Tag Archives: glory

Paul Gascoigne back in Britain looking frail after a month in American rehab clinic

Gazza flies back for 'one last chance': England legend Gascoigne back in Britain looking frail after a month in rehab clinic

By
Emma Clark, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

05:20 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

05:20 GMT, 10 March 2013

Paul Gascoigne thought he was going to die during his latest stretch in rehab to beat alcohol addiction, it has been reported.

The ex-England and Newcastle player returned to Britain on Saturday after more than a month at the clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, during which he was treated in intensive care.

Doctors said it was the worst detox they had ever seen when the shock of giving up alcohol sent his body into seizure, Gascoigne told The Sun on Sunday.

Thin but sober: Paul Gascoigne arriving at his home yesterday looking frail

Thin but sober: Paul Gascoigne arriving at his home yesterday looking frail

He said: 'Three doctors didn't think I would make it.

'It has got to inspire me to never let this happen again.

'I've come through that – death. I was dead.'

He added: “I thought I was on my way out. I looked like a corpse. I was a total wreck.'

The 45-year-old said he woke up in
intensive care strapped to the bed to stop tubes from falling out of his
arms and was repeatedly injected.

Emotional: The footballer has admitted drinking binges have almost killed him in the past

Emotional: The footballer has admitted drinking binges have almost killed him in the past

Rehab: Gazza is understood to be heading back to Britain after a month in a clinic in Arizona

Rehab: Gazza is understood to be heading back to Britain after a month in a clinic in Arizona

Gascoigne, who also played for Lazio
and Tottenham, said he feels grateful to be alive and is determined to
stay away from alcohol.

His latest stint in rehab was
organised by talkSPORT presenter and former England cricketer Ronnie
Irani and Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, a long-term friend of
Gascoigne.

The move came following a charity
appearance in Northampton during which the star appeared unwell and
shaking, before breaking down and sobbing on stage in front of a room
full of fans.

Glory days: Paul Gascoigne was one of the best football players of his generation

Glory days: Paul Gascoigne was one of the best football players of his generation

The world of football has shown its
concern at the latest troubled period in the life of Gascoigne, one of
England's most naturally gifted players ever.

Gascoigne, who has spoken about alcoholism problems in the past, was sectioned five years ago under the Mental Health Act.

Billy Davies Nottingham Forest manager

Davies back as Nottingham Forest boss to replace McLeish

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

13:45 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 7 February 2013

Forest return: Davies

Forest return: Davies

Billy Davies has returned to Nottingham Forest for a second spell as manager, becoming their third boss this season.

Davies and his representatives were in negotiations with Forest chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi on Wednesday and the Championship club announced it on Thursday afternoon.

'I'm delighted to welcome Billy back to our club and really look forward to working closely with him,' chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi said. 'Billy has unfinished business with the Reds and we know how hungry he is for success. In returning to the City Ground we believe his leadership will help us fulfil our ambition of making it to the Premier League.

'Billy is a Forest legend who needs no introduction to our loyal fans. We know how excited he is to pick up where he left off last time and we will back him 110 per cent – this is a very exciting appointment for us.'

Davies described being back at the club as a 'dream come true' and is looking forward to officially beginning his role on Monday.

'It is a privilege and an honour to be back in charge of the Reds. As my new friend Fawaz says, I have unfinished business here at Forest and I am relishing this great opportunity to return Forest to its former glory.

'My tenure at the City Ground was cut short last time and I can't wait to get my boots back on and training the lads.

'We have a great squad and I know I can get the best from them. Coming home to the Reds is a dream come true.'

The 48-year-old Scot was dismissed by Forest's old regime in June 2011.

After steering the club away from relegation following his appointment in January 2009 and then masterminding successive play-off campaigns during his first spell at the City Ground, Davies is on record as stating that he has 'unfinished business' at the club.

Davies succeeds Alex McLeish and Sean O'Driscoll at the City Ground.

McLeish resigned his post earlier this week just over a month after taking over from O'Driscoll, who was sacked on Boxing Day.

Eden Hazard kicks ball boy at Swansea v Chelsea

Hazard horror: Chelsea's Eden shown a red card for kicking ball boy at Swansea

By
Riath Al-samarrai

PUBLISHED:

21:36 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 23 January 2013

Chelsea's bid for Capital One Cup glory ended in shame when Eden Hazard was sent off for kicking a ball boy.

In extraordinary scenes as Swansea went through to the final, Chelsea forward Hazard wrestled the boy to the ground in attempting to get the ball back after 79 minutes.

The ball boy held on to the ball and apparently refused to give it up when Hazard could clearly be seen kicking the boy in the ribs.

After consulting with one of his assistants, referee Chris Foy showed the 22-year-old a straight red card.

Swansea will face League Two Bradford in the Wembley showpiece after a 2-0 aggregate victory.

VIDEO: Scroll down to see Hazard's kick on a ball boy

Frustration: Eden Hazard clashes with the ball boy at the Liberty Stadium

Frustration: Eden Hazard clashes with the ball boy at the Liberty Stadium

Flashpoint: Eden Hazard clashes with the Swansea ballboy

Flashpoint: Eden Hazard clashes with the Swansea ballboy

Flashpoint: Eden Hazard clashes with the ballboy

Swans defender Ashley Williams claimed he saw Hazard kick the ball boy.

Chelsea players reacted angrily when Hazard saw red, believing he had tried to get the ball loose to re-start play as the Blues failed to make any inroads on Swansea's 2-0 advantage from the first leg.

'Demba Ba told me the ball boy held on to it,' Williams told Sky Sports 1.

'I saw him kick him in the rib and you can't do that to a young boy.'

Tete a tete: Referee Chris Foy (left) consults one of his officials as the ball boy lies hurt on the floor

Tete a tete: Referee Chris Foy (left) consults one of his officials as the ball boy lies hurt on the floor

Early bath: Hazard (right) gets his marching orders from Foy

Early bath: Hazard (right) gets his marching orders from Foy

VIDEO: Watch Hazard kick the ball boy

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Leeds and a Tory party activist, a disappearing website and a 52m takeover: Nick Harris

The Tory party activist, a disappearing website and the 52m takeover of Leeds United

By
Nick Harris

PUBLISHED:

00:00 GMT, 2 December 2012

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UPDATED:

10:16 GMT, 2 December 2012

Mystery surrounding the proposed
takeover of Leeds United by Dubai-based GFH Capital deepened last week —
and that will cause alarm among fans of the famous old club.

First, the front man for the bid, a
Conservative party activist called David Haigh, declined to answer a
series of questions from Inside Sport about both the deal and his own
background.

Then Haigh’s personal website, which
included an outline of his career and business activities since his
first job as a reporter on The Cornishman newspaper ‘at the age of 13’,
was taken offline and the website’s registration details were withdrawn
from public scrutiny.

Haigh is deputy chief executive and
chief operating officer of GFH Capital but his involvement in the Leeds
takeover has baffled some observers, and while sections of the club’s
huge following have welcomed the apparent prospect of Gulf money being
poured into Neil Warnock’s side, others have questioned the degree of
transparency surrounding GFH Capital’s purchase of current owner Ken
Bates’s 49 per cent shareholding.

Front-man: David Haigh, the Tory activist involved the a Leeds buy-out

Front-man: David Haigh, the Tory
activist involved the a Leeds buy-out

Leeds, a club renowned for their glory
days under Don Revie and a period under David O’Leary when they reached
the 2001 Champions League semi-finals, dropped to the third tier of
domestic football for the first time in their history in 2007 before
rising back to the Championship three years later.

Supporters desperate for a return to
the Premier League say they are fed up with a perceived lack of clarity
over the takeover by GFH Capital, who expect to take full ownership of
Leeds on December 21. ‘This has been going on for seven months and there
are many more questions than answers,’ said Gary Cooper, chairman of
the 8,500-strong Leeds United Supporters Trust. ‘We have concerns that
are not being addressed.’

Haigh, 35 and a lawyer who grew up in
Cornwall, has claimed to be a lifelong Leeds fan (his parents are from
the city) but had never tweeted about the club before July. At least one
tweet from last year, celebrating success by Leeds’ bitter rivals,
Manchester United, was later deleted from his Twitter account.

The replacement last week of his
personal website, davidhaigh.co.uk, by a ‘holding page’ came after
Inside Sport asked for clarification over claims made on the site.

One article posted there and dated May
21 reported that Haigh had been nominated for a ‘General Counsel of the
Year’ award for a ‘successful’ $75m bid for a Turkish bank. The same
article failed to say that another lawyer had already won the award and
that Haigh’s bid for the bank had actually failed.

Until last week, a simple online
check revealed that Haigh’s website was registered to him as an
individual, via an address in Camden, north London, where a company
called Prime Secretarial act as a postbox for personal and business
mail.

Before: David Haigh

Now you see it… Haigh's website, before Inside Sport's questions (above) and as
it looks now (below)

And after: David Haigh

And after: David Haigh

But as Inside Sport sought more
information about Haigh and GFH Capital, details of where the website is
registered were removed from public view. A spokesman for Haigh said
the disappearance of his personal website was ‘entirely coincidental’
and was a result of it undergoing renovation.

The website for GFH Capital — owned by
a Bahrain parent company, Gulf Finance House, who boast of billions of
dollars of deals since 1999 — is also registered to Haigh as an
individual and with the same address in Camden as his personal website.

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Haigh has close ties to the Conservative Party as vice-chairman of ‘Gulf Tories’, an association of expatriate Conservatives. He once stood in local elections for the Conservatives in London, polling 4.7 per cent of the vote to come ninth out of 13 candidates in Oval ward in 2006. He then emigrated to Dubai, from where he is spearheading GFH Capital’s buy-out of Leeds United.

When the deal is completed in 19 days’ time, full ownership will switch to a Cayman Islands-based firm owned by GFH Capital, who have agreed to buy Bates’s 49 per cent shareholding, plus the 18 per cent held by minor shareholders. That will add to the 33 per cent holding GFH Capital have already acquired.

A spokesman for Haigh said he did not want to comment on how much GFH Capital have agreed to pay for Leeds, although it has been reported to be 52million. The deal does not involve buying either Leeds’ famous Elland Road stadium or their Thorp Arch training ground, both of which are owned by a company called Teak Trading, who are based in the British Virgin Islands. Haigh’s spokesman said GFH Capital plan to buy Elland Road ‘at some stage’ but he could not say when.

GFH Capital’s original plan was, according to reports, to buy Leeds and sever ties with Bates but Bates will now remain as chairman until the end of the season and then become honorary life president.

No tin the deal: Elland Road is not included as part of the 52m takeover

No tin the deal: Elland Road is not included as part of the 52m takeover

Asked how GFH Capital intend to run a football club with no prior experience in the sector, Haigh’s spokesman said Leeds’s chief executive, Shaun Harvey, is experienced and is expected to stay, and that Bates ‘has a lot of experience running football clubs’.

Supporters Trust chairman Cooper said: ‘It is resoundingly clear that our members don’t want Leeds to continue our association with Ken Bates, under whose ownership the club fell to our lowest league position ever [bottom of League One for a period during 2007-08]. GFH Capital need to understand that, and that people are staying away because of it, and that our attendances are dwindling to the point where you wonder about potential cash-flow problems. We just want some answers.’

GFH Capital have a Twitter account on which they boasted on November 11: ‘GFH Capital team have led a number of large scale transactions in the sports sector (and) see sport as a key focus of GFH Capital going forward.’

Asked to cite examples of these ‘large scale transactions’, Haigh’s spokesman said the firm had sponsored Bahraini GP2 racing driver Hamad Al Fardan and the building of the Um Al Hassam stadium in Bahrain.

There is no record of Al Fardan competing since 2009 and the Um Al Hassam ‘stadium’ is, according to local sources, a municipal leisure complex.

Cricket stars in image rights probe by taxman

Tax officials are investigating some of England’s leading county cricket clubs over their alleged use of image rights payments to help players pay less tax.

By labelling payments as image rights rather than salaries, cash can be paid to companies owned by players and often based offshore. Such payments are then subject to corporation tax at 24 per cent rather than higher-rate income tax of 45 per cent.

HMRC are investigating whether such payments are appropriate in all cases, and the players’ union, the Professional Cricketers’ Association, admit that there may be problems ahead.

Ian Smith, the PCA’s legal director, said: ‘There are lots of genuine image rights contracts in the game. Surrey, Yorkshire, Essex and Middlesex are among counties that use image rights. However, it has become clear that the use of image rights is far more widespread than was originally thought and issues have arisen. There are a number of HMRC investigations going on with counties that are looking into players’ contracts.’

Surrey have image rights contracts with three current players and 15 have enjoyed such contracts over the last five years. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing at the county and officials say HMRC have not approached The Oval-based club.

George Best picture special to mark anniversary of his death

The best of Best! Sportsmail picture special on the seventh anniversary of Manchester United legend's death

|

UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 25 November 2012

To mark the seventh anniversary of the death of George Best, Sportsmail is dropping the shoulder and taking a mazy run down memory lane.

Whether flying down the wing or living it up as the unofficial fifth Beatle, photographers had a job keeping up with the boy from Northern Ireland who arrived at Old Trafford at the start of the swinging 60s.

But they managed it sometimes and we've published a selection below.

Crowd pleaser: A lucky generation got to watch George Best during his glory days

Crowd pleaser: A lucky generation got to watch George Best during his glory days

Not forgotten: George best died on November 25, 2005

Thirsty work: George Best

Champagne football: Best enjoyed himself on and off the pitch during his Manchester United days

Silver lining: Best got his hands on the European Cup in 1968 after scoring against Benfica in the final (below)

Silver lining: Best got his hands on the European Cup in 1968 after scoring against Benfica in the final (below)

Cool finish: best (right) scores after rounding the Benfica keeper

What a pair: Best and Denis Law - Bobby Charlton completed the United Trinity

What a pair: Best and Denis Law – Bobby Charlton completed the United Trinity

Dedicated followers of fashion: Best and Manchester City player Mike Summerbee had their own boutique

Dedicated followers of fashion: Best and Manchester City player Mike Summerbee had their own boutique

Talking shop: Best in his boutique Edwardia

Model behaviour: Best

Model behaviour: Best in his boutique Edwardia (left) and outside Old Trafford

Catch me if you can: Best takes the ball for a run

Early days: best made his debut in 1963

National service: Best in action for Northern Ireland

Well travelled: Best first played for United in 1963 and had spells at a host of clubs – including Fulham, Hibs, San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Aztecs – after leaving in 1974. He played 37 times for Northern Ireland

Ricky Hatton v Vyacheslav Senchenko – Jeff Powell"s fight preview

Baby steps that helped Hatton on his way back into the ring for comeback fight against Senchenko

|

UPDATED:

17:46 GMT, 23 November 2012

The moment Ricky Hatton knew he had to turn his life around by stopping the boozing and bingeing came as he held his new-born daughter in his arms.

That was 14 months ago.

The moment he decided the Hitman would be back came when baby Millie’s mother Jennifer accepted that he needs to exorcise his demons by re-entering sport’s most punishing work place.

That was three months ago.

All that remains is to convince the rest of the world that more than three years after his last, disastrous fight it is healthier for him to exchange violent blows to the head than drink himself into suicidal oblivion.

That comes on Saturday night.

On the brink: Ricky Hatton squares up to Vyacheslav Senchenko at the weigh-in at Manchester Town Hall

On the brink: Ricky Hatton squares up to Vyacheslav Senchenko at the weigh-in at Manchester Town Hall

On the brink: Ricky Hatton squares up to Vyacheslav Senchenko at the weigh-in at Manchester Town Hall

On the eve of this moment of truth against Vyacheslav Senchenko in the bear-pit atmosphere of the MEN Arena, Hatton had this to say: ‘I don’t expect anyone else to believe until they see it with their own eyes but I will be better, meaner and more ferocious than the old Hitman. After this we will be talking world title challenges.’

We already are, with old foe Paulie Malignaggi here in Manchester to offer a two-fight shot at his WBA welterweight crown if Hatton looks the part again.

But that is not what is driving Hatton to revive his Blue Moon tunes of glory.

With the dark revelations about his descent into drugs and depression still haunting him, he says: ‘I am doing this because I never want my kids (little Millie and 11-year-old Campbell) to hear another bad word against me. I am fighting here to obliterate those terrible memories.

‘As I watched Millie being born and picked her up I knew I had to change. The Hitman may be a hard bastard in the ring but underneath all that I’m soft as s***. I’m an emotional bloke with a big heart and I have to control all those feelings going into a fight.

Mad for it: Hatton's army of fans cheer for their returning hero on the eve of the fight

Mad for it: Hatton's army of fans cheer for their returning hero on the eve of the fight

Ready: Hatton

Vyacheslav Senchenko

Head to head: Hatton and Senchenko are both in trim condition for their Manchester showdown

‘I will go through a whole range of emotions walking into the ring in front of 20,000 fans. The nervous anticipation is the same for every boxer but there is more at stake for me than usual here. I have to regain not only my own pride but the pride of the people of this country. Above all, I will be thinking about the kids and about Jennifer.

‘I was nervous when I first started sparring again and I’ll be nervous coming into the ring. But when the first bell rings, watch me go. Senchenko will be on the receiving end of all my pent-up tension and emotion.’

Not that Hatton denies the siren lure, the thrill and the drama of big nights like this, which has tempted so many boxers into come-backs, well-advised or not: ‘Yeah, okay, I have missed the roar of the crowd. I’m humbled by the devotion of my fans and I’m also inspired by them. I didn’t want their last memory of me in the ring to be that of being stretched cold on the canvass by Manny Pacquiao.’

The images of that knock-out and an earlier one by Floyd Mayweather trouble even his most devout supporters and he says: ‘A lot have come up to me in the street and said they fear that I’ll get hurt.

But I’ve told them not to worry. People doubt my punch resistance now but I remind them the only men to beat me are the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

‘The first time I got clocked on the chin in sparring my instinct was still to hit back, not to flinch.’
Hattton accepts that a truer test comes wearing lighter gloves in a real fight but says: ‘I know in my bones that it’s going to be okay.’

Family man: Hatton shares time with girlfriend Jennifer and daughter Millie

Family man: Hatton shares time with girlfriend Jennifer and daughter Millie

Kissy Hatton: The Hitman shares a moment with his daughter Millie

Kissy Hatton: The Hitman shares a moment with his daughter Millie

Pacquaio and Marvin Hagler are among iconic boxing figures questioning the Hitman’s return after so long an absence and he has prepared himself mentally for the worst should Senchenko surprise him.

Repeatedly, down these past ten weeks in training camp, he has said: ‘If I lose I will be able to look myself in the mirror on Sunday morning, know that I gave it my best and be able to walk away again, this time for good.’

Personally, as one of the few permitted to watch him spar and thus witness the renaissance of his speed, power and relentless aggression, I don’t expect that to happen.

Senchenko, whose only defeat in a lengthy career came when he lost his world welterweight title to Malignaggi, is an accomplished technical boxer and Hatton is right to counsel himself to master all those emotions and channel them into a clinical performance.

Thumbs-up: Sportsmail's Jeff Powell (right) is backing Hatton with victory on Saturday

Thumbs-up: Sportsmail's Jeff Powell (right) is backing Hatton with victory on Saturday

But the Ukrainian’s hesitation about facing the pre-fight stare-down with Hatton does not suggest confidence and he was given a foretaste of the scenes awaiting him in the MEN at yesterday’s packed and noise weigh-in.

Intriguingly, Malignaggi says: ‘This guy is talented but he does not have great belief in himself. If you get on top of him the doubts grow round by round and if Ricky is anything like as relentless as he used to be then Senchenko will eventually fold like a deck-hair on the beach.’

If there is one concern for a come-back fighter, it is stamina. Hatton looks fully capable of bringing the house down, along with Senchenko, by a mid-fight stoppage.

If not, as this is only his ten-round starter for part two of his career, the Hitman’s volume of punches should give him a commanding enough lead by the eighth for him to ease through to decisive victory.

Hatton v Senchenko is live on Primetime at 14.95 pay-per-view.

ATP World Tour Finals: Sportsmail tests out court

As Murray and Djokovic prepare to do battle, Sportsmail takes a swing and a miss at O2

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UPDATED:

18:39 GMT, 4 November 2012

Don’t let the graceful forehand and strapping physique fool you – that’s not Andy Murray, but little old me christening the court at the 02 Arena ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals. Hard to believe, I know.

Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and another five of the world’s best players are descending on London for the third time this week for tennis’s end-of-season spectacular.

At five o’clock on Saturday morning the last lick of blue paint was splashed on to the now familiar hard court in the 15,000-capacity arena. And, just three hours later, yours truly was handed the honour of hitting the first shots on the surface.

Eyes on the ball: Sportsmail's Chris Cutmore sends a forehand back to Mark Petchey at the O2 Arena

Eyes on the ball: Sportsmail's Chris Cutmore sends a forehand back to Mark Petchey at the O2 Arena

Andy must be himself, says Petchey

Mark Petchey is a former coach of Andy Murray and helped the Scot win his first title on the ATP Tour before their partnership was ended in 2006.

Murray has since gone on to win the US Open and Olympic gold medal after an unforgettable summer this year. But the journey to being a major champion has been tough, with Murray losing four grand slam finals, including at Wimbledon in June, before finally beating Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows.

So, what is the one piece of advice that Petchey feels was most valuable in helping to put Murray on the path to glory

‘I think it was just to be himself,’ says Petchey. ‘The road wasn’t going to be easy. I tried to prepare the ground that if a major win didn’t come easily, Andy should just prepare for some unfair criticism but should stay true to himself and undoubtedly he has done.

‘He’s come a long way and I sent him a message telling him that (after his US Open victory) and he replied. Being part of the journey with him and knowing what it meant to him, it was an emotional moment. He stayed in my house for eight months, we shared a room, so it meant the world.

‘I feel he’s going to win more majors but it won’t be easy. You’re going to start talking about his rivalry with Novak in the same way that we’ve talked about Roger and Rafa and some of the great rivalries over the years. They both have the potential to create something extra special.’

On the other side of the net was Mark Petchey, who was once ranked inside the top 100 players in the world and reached the third round of Wimbledon in 1997. He also has the honour of having coached Murray during the formative stages of the great Scot’s career. /11/04/article-2227737-15D90951000005DC-4_634x360.jpg” width=”634″ height=”360″ alt=”Sound advice: Petchey, who used to coach Andy Murray, offers up tips” class=”blkBorder” />

Sound advice: Petchey, who used to coach Andy Murray, offers up tips

Sound advice: Petchey, who used to coach Andy Murray, offers up tips

But what is the professional’s opinion on the court and how it will affect the week ahead

‘It looks and feels a lot like last year, it’s a surface that’s fair and you can play all-court tennis,’ says Petchey. ‘The slice keeps low, if you hit that well you’ll get a lot of reward. You’ll see some amazing rallies because of the slowish pace of the court.

‘Trying to predict a winner from the top eight players in the world will almost always leave you with egg on your face. Roger loves playing here, he likes indoor tennis, it suits his game. Andy’s going to have massive home support and Novak’s got a point to prove – he’ll be fit, unlike last year, and highly motivated. But I’ve said Andy will win and I’m going to stick with him.’

Petchey will be commentating for Sky Sports on the tournament, which begins on Monday. Due to its place at the end of the calendar, certain critics insist that the event is little more than a money-making exercise or publicity stunt. Try telling that to Federer, who played some extraordinary tennis on his way to winning the title last season.

Straight and true: Cutmore takes aim with a backhand as he christens the court at the O2

Straight and true: Cutmore takes aim with a backhand as he christens the court at the O2

Federer will defend his crown this week, with Murray, Djokovic, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro and Janko Tipsarevic hoping to dethrone the 17-time major winner. And Petchey is in no doubt that the tournament has been nothing but a roaring success in helping to win over a new generation of tennis fans.

‘Historically British tennis has revolved around one event, Wimbledon comes and goes and it goes into oblivion again,’ he says. ‘But Andy has helped keep tennis in the public’s consciousness and now it’s easier to get tickets for this event than it is at Wimbledon. It’s shown there’s a huge amount of interest in tennis in Britain. From a kid’s perspective, being able to see these champions live and up close, this event’s been an extraordinary success.’

He’s right. Two years ago here I saw Murray and Federer duel over three magnificent sets, and last year was privileged to witness the Swiss at his absolute best, attempting to hit winners at every opportunity and nailing almost every one in an unforgettable win over Nadal.

Drained: Cutmore feels the heat as takes a well-earned break at the side of the newly-painted court

Drained: Cutmore feels the heat as takes a well-earned break at the side of the newly-painted court

If you have a spare afternoon or evening this week, try and get down to the 02 Arena to see these incredible athletes. The first tennis played on the court this year was pretty shocking stuff, but I promise it will be breathtaking come Monday.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is part of a year round schedule of live tennis on Sky Sports HD, and on mobile devices via Sky Go.

Amir Khan: Freddie Roach"s Parkinson"s disease not to blame for defeats

Khan: Roach's Parkinson's disease is NOT to blame for defeats… they are my fault

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UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 1 November 2012

Amir Khan has defended himself in the face of strong criticism for appearing to blame Freddie Roach's Parkinson's disease for his split from the trainer.

Former undisputed light-welterweight champion Khan and Roach parted company in the wake of his defeat by Danny Garcia in August and the 25-year-old has since appointed Virgil Hunter as his coach.

Speaking in promotion of his fight against Carlos Molina in Los Angeles on December 15, Khan stated that Roach's ability to train was being impaired by his illness.

Glory days: Amir Khan (right) with former trainer Freddie Roach (left)

Glory days: Amir Khan (right) with former trainer Freddie Roach (left)

'It's hard to see him older and getting worse. I wish him the best,' he said.
'Freddie, with the Parkinson's disease, he was struggling with instructions and couldn't move as well.'

But Khan has used his Twitter account to clarify his comments, stressing he does not hold Roach accountable for his losses to Lamont Peterson and Garcia.

'Hey guys I didn't say Freddie Roach is a bad trainer, he's one of the best out there and took my career to a high winning two world titles,' Khan said.

'I blame myself for the losses in my career. Not blaming Freddie Roach or anyone. I just needed a change.'

Next up: Khan is busy promoting his next fight against Carlos Molina

Next up: Khan is busy promoting his next fight against Carlos Molina

Roach responded by stating his Parkinson's was not the cause of his split from Khan.

'If that was true, why would he say to me fire Manny Pacquiao and Julio Chavez Jr, and they'll keep me Him, his father, his lawyer and his uncle all said that,' he said.

'It had nothing to do with Parkinson's. They know that. And I wish them the best of luck.'

New England Patriots 45 St Louis Rams 7: Tom Brady leads another resounding Wembley win

New England Patriots 45 St Louis Rams 7: Brady leads another one-sided Wembley win

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UPDATED:

20:43 GMT, 28 October 2012

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been one of the more vocal supporters of the NFL's annual trip to London and now we know why.

Three years after their 35-7 demolition of Tampa Bay here, his team enjoyed another Wembley rout as they brushed aside the self-destructing St Louis Rams behind an outstanding display from star quarterback Tom Brady.

A class apart: Tom Brady threw five touchdowns

A class apart: Tom Brady threw five touchdowns as he racked up 304 yards in one-sided win at Wembley

Before the game, Kraft lent his
support to the notion of London one day becoming the permanent home to a
league franchise, but until that day comes perhaps he ought to schedule
in a few more trips to old England for his Patriots.

His opposite number – Rams and
Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke – will instead be happy his team backed out
of plans to come here again in 2013 and 2014.

Wide open: Brandon Lloyd caught a nine-yard pass from Brady for his second touchdown of the evening

Wide open: Brandon Lloyd caught a nine-yard pass from Brady for his second touchdown of the evening

Dominant display: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (No 22) is the centre of attention after scoring the Patriots' fifth touchdown with a one-yard run

Dominant display: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (No 22) is the centre of attention after scoring the Patriots' fifth touchdown with a one-yard run

Theoretically this was a 'home' game
for the Rams, who gave up a contest in St Louis to be here, but it was
played in front of a sell-out crowd dominated by Patriots jerseys and
they were treated to a vintage display from the on-fire Brady.

The 35-year-old completed his first eight passes and eventually piled up 304 yards and four touchdown passes.

Celebration time: Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a seven-yard touchdown, with the tight end performing his trademark 'Gronk Spike'

Celebration time: Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a seven-yard touchdown, with the tight end performing his trademark 'Gronk Spike'

On top: New England Patriots

On top: New England Patriots

The Rams, whose glory days in the
late 90s were effectively ended by Brady and Patriots in 2002's Super
Bowl XXXVI, arrived in London determined to show they were on the way
back under new coach Jeff Fisher.

But instead a young team contributed to their own downfall with a string of mistakes.

One-way traffic: Running back Shane Vereen ran over from one yard for the first of three Patriots touchdowns in the second quarter

One-way traffic: Running back Shane Vereen ran over from one yard for the first of three Patriots touchdowns in the second quarter

It all began so well with Sam
Bradford's 50-yard touchdown pass to Chris Givens lighting up Wembley
only two minutes into the contest.

But then Givens left injured and everything began to unravel. St Louis would not score again.

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Stellar start:Wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 50 yard pass from Sam Bradford to give the Rams an early lead

Instead, Brady marched back down
field and found Brandon Lloyd for a touchdown that tied it up, and with
the first play of the second quarter, Shane Vereen punched in a second
with a one-yard run.

St Louis could not get going, and
they were their own worst enemies, fumbling a snap when going for a
field goal and then committing costly penalties that only made Brady's
job easier.

Braving the cold: Cheerleaders strut their stuff ahead of the Wembley clash

Braving the cold: Cheerleaders strut their stuff ahead of the Wembley clash

Strictly Come Dancing: The Rams' mascot dances with cheerleaders before the NFL clash

Wish you were here: The Rams' mascot dances with cheerleaders before the NFL clash

And easy was how it looked as he
threw another touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski – who treated the London
crowd to special 'changing of the guard' celebration in the end zone –
before Stevan Ridley scored one more on the ground to make it 28-7 at
half-time.

Any hopes of St Louis making a
contest of it in the second half were ended before many of the 84,004
crowd had re-taken their seats, Brady throwing to Lloyd in the end zone
again.

Taking to the stage: Boris Johnson addresses the crowd (below) before Katherine Jenkins sings the British National Anthem

Taking to the stage: Boris Johnson addresses the crowd (below) before Katherine Jenkins sings the British National Anthem

Boris Johnson

Brady threw his fourth touchdown pass
of the evening to Gronkowski early in the fourth quarter before taking
an early exit, job done.

The lop-sided nature of the game did
not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, the second-largest in
the six-year history of the NFL's International Series at Wembley, and
an immediate return to sell-out status after last year's crowd of 77,000
– a number affected by the league's labour lockout that had threatened
the game going ahead at all.

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

Cheer we go: The NFL clash has attracted a full-house at the home of English football

That will come as welcome news to NFL
UK as they prepare for 2013, when Wembley will host two games in the
space of a month – a more serious test of the fan base loyalty this side
of the Atlantic.

If they can pass that test, the idea
of a London franchise will come closer to reality. Perhaps Kraft will be
the first to make an offer.

John Connelly dead

England World Cup winner Connelly dies, aged 74

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UPDATED:

15:19 GMT, 25 October 2012

John Connelly has died at the age of 74.

Former Burnley, Manchester United, Blackburn and Bury right-winger Connelly started the opening game of England's triumphant 1966 campaign, a goalless draw against Uruguay at Wembley.

The match proved to be the last of his 20 international caps, during which time he scored seven goals.

John Connelly

John Connelly

Passed away: Connelly, pictured here in 2009, has died, aged 74

At club level, Connelly was twice a league champion – helping Burnley to the First Division title in 1960 during a prolific spell that brought 105 goals in 265 appearances.

In April 1964 he made the move to Old Trafford and, playing on the opposite flank to George Best, helped Matt Busby's side to the title the following year.

In black and white: Connelly has passed away

In black and white: The World Cup winner played 20 times for England

The season after being a part of World Cup glory, Connelly moved back to east Lancashire for a four-year spell with Blackburn before joining Bury and hanging his boots up in May 1973.

A club statement on Connelly released by Burnley read: 'One of Burnley's most prolific and popular wingers, he died peacefully at home on Thursday morning.

'The flag at Turf Moor will fly at half mast as a mark of respect to one of the Clarets' favourite sons.'