Tag Archives: fitting

Arsenal"s American owner Stan Kroenke buys 80m ranch in the Rocky Mountains

Gunners chief Kroenke in 80m splurge… but let's hope he's got some change for Arsene after buying ranch the size of 71,000 Emirates Stadium pitches

|

UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 3 December 2012

On Saturday Arsenal fans marched against the perceived lack of financial muscle being flexed in the transfer market. How could a club with billionaire shareholders and some of the most expensive tickets in world football be unable to compete in the Premier League

News then, that 5,000 miles away American majority shareholder Stan Kroenke was putting the finishing touches to an 80million deal for a Montana ranch will not sit will with feuding fans.

The billionaire businessman has purchased the 124,000 acre site – enough to fit 71,000 Emirates Stadium pitches – in the Rocky Mountains, a fitting location considering the indifferent form of his team and the size of the task facing them if they are to maintain their place among England and Europe's elite.

Scroll down for video

Stan Kroenke's 80 million farm Broken O Ranch in Montana

Not bad: The 10,000-square-foot main house overlooks the Sun River and comes with indoor pool

River view: 20 miles of the Sun River run through the Broken O Ranch

River view: The main house looks out over the 20 miles of the Sun River that run through Broken O Ranch

Stone floors and hunting trophies give the main house a hunting lodge fee

Welcome: Stone floors and hunting trophies give the main house a hunting lodge feel

Arsenal currently sit tenth in the Premier League having endured their worst start to a season for 18 years. Rumblings of discontent among fans have become roars in recent weeks and much of the ire has been directed at the board.

Ivan Gazidis has bore the brunt of the criticism, though Wenger and Kroenke, who owns 66 per cent of the club, has also been heckled.

Covering the equivalent of 71,000 Arsenal pitches, the Broken O Ranch runs 3,500 mother cows, 800 replacement heifers and 175 range bulls.

Against the tide: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is under increasing pressure from the fans

Against the tide: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is under increasing pressure from the fans

Against the tide: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is under increasing pressure from the fans

Such is the vastness of Broken O that the UK's second largest city, Birmingham, at 103 square miles or 66,174 hectares, would virtually fit into it twice.

Situated along the eastern edge of the stunning Rocky Mountain Front – the Broken O Ranch is regarded as one of the US's most grand and significant ranches.

It was owned by the Moore family who spent around 25 years building it up and includes more than 20 miles of the Sun River coursing through it.

The Sun River corridor provides exceptional brown and rainbow trout fishing, antelope, whitetail and mule deer hunting, as well as extensive upland game bird and waterfowl populations.

The main house looks over the 20 miles of the Sun River

Room with a view: The main house gives panoramic views right up to the Rocky Mountains

Broken O Ranch covers the equivalent of 71000 Arsenal pitches

Huge: Broken O Ranch covers the equivalent of 71,000 Arsenal pitches

Each year the ranch produces 25,000 tons of alfalfa hay and 700,000 bushels of small-grain crops.

Denver-based Kroenke, who is worth 2.5 billion, is now thought to be the eighth largest landowner in the USA following his latest purchase – owning an estimated 864,000 acres.

Real estate company Hall and Hall managed the sale for Mr Kroenke, who also owns a number of US sports franchises.

VIDEO: A look at the Broken O Ranch:

DM.has('rcpv2008067639001','BCVideo');

Broken O Ranch spans three counties and is 45 miles west of Great Falls

Location: Broken O Ranch spans Lewis & Clark, Cascade and Teton counties and is 45 miles west of Great Falls and east of the stunning Rocky Mountains

 Broken O Ranch runs 3,500 mother cows, 800 replacement heifers and 175 range bulls

Legacy: Mr Kroenke is said to be looking forward to building on the work done by previous owners in making Broken O one of the most significant farming ranches in the US

The UK city of Birmingham could fit twice into the Broken O Ranch

Vast: The UK city of Birmingham could fit twice into the Broken O Ranch

Ricky Ponting final innings pictures: Australia lose to South Africa

Farewell, Punter! Ponting honoured during final innings for Oz… but he bows out with a whimper in crushing defeat to South Africa

|

UPDATED:

09:24 GMT, 3 December 2012

Ricky Ponting's final innings for Australia ended in disappointment as he managed just eight on the fourth morning of the third Test against South Africa as the tourists clinched the series 1-0 with an impressive 309-run victory.

Having announced his retirement prior to the match Ponting mustered just four in the first innings and fared little better in his last hurrah, thick-edging Robin Peterson to slip three balls before the lunch break at Perth.

South Africa welcomed Ponting to the crease with a respectful guard of honour but there was to be no fitting finale for the second highest run-scorer in Test history.

One of the greats: Ricky Ponting salutes the crowd at the WACA after his final international innings

One of the greats: Ricky Ponting salutes the crowd at the WACA after his final international innings

One of the greats: Ricky Ponting salutes the crowd at the WACA after his final international innings

Stand by your man: Rianna Ponting applauds her husband during his last appearance for Australia

Stand by your man: Rianna Ponting applauds her husband during his last appearance for Australia

Australia, chasing 632 for an unlikely
victory, resumed this morning on 40 without loss but suffered the worst
possible start when dangerous opener David Warner was dismissed by the
second ball of the day for his overnight score of 29.

Vernon Philander was responsible,
sending down a fine delivery that would have threatened off stump had
Warner not nicked it to Graeme Smith at first slip.

Ed Cowan hit the first four of the day
three balls later but the aim of the day was defence and consolidation
as Philander and Dale Steyn sent down a testing opening spell.

No 3 Shane Watson hit his 12th
ball for four, while the circumspect Cowan put away a Steyn full-toss
for his second boundary.

Watson found the ropes in three
consecutive overs but he was next out for 25 when Morne Morkel squared
him up and found the edge to offer Smith a second catch.

That brought Ponting to the crease for
the final time and, as well as a warm ovation from the stands, the
opposition lined up to form a guard of honour to the wicket.

Ponting stopped to shake hands with
Proteas skipper Smith and, after Cowan stole some of the spotlight with a
six off Peterson, got off the mark by pulling his sixth delivery for
four.

Respect: Ponting was given a guard of honour by South Africa's players as he headed onto the field to bat

Respect: Ponting was given a guard of honour by South Africa's players as he headed onto the field to bat

On the pull: Ponting bats in his last Test innings

Ponting bats in his last Test innings

On the pull: Ponting bats in his last Test innings, but his stay at the crease was to be a short one

All over: Ponting's final dismissal came after nicking the ball to Jacques Kallis (left) at slip off Robin Peterson

All over: Ponting's final dismissal came after nicking the ball to Jacques Kallis (left) at slip off Robin Peterson

All over: Ponting's final dismissal came after nicking the ball to Jacques Kallis (left) at slip off Robin Peterson

Prized wicket: Peterson celebrates

Prized wicket: Peterson celebrates

Luck seemed to be on the 37-year-old's
side when he was gifted a second boundary, Morkel mis-fielding at
mid-on, but that proved his last scoring shot.

Left-arm spinner Peterson got one to
bite and bounce outside off stump and Ponting mis-hit an unwise cut
straight to the alert Jacques Kallis.

The Proteas clamoured to shake his
hand as he departed to plentiful applause before his successor as
Australia skipper, Michael Clarke, struck the last two balls of the
session for four.

AB De Villiers was involved in the
next two wickets, stumping Clarke off Peterson for 44 and then catching
Michael Hussey off Steyn for 26.

Matthew Wade was joined by all-rounder
John Hastings with the home side on 198 for six and South Africa were
on the verge of an impressive victory.

Wade went for 10, caught by Smith at short midwicket when he mistimed a Peterson delivery.

Australia ended the session on 204 for seven, with Hastings and Mitchell Johnson battling against the inevitable.

Philander found the edge of Johnson's
bat and De Villiers took a regulation catch as Australia failed to add
to their total in the first three overs after tea.

Well played: South Africa captain Graeme Smith shakes hands with Ponting after his dismissal

Well played: South Africa captain Graeme Smith shakes hands with Ponting after his dismissal

Farewell: Australia legend Ponting walks off the pitch for the last time in international cricket

Farewell: Australia legend Ponting walks off the pitch for the last time in international cricket

Hastings went for a belligerent 20, caught at first slip by Smith off Morkel.

Mitchell Starc also hit out, his 68
off 43 balls including two sixes and nine fours, as he and Nathan Lyon
put on a battling 87 for the final wicket.

But they were only putting off the
inevitable and after South Africa took the new ball Lyon was finally out
for 31 when he was caught at slip by Smith off Steyn.

That left the home side all out for
322 for a 309-run defeat and a 1-0 series loss which confirmed South
Africa as the number one ranked Test side.

Chris Hughton dedicates Norwich win to John Bond

That was for you, John: Hughton dedicates narrow Norwich win to Bond

|

UPDATED:

22:25 GMT, 26 September 2012

Chris Hughton felt Norwich had paid a fitting tribute to former manager John Bond as they booked a place in the last 16 of the Capital One Cup with a 1-0 win over Doncaster at Carrow Road.

There had been a minute's silence before kick-off this evening in memory of the Canaries legend, who was in charge for a seven-season spell from the mid-1970s, leading the Norfolk club to the League Cup final.

Alexander Tettey marked his debut with a fine strike midway through the first half which proved enough to see off Dean Saunders' npower League One side and set up a home tie with Tottenham.

In front: Alexander Tettey (left) scored Norwich's winner against Doncaster

In front: Alexander Tettey (left) scored Norwich's winner against Doncaster

'When I came to this club in the summer, the first name you think of as former managers is John Bond,' Hughton said.

'If I am able to be at this club anywhere near as long as John was, then I would be incredibly lucky. He will be thought of very fondly by a lot of people.'

Hughton was part of the Tottenham side which played against Bond's Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final.

He added: 'It was fitting that Norwich won, but also there was a nice respect from the crowd for a minute's silence, and we also have to applaud the Doncaster support for that as well.'

Although there was a start for captain Grant Holt, who has yet to score this season, Hughton made the expected sweeping changes, with recent signings Jacob Butterfield and goalkeeper Mark Bunn both coming in, along with on-loan Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who was carried off in the second half with an ankle injury.

On the march: Norwich celebrate as they progress to the fourth round

On the march: Norwich celebrate as they progress to the fourth round

Norwich created plenty of chances, but were thwarted by Rovers goalkeeper Gary Woods and some last-gasp defending.

'We should have had a few more goals, but it is not as if we had clear-cut chances,' said Hughton.

'At 1-0, they are still in the game, and then it can become a bit tense, so we could have made life easier for ourselves.'

Ghana-born Norway midfielder Tettey was signed from Rennes, but had to wait for his chance to showcase his talents.

'The 90 minutes was probably more important for him than the goal, and I was pleased for him because he did very well,' said Hughton.

Asked about the next cup tie against his former club, Hughton said: “It will be tough, but it will be a great occasion with a big crowd here against a quality Premier League team.

'We won't be favourites, but we will go into the tie doing the best we can to reach the quarter-finals.'

Norwich hope Kane's injury will not prove too severe.

'There was no contact with the keeper, he just fell as he went for the ball,' Hughton said.

'We are hoping the news in the morning will not be so bad.'

Blow: Harry Kane suffered an injury as Norwich edged out Doncaster

Blow: Harry Kane suffered an injury as Norwich edged out Doncaster

Doncaster almost snatched an equaliser with two minutes left after full-back James Husband darted down the left and his low centre was stabbed goalwards by substitute David Syers, when better contact would have seen the ball in the net rather than the grateful hands of Bunn.

Rovers boss Saunders claimed the South Yorkshire side had done enough to get a positive result.

He said: 'We have created 10 chances away from home, and have not scored. The killer instinct was missing. You have to be ruthless in front of goal. I am sick.

'I felt we could have won the game tonight because they were not at full strength.

'It was an upset waiting to happen. We created the chances, but never took them.'

Sheffield United to name stand after Jessica Ennis

All stand for Jess! Olympic golden girl Ennis honoured by Sheffield United

|

UPDATED:

09:49 GMT, 31 August 2012

She captured the hearts and imagination of the whole nation with her heptathlon gold at the London Olympics and now Jessica Ennis is being honoured by her favourite football club.

Sheffield United has announced the Steel City's golden girl is to have a stand named after her at Bramall Lane.

The double-tier Bramall Lane Stand, which serves as the away end, is to be re-christened 'The Jessica Ennis Stand' this weekend.

Our Jess: Ennis was greeted by 20,000 fans on her homecoming in Barker's Pool, Sheffield

Our Jess: Ennis was greeted by 20,000 fans on her homecoming in Barker's Pool, Sheffield

New name: The Bramall Lane End at Sheffield United will now be called 'The Jessica Ennis Stand'

New name: The Bramall Lane End at Sheffield United will now be called 'The Jessica Ennis Stand'

Ennis, 26, is a Blades supporter like her family and fiance Andy Hill.

Club owner Kevin McCabe said: 'It is an appropriate and fitting tribute to re-name our Bramall Lane double tier stand after one of the finest athletes this country has ever produced.

'Jessica and her family are Unitedites and after discussions with them we all agreed that renaming the Bramall Lane stand after her would provide an additional sporting legacy from the London Games, a permanent reminder that will hopefully act as an inspiration to other youngsters to come forward and achieve their dreams through sport.'

He added: 'I have been fortunate enough to meet Jessica and her family. They are wonderful ambassadors for this city and sport. I am delighted Sheffield United and our fans can support and recognise Jessica through the re-naming of the stand.'

Golden Girl: Ennis was awarded with the Freedom of Sheffield by the city council

Golden Girl: Ennis was awarded with the Freedom of Sheffield by the city council

The stand will be officially renamed at Saturday's home League One match with Bournemouth on Saturday, where Jess will be represented by her sister Carmel.

Jess said of the honour: 'Winning the gold medal at the Olympics was amazing, and to be honest it still hasn't really sunk in.

'It is also wonderful and totally unexpected to have further recognition from within Sheffield and from the football club.

'I met Kevin McCabe at the civic reception in Barker's Pool and he mentioned that the club would like to recognise me winning the gold medal.

'I never expected when I started out in athletics in Sheffield all those years ago that I would have a football stand at Sheffield United named after me.

'I can't be at the match on Saturday but look forward to coming down on a match day very soon when I can see for myself how the stand looks as well as being able to meet supporters.'

All-round star: Ennis won the 800m to confirm gold in the seven-event heptathlon at the Olympics in London

All-round star: Ennis won the 800m to confirm gold in the seven-event heptathlon at the Olympics in London

Ennis was greeted by 20,000 fans at a civic reception in Sheffield city centre on August 17 and was presented with the Freedom of the City.

Her plaque on the city's Walk of Fame was also updated to acknowledge her gold medal success.

And the Royal Mail painted a postbox near the Town Hall gold in her honour.

London 2012 Olympics: Ben Ainslie to carry British flag at closing ceremony

Ainslie's perfect Games goes on as star sailor is chosen to carry GB flag at closing ceremony

|

UPDATED:

14:08 GMT, 11 August 2012

Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, has been chosen to carry the flag for the British team at tomorrow's closing ceremony.

Ainslie, who won his fourth gold medal in the 11-race Finn class regatta.

The Brit, who beat Dane
Jonas Hogh-Christensen in a tense final encounter, has been selected to
carry the flag at the official close of the hugely successful London
Games.

Flying the flag: Ben Ainslie is to carry the Union Jack at the closing ceremony of the Games

Flying the flag: Ben Ainslie is to carry the Union Jack at the closing ceremony of the Games

Sir Chris Hoy had the honour of bearing the flag for the Team GB athletes as he led them out at Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, and it will be Ainslie's turn on Sunday to take up the mantle.

A fitting choice by the BOA as Ainslie became the most successful ever sailor at the Games after his gold medal triumph.

Not only was the medal Ainslie's fourth gold, but the fourth in consecutive Games at what is likely to be his final Olympics.

He also managed to win a silver medal as a 19-year-old in Atlanta in 1996.

Ainslie said: 'It's a really proud
moment for me and for sailing to have such an involvement at the end of
what's been such an amazing Games for the whole country.

'There have been so many people
involved in making these Games so special, so I think one thing you'd
say on behalf of all the athletes is thanks so much to everyone involved
– all the volunteers, and the whole nation for getting behind the team.

Thumbs up! Ainslie won his fourth Olympic gold at the London Games

Thumbs up! Ainslie won his fourth Olympic gold at the London Games

In good company: Ainslie met Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge after his triumph

In good company: Ainslie met Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge after his triumph

'It's been our best ever performance at the Olympics, and I think a lot of that comes down to having so much fantastic home support.'

British team leader Andy Hunt said there were a number of candidates for the role – it is understood rower Kath Grainger plus cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton were also considered.

Hunt said: 'There are a number of worthy candidates from Team GB's ranks, athletes who have made the country proud and distinguished themselves through their accomplishments here at London 2012.

'But in becoming the most decorated sailor in Olympic history, Ben has earned the honour of leading our delegation into the closing ceremony of these extraordinary Games.

'As we pass the Olympic baton on to Rio, we as a team are privileged to have Ben lead the way.'

QPR tour plane named after Alan McDonald – pictures

All aboard the Alan McDonald! QPR honour late great by handing tour plane his name

|

UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 18 July 2012

He was an uncompromising centre-back who clocked up over 500 appearances for Queens Park Rangers during 17 memorable years with the club.

Now the late Alan McDonald has been honoured in unique fashion by having the plane chartered to carry QPR on their pre-season tour of Asia named after him.

McDonald sadly passed away on June 23, at the age of 48, after collapsing on a golf course in his native Northern Ireland.

Come fly with me: QPR's plane, the Alan McDonald, for the tour to Malaysia and Indonesia

Come fly with me: QPR's plane, the Alan McDonald, for the tour to Malaysia and Indonesia

After tributes to the QPR stalwart poured in from all over the world, the club’s chairman Tony Fernandes – who also happens to be the owner of low cost airline Air Asia – thought up a fitting tribute.

He commissioned an Airbus A320 to be painted in the club’s colours of blue and white, with a QPR shirt with ‘Alan McDonald 5’ on the back featuring prominently.

The interior features facts about McDonald’s career and the club, while an overhead locker has a picture of McDonald tackling club manager Mark Hughes, then in the colours of Manchester United.

Interior: A picture of McDonald tackling then Manchester United forward and now Hoops boss Mark Hughes

Interior: A picture of McDonald tackling then Manchester United forward and now Hoops boss Mark Hughes

Tribute: McDonald's name on the plane

Tribute: McDonald's name on the plane

The entire QPR squad, Hughes, club CEO Philip Beard and Fernandes himself were on hand at the unveiling of the aircraft in Kuala Lumpur.

Jay Bothroyd tweeted a picture of the plane – which has Queens Park Rangers emblazoned along the side and a tail of blue and white hoops – saying: ‘Where’s our plane This must be it!!’

He later added alongside a close-up of the McDonald shirt: ‘This plane is in remembrance of the Qpr great ALAN MCDONALD!!! RIP’

QPR are currently on a three-match tour of Malaysia and Indonesia. They thrashed a Sabah XI 5-0 in their first match and play Kelantan in Kuala Lumpur on Friday and Persebaya Surabaya on Monday.

Tonia McDonald, Alan’s widow, said: ‘On behalf of myself, (son) Joshua and all the McDonald family I cannot thank Mr Fernandes enough for his overwhelming gesture of deciding to remember and honour Alan by naming one of his planes after him.

‘We know Alan would have been so proud and amazed at such a generous tribute. I’m only sorry that we could not be in KL to witness the unveiling, but I feel immensely proud that Alan’s name and the QPR colours will jointly become a legacy incorporated in such a wonderful aircraft.

‘Mr Fernandes has already promised me that if ever the plane comes to the UK then we will have the opportunity to see it for ourselves and Joshua and I can’t wait for that to happen.’

On tour: QPR's Park Ji-sung (centre) and Anton Ferdinand (left) at an event paying tribute to McDonald

On tour: QPR's Park Ji-sung (centre) and Anton Ferdinand (left) at an event paying tribute to McDonald

Air smiles: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes (right) shares a light moment with Park and Ferdinand

Air smiles: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes (right) shares a light moment with Park and Ferdinand

The Open 2012: Family affair for Stephen Ames and Simon Dyson

Open All Hours: It's a family affair for Ames and Dyson on practice day

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 16 July 2012

Family affair: Dyson

Family affair: Dyson

Early practice days are there to be enjoyed, hence the sight of Canadian Stephen Ames’s son Ryan holing putts on the 13th green and posing for photos in the cavernous bunker to the left of the par-five seventh hole on Monday.

Englishman Simon Dyson has taken things a step further, however, by having the name of new daughter Isabella Rose engraved on each of his Nike clubs. How sweet.

Early bird

Ian Poulter always does things his own way and shunned the limelight on Monday by undertaking one of the earliest practice rounds in Open history.

Poults was out at 4.50am – he was still on the putting green at 7pm – to make the most of some calm weather.

Rumour here suggests further heavy rain could lead to practice being limited to half a day on Wednesday if the green staff feel the need to work on their immaculate course.

In it to win it

Golf may look like a terribly serious business at times but some players are just happy to be here. Take Challenge Tour graduate Matthew Baldwin, for example.

The 26-year-old from Southport was so chuffed to see his name on the leaderboard at the 18th on Monday (it’s used to indicate order of play on practice days) that he stopped to take a photograph on his phone.

Photo opportunity: Matthew Baldwin

Photo opportunity: Matthew Baldwin

Quiet please

The R&A’s decision to allow mobiles on the course after banning them at St George’s last year seems a risky step.

One went off on Miguel Angel Jimenez’s backswing on the 16th tee on Monday, prompting the caddie of practice partner Ian Keenan to remark wryly: ‘If that happens on Sunday afternoon there could be trouble.’

Thumbs up for

Gung-ho young Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, who is an early contender for my favourite player of the week after paying his own fitting tribute to the late Seve Ballesteros on Monday.

Taking out his driver on the 16th tee, the 29-year-old said: ‘OK, where is the car park I am told that is the line from here.’ We wish him well this week.

Viva Espana: Pablo Larrazabal

Viva Espana: Pablo Larrazabal

Thumbs down for

Any player who has moaned about – or indeed plans to moan about – the deep rough at Lytham this week. There are two things you need to know, chaps.

First, the rough won’t be a problem if you hit the thing straight. Second, nobody ever said that this great game was supposed to be fair. So just put the ball on the tee, hit it and walk after it. It really is that simple.

Quote of the day

‘He really is good, isn’t he’

A young father to his son as he watched Darren Clarke practising his chipping on the practice ground yesterday. Of course he’s ‘good’. He’s the Open champion!

JPR Williams: Wales" performance fitting tribute for Mervyn Davies

JPR Williams: Wonderful Wales played out a fitting tribute for Davies

|

UPDATED:

23:25 GMT, 17 March 2012

I have rarely been more proud of a Welsh team than I was on Saturday.

In the cauldron of the Millennium stadium, Sam Warburton and the boys ground out a famous victory delivered on the day we paid tribute to the late, great Mervyn Davies.

How fitting that we can compare this team with our Grand Slammers of the Seventies in which Merv played so brilliantly.

Ecstasy: Wales celebrate at the end

Ecstasy: Wales celebrate at the end

There is no doubt Wales are strong contenders for the next World Cup.

They have learned to win without playing that great.

And they won yesterday when not at their best.

Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau were immense. You don’t win a Grand Slam on luck. No team have worked harder.

Honoured: A tribute to Mervyn Davies, who lost his battle with cancer on Thursday

Honoured: A tribute to Mervyn Davies, who lost his battle with cancer on Thursday

Ricky Burns v Paulus Moses interview

Burns hopes Moses is the perfect fit as Scot aims to defend world title

|

UPDATED:

09:18 GMT, 10 March 2012

Some boxers go into seclusion before a big fight, others call in the media and try to sell a few more tickets.

Ricky Burns goes to the DW Sports store on Coatbank Street in Coatbridge, a town about 10 miles east of Glasgow’s city centre.

‘I do all sorts in there,’ he says. ‘Fitting shoes, that kind of thing.'

Squaring up: Paulius Moses and Ricky Burns (right) at the weigh-in

Squaring up: Paulius Moses and Ricky Burns (right) at the weigh-in

On the verge: Ricky Burns will defend his title against Paulus Moses in Glasgow

On the verge: Ricky Burns will defend his title against Paulus Moses in Glasgow

He’s in there for about four hours each week, either on a Saturday or Sunday, and is paid the minimum wage for his shift.

‘I was in last weekend,’ he adds. ‘But I didn’t do much work. People were coming in and asking for photographs and that.

‘My boss is great and doesn’t mind because they usually buy boxing gloves in the shop before asking me to sign them.’

Of course, Burns is also a two-weight world champion, a 28-year-old with a solid chin and a technician’s touch who will put his WBO portion of the lightweight title on the line in Glasgow on Saturday against the dangerous Namibian Paulus Moses.

He won’t say how much he’s earning for that fight, but it’s likely to be well into five figures.

Face to face: Burns with Moses

Face to face: Burns with Moses

‘I don’t do either for the money,’ he adds. ‘I fight because I like fighting – it’s not really about the money – and I work in the shop because it gives me something to do outside of training.

‘I don’t need the money, I just like it and it’s near where I live. It keeps me normal, grounded.’

Grounded is probably the right word to describe one of British boxing’s most successful but least known champions of recent times.

He doesn’t care much for attention – ‘PR stuff is a bit of a hassle. I’m not bothered about all that’ – and his fame and wallet have most likely suffered for it. He doubts that Dave Whelan, the multi-millionaire owner of Wigan Athletic who pays his part-time wages, even knows about the champion on his staff.

‘That doesn’t bother me either,’ Burns says.‘I’m a boxer, I just want to fight.’

And yet this is the man who barely raised his fists as a boy. One of five children to parents with no background in the sport, Burns only laced up gloves for the first time at 12.

‘I never really fought at school, maybe one or two scuffles,’ he says. ‘I was quiet, didn’t want the bother.

‘Then a gym opened at the end of my road and me, my two brothers and a few pals started going. I loved it, got a thrill from throwing punches.

‘As an amateur I used to drive my trainer crazy by asking for fights. I’d bring my gear to shows I wasn’t on, just in case I could get a fight if someone dropped out. I’d go in with people who weighed more than me but I’d love it. I’d usually win.’

Defining moment: Burns was in impressive form when he beat Michael Katsidis

Defining moment: Burns was in impressive form when he beat Michael Katsidis

It’s a habit that stuck – calling out
strong fighters and winning. Barring two defeats in fights he was
expected to lose more than five years ago, Burns has beaten all who have
gone in with him, including a thrilling upset win against Roman
Martinez for the super-featherweight title in 2010, and a comprehensive
demolition of Michael Katsidis for the interim version of his current
title in November.

His suspicion is that Moses will be his 34th victim, but that’s all it is. ‘I don’t watch tapes so I don’t know too much about him. My trainer, Billy Nelson, does and works on a game plan but I just get in there and figure it out.’

It’s an old-school approach – as is his intention to ‘fight 100 times until I’m in my late 30s or get hurt’ – but it’s also risky.

Moses is a former world champion at the weight and has lost only once in 29 bouts. He hits hard – 18 of his fights ended early – and moves well, but rarely leaves Namibia to fight.

‘It will be hard,’ Burns says. ‘But I’m not afraid of losing. I’ll fight anyone. If Juan Manuel Marquez hadn’t moved up to fight Manny Pacquiao I’d have fought him in a heartbeat. But Moses is the fight coming up and that’s all I care about.

‘If I lose, I’ll be back in the gym, back in the shop, and we’ll go again. I just love fighting.’

Watch Burns v Moses live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

Gary Speed memorial: Tributes and tears for former Wales boss

A night to say goodbye: Tributes and tears aplenty in memory of tragic Speed

Craig Bellamy provided a shoulder for Gary Speed's sons to cry on on Wednesday night. But he need not have worried as they stood strong on an evening when Welsh football paid a fitting tribute to their father.

Liverpool striker Bellamy lined up alongside Ed and Tommy, who were mascots for the evening. All three kept their emotions in check as the country said farewell to one of the most popular figures in the game.

While Speed's parents, Roger and Carol, were overcome by emotion on the touchline before kick-off, the late coach's sons proved a chip off the old block, even delivering a post-match 'thank you' to Chris Coleman's players after Wales were defeated by Joel Campbell's early goal.

Placard: The crowd played their part on an emotional night

Placard: The crowd played their part on an emotional night

Emotional: Gary Speed's sons Ed And Tom lead Wales out with captain Craig Bellamy

Emotional: Gary Speed's sons Ed And Tom lead Wales out with captain Craig Bellamy

Coleman was struggling to hold it
together during the press conference after the final whistle as he
praised his former colleague's sons.

'Ed is 14 years old,' said the new
Wales coach. 'And he came into the dressing room afterwards. There
wasn't a tear in his eye. He was as strong as an ox and spoke to the
players.

'He stood there and said to them: “My
dad always told me that if you do your best, then that's enough. And I
think you lot did your best tonight. That's good enough.”

'What can you say when a lad who has
just lost his dad says that to a bunch of professional footballers
That's bravery, isn't it His boys were absolutely magnificent.'

Ed followed his address to the
players with another to some 400 family, friends and invited guests –
including Alan Shearer, David Moyes and Roberto Martinez.

Sadness: Wales captain Craig Bellamy was visibly upset as he stood with the sons of Gary Speed

Sadness: Wales captain Craig Bellamy was visibly upset as he stood with the sons of Gary Speed

Tragic: Speed's parents Roger and Carol with Chris Coleman before the game

Tragic: Speed's parents Roger and Carol with Chris Coleman before the game

It was emotional for everyone
involved, but Speed's father voiced his own gratitude, Roger adding: 'We
have been honoured, overwhelmed and will be forever grateful for all
the help and support given so spontaneously from so many people. It has
helped beyond measure in coming to terms with our heartache.'

Coleman admitted he had struggled to
deal with the enormity of last night's occasion. 'I wasn't looking
forward to it,' he said. 'But how selfish do I sound saying that What
about Gary's family and his boys

'But I can't get my breath when I see
people selling Gary Speed memorial scarves. It's not right and it still
doesn't feel right.

'It's been difficult for all of us.
An incredibly tough night. We don't normally prepare for games like we
did tonight, but it wasn't about us tonight. It was surreal.

'It was about the Speed family. They
were here, along with his friends, and it was a great turn-out for him
from the Welsh public, which is what he deserved.

Gary Speed's sons Ed and Tom with his father Roger at the Cardiff City Stadium

Gary Speed memorial match

Fans applaud the late Gary Speed

Special night: A scarf designed for the occasion and fans paying tribute at the Cardiff City Stadium

'They turned out – as did all the
ex-players – not just because of what he was as a footballer. I knew
Speeds. I know he would want us to move on. I will. I have to because
the players will be looking to me for guidance. I'll be ready in another
couple of months.

'But I just don't think we are ready at the moment.'

The build-up had started with Ryan Giggs revisiting the moment when he first heard the news.

'It's the biggest shock I've ever had in my life,' he said.

The video footage in the stadium
showed the former Leeds, Newcastle and Bolton midfielder's best days for
club and country. Footage of Roger Speed was then shown on the
concourse televisions.

He spoke of the pride he had in his
son. And how much solace he received in passing on his duty of care to
his grandchildren – one a promising boxer, the other a hopeful in
Wrexham's academy.

King Campbell: Costa Rica edged the match by a single goal

King Campbell: Costa Rica edged the match by a single goal

King Campbell: Costa Rica edged the match by a single goal

The result, in truth, could not have
been more meaningless. Despite plenty of endeavour and sheer
determination, it was perhaps always going to be too much for the
players Speed left behind to notch the victory they so desperately
craved from this occasion.

Particularly so when, as early as the
seventh minute, Campbell put the impressive visitors in front. The
Arsenal striker, who is on loan at Lorient, calmly slotted home
following a superb one-two with captain Bryan Ruiz of Fulham.

Steve Morison twice went close to an
equaliser, hitting the bar with a header, while Hal Robson-Kanu saw one
effort expertly kept out by keeper Keylor Navas. But Costa Rica could
have won by a wider margin.

Lewis Price, preferred to Aberdeen's
Jason Brown in goal, was beaten by Kenny Cunningham's shot following a
second-half breakaway but saw it rebound to safety off a post.

Coleman added: 'At the start, we weren't really at the races. But I commend the players. They did their best.

'They have been a terrific bunch but they all miss Speeds. Yes, we lost on the night, but we gave it what we had.'

Standing tall: Ed (left) and Tommy, the young sons Speed leave the pitch

Standing tall: Ed (left) and Tommy, the young sons Speed leave the pitch