Tag Archives: heart

David Luiz pictured in his youth

Can you work out which Premier League star this is from his childhood snaps

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

12:09 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:05 GMT, 4 April 2013

Scroll down for the answer

Who is this

Clue: Look at the hair in the first picture

Improvement: David Luiz has impressed this season after making several mistakes last term

Improvement: David Luiz has impressed this season after making several mistakes last term

Yes, it's Chelsea defender David Luiz!

The
Brazilian centre back posted this picture on his Instagram account on
Wednesday morning, a digital collage of images from his youth in
Diadema, Sao Paulo.

He was released by Sao Paulo FC at the age of 14 and signed for Vitoria, helping them achieve promotion to the second division.

In January 2007 he moved to Benfica and, four years later, signed for Chelsea.

Joker in the pack: David Luiz (left) larks around with Eden Hazard during Chelsea training on Wednesday

Joker in the pack: David Luiz (left) larks around with Eden Hazard during Chelsea training on Wednesday

His time in England has been tumultuous to say the least, but this season he has cut the glaring errors of last season out and impressed both in defence and in a midfield role.

Barcelona have been linked with a summer move for him, although at 25 years old, Chelsea would be loathe to sell him.

Luiz captained Brazil during their recent friendly against Italy and has been touted as a potential successor to John Terry as Chelsea skipper.

Spring cheer: 'I met some inspirational friends at the hospital today @GreatOrmondSt support these kids if you can they touched my heart #life #perspective.' Luiz said on Instagram

Spring cheer: 'I met some inspirational friends at the hospital today @GreatOrmondSt support these kids if you can they touched my heart #life #perspective.' Luiz said on Instagram

Mario Balotelli scores again for AC Milan, his fourth goal in three league games, with a curling free-kick against Parma

Milan falls deeper in love with Mario (and so does his girlfriend) after Balotelli grabs his FOURTH goal in three games back home

-13 season for Manchester City.

The volatile Italian forward has made an instant impact on his return to Milan and he scored yet again with a 78th-minute free-kick at the San Siro in a 2-1 win over Parma.

His girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha, a Belgian model, was in the stands to see his curling free-kick and she caught the eye as she made heart shapes with her hands… presumably aimed at Balotelli.

You beauty: Mario Balotelli curls in a 78th-minute free-kick against Parma

You beauty: Mario Balotelli curls in a 78th-minute free-kick against Parma

Flying start! The Italian scored his fourth goal in three league games for Milan

Flying start! The Italian scored his fourth goal in three league games for Milan

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

Why always me Balotelli celebrates his goal at the San Siro

Embrace: Balotelli celebrates his goal with team-mate Riccardo Montolivo

Embrace: Balotelli celebrates his goal with team-mate Riccardo Montolivo

Since Balotelli left the Etihad in January, not a lot has gone right for Manchester City as draws against QPR and Liverpool as well as defeat at Southampton have all but ended their chances of retaining the Premier League crown they won on a dramatic final day last year.

But the controversial striker has made a flying start to his Milan career, which began with fireworks on the day of his arrival.

In the stands: Balotelli's girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha makes a heart shape with her hands

In the stands: Balotelli's girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha makes a heart shape with her hands

Guest: Balotelli's girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha makes a heart shape with her hands

Lee Mears retires because of heart condition

Former England and Lions hooker Mears forced to retire because of heart condition

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

11:36 GMT, 11 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 11 February 2013

Former England hooker Lee Mears has been forced to retire with immediate effect due to a heart condition.

An abnormality known to occur in some athletes was discovered during a cardiac screening completed by the 33-year-old Bath front row, who announced his international retirement last year.

'There is a significant potential risk of developing further complications if Lee continues to perform the prolonged strenuous exercises required to be an elite rugby player,' read a statement issued by Bath.

A great shame: Lee Mears has been forced to retire because of a heart condition

A great shame: Lee Mears has been forced to retire because of a heart condition

'He has therefore been advised by a specialist to retire from professional rugby.'

More to follow.

Over the line: Mears scores a try for the British and Irish Lions

Over the line: Mears scores a try for the British and Irish Lions

England begin training for Wembley friendly with Brazil

England stars get down to business in training as they prepare to face the boys from Brazil

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

11:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 4 February 2013

England have begun preparations for Wednesday's illustrious friendly at Wembley with Brazil.

The bad news for manager Roy Hodgson, however, is that only 11 outfield players were available to fully train today.

The withdrawals of the injured Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick and the absence of the unfit Daniel Sturridge had significantly contributed to
the depleted numbers available to Hodgson to train, with others involved yesterday in the
Premier League instead limited to a warm-down session.

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Put through their paces: The limited numbers available to England began training today

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Elder statesman: Jack Butland is temporarily England's most senior goalkeeper

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Watchful eye: Hodgson observes Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Ashley Cole in training

Joe Hart and Jack Butland remain the only
senior goalkeepers in Roy Hodgson's full squad but with Hart among
those only warming down, Middlesbrough's inexperienced Jason Steele has been added to
the training squad to aid preparations for Wednesday's fixture.

Hodgson is expected to announce further
squad changes today, incidentally, in response to the withdrawals of Carrick and Defoe and because of Sturridge's inability to train.

The forward has discussed his
fitness with the England manager and, though reluctant to do so, is expected to
accept that he will be unable to play any part against Brazil
and could therefore leave the England camp.

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

Heart-to-heart: Sturridge could withdraw from England's squad after this conversation with Hodgson

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All as one: The England senior team alongside the U21s and U19s

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

All smiles: Wayne Rooney shares a joke with Glen Johnson

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Safe hands Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele is entirely unproven at the highest level

Ashley Cole, however, was among the 11 available to Hodgson today, meaning he remains on course to follow Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Steven Gerrard and become the seventh England player to reach 100 caps.

His presence is a real positive for England given the intimidating prospect of facing both Ronaldinho and Neymar, but even for all of the latter's reputation as one of the world's greatest talents, another of Hodgson's defenders, Phil Jagielka, has revealed his international team-mates are yet to truly know what it is they can expect from him.

'I don't know a lot about Neymar,' Jagielka said. 'We don't see a lot of footage. He plays in Brazil so it is tough for us.

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Limited numbers: But England's ranks are expected to swell before Wednesday's friendly

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Coaching conference: Roy Hodgson, Gary Neville and Stuart Pearce in discussion

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

Midfield rivals: Frank Lampard, Leon Osman and Tom Cleverley will all hope to feature in England's midfield

'But we have video analysis people when we meet up with England and they will have plenty of footage for us to review.

'They will pick out his good points and bad ones. I am sure the good points will be going on for hours.'

Jason Steele of Middlesbrough receives England call

Jason who England turn to Steele to help prepare for Brazil as injured Sturridge gets ready to withdraw following heart-to-heart with Hodgson

when he was selected as Team
GB's understudy to Butland.

He is also remembered for being sent
off after coming on as a substitute for England U21s in a 2-0 defeat to
Germany, when midfielder Henri Lansbury was consequently forced to play
the final 32 minutes in goal.

Tony Greig dies: Patrick Collins tribute

Brash and tactless he may have been but Greig was also cricket's saviour

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

The MCC flag on the clock tower at Lord’s is flying at half-mast in memory of Tony Greig.

The former England captain, who died aged 66 following a heart attack at his home in Sydney on Saturday, would have smiled at this tribute from Official England. For no cricketer ever attracted such vituperation from those who ruled the game. Yet no cricketer ever succeeded so completely in transforming the game they once ruled.

Brash and combative, truculent and tactless, Greig will be recalled as much for his role in celebrated controversies as for his status as one of cricket’s finest all-rounders.

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

There was his foolhardy promise to make
the 1976 West Indies tourists ‘grovel’. It was a crassly offensive term
in any circumstances; spoken by a white South African at a time when
apartheid still oppressed that benighted country, it was catastrophic.

There was the day in Trinidad when he threw down the stumps of Alvin
Kallicharran as the West Indies batsman walked off the field at the
close of play. Greig appealed, the umpire raised his finger and a major
riot ensued. On the following morning, the appeal was revoked. But the
memory lingered.

Then there was Packer. Most of all, there was Packer. Some 35 years on, it is impossible to convey the depth of the outrage.

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

In 1977, cricketers were seen as being fortunate to play the game. Their
wages were meagre, their financial prospects precarious. Greig had been
captain of England for two years, a popular figure who seemed capable
of regenerating English cricket. But he had signed a secret agreement
with Kerry Packer, the owner of Nine Network in Australia, to set up a
‘rebel’ troupe of international cricketers.

He then — while still captain — began to recruit English and foreign cricketers for the Packer ‘circus’.

The plot became public and, within a week, Greig had lost the captaincy.
He was retained for an Ashes series as an England player, but his
international career then expired. He threw his energies behind Packer’s
successful attempt to popularise the game, especially the one-day
version with its coloured clothing and tumultuous crowds. The sport was
truly transformed.

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

It all tended to obscure the fact that he was a blissfully talented
cricketer. Six feet six inches in height, he scored 3,599 Test runs at
40.43 and took 141 wickets at 32.20. Once in the West Indies, with
England needing to win to save the series, he experimented with
off-spin. He took 13 wickets, scored a six and three-quarter-hour
century and England won by 26 runs.

An extraordinary talent.

He later moved to Australia and built a career as a commentator on
Packer’s television channel. The energy never dimmed until these last
few weeks, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and his health swiftly
failed.

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

He has received a number of glowing obituaries, but many years ago his
former England colleague, Pat ‘Percy’ Pocock, wrote: ‘When the whole
Packer business erupted, the popular cry was that Tony Greig had
betrayed the game. I never believed that, and I think history will be
kind to him. Far from betraying it, I fancy he may just have saved it.’

Tony Greig would have appreciated the MCC flag on the clock tower. But I
suspect that Percy’s tribute would be the one he valued most of all.

WORLD OF CRICKET UNITES TO PAY TRIBUTE TO GREIG

England wicketkeeper, Matt Prior: 'Can't believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed. #RIPGreigy.'

England batsman Jonny Bairstow: 'Today we lost a fabulous man, a family friend and someone who was respected by all not only as a cricketer but a true gentleman RIPTonyGreig'

England opener, Nick Compton:
'Sad day – RIP Tony Greig a fantastic player and a good man, loved his
commentary was one of the best! Cricket world will miss u.'

Legendary Aussie fast bowler, Brett Lee: 'OMG Poor Tony Greig. I feel so sad and shocked right now. Can't believe it.'

England all-rounder, Luke Wright: 'Gutted to hear that Tony Greig has passed away. A legend on and off the field. Our thoughts are with his family and friends #RIPGreigy.'

Australia captain Michael Clarke on www.cricket.com.au: 'I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating.

'Tony has a long and decorated history with international cricket both as a player and commentator and cricket will be much poorer for his loss.

'Personally, he has also been a great mentor for me, providing great advice through the good times and the bad.'

Former Australian paceman Glen McGrath: My thoughts are with Tony Greig's family today. RIP Tony Greig'

Long-serving Nine Network cricket commentator and former Australia captain Richie Benaud recalled Greig's 'fearless' reaction to the English public following his decision to join the Packer team in 1977.
'There was an enormous amount of pressure on him,' Benaud told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'He was captain of England at the time and played against Australia at Lord's. The English people turned against him.

'He wasn't just a fearless cricketer but a fearless thinker as well. He would not just jump in boots first, but it wouldn't matter how much pressure it put on him, he would stick with it.'

Former Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee told the same publication: 'Tony was a tough opponent who took on all opposition with aggression and a determination to win.

'We will not forget the way he stirred the viewers in a similar vein to the way he did to opposition teams.'

ICC chief executive David Richardson: 'This is extremely sad news for cricket and the ICC send their condolences to Tony's family and in particular his wife Vivian.

'Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator – primarily for the Nine Network in Australia.

'I met with him on several occasions during the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where he was a senior commentator for our broadcast partner ESS.

'He was also a regular visitor to the ICC offices in Dubai when commentating for Ten Sports.

'I am sure that I will not be alone in saying that he and his wise words will be missed by cricketers, administrators and spectators around the world.

'His figures in Test matches show that he was one of the leading all-rounders of his generation with a batting average of above 40 and a bowling average around 32.'

Tony Greig dies: Former England cricket captain passes away after of heart attack

Former England cricket captain and TV commentator Tony Greig dies of a heart attack at 66

PUBLISHED:

08:33 GMT, 29 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

09:33 GMT, 29 December 2012

Former England captain and television commentator Tony Greig has died of a heart attack at the age of 66 after being diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

South Africa-born Greig, who played 58 Tests for England, was initially diagnosed with bronchitis seven months ago, with further tests showing a lesion at the base of his right lung.

He became synonymous with world cricket as a commentator for Australian television network Channel Nine following his retirement.

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

'Beloved Tony Greig, former England cricket captain, has passed away today at the age of 66,' a Channel Nine statement read.

'Initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, the condition lingered and testing revealed he had lung cancer.'

Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20.

He finished playing for England at the age of 30 to take up a position in Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series Cricket competition, where he was one of the star recruits.

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

The Channel Nine statement continued: 'Tony Greig is a name synonymous with Australian cricket – from his playing days as the English captain we loved to hate, to his senior role in the revolution of World Series Cricket, his infamous car keys in the pitch reports and more than three decades of colourful and expert commentary.

'To his family and friends we pass on our best wishes.'

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

Greig, a right-handed middle-order batsman and medium-fast seamer, made his Test debut for England against Australia in 1972, and captained the national team from 1975-1977 after succeeding Mike Denness as skipper.

He lived in Sydney from the late 1970s and commentated on cricket for Channel Nine for 33 years.

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

Reports in Australia today indicated Greig suffered a heart attack at his home in Sydney and died around 1345 AEDT (0245 GMT).

'He was rushed into St Vincent's hospital. The staff of the emergency department worked on Mr Greig to no avail,' St Vincent's spokesman David Faktor was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

WORLD OF CRICKET UNITES TO PAY TRIBUTE TO GREIG

England opener, Nick Compton: 'Sad day – RIP Tony Greig a fantastic player and a good man, loved his commentary was one of the best! Cricket world will miss u.'

Legendary Aussie fast bowler, Brett Lee: 'OMG Poor Tony Greig. I feel so sad and shocked right now. Can't believe it.'

England wicketkeeper, Matt Prior: 'Can't believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed. #RIPGreigy.'

England all-rounder, Luke Wright: 'Gutted to hear that Tony Greig has passed away. A legend on and off the field. Our thoughts are with his family and friends #RIPGreigy.'

Australia captain Michael Clarke on www.cricket.com.au: 'I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating.

“Tony has a long and decorated history with international cricket both as a player and commentator and cricket will be much poorer for his loss.

“Personally, he has also been a great mentor for me, providing great advice through the good times and the bad.'

Former Australian paceman Glen McGrath: My thoughts are with Tony Greig's family today. RIP Tony Greig'

Long-serving Nine Network cricket commentator and former Australia captain Richie Benaud recalled Greig's 'fearless' reaction to the English public following his decision to join the Packer team in 1977.
'There was an enormous amount of pressure on him,' Benaud told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'He was captain of England at the time and played against Australia at Lord's. The English people turned against him.

'He wasn't just a fearless cricketer but a fearless thinker as well. He would not just jump in boots first, but it wouldn't matter how much pressure it put on him, he would stick with it.'

Former Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee told the same publication: 'Tony was a tough opponent who took on all opposition with aggression and a determination to win.

'We will not forget the way he stirred the viewers in a similar vein to the way he did to opposition teams.'

ICC chief executive David Richardson: 'This is extremely sad news for cricket and the ICC send their condolences to Tony's family and in particular his wife Vivian.

'Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator – primarily for the Nine Network in Australia.

'I met with him on several occasions during the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where he was a senior commentator for our broadcast partner ESS.

'He was also a regular visitor to the ICC offices in Dubai when commentating for Ten Sports.

'I am sure that I will not be alone in saying that he and his wise words will be missed by cricketers, administrators and spectators around the world.

'His figures in Test matches show that he was one of the leading all-rounders of his generation with a batting average of above 40 and a bowling average around 32.'

Gary Parkinson, who suffers from locked-in syndrome, home for Christmas

After 27 months in care, Gary Parkinson, the former Blackpool coach who suffers from locked-in syndrome, is home for Christmas

|

UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 23 December 2012

Nine-year-old Sophie Parkinson took a deep breath and recited her line: 'I won't be cooking my turkey until Christmas Day because I'll be too busy.'

No doubt more significant words were spoken during Sacred Heart Primary's carol service but few resonated so powerfully with the congregation. In their midst was Sophie's father Gary Parkinson, the reason why this Christmas is so special to her.

The former Blackpool coach has locked-in syndrome. A stroke in 2010 left him paralysed and needing 24-hour residential care. That is until last week, when he returned home permanently.

Debbie Parkinson

Gary Parkinson

Family support: Deborah has been a tower of strength for Gary (right) who suffers from locked-in syndrome

That night in Sacred Heart Church, surrounded by his family, Gary's head lifted to listen intently to his daughter's soft voice. His eyes were bright, welling with tears of pride.

There could be no words, they weren't needed, it was just enough for wife Deborah to recognise the scale of the step forward they had taken.

It has been 27 arduous months since Gary, once a dynamic full-back with Middlesbrough, Preston and Burnley, had a bleed on the brain that crushed his brainstem. His body shut down but his mind and soul were very much alive. He was 42.

The road to recovery as a patient at Priory Highbank Centre for neuro-rehabilitation, near Bury, has been tinted dark and light. The concert marked a new beginning: one the family feared they would never see.

On target: Parkinson enjoyed successful stints at Middlesbrough, Burnley and Preston (pictured)

On target: Parkinson enjoyed successful stints at Middlesbrough, Burnley and Preston (pictured)

'Carol services can be emotional at the best of times,' says Deborah, 'but that was a real tear-jerker. The hymns and carols all seemed to carry greater meaning.

'We've had outings before while Gary was at the centre but this was a big step for us as a family and Gary coped really well. He was so proud of Sophie and everyone there could see that.'

Deborah, a former childminder, shatters the stereotype of a footballer's wife. She is irrepressible. She excuses her croaky voice. It's not down to emotion, but a cold.

Black and white: Gary in a family portrait with Deborah, son Luke and daughters Chloe and Sophie

Black and white: Gary in a family portrait with Deborah, son Luke and daughters Chloe and Sophie

She has beaten red tape and financial obstacles to get her husband of 22 years back to the family home near Bolton. Now a revamp and two-storey extension mean her dream, or at least part of it, has come true. That first night for the reunited family was one to savour.

'After all we have been through, it was just such a lovely, lovely night,' says Deborah. 'It was like a new baby coming home. We were all so excited to have him back where he belongs.'

Gary uses a Tobii, an innovative communication box, to get his message across. A pad, about 12 inches across, reads his eye movement to pick out letters and browse the internet.

Son Luke, 19, a sports journalism student at Leeds University, has already set up dad's favourite sports sites. Eldest daughter Chloe, 16, a tower of strength for her mother, hung on dad's every word.

'We have an armchair next to his bed and we chatted and chatted like a normal family again,' says Deborah.

'The girls made him laugh. It was getting late and every time they said they were going to bed because they had school the next day, he'd mark out the words: “Stay up!” Chloe wanted to act as second carer so ended up staying up to make sure he went to sleep soundly. She went to bed in the early hours.

'We were all nervous about what would happen but once he settled he was fine. He said something lovely, “I feel relaxed”. I just stared at him, he looked so healthy.

'It was a wonderful feeling. A night I'd only dreamed about for two years and thought would never come.'

A trip to the cinema to see Nativity 2 is the family's next planned outing but for now they are just glad to have Gary home.

Back home: The football fraternity have looked out for Parkinson

Back home: The football fraternity have looked out for Parkinson

Although Gary can't eat, he likes to sit at the dining table while everyone else has dinner, a tradition the family has always upheld.

The Tobii box allows him to join in with the banter he honed in dressing rooms as he cracks jokes and chips in with answers to the odd quiz question. He is also something of a backseat driver, where his sense of humour shines through.

'He always said I drove too fast,' Deborah says. 'His eyes go up when I ask him, “Am I driving OK” So I tend to do about 50 or 60 on the motorway when he's with me.'

Gary's care at Priory Highbank was around the clock and cost 4,000 a week. At home, seven nurses care for Gary, two per day, on a rota. Deborah is also a carer.

As she says, 'I've always been one to ask: “How does this work”' From an early stage, she sought inspiration in the words and actions of other sufferers.

One, Kate Allatt, recovered fully and visited Gary to prove 'the impossible was do-able'. Inevitably, downsides have come. Another sufferer, Tony Nicklinson wanted the right to die. His death in August from pneumonia and starvation was sorely felt in the Parkinson household.

'But that was Tony's choice,' says Deborah. At times, the odds seem stacked against them. Yet, like a true football underdog, Deborah won't allow her husband to be beaten.

Positivity remains her motto for the man who once cleaned Andy Gray's boots as an Everton apprentice and thankfully the football fraternity has been there for them.

The PFA have helped financially and chief executive Gordon Taylor visited often during Gary's physiotherapy.

Everton manager David Moyes popped round last week with an invitation to watch training and Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray has asked Gary to scout for him, studying a DVD of players and providing reports on each.

Old team-mates have been frequent visitors. Best man at their wedding, ex-Middlesbrough striker Lee Turnbull, and former Preston and Burnley midfielder David Eyres have been constant sources of strength. The support has been overwhelming at times, especially from the local community.

Deborah adds: 'People want to stop you and offer support but I have good friends who know well enough when not to ask and just say “Come and have a cup of tea”.

'We don't want people to feel sorry for us. Everything has to be positive. Gary is a fighter. The one thing about neuro damage is that no-one can predict how it turns out and you have to hope. 'Who knows what can happen'

For information visit GaryParky.co.uk. Donations are welcome to the Gary Parkinson Trust Fund.

Sunderland fans spur on manager Martin O"Neill

Sunderland faithful spur on manager O'Neill as 2,000 fans make trip to Southampton

PUBLISHED:

22:17 GMT, 21 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 21 December 2012

More than 2,000 Sunderland supporters will make the 300-plus mile trip to Southampton on Saturday.

The away allocation is sold out and
manager Martin O'Neill says such commitment to the club's cause, just
three days before Christmas, is one reason why he is desperate to
succeed for the club.

Focused: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

Focused: Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill

O'Neill said: 'That really sums it up. Last year we went down and played Tottenham and then a couple of days later we played at QPR a couple of days before Christmas and we filled the stand behind the goal which is absolutely remarkable support.

'They're travelling down to Southampton in their numbers three or four days before Christmas shows you all you need to know about this club. It's great motivation for us to achieve something for the club.

'You work every single day to try and put a mark on the club and try and improve results and it's for people like that who're the heart and soul of the football club.'

Sunderland have recalled Republic of Ireland international David Meyler from his loan spell at Hull City.

The midfielder has scored twice in a successful month at the Championship club with former manager Steve Bruce.

O'Neill added: 'At least if he gets on the field of play with us, which I imagine he will, his fitness levels won't worry me as much as it might have done before.'

Cristiano Ronaldo vows not to celebrate if he scores against Manchester United in Champions League reunion

I won't celebrate if I score against United, vows Ronaldo ahead of Champions League reunion with former club

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UPDATED:

16:46 GMT, 21 December 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he will not celebrate if he scores against Manchester United in the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side were drawn against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in the pick of the Last 16 ties in the knockout stages, but Ronaldo says he has too much respect for his former manager to gloat after scoring.

Ronaldo left Old Trafford for the Bernabu for 80million in the summer of 2009 after six glittering years at United, during which time he won three Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Place in my heart: Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed not to celebrate if he scores for Real Madrid against Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League tie

Place in my heart: Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed not to celebrate if he scores for Real Madrid against Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League tie

Friends re-United: Ronaldo, pictured here with strike partner Wayne Rooney, played for United between 2003 and 2009

Friends re-United: Ronaldo, pictured here with strike partner Wayne Rooney, played for United between 2003 and 2009

He will face them for the first time in February’s first leg in Madrid, before returning to Old Trafford for the first time since his move for the second leg in March.

He told Spanish newspaper AS: ‘I won’t celebrate if I score against United. I still speak with Ferguson. I miss him a lot, and I miss Manchester United. I felt very good there, it was like a family.

‘I had six great years there and am still friends with my team-mates. It is thanks to Manchester United that I am here playing for Real Madrid. Without them, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.’

The respect is clearly mutual after Sir Alex Ferguson said on Friday that Ronaldo was a fine servant to United whose departure was not an act of disloyalty.

Hard work: Ronaldo stretches in Real training today

Hard work: Ronaldo stretches in Real training today

Manager and mentor: Ronaldo has admitted he misses the company of Sir Alex Ferguson, his boss at Man United

Manager and mentor: Ronaldo has admitted he misses the company of Sir Alex Ferguson, his boss at Man United

Ferguson said: ‘It wasn’t disloyalty because I got another year out of him when he wanted to go the previous year,’ said the United boss. ‘He honoured that and was fantastic for us. He went with our blessing.

‘He always had a hankering to go to Madrid in his career and we helped him on that way.

‘You’ve got to remember he came at 17 and really developed himself here as a great footballer. We’re proud of the part we played in his career. He’s improved as a footballer and his record at Real Madrid is incredible.

‘My way of looking at it is that we were lucky to have him for six years and the United fans would share that.’