting me ready, going to Cheltenham Town was a massive experience.'

Butland was hoping to feature for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games but now he will travel to Poland and Ukraine that might not be a possibility.

He came through the Birmingham City Academy and was voted their Young Player of the Season in 2010.

Butland began with England at U16 level in 2008. He has also played for the U17 and U19s, winning the UEFA European U17 Championship in May 2008.

He travelled to Colombia for the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2011, and has also appeared six times for the U21s.

JACK BUTLAND FACTFILE

1993: Born in Bristol, March 10.
2007: Joins Birmingham as a schoolboy.
2008: Makes debut for England Under-16s in their 6-0 win over Northern Ireland in the Victory Shield.
2009: Moves into Blues' academy and, aged 16, makes his reserve-team debut.
Plays for England Under-17s.
2010: Signs his first professional contract of two-and-a-half years and is named the club's young player of the 2009/10 season.
May – Part of the England Under-17 squad that wins the European Championships
October – Has surgery on a broken hand.
2011: April – Part of the England Under-19 squad for the UEFA under-19 championships.
May – Handed a first-team squad number.
July – Plays for England team that reaches last 16 at FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia.
September 1 – Makes debut for Under-21s against Azerbaijan.
Joins League Two side Cheltenham on a month's loan and makes his debut against Macclesfield on September 10.
His loan is extended upon his return from Under-21 duty against Norway and Iceland until January 2012.
2012: February – Rejoins Cheltenham on a youth loan but he is recalled to St Andrew's after Boaz Myhill is injured. He finishes the campaign with 24 appearances for the Robins.
May 25: Called up to England's Euro 2012 squad after John Ruddy has to withdraw through injury.