Tag Archives: heartfelt

Courtney Meppen-Walter: Manchester City star arrested over death crash

Man City starlet Meppen-Walter held by police over car crash deaths



16:30 GMT, 2 September 2012

Manchester City footballer Courtney Meppen-Walter has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after two people died in a collision on Saturday night.

The 18-year-old was arrested after a silver Mercedes and a red Nissan Micra collided in north Manchester, leaving a 32-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman dead and two teenagers, believed to be 15 and 16, with serious head injuries.

It is believed that Meppen-Walter was
driving the Mercedes. The 32-year-old man was driving the Micra with the
37-year-old woman in the front passenger seat and the two teenagers in
the back, Greater Manchester Police said.

Car smash: Meppen-Walters has been arrested following a crash

Car smash: Meppen-Walters has been arrested following a crash

A second man, aged 19, who was driving a grey Volkswagen Golf, was also arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

At around 10.15pm yesterday police were called to Bury New Road at its junction with Sherborne Street following reports of a collision.

Officers attended and the 32-year-old man and 37-year-old woman were pronounced dead at the scene while the teenagers were taken to Hope Hospital, where they remain.

A Manchester City spokeswoman said: 'It is a devastating tragedy for this family and also for the Greater Manchester community at large.

Manchester City Football Club offers its heartfelt condolences to the family and all affected by the events of yesterday evening.

'The situation is subject to an extensive investigation by Greater Manchester Police and therefore we are unable to make specific comment on the incident itself at this time.'

Sources said that Meppen-Walter, who was born in Bury, Greater Manchester, was driving a 'low-powered' Mercedes at the time of the collision.

The defender joined City in July 2010, according to the club's website.
The youth-team player has been a regular in the England under-17 side, according to the website.

Great Britain – we"re world beaters, Daley Thompson

Little Britain, great success: We might be small but we're world beaters



22:48 GMT, 13 August 2012

Sportsmail columnist Daley Thompson looks back on a truly tremendous fortnight of action.

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The world will go away impressed and with treasured memories that will last a lifetime. We are the biggest little country in the world and a little shy to say how great we are at times. My friend, former Australia cricket captain Steve Waugh, told me the facilities and atmosphere were the best he’s ever seen.

I don’t know what we can do to thank Sebastian Coe. He’s brought the country together and put a smile on everybody’s faces. He’s done an unbelievable job.

Hats off: Lord Sebastian Coe delivered a quite remarkable spectacle

Hats off: Lord Sebastian Coe delivered a quite remarkable spectacle


The blazers will be putting in their orders for New Year honours about now, but we should save our heartfelt thanks for the people who really deserve it — the athletes, their coaches and their parents who have all spent many years preparing their charges for these Games. It’s the early dark mornings, training in the snow and rain, and the long car journeys to competitions in the middle of nowhere when nobody knows your name that build the belief and attitude which win you a place on the team. In Beijing there was no involvement from the local people. London has been a happier place and a more inclusive Games. The volunteers have been amazing and one of the best things that happened was G4S not being able to complete their job. It meant the armed forces came in and they were brilliant.

Heroes: Troops stepped in at late notice to become an integral part of the Games's success

Heroes: Troops stepped in at late notice to become an integral part of the Games's success

Three British moments I loved

Watching Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott win the canoe slalom. They had seven pairs going after them so it was really tense for about 25 minutes.

The 45 minutes in the Olympic Stadium on the first Saturday was magical. First Jess Ennis won gold, then Greg Rutherford and then Mo Farah. You can’t beat that.

Katherine Grainger winning after all the pain of those silvers at other Games. I was so happy for her.


If you follow Sir Steve Redgrave’s theory, then there is a new greatest in town — Sir Chris Hoy. He has six gold medals so should therefore be considered the best Olympian we’ve had, overtaking Redgrave. The greatest is dead, long live the greatest. However, if you agree with my theory that such a title is impossible to give to one athlete, then we can all still enjoy endless hours of pub talk about who our favourites are and their merits. So welcome to my round table of greatness, Chris, where there is room for many.

MOAN No 1…

I don’t understand why the relay team failed again. They are fast enough and they should have won a medal. Our sprinters are rubbish on the world stage — an Olympic semi-final is the best they can hope for — but as a relay team we have a chance. It’s their only way on earth of winning a medal, so they should have been prioritising it ahead of the individual event, practising all the time. It’s delusional to think they can do anything on their own and a real shame.

Over the line: Great Britain's relay team should have won a medal

Over the line: Great Britain's relay team should have won a medal


I thought we’d do as well as we did and it’s great because we want and need British heroes. Now it’s important that the sports clubs across this country are ready for all the kids who are going to want to get involved. That’s what will ensure our success for the next 20 years. The Australians were brilliant from 2000 till about a year ago. They’ve become complacent. They haven’t continued to change. Look at the cycling. They did well in the World Championships and thought that would be enough. It wasn’t. Sport is so competitive that you always need to look to improve and we must do that if we want to keep being this successful.

Backward step: Australia won six cycling medals at the velodrome - one gold, two silver and three bronze

Backward step: Australia won six cycling medals at the velodrome – one gold, two silver and three bronze

And three non-British moments

My favourite of the whole Games was David Rudisha winning the 800 metres. The way he ran the race was unbelievable.

The 200m butterfly where Michael Phelps just got beaten in the final length by South Africa swimmer Chad le Clos was so exciting. Phelps could never lose that event — it was unthinkable.

The women’s volleyball final between Brazil and the USA was incredible, with some great rallies. I went to a pool match and the USA won so it was a surprise to see Brazil beat them.


Most of the athletics competitors will be out earning a living again in the next few weeks. But this will be the end of the year for some other sports. And a lot of competitors will go back to normal life and their jobs. It is tough for some people — most feel a bit flat after an Olympics because coming off that high and back to normality is difficult. I never found it a problem because I was so focused on training for the next event. The key is to go back to training only when you feel comfortable. In the meantime, just enjoy it, see your friends and family, and ride the wave. Then one day you’ll wake up and want to train again.


It was the best athletics meet ever. The performances to win events were staggering. Nobody would have thought that Andrew Osagie’s 1min 43.77sec would be good enough only for last place in the 800 metres. Mo Farah was unreal, too. Everyone thought he had a good chance of a medal but he surpassed that. Some people think that Usain Bolt was not as successful as he was in Beijing, because he wasn’t breaking as many records. But no-one has won those titles in consecutive Games like he has. He can continue if he wants — he’s a young man — but he might struggle to find the motivation because he could have better things to do. You have to really want it. Moving up to the 400m won’t happen either because it takes much more training.

Motivation: After two consecutive gold medal triple-hauls, where does Usain Bolt go from here

Motivation: After two consecutive gold medal triple-hauls, where does Usain Bolt go from here

MOAN No 2…

The Badminton World Federation’s decision to ban those players for trying to lose to secure an easier match after their round-robin was the worst thing at the Games. They had created that format, they knew what was going to happen. All the athletes were trying to do was improve their chances in a system they’d been given. It’s not that much different from a runner deliberately slowing down to save energy and finishing fourth when he knows the top four qualify from a race. The BWF created rules which made losing appealing — it should be a straight knockout in future.

He must stay: Charles van Commenee has done a splendid job

He must stay: Charles van Commenee has done a splendid job


Charles van Commenee hasn’t done a bad job. His problem is that he’s backed himself into a corner by saying he needed to deliver eight medals. But, of the six we did win in athletics, four of them were gold, which is the equivalent to 20 silvers, in my opinion. What else is he going to do He’s already the highest paid in that job in the world, so where else would he go

Interview by Alex Kay

South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher retires from international cricket

Sad end for Boucher as wicketkeeper forced to retire on 999 dismissals due to eye injury



13:48 GMT, 10 July 2012

South Africa wicketkeeper Mark
Boucher has retired from international cricket following the eye injury
he suffered during Monday's tour game against Somerset.

The 35-year-old required three hours
of surgery in Taunton on Monday night and, after being released on Tuesday morning,
it was initially confirmed he would leave the tour.

Face blow: Blood pours from the wicketkeeper's eye

Face blow: Blood pours from the wicketkeeper's eye

But, in a prepared statement read out by his Proteas skipper Graeme Smith during lunch at the tour game today, it was revealed the injury had forced Boucher to end his international career.

'It is with sadness and pain that I announce that I will not be able to play international cricket again,' the statement read by Smith said.

Boucher revealed that he had intended to retire at the end of the current tour, when he was due to play his 150th Test in the final match of the upcoming series against England.

He said: 'It is with sadness and in some pain that I make this announcement, but due to the severity of my eye injury I will not be able to play international cricket again.

Howzat: Wicketkeeper Boucher is struck in the face by a bail

Howzat: Wicketkeeper Boucher is struck in the face by a bail

County Cricket blog

'I prepared for this UK tour as well,
if not better, than I have prepared for any tour in my career. I had
never anticipated announcing my retirement now but circumstances have
dictated differently.

'I have a number of thank-yous to
make to people who have made significant contributions during my
international career, which I will do in due course.

'For now, I would like to thank the
huge number of people, many of whom are strangers, for their heartfelt
support during the last 24 hours.

'I am deeply touched by all the well
wishes, and I wish the team well in the UK as I head home on to a road
of uncertain recovery.'

Boucher suffered the freak injury
when he was struck by a flying bail while standing up to leg-spinner
Imran Tahir on the opening day against Somerset. He fell the ground and
was helped from the pitch with blood apparently coming from his left

Boucher was taken to hospital
immediately, where he had surgery to repair a laceration to the white of
his eyeball, but concerns clearly remain over his long-term health.

The extent of the damage to Boucher's
eye will be assessed on his return to South Africa with the veteran –
who is the record-holder for most Test dismissals – set to fly out on
the earliest possible fight.

His eye was still too swollen today for a long-term prognosis about the possible effects on his sight.

'It's not about cricket any more. I hope he recovers fully,” team-mate Jacques Kallis said in an interview on Sky Sports News.

'It has been a tough 24 hours not only for myself, but his family and team-mates.

'He seems in good spirits. He has all our well-wishes and from people around the world.'

Flat out: Boucher lies on the floor after taking a blow to the face

Flat out: Boucher lies on the floor after taking a blow to the face

Top Spin

South Africa's team management
announced that De Villiers would replace Boucher behind the stumps in
the first Investec Test at the Oval next week, but a longer-term
replacement would eventually be called.

Smith had a personal statement for
his long-time team-mate, saying: 'Bouch, we have walked a long road
together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances.

'For the 14 years of your
international career, you have been a true Proteas warrior, a patriotic
South African, a fighter who asks nothing and gives everything.

'You have been a 100 percenter for
this team. You have been more than a performer, you have been a
motivator, an inspirer, an energiser and a good friend to many.

'You leave us today with sad hearts, but also with a deep gratitude for your contributions to our team, and to us as people.

'The fighting spirit you brought to team remains with us. We wish you a good as possible recovery from your injury.

'As we bid you a farewell as an
international cricketer and wish you well for your future, we keep you
as a friend and respected Proteas warrior.

'We all know how much he has meant to
us as a person, but his stats speak for themselves. I think he was in
line to achieve his 150th Test match, his 1,000th dismissal in the game,
so many other world records and stats that went with that.

'If you add that to the type of
person he was, he will go down as one of the greats of the game,
certainly one of the greats in South African cricket.

'I think now we are just more worried about Mark the person, and getting him through this situation.'

Taking his time: Boucher could be forced to miss the remainder of the tour

Taking his time: Boucher could be forced to miss the remainder of the tour

South Africa team doctor Mohammad Moosajee said earlier: 'Mark's surgery, which lasted nearly three hours, showed that he sustained a severe eye injury – and although the surgeon was able to repair the eyeball, the sensitive nature of the injury makes it difficult to determine the extent of the long-term damage.

'At the moment the prognosis is unclear.

'We need to remain as positive as we possibly can. We will only know (the extent of the damage) in a few weeks' time.

'I spent the night with him in the recovery ward at the hospital, and he has been overwhelmed by the messages of support and care he has received from all corners of the world.

'He will take no further part in the series against England and will return back to South Africa as soon as possible.'

Among those who have voiced their concern and support from afar for Boucher are England players Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior – via their Twitter accounts.

Boucher's fellow wicketkeeper Prior wrote this morning: 'Just seen the news about @markb46.

'Very sad he's missing the series and hope he makes a full and speedy recovery. Go well mate keepersunion.'

Boucher may be replaced by the versatile De Villiers, who has previously provided cover behind the stumps in both Tests and one-day internationals – although South Africa may wish to send for specialist Thami Tsolekile.

South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald was distraught for his former team-mate.

'He wanted to finish here. He's been talking about maybe going, if needed, to Australia – but he wanted to go out on a real high in England,' Donald told Sky Sports News.

'I can't think of a bigger kick in the teeth than that.

'To happen on the first day is a cruel blow. Let's just hope he is going to be okay and take it from there.'

Jorge Martinez Boero dies Dakar Rally

Tragedy strikes motorsport again as Boero suffers cardiac arrest during Dakar Rally

Argentinian motorcyclist Jorge Martinez Boero has died after a crash on the opening stage of the Dakar Rally.

The 38-year-old, who was competing in the event for only the second time, fell during the stage between the Argentinian cities of Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa and suffered a cardiac arrest.

A statement on the rally's official website confirmed that medical staff reached him by helicopter five minutes later but Boero died on his way to a hospital.

Tragic: Jorge Martinez Boero died after crashing during the first stage

Tragic: Jorge Martinez Boero died after crashing during the first stage

The statement concluded: 'The organisers of the rally offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.'

Chile's Francisco Lopez heads the motorcycle standings after the first stage, having had to battle back from multiple fractures sustained in the Rally of Tunisia to even take the start line. Marc Coma and Javier Pizzolito complete the podium on two wheels.

Leonid Novitskiy leads the car category ahead of Mini team-mates Krzysztof Holowczyc and Stephane Peterhansel, while Sergio La Fuente leads the quad standings and Marcel van Vliet the truck category.