Tag Archives: mcgrath

Vincent Kompany tackle: Video special of the football"s challenges

VIDEO: As we face up to a world without tackling, Sportsmail looks back at some memorable challenges

PUBLISHED:

15:49 GMT, 15 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 15 January 2013

There was an outcry of disapproval after Vincent Kompany was given a straight red card for his full-blooded challenge on Jack Wilshere.

The Manchester City captain’s challenge was robust but he won the ball, sending out the message that players will be handed their marching orders for aggressive challenges.

Does this signal the death-knell for the old-fashioned tackle And if the letter of the law is followed, we may never see the likes of these challenges – as nominated by Sportsmail’s reporters – again…

Bad Kompany: The Belgian harshly saw red for this challenge on Arsenal's Jack Wilshere

Bad Kompany: The Belgian harshly saw red for this challenge on Arsenal's Jack Wilshere

COLIN YOUNG

KEVIN BALL (Sunderland) on Duncan Ferguson (Newcastle United), St James’ Park, August, 1999

Very few players in the game, never mind the North East, have relished a tackle as much as former Sunderland captain Kevin Ball. And they certainly like a tackle up here.

But on the night Sunderland pulled off a rare win on enemy territory and with the game in the dying minutes, ‘Bally’ pulled off a typically well-timed, hard but fair challenge on Duncan Ferguson. Only the ball flew from the pair who were 30 yards from goal, over Thomas Sorensen and hit his bar, denying Newcastle an equaliser.

This one of the most memorable Tyne-Wear derbies – Ruud Gullit put Alan Shearer and Ferguson on the bench and paid the price in the endless rain. But if Bally of all people had scored the equaliser, even Sunderland’s former manager and current reserve-team boss wouldn’t have been able to live it down.

NEIL MOXLEY

PAUL McGRATH (Aston Villa) against Helsingborg, Olympia, September, 1996

The big man had just been dropped by Brian Little. If memory serves, he came on as a substitute in this game and was seriously peeved. With about five minutes to go, the ball broke down the right, just in front of the dug-outs. McGrath wasn’t the quickest but, my life, he shifted to make his mark. He took ball, man, trainer’s bag, the lot, right in front of Little – and me, sat in the press box towards the back of a small stand.

It was fair. But it wasn’t so much a tackle as a statement. I remember nothing else about this game. The thought of that challenge has stayed with me throughout my career.

McGrath was a solid bloke and I felt a tinge of sympathy for his opponent that night. Honestly, he absolutely cleaned this guy out.

Hardman: McGrath (left) was known for his tackling prowess

Hardman: McGrath (left) was known for his tackling prowess

JOHN EDWARDS

STEVEN GERRARD (Liverpool) on Phil Jagielka (Everton), Anfield, March, 2008

Never one to do things by halves, Gerrard ignited the home crowd with a typically uncompromising double tackle on Jagielka. An initial block challenge near the halfway line sent the ball spinning towards the corner flag, with Jagielka sprinting after it and Gerrard scrambling to his feet and setting off in hot pursuit.

As Jagielka caught up with the ball, Gerrard was a good four or five yards behind but that didn’t stop him hurling himself into a full-length studs-first tackle that sent the ball flying into the Kop. A blur of red, the Liverpool skipper might have been inviting trouble in the current climate but there were no repercussions then.

Neither should there have been. It was the cleanest of contacts and Jagielka was rattled but unharmed. Gerrard at his most committed, and it soon spread to his team-mates, who dominated and should have won by more than an early Fernando Torres goal.

LAURIE WHITWELL

PHIL NEVILLE (Everton) on Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd) Goodison Park, October, 2008

Not many tackles can lay claim to changing the course of a team’s season – but, according to Everton manager David Moyes, this one did. United were cruising at Goodison Park, 1-0 up thanks to a Darren Fletcher goal, but on the hour Phil Neville launched a ferocious challenge on ex-team mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who had already been half-felled by Steven Pienaar. Neville’s lunge sparked fury in the away section and he was booked by Alan Wiley. Later replays showed he got the ball but the whistle had already gone.

The incident (48 seconds into this video) whipped up the crowd and Everton began playing with increased vigour. Soon after, Marouane Fellaini scored an equaliser. They had lost three of four at home up to that point but won their next three Premier League games to finish fifth in May. As for the best overall tackler I have seen – Ryan Giggs takes that accolade. His slides are always silky smooth and generally he wins the ball.

LEE CLAYTON

STUART PEARCE (Wealdstone)

Bobby Gould said he went to watch Stuart Pearce playing for Wealdstone and left after the first tackle when the part-time electrician sent the winger flying. Legend has it the winger ended up closer to Bobby and his wife in the stand than the pitch and Coventry, where Gould was manager, soon paid 300,000 for the player who went on to become England’s greatest left back.

It was a huge amount of money to pay for non-League part-timer but money well spent as Pearce went on to play 78 games for his country (even if most of his success came with Nottingham Forest).

Psycho: Pearce wasn't one to shy away from a challenge

Psycho: Pearce wasn't one to shy away from a challenge

Psycho: Pearce wasn't one to shy away from a challenge

Anyway, I guess that’s Bobby’s favourite tackle, not mine. I’m going to pick a player I liked watching tackle for England and that’s Paul Ince. I was there in France, during the World Cup, when he was asked about it. He said this: ‘I love tackling, I really love it. It’s better than sex. My wife is not going to be too pleased, but I love the sound of it, the crunch, the noise, the act of tackling. I was born to tackle.’ I think he was too. I wish I could have tackled like Paul Ince.

DOMINIC KING

JAMIE CARRAGHER (Liverpool) on Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan), Istanbul, May, 2005

The memory of how Liverpool came back from the dead to win their fifth European Cup remains as fresh as ever, with that incredible three goals-in-six minutes flurry, but it sometimes tends to be forgotten that they also had to withstand a late siege from Milan.

As the Italians tried to pilfer a win late on, Shevchenko powered into the Liverpool area and had skipped past Sami Hyypia but just as he was about to pull the trigger, Carragher swept in to spirit the ball from his toe with immaculate timing. Given what was at stake, it has to go down as the best, most important tackle I’ve seen.

That game was also responsible for the best save I have ever seen, too, with Jerzy Dudek’s scarcely believable parry from the hapless Shevchenko.

Master of the art: Carragher dives in to challenge Mark Viduka

Master of the art: Carragher dives in to challenge Mark Viduka

MARK ALFORD

STEVEN GERRARD (Liverpool) on Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Anfield, March, 2007

Ronaldo – soon to become the most expensive player in the world – and the best tackler on the planet. Gerrard nicks possession just when United are in a threatening position with Ronaldo in possession. Minimum fuss, goes to ground for a split second, nicks the ball and Liverpool are on their way up the field. Pure class.

PHIL GRADWELL

MARK FISH (Bolton) on Michael Owen (Liverpool), Reebok Stadium, November, 1997

The 17-year-old Owen was lightning and nobody could catch him. So when he went through on goal, home fans feared the worst. But Fish, playing one of his first games for Bolton, somehow managed to keep within an outstretched leg of the Liverpool striker and just as Owen was about to shoot slid in, scooped back the ball, got up and played the ball to a midfielder. Easy.

Mark-ed man: Fish (left) gets to grip with Owen once more while at Charlton later in his career

Mark-ed man: Fish (left) gets to grip with Owen once more while at Charlton later in his career

SAM CUNNINGHAM

CHRIS SOLLY (Charlton) on Steve Morison (Millwall), The Valley, March, 2010

Nine minutes into this fierce south London derby Morison, one of the most prolific strikers in League One that season, was sent through on goal by a long ball that caught out centre backs Jose Semedo and Miguel Llera. But 19-year-old left back Solly hurtled towards the middle and produced an unbelievable recovery tackle taking the ball first, then the man, and a large chunk of the turf in the process.

CHRIS CUTMORE

BORIS JOHNSON (England) on Maurizio Gaudino (Germany), Madejski Stadium, May 2006

They say great tackles can change games but this one changed an entire career. Boris was seen as a bumbling buffoon before this remarkable rugby-style tackle. Now he’s still seen as a bumbling buffoon but is somehow in his second term as Mayor of London.

OK, it’s not a proper tackle, so don’t try this one at home, kids (or on the training pitch) – it won’t get your football career very far. But it was very funny.

Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook score 22nd centuries: who is England"s greatest ever?

As Cook and Pietersen equal the greats, we ask: who is England's master blaster

PUBLISHED:

22:00 GMT, 30 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 30 November 2012

They were different innings that both made history in one of England’s greatest ever Test wins, but in the week that both Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook equalled the England Test record by scoring their 22nd centuries we asked our panel of experts: who is the greatest England batsman of all time and why

Duelling pistols: Cook (left) and Pietersen have both notched 22 Test tons for England

Duelling pistols: Cook (left) and Pietersen have both notched 22 Test tons for England

Duelling pistols: Cook (left) and Pietersen have both notched 22 Test tons for England

Nasser Hussain

Former England captain and Sportsmail columnist

I can't remember the likes of Wally Hammond, Jack Hobbs and Len Hutton so I would like to go on what I’ve seen – and I have to choose Graham Gooch.

I am sure that, statistically, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen will both surpass everyone else – Cook will end up as the greatest in terms of stats and Pietersen will top everyone else in terms of sheer eye-catching brilliance.

But I will go for Gooch on the quality of the bowling he had to face. Think of any great opposition bowler over the last 40 years and Gooch has faced the majority of them – and in most cases scored runs against them – and he was just as good against both fast and spin bowling.

Class act: Gooch played against some of the best bowlers in history

Class act: Gooch played against some of the best bowlers in history

Think of Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Abdul Qadir, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Sir Richard Hadlee, Glenn McGrath. Even Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in his early days. The list goes on and on and Gooch has mostly walloped them.

What’s more, he loved doing it for England, for Queen and country. You can still see how much England means to him. He’s English through and through.

Lawrence Booth

Sportsmail cricket writer and Wisden editor

History – if not necessarily personal experience – tells you it’s hard to look beyond the three H’s: Jack Hobbs, Wally Hammond and Len Hutton. All averaged in the mid-to-late 50s, and all three played on uncovered pitches, an alien concept to the contemporary cricketer.

Alastair Cook will end up as the leading England runscorer of all time, but they play more Tests these days: he has clocked up 85 in 6 years, while Hobbs managed only 61 in 22.

As for Kevin Pietersen – who, like Cook and Hammond, now has 22 Test hundreds – it’s hard to imagine any England batsman has ever played with his imagination and brass neck. But with his sense of adventure comes a vulnerability.

Ashes hero: Hobbs (centre) escapes a pitch invasion as Australia are beaten at The Oval in 1926

Ashes hero: Hobbs (centre) escapes a pitch invasion as Australia are beaten at The Oval in 1926

Hammond, by all accounts, was a glorious
stylist, especially through the off side, and would have been regarded
as the greatest player in the world had Don Bradman not ruined things.

Hutton was a cussed leader, whose numbers would have been even more impressive had war not intervened.

But Hobbs scored 12 Test hundreds
against Australia alone – a figure Cook and Pietersen would love on
their CVs. If I had to choose an England player to bat all day for my
life, it would be Jack Hobbs.

Standard bearer: Gooch

Standard bearer: Gooch

Paul Newman

Sportsmail cricket correspondent

It’s Graham Gooch for me. Not just for the fact that, for now, he remains England’s leading Test runscorer with 8,900 but also because he kickstarted the modern era of professionalism in English cricket.

He wasn’t everybody’s choice as England captain but, for me, many of the ideas and attitudes that have served the modern England team well first came into being on the 1990 tour of the West Indies under Gooch.

You could not really call Gooch a
natural athlete but towards the twilight of his career he turned himself
into a fitness fanatic to prolong a career which, with his natural
ability and bravery, was as good as any Englishman’s in history. He was
always able to give his all to his county, Essex, as soon as each Test
was over, too.

I cannot excuse Gooch for going on a
rebel tour of South Africa but if he hadn’t done that he would surely
have made more than 10,000 runs by the time he finished. As it is, if
you add his county record, he has scored more runs in all first-class
and one-day cricket than any other Englishman and I know he will be
proud when, not if, his protg Alastair Cook goes past his England
tally.

David Lloyd

Former England batsman, coach and Sportsmail columnist

Kevin Pietersen is the best I have ever seen for England. But, remember, I didn’t see Hammond, Hobbs or Hutton so I can’t compare him to them. KP is the only England player in my time who gets me on the edge of my seat. He is box-office, like the premiere of a good film or a night at the Royal Albert Hall. He is special. Lots of people can play the guitar but there’s only one Eric Clapton and, even though Kevin can play the odd bum note, he’s cricket’s Clapton.

Entertainer: Bumble's vote goes to Pietersen

Entertainer: Bumble's vote goes to Pietersen

We’ve been talking about Ricky Ponting this week and he’s a great player. Then there are others like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Sir Viv Richards and Rahul Dravid. Well, Pietersen is right up there with them.

Alastair Cook is only 27 and will go on to break all sorts of records but to me he’s like going to the theatre. I can have a wonderful evening and enjoy myself at the theatre but I’d rather go to see the Rolling Stones. KP is rock and roll. The greatest player I’ve ever seen is Sir Garry Sobers, but that’s a different story.

Ricky Ponting retires: An apology to the Australian legend… We"re sorry for all the jibes and most of all, for calling you Ratty

Ricky Ponting – an apology: We're sorry for all the jibes and most of all, for calling you Ratty

|

UPDATED:

11:12 GMT, 29 November 2012

Ricky Ponting we are sorry.

Sorry for accusing you of cheating. Sorry for pilloring your unsporting behaviour (of which there's been plenty). We're even almost sorry for calling you Ratty Ponting – but not quite.

Like all the greatest villains, we loved to hate you. Like all Australians, we've loved making fun of you. Above all else we loved beating you – and we'd gotten used to that.

The sad truth is we wish more of our sportsmen and women were like you. And that's why we must say sorry.

Ratty Ponting

Ricky Ponting

King Rat: How Sportsmail mocked Ponting in 2009 (left) inspired by the surely Aussie's image (right)

Almost fond farewell: Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from international cricket at a press conference in Perth. Sportsmail owes him an apology

Almost fond farewell: Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from international cricket at a press conference in Perth. Sportsmail owes him an apology

Kevin Pietersen's Twitter reaction

Ricky Ponting RETIRES…. ONE OF THE GREATS! I always got excited playing AUS, so I could watch him bat up close. Well done Punter! #legend

Your dogged determination, fierce patriotism and considerable talent made you a fearsome adversary.

We have loved your two-facedness. Remember Cardiff in 2009 You blew your top when we… sorry England, sent 12th man Bilal Shafayat on with spare gloves as Monty Panesar and James Anderson were grinding out a famous draw. Stalling for time, you said. You'd know all about that, cobber.

Old Trafford, 2005… your Aussies were clinging on for a draw when out pops little Stuart MacGill, 12th man, with a towel – yes, a towel! – for flustered Glenn McGrath as he and Brett Lee fought off a late onslaught.

We have loved your on-field lack of grace. Off it you're a charmer, a sporting prince. But when Michael Hussey was the only Aussie to applaud Alastair Cook's century in the Fifth 2010/11 Ashes Test at Sydney we lapped up your snarling unsporting behaviour.

Enlarge

Glove affair: How the Daily Mail covered the controversial Cardiff Test in 2009 when Ricky fumed at England's 12th man

Glove affair: How the Daily Mail covered the controversial Cardiff Test in 2009 when Ricky fumed at England's 12th man

Rodent times: How Ratty Ponting appeared in our pages in 2009

Rodent times: How Ratty Ponting appeared in our pages in 2009

We'll ignore you claiming Phil Hughes's catch when Cook was on 99, which clearly hit the turf first.

If one of ours hadn't celebrated the new year by making your mob chase leather around the park, we'd have really been angry. Your reaction just wasn't cricket, old bean.

We still love Gary Pratt for what he did to you. The sub fielder running you out at Trent Bridge in 2005 was not the best bit. Your fuming and finger-pointing at England coach Duncan Fletcher, who was sitting up in the pavilion was classic King Rat.

You were angry. You were hurt. We were laughing. So was big Dunc.

Ricky Ponting, Australian captain, is run out by England substitute fielder Gary Pratt

Gary Pratt (centre), substitute fielder for England, is congratulated by team mates after running out Ricky Ponting

Making a Pratt of himself: Ponting is run out (left) by substitute fielder Gary Pratt, who was hailed by England's Test stars (right) at Trent Bridge during the famous 2005 Ashes Series

Then there were the runs – we haven't loved those. All 2,476 of them against England at an average of 44.21. Not quite your overall 52.21, but still formidable.

In 2009 this newspaper dubbed you Ratty Ponting in a bid to put you off your stride. You averaged 48.12 in that series including a memorable 150 at Cardiff, but England still triumphed.

As a foe we celebrate you. As a cricketer we applaud you. As a personality we shall miss you.

There are some out there who will hope you add another century to your prolific haul of 41 at Perth tomorrow.

You'll understand of course, that we hope you get a duck.

Goodbye Ricky, it's by no means good riddance.

Farewell: Australia's Ricky Ponting always celebrated like it was his first victory

Farewell: Australia's Ricky Ponting always celebrated like it was his first victory

Fergie"s Firsts: Sir Alex Ferguson walked through the doors at Old Trafford 26 years ago today

Fergie's Firsts: Sir Alex Ferguson walked through the doors at Old Trafford 26 years ago today

|

UPDATED:

12:45 GMT, 6 November 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the greatest British football manager of all time, walked through the doors at Old Trafford 26 years ago today.

The job of managing United in 1986 was huge – they were a sleeping giant and his tenure began with a humiliating defeat at Oxford's Manor Ground. From humble beginnings and all that…

Here Sportsmail recalls Fergie's firsts…

Humble beginnings: 26 years ago this week, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (second right) watches his new team for the first time as they crash to a 2-0 defeat at Oxford

Humble beginnings: 26 years ago this week, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson (second right) watches his new team for the first time as they crash to a 2-0 defeat at Oxford United's Manor Ground

HIS FIRST GAME…

Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson (R) watches from the dug out as his side play Oxford United, in their League Division One football match at Manor Ground, Oxford. Manchester United lost 2-0.

Manchester United slipped to a 2-0 defeat
at the old Manor Ground against a side who were to drop out of the
Football League during Ferguson’s 26 years at Old Trafford.

There
were 13,545 for the game on November 8, 1986, two days after Ferguson (right)
had taken over from Ron Atkinson. Future Liverpool striker John Aldridge
scored a penalty for the home side and Neil Slatter added the second.

Ferguson was later to describe how he was shocked at the fitness levels of the United players.

But then maybe it was no surprise that his team fell to defeat at Oxford.

Ferguson
revealed in his autobiography that a number of his new charges had been
drinking heavily at Atkinson’s leaving do the night before his arrival
in Manchester and he was in no mood to accept excuses after the Oxford
game.

He called them in for extra gym training on the Monday morning
and told the players he would `put an end to Manchester United’s
reputation as a social club rather than a football club’.

It was also
the beginning of the end for Paul McGrath at United. Ferguson was so
unimpressed by his midfield performance that he took him off, claiming
later his lifestyle meant he did not have the stamina for a midfield
berth in his team.

Oxford: Parks, Langan, Slatter, Phillips, Briggs, Shotton, Houghton, Aldridge, Leworthy, Trewick & Brock.
Manchester United: Turner, Duxbury, Albiston, Moran, McGrath, Hogg, Blackmore, Moses, Stapleton, Davenport, Barnes.

Humble beginnings: Fergie's first match... United's Paul McGrath (left) heads clear during the 2-0 defeat at Oxford in 1986

Humble beginnings: Fergie's first match… United's Paul McGrath (left) heads clear during the 2-0 defeat at Oxford in 1986

HIS FIRST WIN…
Ferguson had to wait three games for his first success as United boss.

November 22, 1986, United beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at Old Trafford, thanks to a thumping free-kick from Danish defender John Sivebaek.

HIS FIRST GOAL…
United had gone 213 scoreless minutes – and 16 days – before Sivebaek finally broke the deadlock at Old Trafford to secure that first win.

But it was a fleeting moment of glory for the Denmark international who was sold to St Etienne by Ferguson the following summer after just 31 games for United. He was eventually replaced at right-back by Viv Anderson.

`I don’t remember much about the goal except that it was a free-kick 20 yards out,’ said the Dane. “I hit it hard but bent it a bit like Beckham as well.

`It was a big goal because it gave Sir Alex his first win at Manchester United and it was also big for me because I didn’t score many.’

Picture shows Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson - Oxford United v Manchester United - 07.11.1986

JOHN SIVEBAEK MANCHESTER UNITED 1986

Looking glum: Life at United began poorly for
Ferguson (left, in the stands at Oxford) but things began looking up
after John Sivebaek (right) scored the first goal of Fergie's tenure
against QPR

Enlarge

Here we go: Ferguson (arms folded) takes first-team training during his first week as United boss in November 1986

Here we go: Ferguson (arms folded) takes first-team training during his first week as United boss in November 1986

Still smiling: Ferguson (right) shares a joke with first-team coach Rene Meulensteen at carrington today

Still smiling: Ferguson (right) shares a joke with first-team coach Rene Meulensteen at carrington today

SIR ALEX BY NUMBERS

37 Major trophies (12 Premier League titles, 2 Champions League wins, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups)

3 Trophies in the 1998-99 treble

45 United's longest unbeaten run in all competitions under Ferguson

9-0 Manchester United's biggest win under Ferguson, against Ipswich Town at Old Trafford in 1995

6-1 Ferguson's heaviest defeat, last season at home to Manchester City

26 Years Manchester United were waiting for a league title before Ferguson's first in 1993

3 “Years of excuses and it's still crap … TA RA FERGIE”, a banner seen at Old Trafford in December 1989

30.75m Paid to Tottenham Hotspur for the services of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008, a club record fee

80m Received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo, a world record.

625,000 Spent on Denis Irwin, regarded by Ferguson as his greatest signing 'pound for pound'

60,000 Ferguson's estimated annual salary when he joined in 1986

5m His current annual salary

7 Years without giving interviews to the BBC after a controversial Panorama investigation into his son Jason

14 The number of managers to have occupied the Manchester City dugout while Ferguson has been at United

17 Games missed by Ferguson due to touchline bans

HIS FIRST AWAY WIN…
Where else but Anfield

United only picked up one away win all that first season under Ferguson and actually managed to achieve the double and it was Liverpool’s only home defeat at Anfield that season.

Norman Whiteside scored United’s winner to help United to their third win in his first eight games in charge – hardly a resounding start.

It would take Ferguson a few years to knock Liverpool off their perch, and they finished 11th that season, but it was a good start.

HIS FIRST SIGNING…
Viv Anderson was signed from Arsenal for just 250,000 in a deal finalised at tribunal.

The England international was to play a significant role in Ferguson’s new-look United and quickly established himself as first-choice right-back.

He played more than 50 games for the club until Ferguson signed Denis Irwin from Oldham for just 625,000 and he took over from Anderson, who moved on to Sheffield Wednesday.

Ferguson said: `Viv’s resolute professionalism at right-back and bubbly, contagious enthusiasm in the dressing room were worth a lot more than the 250,000 we paid Arsenal.

`Viv, a man I am always happy to see, was prevented by injury from being as valuable to us as he should have been.’

Anderson won the 1990 FA Cup at Manchester United, followed by the Charity Shield at the start of the next season, his only silverware at Old Trafford.

First recruit: Viv Anderson signs for Ferguson at old Trafford

First recruit: Viv Anderson signs for Ferguson at old Trafford

FIRST TROPHY…
Manchester United needed a replay to see off Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup Final and pick up Ferguson’s first trophy.

The first game finished 3-3 and Palace, who had stunned Liverpool to reach Wembley, had the audacity to take the lead through Gary O’Reilly after just 17 minutes when he headed in via Gary Pallister’s head.

The United equaliser also came from a deflection, with John Pemberton getting the final touch to a Bryan Robson effort before half-time. Mark Hughes then put Ferguson’s side in front just after the hour before Palace boss Steve Coppell threw on Ian Wright whose mazy run within three minutes of his introduction finished with the goal to take the game into extra-time.

Enlarge

Alex Ferguson (right) with his assistant Archie Knox in 1986

Enlarge

Manchester United's new manager Alex Ferguson at a press conference at Old Trafford, decked out in his new team's colours

Life and times: Ferguson with his newly
installed assistant Archie Know in 1986 (left) and posing up (right)
before his first official press conference at Old Trafford 26 years ago
this week

Old school: Ferguson's desk at United HQ remained a rustic affair

Old school: Ferguson's desk at United HQ remained a rustic affair

And it was the electric Wright who put Palace ahead two minutes after the re-start, seizing on Jim Leighton’s hesitancy dealing with a John Salako cross, before Mark Hughes calmly slotted home seven minutes from the end of extra-time to take the final to a replay.

Ferguson bravely, and controversially, dropped Leighton for the replay five days later and the Scotland international keeper never played for United again.

His place went to the late Les Sealey who made three crucial saves in a largely uneventful match.
The winner came from defender Lee Martin who chested down a Neil Webb pass just before the hour and shot high into the net past Nigel Martyn. Captain Bryan Robson lifted his manager’s first trophy.
Sealey was the only change from the first game, the outfield players were Phelan, Bruce, Pallister, Martin, Webb, Ince, Robson, Wallace, McClair, Hughes.

The Palace side was unchanged for the two games, was the last all-English team to play in the FA Cup Final and included Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew. Martyn, Pemberton, O’Reilly, Thorn, Shaw, Barber, Gray, Thomas, Pardew, Salako, Bright.

Mark Halsey barred from Jose Mourinho TV show by referee managers – Charles Sale

Halsey barred from Jose tribute show by refereeing management body

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 19 October 2012

Premier League referee Mark Halsey has been prevented from taking part in an ITV tribute programme marking Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho’s 50th birthday in January.

Halsey, who describes the Special One as a ‘wonderful, wonderful person’, was keen to contribute to the show because of a close friendship with Mourinho forged while the referee was battling throat cancer.

Mourinho was one of the first to contact Halsey after his illness was made public. During his recovery, he was invited to Milan and Madrid to spend time with Jose, who ‘looked after me fantastically’, according to Halsey.

Issue: Mark Halsey was not allowed to talk about Jose Mourinho (above)

Issue: Mark Halsey was not allowed to talk about Jose Mourinho (above)

However, Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, who manage the referees, have refused permission for Halsey to be interviewed, nor have they allowed ITV access to his wife Michelle, despite a number of requests.

A PGMOL spokesman said: ‘It’s standard practice that referees don’t do media during the season unless it relates to the promotion of referees and we can’t make an exception in this case. The referee contracts also include family members in this respect.’

McGrath set to bow out

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Why the blazers ousted FA chairman Bernstein
18/10/12

Charles Sale: No extra time for FA chief Bernstein's regime
17/10/12

Charles Sale: England's hot date with Brazil at the new Maracana
16/10/12

Charles Sale: Liverpool PR man Chang faces internal probe over Duncan Jenkins claims
15/10/12

Charles Sale: Liverpool see red over Chang bullying claims
12/10/12

Charles Sale: Tottenham back on Olympic track in bid to solve stadium problem
11/10/12

Charles Sale: New power move for Scudamore
10/10/12

Charles Sale: Sir Dave will give his FA vice-chairman post to Gill
09/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

BBC commentator Jim McGrath is likely to be calling his last big race in Frankel’s Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, with C4’s Simon Holt the choice to be lead commentator when the network start their exclusive terrestrial coverage next year. However, McGrath’s BBC colleague Rishi Persad will be part of the new-look C4 team along with the omnipresent Clare Balding.

Meanwhile, the Beeb are understood not to be looking back in too much detail at their rich racing history in their Ascot programme because they still have one day left of their doomed racing contract, at Chepstow on December 27. But that meeting is often a victim of the weather.

Mancini's purple snub

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini’s many quirks now include him declaring purple to be an unlucky colour. This has led to the Italian not wanting his players travelling to away games in their track suits, which have purple piping. So City’s kit staff have had to sort out a load of new clothing for away travel that doesn’t include the offending hue. Mancini’s squad were in blue when they set off for Saturday’s match at West Bromwich.

No purple: Roberto Mancini does not want his players wearing the colour

No purple: Roberto Mancini does not want his players wearing the colour

FA councillors plot Club England move

The Club England set-up is going to find itself under increasing pressure after the FA council prevented chairman David Bernstein from remaining in office past his age-limit 70th birthday next May and rejected proposed governance reforms.

FA councillors, having discovered they still have influence, don’t want a small group of FA executives in charge of the England team. And some of the most influential members of the council want a return to the FA international committee having the final say on England matters.

Mac’s FA ballot blues

FA company secretary Alistair Maclean is seen as not having helped David Bernstein’s chances of staying on as chairman with the way he organised the FA council ballot — especially arguing that proxy votes should be included because they count in a chairman’s election.

Former FA board member John Ward had to point out that the vote was about retaining Bernstein, not appointing him. Maclean is also seen as personalising the issue, to Bernstein’s detriment, by putting his name on the ballot question about the chairman’s period of office.

Thanks for nothing: David Bernstein (right) was not helped by Alistair Maclean

Thanks for nothing: David Bernstein (right) was not helped by Alistair Maclean

FA vice-chairmen Roger Burden and David Gill will lead the hunt to find a successor, with the expectation that they will want candidates in their fifties who can serve at least two four-year terms for much-needed continuity.

Yet Burden was on the nominations group that recommended Bernstein knowing he could stay in the job for less than three years because of his age. The same Burden remarkably described Bernstein as having a ‘humour bypass’ at the FA council meeting this week.

R's swoop for Donnelly

QPR, whose heavy spending needs bringing under control, have appointed Mark Donnelly, who was the FA’s chief finance officer, as their chief operating officer. This is another blow to FA general secretary Alex Horne, who loses his chairman David Bernstein in May.

County Championship opening day – Quick Delivery

County Championship Quick Delivery: All the big news from the opening day of the season

|

UPDATED:

18:31 GMT, 5 April 2012

Centurion: Dan Redfern of Derbyshire

Centurion: Dan Redfern of Derbyshire

Derbyshire batsman Dan Redfern scored the first Championship hundred of the season, his maiden first-class ton.

The 21-year-old left-hander reached the landmark off 126 balls and went on to make 110 (which included 13 fours) as his county scored 286 against Northants at Derby. In reply, the visitors struggled to 28 for three at stumps.

STAT OF THE DAY

18 – minutes it took Glamorgan to gain the first point of the new LV County Championship season at Grace Road. Leicestershire were none for two after two balls thanks to Huw Waters, who then had Matthew Boyce caught by Gareth Rees to leave the hosts one for three and give Glamorgan their point.

Leicestershire recovered though, and were all out for 249. The visitors then also lost quick wickets, ending the day on 25 for five.

TWEET OF THE DAY

'Hmmm not too sure about the first day of the season went today.Felt good, bowled well,Kent are 350-5.Cheeky 1-for for me #veryflatdeck!'

– Ajmal Shahzad

You beauty: Ajmal Shahzad celebrates dismissing Brendan Nash of Kent

You beauty: Ajmal Shahzad celebrates dismissing Brendan Nash of Kent

It could have gone very badly for Yorkshire at Headingley had Rob Key not ran himself out on 97. The Kent skipper pushed the ball to Andrew Gale at mid-off and set off, but unfortunately for Key the Yorkshire captain hit the stumps.

Despite the needless loss of their captain – who looked in superb nick – it was a good day for Kent, for whom Scott Newman (who was caught brilliantly by Anthony McGrath at slip off Shahzad) and Brendan Nash both scored half centuries to frustrate Division Two favourites Yorkshire.

Caught short: Tom Maynard hits a boundary

Caught short: Tom Maynard hits a boundary

Jade leaves Tom stranded

Tom
Maynard could have been the third player to score a century but he ran
out of partners at The Oval. The Surrey batsman hit a classy unbeaten 86
but was left stranded by Jade Dernbach's dismissal as Sussex dismissed
the hosts for 264, with Amjad Khan taking five for 57.

Sussex closed on 105 for five in reply.

Read all
about it

Worcestershire bowler Richard Jones also studies sports journalism at Staffordshire University but he was making headlines rather than writing them, taking six for 32 as his side skittled Nottinghamshire for 118.

The pitch inspectors will definitely take an interest as 20 wickets fell at Trent Bridge, with Worcestershire bowled out for 130 in reply.

Six-shooter: Worcestershire bowler Richard Jones in action at Trent Bridge

Six-shooter: Worcestershire bowler Richard Jones in action at Trent Bridge

Vernon's the real deal

It was a late start at Taunton but Vernon Philander typically did not wait long to make an impact for Somerset. The second-fastest man to 50 Test wickets had Middlesex opener Sam Robson caught behind off the third ball of the match.

You get the feeling Philander, who finished with three for 21 before bad light stopped play, will take a lot of wickets before he joins up with South Africa for the Test series v England.

Glen Johnson will regret toeing Liverpool line, says Paul McGrath

McGrath tells Johnson: You will regret toeing Liverpool line in Suarez race row

|

UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 8 March 2012

Paul McGrath has responded after Glen Johnson accused him of racism, describing the Liverpool full back's criticism as 'sad'.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsmail, Johnson hit out at the former Manchester United defender for singling him out after Kenny Dalglish’s players wore T-shirts in support of Luis Suarez following his charge for racially abusing Patrice Evra.

Hitting back: Paul McGrath has said criticism of him by Glen Johnson is 'sad'

Hitting back: Paul McGrath has said criticism of him by Glen Johnson is 'sad'

‘It’s sad someone is having a pop at me,’ said McGrath, 52, who claimed that if he was Johnson he would have thrown the T-shirt on the dressing room floor.

‘I thought supporting a player — Evra — with the same colour skin might not be such a bad idea for Johnson. When he is 52 and not as popular as he is now, he might think differently.’

Johnson’s broadside also heaped heavy criticism on Evra’s conduct at Old Trafford when the Frenchman and Suarez failed to shake hands following their own race row.

Toe the line: Glen Johnson backed his club's stance in the race row with Patrice Evra

Toe the line: Glen Johnson backed his club's stance in the race row with Patrice Evra

The England defender claimed Evra had been ‘clever’ in failing to extend his arm towards Suarez fully as the Liverpool striker walked down the line of United players before the game.

Johnson insisted Evra then made ‘a big deal of it’ when Suarez walked past, the whole episode being something ‘he was probably up all night thinking about’. But McGrath labelled that attack another mistake.

‘Liverpool got hammered in round one and, if Glen is starting round two, I think it’s a mistake,’ he said. ‘With Liverpool just winning a trophy, I’d imagine Kenny Daglish would prefer to put all this to bed.’

The row started last October when Evra accused Suarez of racially abusing him at Anfield, with the FA later fining and banning the Uruguay forward.

Liverpool and Suarez’s team-mates stood firmly behind him until they were forced into an apology for his failure to shake Evra’s hand. But Dalglish is determined to keep the player at the club despite interest from super-rich Paris Saint-Germain.

‘Nobody has spoken to us but it wouldn’t make any difference,’ said Dalglish. ‘If they called and reversed the charges, it would not get taken.’

Johnson has had a hamstring injury but should return to action at Sunderland on Saturday.

Australia beat India at the MCG by 122 runs

More India woe as superb pace bowling helps Aussies to victory at MCG

Australia v India, MCG

View the full scorecard here

Australia”s pace attack produced a bowling display reminiscent of the side”s era of dominance as they swept India aside to secure a 122-run victory in the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The performances of Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle carried shades of Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath in their pomp, as the tourists fell some way short of the 292 they had been set to win.

The quick trio bowled with tremendous accuracy throughout a devastating 47.5-over innings that spanned all three sessions on the fourth day, with Pattinson, who took four for 53, narrowly shading the honours.

Aussie rules: The hosts celebrate their 122-run win over India at the MCG

Aussie rules: The hosts celebrate their 122-run win over India at the MCG

But despite the 21-year-old rising star taking the most wickets, it was a collective effort that saw the Baggy Green across the finish line, with the three-pronged attack showing enough to suggest they can spearhead a bid to return to the top of the Test rankings – something that was taken for granted by Australians for almost a decade.

India had occupied that position until their whitewash in England earlier this summer and Mahendra Singh Dhoni”s side again showed worrying signs overseas.

Dhoni said afterwards: “I think they bowled a really good line close to that off-stump area… I think the length and line they bowled was very crucial.

“We thought if we could get them out for 240 or 250-odd runs that”s a very gettable score, but I felt 290-odd runs was also a score we should have achieved.

“The wicket was pretty good. It”s not like there was too much wear and tear in the wicket. I think our batting line flopped in both the innings.

Special delivery: Peter Siddle and the rest of his pace attack ripped through India

Special delivery: Peter Siddle and the rest of his pace attack ripped through India

In the second innings, we kept falling at regular intervals which meant getting close to 300-odd runs was becoming more and more difficult.”

The tourists were always likely to beup against it chasing what was a fourth-highest MCG winning total, but their mindset could have been so different had they not allowed Pattinson and Hilfenhaus to take them on with the bat.

When Mike Hussey, who should have been given out when he edged Umesh Yadav behind, was snared by Zaheer Khan for 88, the margin was 249 but, 10 overs of improvised batting from the bowlers later, it was 43 runs greater.

Hilfenhaus fell to Ishant Sharma for 14 and then delivered with the ball in a nine-over spell before lunch, getting one to climb on Virender Sehwag who could only find Hussey in the gully.

India returned after lunch on 24 for one, but by the time they were back in the pavilion for tea, the score was 117 for six as Australia dominated a stunning middle session.

First an out-of-form Gautam Ghambir was tied in knots by Siddle – surviving twice in one over – before diverting an almost unplayable delivery from the same bowler into the hands of Ricky Ponting at second slip.

That brought Sachin Tendulkar to the crease – the master batsman still chasing an elusive 100th international ton – and even he showed signs of pressure as he narrowly avoided a run out from the arm of David Warner.

He had another elder statesman, Rahul Dravid, for company, but that did not last long as “The Wall” misread one from Patterson and lost his middle stump for 10.

Making a stand: Not even Virender Sehwag could stop his team

Making a stand: Not even Virender Sehwag could stop his team”s slide

The same bowler then got rid of VVS Laxman, who failed to spot Ed Cowan lurking at square leg when he flicked one off his legs and, when Hilfenhaus, who took two for 39, trapped Virat Kohli in front for a golden duck, India were sinking fast at 69 for five.

That quickly became 81 for six as Siddle, with the first ball of his second spell, got one to grow on Tendulkar who gave Hussey an easy catch in the gully.

Dhoni and R Ashwin then had a swinging session leading in to tea, but the latter fell just after it for 30, gloving a climber from Siddle (three for 42) to Cowan who had come in to short square leg.

Taking the plaudits: James Pattinson continued his rapid rise with four wickets

Taking the plaudits: James Pattinson continued his rapid rise with four wickets

Zaheer Khan decided to have some fun and clubbed Pattinson for six but paid with the very next ball, walking across his stumps to try and hit the 21-year-old out of the ground but only serving to fudge one to the ever-alert Cowan.

Dhoni (23) then lost his off stump to Pattinson as India fell apart at nine for 142 and, although Yadav had a late slog, he perished on 21 when he took on spinner Nathan Lyon and was caught out by a sprinting Warner on the boundary to wrap things up.

Kenny Dalglish defends Liverpool"s Luis Suarez T-shirts

Dalglish insists Liverpool”s T-shirt support for Suarez is “the least he deserves”

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish maintains the club”s support of Luis Suarez has been right and proper and has not “caused trouble”.

The Reds came in for criticism for their strongly-worded statement in the wake of the Uruguay international”s eight-match ban imposed for using insulting words towards Patrice Evra, with a reference to the Manchester United player”s skin colour.

However, when the players issued their statement prior to Wednesday”s goalless draw at Wigan and wore T-shirts in the warm-up depicting an image of Suarez with his name and No 7 on the back there was further outcry.

Got the T-shirt: Liverpool

Got the T-shirt: Liverpool”s gesture to Luis Suarez has attracted some criticism

Clash: Glen Johnson hit back at Paul McGrath

Clash: Glen Johnson hit back at Paul McGrath”s criticism of the T-shirts

However, Dalglish defended the club”s stance in giving their full support to Suarez.

“The statement couldn”t have caused anyone any trouble and I don”t think the players have caused any trouble with the FA either by their statement or support by their T-shirts,” said the Scot.

“If we are not in any trouble we will leave it at that before we do get in any trouble.”

Dalglish said Suarez had been moved by the show of support from the club and his team-mates.

“He”s been quite emotional and very grateful,” added the Reds boss. “I don”t think it is ever a disappointment when the people you work for give you their undivided support and I think that is the least he deserves.”

Centre of the storm: Reds striker Suarez

Centre of the storm: Reds striker Suarez

Liverpool are still awaiting the full written verdict of the independent commission who heard Suarez”s case but are not expected to receive it until after Christmas.

The moment it does arrive the club will have 14 days to consider their response and appeal if they choose, otherwise the suspension will kick in.

Dalglish, aware of how much debate was taking place about the case and the anticipated production of the written summary, said it was a matter of being patient.

“Whenever it is ready,” was his reply when asked when he expected to receive the documentation. “Most of the people have had their say, we”ve had our say but we will wait for the judgement and take it from there – but it won”t be tomorrow.

Sticking to his guns: Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish

Sticking to his guns: Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish

“The club have issued the statement, the players have issued their statement visually and verbally, but we have to wait for the written report because no-one knows [what it contains].

“At this moment in time I don”t think the club are permitted to go into any further detail than they have done.”

Grandouet saunters to International Hurdle victory at Cheltenham

Grandouet proves Champion Hurdle credentials with International win

Barry Geraghty survived a moment of crisis on his way to a notable big-race treble at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Earlier, iron man Geraghty had the kind of fall in front of a packed field of runners which all jump jockeys dread.

As he lay on the ground, he was caught with terrifying force by the flying hooves of another horse which trampled all over him.

Easy win: Grandouet (green) had plenty to spare up the Cheltenham hill

Easy win: Grandouet (green) had plenty to spare up the Cheltenham hill

“It hurt all right and I felt rough,” he said later after his fall from Tanks For That in the Jenny Mould Memorial Chase.

“At first, I couldn”t even walk over to Jerry McGrath, who had taken a bad fall at the same fence. I got to the rail and rested and by the time I returned to the weighing room I knew I was OK.”

McGrath was carried from the course on a stretcher and taken to hospital with a suspected back injury.

Geraghty declared himself fit and was soon spotted limping painfully into the paddock before the Spinal Research Gold Cup.

“If he can walk he will ride,” suggested his great rival Ruby Walsh with a degree of accuracy.

Geraghty then landed an improbable victory in the big race on Quantitativeeasing with a door- die effort that defied belief.

He went on to complete a treble for himself and his boss Nicky Henderson on the stable”s talented duo Grandouet and Oscar Whisky.

Grandouet is now 5-1 for the Champion Hurdle, while Oscar Whisky is bound for the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

Plenty left: Barry Geraghty and Grandouet (centre) clear the last from Overturn (left) and Brampour (right)

Plenty left: Barry Geraghty and Grandouet (centre) clear the last from Overturn (left) and Brampour (right)

Both hurdlers won with plenty to spare. In startling contrast, the only time Quantitativeeasing looked like prevailing was when he thrust his head willingly between the two leaders, Roudoudou Ville and Medermit in the shadow of the post.

Geraghty admitted: “We were struggling the whole way and could not have got to the front any sooner. Luckily, he pinged the last four fences to give us a chance going to the last.”

Henderson, celebrating his 61th birthday, added: “We were further back than we intended and needed a long run-in today.”

Geraghty took the ride when champion AP McCoy opted to partner Sunnyhillboy, the 7-2 favourite, which failed to fire.