Tag Archives: gentleman

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool were at their best against QPR

Liverpool are back to their best! Skipper Gerrard hails win over QPR



19:32 GMT, 30 December 2012

Captain Steven Gerrard felt Liverpool’s first-half performance in their 3-0 win at QPR was their best of the season.

The Anfield club scored three goals in 13 minutes, with Luis Suarez getting two and Daniel Agger the other, and were in control beyond that.

They were hardly tested by a Rangers side in big trouble at the bottom and Gerrard admitted his men had been on the money.

Season's best: Liverpool's Luis Suarez (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal

Season's best: Liverpool's Luis Suarez (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal

'I wouldn’t say it was easy, that would be disrespectful to QPR, they are having a tough time,” he told Sky Sports 1.

'If we started well we knew we could quieten the crowd and that was the best we’ve played this season in the first half.

Back to their best: Steven Gerrard says Liverpool's win was their best performance of the season

Back to their best: Steven Gerrard says Liverpool's win was their best performance of the season

'The plan was for us to get more goals, but Harry Redknapp is a top manager and QPR changed things in the second half so credit to them.”

Suarez’s goals added further to the brilliant season he has had and Gerrard added of the Uruguayan: 'He’s been brilliant ever since he came here. He’s a magician.

'These clubs have to play him twice a season but we have to play against him every day!'

Coach Colin Pascoe took the Liverpool side in the absence of the ill Brendan Rodgers and he agreed with Gerrard’s assessment of Suarez.

'He’s a maverick, he’s brilliant, I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s a true gentleman,' he said.

'But all of the lads were magnificent. The chances we created were phenomenal. We could have had a couple more. Some of our play was exciting to watch and I’m sure our fans will be happy tonight.

'It was fantastic to watch, the way the lads passed the ball around and the weight of our chances.'

Lance Armstrong doping scandal: UCI complicit, claims sponsor

Sponsor claims that UCI were complicit with Armstrong in covering up doping



23:13 GMT, 5 November 2012

Disgraced: Armstrong

Disgraced: Armstrong

Pressure continued to mount on the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Monday with one sponsor claiming the organisation was 'complicit' in sweeping the Lance Armstrong doping scandal under the carpet.

Jaimie Fuller, chairman of the Australian sportswear firm Skins that has ploughed around 10million US dollars into the UCI over the last five years, says the scandal has caused reputational damage to the sponsors.

The firm has served a legal notice on the UCI claiming 2million dollars (1.25m) in compensation.

Fuller said: 'This is a ground-breaking move and it's one of those situations that could become case law for the future.

'When a sport is in trouble you look to
the international federation to help it through. It's a pretty rare
situation where the international federation is actually complicit in
what was going on.'

Fuller also claimed that UCI president
Pat McQuaid and his predecessor and honorary president Hein Verbruggen
needed to accept responsibility for the failure to deal with Armstrong,
who was last month stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

'These two gentleman have sat at the top of world cycling for 22 years and they need to be accountable for what they did and did not do,' said Fuller.

Meanwhile, British cyclist David Millar says the UCI need to make a full apology.

Millar told the Guardian:
'The UCI need to be very careful, because the momentum is rolling too
fast for them to control it. Just as with Lance Armstrong, we'll reach
another tipping point soon. I sense the same looming crash with the UCI –
unless they act decisively.

don't think they realise what everyone needs is immediate action.
They're trying to go through the usual sports politics way of trying to
ride this out until people forget about it. These are career sports
politicians. But they cannot evade this any longer. They have to act
quickly or they're going to face a total revolt and they'll be out

Under pressure: Millar demanded a full apology

Under pressure: Millar demanded a full apology

'Now there is a
public awakening and the UCI will be in real trouble unless they make a
full apology. There seems to be some unbreakable alliance between
McQuaid and Verbruggen. Pat needs to cut that cord and move forward. He
needs to wake up to the fact that some revolutions become unstoppable.'

McQuaid and Verbruggen did not respond to requests to comment on Fuller's claims when contacted.

The UCI later released a statement in which it stated steps it has taken since the Armstrong affair became public, including setting up an independent commission to examine the issues raised.

The statement read: 'The UCI can confirm that it has received a letter from the chairman of Skins International Trading AG.

'In the years that Skins have been a sponsor, since 2008, cycling has been a completely different sport from what it was during the period 1998-2005, when tests for EPO did not exist.

'Since the dark period of Lance Armstrong, cycling has been a pioneer in the fight against doping in sport under the leadership of the UCI and this role has been recognised by WADA. For example, it was the UCI that first introduced the urinary EPO test, the homologous blood transfusion test and the Athlete Biological Passport programme.

Fallout: Armstrong has been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France

Fallout: Armstrong has been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France

'As a result, today's riders are subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport.

'Today, cycling has enjoyed a huge boost in visibility and popularity, as was apparent at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

'The UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport. We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent commission and we will put cycling back on track.

'While we understand the concerns expressed by Skins, the UCI is determined to work hand in hand with all cycling's stakeholders towards the same goal, which is to safeguard the integrity and future wellbeing of the sport.

'The UCI has listened to the world's reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and the USADA report and has taken decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised, including setting up a fully independent commission.

'The UCI is determined that this independent commission will just be the start of the process and nothing will be off the agenda.'

Tommy Godwin, double Olympic cycling medallist passes away aged 91

Cycling in mourning as double Olympic medallist Godwin passes away aged 91



20:25 GMT, 3 November 2012

Double Olympic medallist Tommy Godwin has died aged 91, British Cycling has announced.

Godwin, who was heavily involved in the sport throughout his life, died at the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull.

He won two bronze medals at the 1948 Olympics in London, in the team pursuit and kilometre time trial, held at Herne Hill.

Double Olympic medallist: Tommy Godwin, pictured in April at the Olympic Stadium, passed away aged 91

Double Olympic medallist: Tommy Godwin, pictured in April at the Olympic Stadium, passed away aged 91

When the Games returned to the capital earlier this year, Godwin carried the Olympic torch through Solihull and was a keen supporter of Team GB at the velodrome in the Olympic Park.

After his competitive career came to an end, Godwin managed the British cycling squad at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, was president of the British Cycling Federation, ran the first British training camp in Majorca, and founded the Birmingham RCC.

Godwin became Britain's first paid national coach in 1964 and trained a generation of British track riders, including Graham Webb, who beat the British hour record and won the world road race championship, and Mick Bennett, who won bronze medals at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.

Reaction was quick to come in the cycling world.

Sir Chris Hoy said on his Twitter account: 'So sad to hear cycling legend and Olympic medallist from 1948, the great Tommy Godwin, has passed away.'

His message was re-tweeted by Joanna Rowsell, Olympic and world team pursuit champion.

British Cycling president Brian Cookson paid tribute, saying: 'Tommy Godwin represented all that is great about our sport – a true gentleman who achieved great things as a competitor, a coach and an administrator.

'Our sport is privileged to have been associated with him.'

Craig Kopczak quits Bradford Bulls

Kopczak quits Bradford on eve of Catalan clash with prop set for legal showdown with Bulls



12:07 GMT, 8 September 2012

Craig Kopczak is set for a legal showdown with Bradford after quitting the Super League club on the eve of Saturday's game against Catalan Dragons in Perpignan.

The 22-year-old prop made himself unavailable for the last match of the regular season after terminating his contract.

Kopczak, who was on Friday named in Wales' squad for the end-of-season triangular tournament involving England and France, is under contract to Bradford until the end of 2013 but opted to resign when the club's takeover went through last weekend.

The player's agent, Martin Shuttleworth, confirmed Kopczak had taken legal advice, drawing on legislation used in the recent Rangers case, namely the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations 2006 (TUPE).

Quitting: Kopczak (centre) has left the Bradford Bulls

Quitting: Kopczak (centre) has left the Bradford Bulls

In a statement, Shuttleworth said: 'Craig was notified by the joint administrators by letter dated September 3, 2012 that his playing contract had transferred with effect from August 31, 2012 to OK Bulls Ltd.

'He then served notice on the administrators that he objects to the transfer of his employment under the relevant TUPE legislation.

'The net effect of having served the notice is that he is deemed to have resigned with effect from August 31, 2012 and his employment with the club is automatically terminated.'

It is thought the highly-rated Kopczak is on the wanted list of several clubs, with Wigan and Huddersfield understood to be among the front-runners.

Bradford's acting chief executive Gary Tasker believes Kopczak has been approached by rival Super League clubs, contrary to a gentleman's agreement not to do so, and says the matter has been put into the hands of the club's solicitor.

'I'm bitterly disappointed that the player has taken advice which has resulted in him leaving the group at this late stage of the season,' Tasker told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.

'The major disappointment in this episode is that a young player on a good contract doesn't normally terminate it unless he is being offered better terms elsewhere.

'At a meeting of Super League clubs several weeks ago, the clubs agreed unanimously that they would not approach Bradford's contracted players.

'It would appear that a club has broken ranks and made the player a better offer. It's now in the hands of our legal advisors to resolve it.'

The Rugby Football League are expected to ratify the takeover by local restaurant owner Omar Khan early next week and will then decide on the process for determining whether the Bulls can stay in Super League.

Steven Finn could help England against South Africa – Nasser Hussain

Finn would add 'oomph' to England's tired attack after South Africa defeat



21:30 GMT, 23 July 2012

Make no mistake, England have been blown away here, and after winning an important toss too. South Africa have done to England what they themselves have done to so many other sides in recent years and completely overpowered them.

At 270 for three at the start of the second day, England would have expected to get 500, throw the ball to their much-heralded attack and pile the pressure on South Africa. So for Graeme Smith’s side to turn that around so emphatically is a superlative effort.

This is an England bowling attack that we have been proud of and for them to take only two wickets in the match is the biggest concern. For once it has been the opposition who have had far more options with the ball, the seamers moving it more and the spinner turning it more.

Answer Steven Finn could be the key to beating the South Africans

Answer Steven Finn could be the key to beating the South Africans

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England now know, if there were any doubts, that here is a side who represent a serious challenge to their status as the world’s No 1 Test team.

This has been the most complete performance, even down to an unusually positive declaration. I wouldn’t have liked to have played against this lot.

It has to be a worry that on a pretty flat pitch South Africa were able to take 18 more wickets than England.

So much of a worry, indeed, that if the wicket at Headingley is similar I cannot see how England could possibly field the same attack in the second Test. The psychological advantage that South Africa would have will surely be too great after this.

England will have to consider bringing in Steven Finn for Tim Bresnan, as much as anything for the ‘oomph’ that has been lacking here. England cannot afford to worry about the extra runs Bresnan might offer when they need to make more of an impression with the ball.

Yet this is not the time to panic. England have got where they are with consistently brilliant cricket and one bad game does not mean they need to make big changes. They must think rationally and come up with the best ways to hit back.

Gutted: England's Matt Prior walks off dejected on the final day of the Test

Gutted: England's Matt Prior walks off dejected on the final day of the Test

If there is more movement at Headingley then England should again look like the attack we have become accustomed to watching. Movement would breed confidence among the bowlers and uncertainty in batsmen. Then Smith and Hashim Amla’s pads might suddenly look a bit bigger and Jacques Kallis might get a bit squared up, as he has been in the past in England. All is not lost.

I do not think England’s batsmen are as culpable for this defeat as the bowlers. Yes, there were some bad shots, particularly in the second innings, but much of that was down to scoreboard pressure and the quality of the opposition.

Fall guy: Tim Bresnan (left) could be the bowler to lose his place

Fall guy: Tim Bresnan (left) could be the bowler to lose his place

Look at the way South Africa set up Kevin Pietersen. Morne Morkel worked him over with the short ball to push him back — not too many attacks have the quality to do that — and his technique was affected. Brilliant bowling.

There will now be calls for all sorts of names to come in but, for me, Ravi Bopara should play at Headingley. People might say I’m biased towards an Essex man but all I want to see is Bopara handed a proper chance.

In a funny way I think the English public will have enjoyed this week. They wanted to see a team who could seriously test England and they have got one. This is real Test cricket.

Mario Balotelli told to remove hood at shopping centre

EXCLUSIVE: Balotelli just another boy in the hood as Man City star is challenged at mall

Given that stripping has landed him in enough trouble lately, it was perhaps understandable that Mario Balotelli was reluctant to remove an item of clothing when challenged by security staff at his favourite shopping mall in Manchester on Monday night.

The controversial Manchester City striker chose to leave the Trafford Centre rather than take off his hood and risk being recognised after he was told he was breaking the rules by hiding his face from the CCTV cameras.

Hood over heels: The Manchester City striker was challenged by security staff on Monday night

Hood over heels: The Manchester City striker was challenged by security staff on Monday night

Balotelli was trying to keep a low profile after being photographed outside a Liverpool strip club in the early hours of Friday morning, earning a rebuke from manager Roberto Mancini and a 250,000 fine.

The Trafford Centre's strict 'no hood' policy was explained to him first in English and then his native Italian before he left on amicable terms, joking with staff that he will return in disguise next time.

The mall said last night: 'The gentleman decided that rather than take down his hood, he would prefer to leave the centre. He was polite and friendly throughout the encounter. The customer, who is believed to be a regular visitor to the Trafford Centre, then shook hands with our security staff and departed for his car.'

All smiles: Balotelli appeared in good spirits on Tuesday despite being fined 250k by Roberto Mancini

All smiles: Balotelli appeared in good spirits on Tuesday despite being fined 250k by Roberto Mancini

Mancini had suggested in the wake of Balotelli's misdemeanour in Liverpool that the 21-year-old should marry his glamorous girlfriend Raffaella Fico and settle down, and the player yesterday revealed that he is open to the idea.

'For me, it is not too soon to get married,' he told Gazzetta dello Sport. 'When you find the right person, it can be the right time. Raffaella is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She gives me serenity and understands when I do things.'

Balotelli also admitted that being fined two weeks' wages was not his biggest regret for visiting the strip club.

Firepower: Striker Mario Balotelli arrives for training on Tuesday morning

Firepower: Striker Mario Balotelli arrives for training on Tuesday morning

He said: 'If she went with her friends to a club of male strippers, I would be very angry. I didn't do anything wrong. But if you really love a woman, you should spare her that. This was the first mistake. The second was to go two days before a game.'

However, Fico immediately calmed talk of marriage and even gave Balotelli her blessing to visit strip clubs.

'It is too soon to get married, we are still very young,' said the 24-year-old model. 'He doesn't do things maliciously, but when you are young you do certain things without stopping to think whether they are right or wrong.

'For me, he can go to a strip club if he does nothing wrong, with friends, but I have to say that he always comes back to me, his favourite.'

Curiously, Balotelli believes he has matured this season. He claimed: 'The intensity and commitment that I have shown this year, even in training, is not comparable to a year ago. I have grown up. My father, Franco, always told me that he would come and see me play in England when I got my head straight. He has told me that moment has arrived.'

Harry Redknapp will take charge of Spurs at Watford despite trial

Redknapp will step from courtroom into the dugout for Spurs' FA Cup clash at Watford

Harry Redknapp is likely to be in the dugout on Friday night despite his on-going court case.

The Tottenham boss is determined to take charge of his side's FA Cup fourth-round clash against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Spotlight: Harry Redknapp outside court with his son Jamie on Thursday

Spotlight: Harry Redknapp outside court with his son Jamie on Thursday

Redknapp is even prepared to speak to the media after the match despite being in the dock for alleged tax evasion.

Spurs coaches Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond have led training this week since the start of Redknapp's trial on Monday,

But the 64-year-old is expected to rush from Southwark Crown Court to Watford to deliver the team talk.

Redknapp could be the target of terrace taunts from home supporters at Vicarage Road over his court appearance. The match is being shown on live TV by broadcasters ESPN.

Bond said: 'Clearly the manager is not here, but very little (has changed) really.

'The training carries on pretty much as normal and everybody has been getting on with things as normal so there's not really a lot of difference except obviously Harry is not here during the day.

'We had a similar scenario a few weeks ago when Harry had a small (heart) procedure done and he wasn't here for a week or so leading up to the Fulham game.'

Raring to go: Tottenham's players train on Thursday morning

Raring to go: Tottenham's players train on Thursday morning

Raring to go: Tottenham's players train on Thursday morning

Meanwhile, a court heard on Thursday that Redknapp had sole responsibility for the Monaco bank account in the name of his dog.

The Tottenham manager was the only signature on records for the account at the centre of 189,000 bung allegations, a bank chief said.

David Cusdin, vice-president of HSBC in Monaco between 2000 and 2005, also described co-defendant Milan Mandaric as 'a perfect gentleman'.

Giving evidence via videolink at Southwark Crown Court, Cusdin said he was aware that Redknapp had flown to the principality to open an account.

'I was certainly aware of his visit – it was quite possible that I didn't open the account, it was one of my team – but I was certainly aware of the visit,” Mr Cusdin told the court. 'I don't have a recollection – but I could well have shaken his hand at the meeting.'

Mr Cusdin had met Milan Mandaric on several occasions, the court heard.
The ex-bank chief said he had known Mandaric since the football chairman had sold club Nice in France.

'We had regular contact as clients and account officers would,' he said.
The bank chief added that 'Mr Mandaric, is a perfect gentleman… he would always ring prior to the visit'.

Trial: Milan Mandaric arrives at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday

Trial: Milan Mandaric arrives at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday

Redknapp opened a 'non-advisory account' with HSBC in Monaco in 2002, the court heard. ohn Black QC, for the prosecution, asked: 'Is it necessary for the client to be present' Cusdin replied: 'Normally, yes. The client would have to be present.'

The banker added that 'in this case, it is a single person on the account … one signature on the account.' Cusdin said he was responsible 'for private English-speaking clientele' during his time with the bank in Monaco.

The banker, who was responsible for a team dealing with up to 700 clients, said: 'I would have been part of the decision process, yes,' in accepting Redknapp as an account holder.

Cusdin said Mandaric was also a client at that time.

Mandaric phoned HSBC Monaco in advance of a 'rendezvous' between Redknapp and the bank, Cusdin said. The bank chief added that Redknapp had chosen to call the account Rosie 47.

Cusdin agreed with defence barrister Lord (Ken) Macdonald QC that Mandaric was a man he 'trusted implicitly'. Lord Macdonald added: 'You can't just walk off the street and open a bank account there.'

Both Redknapp, of Poole, Dorset, and Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between April 1, 2002 and November 28, 2007 Mandaric paid 145,000 US dollars (93,100) into the account.

The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of 150,000 US dollars (96,300) allegedly paid between May 1, 2004 and November 28, 2007.

Charlie Pawsey dies

Rugby league in mourning as legend of the game Pawsey passes away

Rugby league was on Wednesday mourning one of the game's great characters after former Great Britain international Charlie Pawsey died at the age of 88 after a long illness.

A fiery second-row forward, Pawsey was regarded as one of the toughest men ever to have played the game he went into by accident, according to his son, also called Charlie.

'No matter what my dad turned his hand to, he seemed to do well,' he said.

'He was a footballer and on Manchester United's books but when his match was called off one day he went to watch two of his work-mates play rugby league and they were short of players.

Legend: Pawsey (left) plays against France

Legend: Pawsey (left) plays against France

'So he turned out for them and never kicked a football again. He really enjoyed it and it suited him.'

Salford-born Pawsey signed for Belle Vue Rangers and went on to make 216 appearances for Leigh, with whom he won the Lancashire Cup in 1952.

He was then transferred to Huddersfield for a 12,000 fee but played only eight times for the Yorkshire club before retiring.

Pawsey represented England eight times in addition to winning seven caps for Great Britain, captaining them in an infamous game against New South Wales in 1954 which was abandoned for brawling.

Charlie Pawsey (right)

'Stories abound about my dad but he always maintained that, if half the things people said he had done were true, he would have been hanged,' his son added.

'He did admit to “roughing up” the Aussies back in 1954 and was asked to apologise, which he did.

'But he always resented the fact that none of the New South Wales team were asked to apologise for their part in the fisticuffs.

'He was a real character, a gentleman off the field, but something happened to him once he pulled a shirt on.'

Gary Ablett 1965-2012: Liverpool and Everton unite to honour Mersey hero

Gary Ablett 1965-2012: Liverpool and Everton unite to honour a true Mersey hero

Merseyside's football rivals have united to pay respects to Gary Ablett.

The former defender died on Sunday aged 46 following a 16-month battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Ablett was a League title winner at Anfield in 1988 and 1990 and is the only player to win the FA Cup with Liverpool and Everton.

Rest in peace: Gary Ablett has passed away after a battle with cancer

Rest in peace: Gary Ablett has passed away after a battle with cancer

He later went on to coach at both clubs.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, who gave Ablett his debut in December 1986, said: 'He was a really good servant to the football club, not only as a player, but also as reserve-team coach. He served the club proudly and credibly.'

After 147 appearances for Liverpool, the versatile Ablett – he was comfortable at full back or in the centre of defence – went on to play 156 games for Everton.

Manager David Moyes said: 'It is so, so sad.He was a regular visitor here to Finch Farm over the last six months and he was a lovely man, well-liked by everyone.'

Ablett also played at Birmingham before moving into management at Stockport County and coaching at Ipswich.

At Everton: Gary Ablett

Birmingham boy: Gary Ablett

Defensive rock: Ablett in action for Everton (left) and Birmingham (right)

Ian Rush, his friend and former team-mate, said: 'Gary summed up what Liverpool people are all about. He gave 100 per cent to the team. Off the pitch, he was the perfect gentleman.'

Alan Hansen said: 'I enjoyed some great centre-back partnerships, but Gary was as good as any of the others.'

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said: 'First and foremost he was a really good guy. I'm sure everyone at Everton speaks the same as everyone at Liverpool does and that speaks volumes for Gary.'

History boy: Centre-back Ablett (above left, in 1995) is the only player to win the FA Cup with both Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton

History boy: Centre-back Ablett (above left, in 1995) is the only player to win the FA Cup with both Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton

Pride: Ablett and Barry Venison (left) celebrate with the league title in 1990

Pride: Ablett and Barry Venison (left) celebrate with the league title in 1990