Tag Archives: games

Beach volleyball initiative launched by Zara Dampney

Give it a go! Team GB star Dampney gets behind new beach volleyball initiative

Olympics, the British public are being given the chance to try it for themselves.

The sport was one of the highlights of the Games as crowds flocked to the Horse Guards Parade last summer.

And Team GB star Zara Dampney is hoping a new initiative can encourage more people to take the fast-paced, action-packed discipline.

Zara Dampney

Zara Dampney

Best of British: Zoe Dampney was part of Team GB and the beach volleyball squad at London 2012

The Go Spike Big Weekend, which runs from May 25-27, offers the chance to take part in beach, indoor, outdoor and sitting volleyball at various venues across England.

'I’m incredibly excited about the Go Spike Big Weekend and think it will be a fantastic showcase of everything volleyball has to offer,' Dampney said. 'Everyone from kids to retired people should experience the enjoyment and the health benefits of volleyball.

'People don’t realise just how accessible volleyball is – there are facilities for all versions of the sport right across the country, and I hope that once people give it a go they will join up and make volleyball a regular part of their lives and enjoy it just as much as I do.'

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

For further information on the Go Spike Big Weekend and details of events across England visit www.gospike.net

Marouane Fellaini to dye hair silver

Fellaini to provide a silver lining for Everton's season with midfielder set to dye afro for charity

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

16:56 GMT, 25 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:56 GMT, 25 April 2013

Everton's Champions League hopes may have faded, but star man Marouane Fellaini is set to provide a silver lining to their season.

The Belgium midfielder will dye his hair silver if 25,000 is raised for Everton in the Community – the club's official charity.

Hair-raising: How Fellaini would look if his hair is dyed silver

Hair-raising: How Fellaini would look if his hair is dyed silver

The presence of the 6ft 4in afroed midfielder has proved frightening enough already for opposition defenders this season, but the sight of his famous curly locks dyed silver will be truly hair-raising.

Fellaini, 25, has made 27 Barclays Premier League appearances for the Toffees this season, scoring 11 goals.

Famous fro: Fellaini is one of the most recognisable stars in the Premier League

Famous fro: Fellaini is one of the most recognisable stars in the Premier League

Famous fro: Fellaini is one of the most recognisable stars in the Premier League

Everton currently sit in sixth place in the league with four games remaining – starting at home to Fulham on Saturday.

Their last game of the season is at Chelsea on May 19, so if you want to see Fellaini's afro dyed silver… get donating!

To donate to Everton in the Community visit justgiving.com/fellainifro or text FELI50 and the amount including the sign to 70070.

Peter Crouch seen with black eye while out with Abbey Clancy

Where did you get that shiner, Crouch Stoke striker spotted with black eye after ending goal drought

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:56 GMT, 23 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:31 GMT, 23 April 2013

Having returned to his previous club last weekend, it looks like Peter Crouch may have picked up a few battle scars to get back to scoring ways.

The Stoke striker netted just his second goal since September when he struck at relegation threatened QPR on Saturday, but he has since emerged with a mystery black eye.

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

The former England international was seen leaving Liverpool Dental Spa today with his wife Abbey Clancy, who is a regular, and daughter Sophia where the bruise underneath his right eye was clear to see.

Having started the season with five goals from his first seven games, Crouch’s season has tailed off, with his only goal before Saturday coming in a 2-2 draw with Wigan in January.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis had backed the former Tottenham hitman to rediscover his scoring touch, as he said before the QPR game: There's been a while, especially after his injury, where Peter has not performed to the level he was at before.

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

Eyesore: Peter Crouch leaves Liverpool Dental Spa with daughter, Sophia

‘He had a good start to the season and looked a real handful. Hopefully he will be back to what he was in the next five games.’

Crouch came off with a minute to go at QPR but should be in line to face Norwich at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Battle scar: Peter Crouch celebrates scoring at QPR last Saturday

Battle scar: Peter Crouch celebrates scoring at QPR last Saturday

John Terry does not know where he stands in Chelsea pecking order

I don't know where I stand any more, admits bit-part Chelsea skipper Terry

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

14:33 GMT, 18 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 18 April 2013

John Terry insists he is fully fit and able to play up to three games a week – but he admits he does not know where he stands in the Chelsea pecking order any more.

A regular fixture for the Blues for over a decade, the former England captain has been in and out of the side since injuring his knee against Liverpool in November with David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill all often being preferred in the centre of defence.

Interim manager Rafa Benitez left the
club captain on the bench for the entirety of the FA Cup semi-final
defeat by Manchester City on Sunday, but Terry says he has not and will
not complain if he is dropped.

Benched: John Terry (left) sat out the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City

Benched: John Terry (left) sat out the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City

Double salvo: Terry netted twice against Fulham on Wednesday night

Double salvo: Terry netted twice against Fulham on Wednesday night

The 32-year-old told the Evening Standard: 'With Gary coming back, I don’t know where that puts me in the pecking order. All I can do is train hard and, when I get a chance, play well.

'There are no complaints. If the manager is straight with me and tells me, that’s fine. I accept the rotation system. I can definitely play twice a week, three games a week if need be. I don’t know where that (doubt) arose from.

'I’m fit, I’m training every day and have been for the last three months, so I just want to set the record straight.

'I’m
available but, at the same time, if the manager chooses not to pick me,
there is not a problem because I’m Chelsea through and through and I
want nothing more than to get Champions League football.

'If
that means me playing, great, if not, I will be the biggest supporter
in the dressing room. It’s down to me to work hard and maybe prove him
(Benitez) wrong.'

Committed to the cause: Terry says he will not complain about sitting on the bench

Committed to the cause: Terry says he will not complain about sitting on the bench

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Competition: David Luiz

Competition: David Luiz

Consistent: Gary Cahill

Consistent: Gary Cahill

Solid: Branislav Ivanovic

Solid: Branislav Ivanovic

JOHN TERRY UNDER RAFA BENITEZ

John Terry

Matches played: 13

Won: 7

Drawn: 2

Lost: 4

Goals: 5

Bookings: 1

Games not featured: 26

Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from injury

Water way to rehab: Spurs keeper Gomes starts injury recovery in swimming pool

By
Jon Harvey

PUBLISHED:

14:46 GMT, 18 April 2013

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UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 18 April 2013

Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes has begun his recovery from the broken hand injury he picked up while on loan at German side Hoffenhiem.

The 32-year-old Brazilian underwent surgery to have four pins inserted into his broken left hand after a collision with Andreas Lambertz in Friday's win over Dusseldorf.

Gomes, who joined Spurs in 2008 from PSV, will be out for eight weeks and will remain at the Bundesliga side for his rehabilitation.

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Gomes had impressed for the German club on a six-month loan deal in January before the injury, conceding nine goals in nine games.

He found his opportunities limited at White Hart Lane after being relegated relegated to fourth
choice thanks to the arrivals of Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel over the
last two years.

Despite
the departure of Carlo Cudicini, Gomes is still unlikely to get any game
time at Spurs next season and he may leave the club in the summer.

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

His Spurs deal currently runs to 2014, but his former club PSV might ready to rescue him.

PSV director Marcel Brands said: 'Two years ago Tottenham wanted 8million. Maybe that’s changed.'

.

Rafa Benitez plays down talk of David Luiz being future long term Chelsea captain

I'm not ready to make Luiz my captain yet, insists Chelsea boss Benitez amid doubts over Terry's future

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

12:54 GMT, 16 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:15 GMT, 16 April 2013

Rafa Benitez has dismissed claims that David Luiz is in line to replace John Terry as the long-term captain of Chelsea.

Terry was left out of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City at the weekend and has missed a number games this season.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech led the side in Terry’s absence at Wembley on Sunday, but Luiz has been cited as a possible long-term replacement.

Future leader: Rafa Benites has played down talk of David Luiz being Chelsea captain

Future leader: Rafa Benites has played down talk of David Luiz being Chelsea captain

But Benitez played down the suggestion saying he did not want to praise the Brazilin too much.

‘I don’t want to talk about the future when we’re involved in top four challenge and Europa League. He’ one of the important players we have, there are others, I don’t want to give too much credit to him. He is a key player and will be in the future.’

Liverpool having better season than last year – Glen Johnson

No trophies and seventh in the league… but Johnson insists Liverpool have improved

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

06:15 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

06:15 GMT, 9 April 2013

Glen Johnson insists Liverpool's season has been 'clearly better' than the last campaign which ended with them winning a trophy and qualifying for Europe.

Liverpool, whose hopes of top six finish were dented by a 0-0 draw with West Ham, never threatened to repeat their exploits of last year in knockout football when they reached both domestic cup finals, winning the League Cup against Cardiff.

Bar a huge turn of events, it is almost certain they will miss out on a place in the Europa League next year, too, as they are running out of games to overhaul Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton.

Luis Suarez

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard

Woe: Liverpool failed to break down a dogged West Ham defence at Anfield last weekend

Johnson, though, is adamant that Liverpool – who are set to surpass the points tally of 52 they accrued 12 months ago – have made far greater progress under Brendan Rodgers than the Barclays Premier League table would suggest.

'I wouldn't say it (has been) so close but so far,' said the England right-back. 'It is clearly a better season than last season. Brendan is looking to improve the squad and we have got a better squad than we did have. He will look to improve again in the summer.

'If we can nick the goals we need from games (like against West Ham), we will be right in amongst it (next season).'

When asked why he felt it was a 'clearly better season', Johnson replied: 'It's a few things. You look at the squad, the feeling that there is around the place, the football that we are playing – 8 times out of 10, we have been battering teams.

Past glories: Liverpool won the Carling Cup last season but will finish this campaign without a trophy

Past glories: Liverpool won the Carling Cup last season but will finish this campaign without a trophy

'That wasn't the case last season. We won a trophy last season and, of course, that was fantastic. Everyone wants to win. That's what we are in the game for. But in terms of getting Liverpool back where they belong, we want to be back in the top four.'

Johnson, who has been one of Liverpool's most consistent performers under Rodgers, believes it is vital for the club's critics to look at this season in isolation, as he is adamant there will be significant improvement when things are fully settled.

'Brendan was brought in to rebuild the squad and put Liverpool back into the places that it should be (as a club),' said Johnson. 'He wants to put us back in the top four but he wasn't asked to do that in his first season. This season has been a step closer to that.

Main man: Glen Johnson (centre) praised manager Brendan Rodgers for his impact at the club

Main man: Glen Johnson (centre) praised manager Brendan Rodgers for his impact at the club

'Everyone – players, staff, fans – would love us to be back in the top four but if we improve on last season then it is a step in the right direction. We are still pretty close to the top four. If we can start nicking games like West Ham, we are going to be right in amongst it.'

Meanwhile, Liverpool target Toby Alderweirled has stated that he would prefer a move to Anfield this summer. The Belgian defender is expected to leave Ajax and has been courted by a number of English clubs, including Newcastle and Everton.

'I do not want to play for an English club in mid-table,' said Alderweirled. 'Unlike Newcastle, Liverpool meets my criteria.'

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Arsenal gunning for Tottenham after West Brom win at the Hawthorns

Watch out Tottenham: Arsenal are Gunning for you after West Bromwich victory

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 7 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:10 GMT, 8 April 2013

Arsenal fans sang ‘Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you,’ at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as their team moved into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League for the first time since Boxing Day.

Their glee was understandable. Arsenal's victory at the Hawthorns was their sixth win in their last seven Premier League outings and allowed Arsene Wenger's side to put their feet up on Sunday and see how Champions League qualification rivals Tottenham and Chelsea responded.

'Playing on Saturday is fantastic when you win,' said Wenger. 'When you lose, it's a disaster. But, as long as we win, it's always better for me to play, if you can, before (our rivals).

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Premier League table

'Ideally, I would like to be in the Champions League as well, but – if you are on a good run – maybe it can be a little advantage because you can recover more.'

Arsenal's league run has been marred by their FA Cup and Champions League exits and defeat in the North London derby, but Tottenham and Chelsea's exploits in the knock-out competitions have provided a little window of opportunity for Wenger's side.

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City means their Premier League clash with Spurs at Stamford Bridge on April 14 has been postponed.

Arsenal will therefore contest two home games – against Norwich and Everton – before their main rivals for a Champions League spot play in the league again.

Chelsea and Spurs also, of course, have Europa League quarter-finals to consider. The scorer of both Arsenal goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win, Tomas Rosicky said: 'I hope that will happen (and we will take advantage).'

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

'We've got two home games which we've got to win if we're talking about fourth or third place. Our home form has to improve.

'But when you get a good run of results the confidence returns. Every day you have to be prepared 100 per cent to come to training and fight for your club.

'Sometimes it's not easy when you see and hear what is going on around. That's what you've got to do.

'We're in a position where we just need to concentrate on ourselves. Sometimes it is tricky to be saying where are Tottenham playing and when are Chelsea playing. It's important to just concentrate on ourselves and what we're producing.'

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WTA Charleston – Family Circle Cup: Serena Williams beats Venus Williams 6-1 6-2 in semi-final

Serena shows big sister Venus tough love with straight-sets thrashing in Charleston

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:18 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

Serena Williams demolished her older sister Venus 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

At times it was painful to watch, with Serena appearing uncomfortable with how she dismantled her sister – at one point not even challenging a ball that was called in when clearly wide – and the whole affair was over in 54 minutes.

Venus was constantly troubled by her serve, producing eight double faults, and it took until the third game of the second set for the former world No 1 to hold. Serena led applause for Venus after the match and chose to speak of her sister's return after a back injury which forced her withdrawal from March's Sony Open.

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

She said: 'It's really exciting…it's hard on our bodies. We're doing great and we were just excited that one of us was going to the final.'

It was the first time the sisters had faced each other since 2009 and while Serena has been in the ascendancy for some years, the first game gave no hint of the steamrollering to come.

Instead, Serena seemed to be going through the motions and her serve was not its usual formidable weapon, although the world number one held. A fierce cross-court shot gave Serena break point in the following game which had set the tone for the match with regards to Venus' serve, a double fault bringing up 2-0.

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

The younger sister was getting into her stride, a 110mph serve produced en route to 3-0 in contrast to Venus. Serena was quicker to everything and she moved to a 4-0 lead by passing Venus as she came into the net with a looping shot.

Venus finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth game when a fearsome forehand down the line gave Serena no chance.

However, Serena immediately broke back when Venus produced two successive double faults and she went on to win the set to love.

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

The crowd were urging Venus on but initially it had little effect as Serena took a 2-0 lead in the second. Venus held to the delight of the stands and she was certainly moving her sister around the court more, but the match was moving towards an inevitable conclusion.

The decisive break came in the seventh game as Venus netted with Serena going 5-2 up, and a long return saw her win to love.

Serena said: 'I felt great. I am really looking forward not only to tomorrow but the rest of the clay court season.'

Serena will meet Jelena Jankovic in the final after the Serbian beat unseeded Stefanie Voegele 6-4 6-7 (6/8) 6-2 in a match lasting two hours eight minutes.

Nottingham Forest super-fan forced to miss a match for first time since 1973… 1,786 games ago!

Forest super-fan forced to miss a match for first time since 1973… 1,786 games ago!

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

00:53 GMT, 2 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:53 GMT, 2 April 2013

Britain's most dedicated football fan who has seen 1,786 consecutive Nottingham Forest games was left gutted on Monday after he was forced to miss his first match in 40 YEARS.

Loyal Stuart Astill, 67, has spent thousands of pounds clocking up a staggering 2,534 matches since he first went to watch Forest play in 1956.

The obsessed OAP reckons he must have travelled over 100,000 miles by coach, car and plane to watch his beloved side play across Britain and Europe.

No 1 fan: Stuart Astill with his vast collection of Nottingham Forest memorabilia

No 1 fan: Stuart Astill with his vast collection of Nottingham Forest memorabilia

He last missed a game in 1973 when he was an usher at a wedding – but has been to every home and away games ever since.

Last week Stuart was admitted to hospital after his foot became infected but still made it to his beloved team's 2-2 draw at home against Brighton on Saturday (30/1).

But doctors banned the footie-mad pensioner from travelling to Burnley on Monday following an operation on his foot.

It meant devastated Stuart was forced to listen to a Forest game on the radio for the first time in his life.

Retired British Rail engineer Stuart, who lives in Sandiacre, Derbyshire, said: 'This is my first missed game for 40 years.

Last-gasp: Forest's Lewis McGugan scored a late penalty to salvage a draw at Burnley on Monday

Last-gasp: Forest's Lewis McGugan scored a late penalty to salvage a draw at Burnley on Monday

Last-gasp: Forest's Lewis McGugan scored a late penalty to salvage a draw at Burnley on Monday

'The last time was in 1973 – it was at home to Preston and I was an usher at a wedding.

'I'll miss the atmosphere. I knew my run would end at some point but I didn't expect it to be now.

'It's going to be really unusual listening to the game on the radio after how many games I have been to.'

Point gained: Forest boss Billy Davies celebrates his side's battling draw at Turf Moor

Point gained: Forest boss Billy Davies celebrates his side's battling draw at Turf Moor

Stuart started going to football matches with his dad – a Derby County supporter – and his first Nottingham Forest game was a 4-0 win over Middlesbrough in November, 1956.

Remarkably, he has only missed two games since the 1960s and even goes to watch the youth team play.

He was there when captain John McGovern lifted the European Cup after a 1-0 win over Malmo in Munich in 1979 and saw every game of the famous Brian Clough managerial era.

And Stuart said he would 'move heaven and earth' to see Forest play in the Premier League again.

He added: 'Winning the European cups was unbelievable. Seeing John McGovern lift the trophy in Munich, a few tears came to my eyes.

'I'd only seen the European Cup on telly – it was fantastic.

'And I did see every competitive match that Brian Clough managed us in.

'They were an unbelievable team. I feel privileged to say I was there.

'I'm not sure whether I could afford to go in the Premier League, but I would move heaven and earth to do it.'

Loyal Stuart was even rewarded for his loyalty at the beginning of the season when Forest's new owners, the Al-Hasawi family, gave him a complimentary place in the exclusive 1865 club for a year.

A spokesman for Nottingham Forest said: 'It is a great shame Stuart will not be here to cheer us on.

'Everyone at the club would like to wish him a speedy recovery.'

Life-changing: Stuart with the programme from his first Forest game, on November 10th 1956

Life-changing: Stuart with the programme from his first Forest game, on November 10th 1956