Tag Archives: misery

Jane Mangan unseated by Oscar Delta yards from victory at Cheltenham Festival

Misery for Mangan as Oscar Delta unseats teenage rider… just yards from winning post at Cheltenham Festival

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:55 GMT, 15 March 2013

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 15 March 2013

Teenage jockey Jane Mangan had victory snatched from her grasp in the Foxhunter Chase as Oscar Delta unseated her as they powered towards the finish.

In the amateur version of the Gold Cup, Oscar Delta jinked to the left, hitting
the rope where there was no permanent rail and the daughter of trainer
Jimmy Mangan was unshipped, leaving favourite Salsify to take advantage.

So far so good: Oscar Delta looked unbeatable approaching the line...

So far so good: Oscar Delta looked unbeatable approaching the line…

... but after jinking to the left he collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan....

… but after jinking to the left he collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan….

... but he jinked to the left and collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan....

...and it was left to Salsify to claim the honours

…and it was left to Salsify to claim the honours

It was a cruel blow for punters who had backed Oscar Delta, 20-1 at the off, and Irish firm Paddy Power are refunding bets on the Mangan runner.

Creevytennant set the pace but continually jumped out to the right and he was still in front until the fourth-last where Oscar Delta took it up.

The 10-year-old pulled away from Salsify after the third-last fence and jumped the last with a handy lead.

He looked set for victory until it turned into defeat and agony for connections.

Colman Sweeney was able to coast his mount, trained by his father Rodger, over the line 20 lengths ahead of Divine Intavention with Cottage Oak a neck away in third.

Head in hands: Jane Mangan can't believe her bad luck after crashing off Oscar Delta in the Foxhunter Chase

Head in hands: Jane Mangan can't believe her bad luck after crashing off Oscar Delta in the Foxhunter Chase

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan just seconds after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

There, there: Mangan is consoled after bowing out of the Foxhunter Chase with victory in sight

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

Salsify is the first back-to-back winner of the amateur riders' Gold cup since Double Silk in 193-94.

Sweeney jnr said: 'God was on my side, I feel sorry for Jane, though. I did feel he was going to rally but I probably wouldn't have got there.

'This horse is a different horse on decent ground, he didn't feel the same at all on soft.

'He can be very keen so I dropped him right out until I got settled and then he jumped into it.

'He does rally and stay on but I think Jane would have won.

'I'd like to dedicate this to John Thomas (McNamara) as everything we do we do for love. He was one of the senior boys when I first started and he still is. We're all thinking of him.'

Sweeney snr said: 'It was very lucky and I'm gutted for Jane who is a good friend of ours and a very polished rider.

'Our fellow didn't like the ground but he kept trying his best but Jimmy Mangan should have been the winner.'

Gary Speed suicide anniversary: Leon McKenzie book serialisation – I raced back from training to my hotel room determined to kill myself

LEON McKENZIE BOOK EXCLUSIVE: Nothing could stop me now.
I raced back from training to my hotel room determined to kill myself… I was sick of players, coaches and fans staring at me.

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UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 27 November 2012

On the anniversary of Gary Speed's tragic
death, Sportsmail publishes here the harrowing opening chapter of Leon
McKenzie's autobiography 'My Fight With Life'. In the first extract of
an exclusive MailOnline serialisation, the former Premier League striker
recounts the bleakest of days when he tried to take his own life.
+++ WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT +++.

I’d had enough of life, my life at least, so it was time to end it all.

Thoughts of suicide had popped in and out of my head for a while now, but for the last week they’d been pretty much permanent visitors.

A pulled hamstring towards the end of a training session pushed me over the edge. It was a relatively trivial moment for sure, and an occupational hazard for a footballer, but I’d been beating myself up mentally for months and this was the punch that knocked me down and out.

I could think of only one way to escape the misery that had enveloped my life. At that horrible time I couldn’t explain why I felt numb, empty and desolate. On the outside I had everything, but inside I was lost in a fog of uncertainty.

Dark times: Former Premier League striker Leon McKenzie, who has battled depression throughout his career, at his Northamptonshire home last year

Dark times: Former Premier League striker Leon McKenzie, who has battled depression throughout his career, at his Northamptonshire home last year

TOMORROW: PART II OF MailOnline's EXCLUSIVE SERIALISATION…
Charles Bronson and Myra Hindley – life in prison and how the PFA failed depressed footballers like meLEON McKENZIE: My Fight With Life

Published by MacAnthonyMedia, priced 7.99

Leon McKenzie: My Fight With Life

Click here to buy your copy now…

I knew deep down that suicide was selfish. I knew it would cause misery and desperation to the people I loved the most and I know now that’s what depression does to you.

You don’t think straight. Hope is abandoned. Back then logic and rational thought had left my head months before leaving just one idea swimming back and forth inside my mind.

I wanted out. No ifs, no buts, no maybes, I wanted out and I wanted out today.

I was a man with a beautiful, loving wife and three young children who meant the world to me. They were my life and yet I wanted to leave them behind to try and find a better place for me.

They’d be better off without me anyway. I wasn’t contributing much. I didn’t want my sadness to crush them.

Inexplicable thoughts (although they seemed perfectly sensible at the time) like that were running through my head day after miserable, stinking day. I was trapped in a maze of mood swings that made little sense.

I’d lost sight of what was good and positive in my life. I saw only misery and uncertainty ahead.

The people I worked with didn’t suspect a thing. I appeared normal to them. I would appear calm, in good humour, one of the lads, someone without a care in the world.

That was how it was in the world of professional football. You had to keep up appearances, join in the banter as most people at that time, in this macho, testosterone-filled world would view mental illness as a weakness rather than a problem that needed attention, a problem that demanded help.

I was good at keeping up appearances. I could be a livewire in the dressing room, laughing, shouting and bantering as loudly as anyone.

Inside I was dying though and I was gradually convincing myself that suicide was the best way to escape the torment.

I was a footballer at Charlton
Athletic coming to the end of a career that had included two spells in
the Premier League, an appearance at Wembley, a couple of promotions and
some memorable and magical moments.

But
I wasn’t really a footballer any more as I was permanently injured and
couldn’t string two games together for my latest club.

Scroll down for video…

Leon McKenzie of Norwich is foiled by Shay Given of Newcastle during the Barclays Premiership match between Norwich City and Newcastle United at Carrow Road on April 20, 2005

Boxer Clinton McKenzie, with his son Leon McKenzie, in the ring

Premier class: McKenzie is fouled by Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given (left) to win a Barclays Premier League penalty for Norwich in 2005 and in the ring with his British light welterweight champion boxer dad, Clinton (right). McKenzie's father saved his son after Leon attempted suicide at a south-east London hotel

LEON McKENZIE: Factfile…

Full name: Leon Mark McKenzie
Date of birth: May 17, 1978 (age 34)
Place of birth: Croydon
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)

Club information

Current club: Corby Town
Youth career: Crystal Palace

Senior career
Apps† Gls
1995–2000 Crystal Palace 85 7
1997 → Fulham (loan) 3 0
1998 → Peterborough (loan) 14 8
2000–2003 Peterborough 90 46
2003–2006 Norwich City 79 20
2006–2009 Coventry City 62 12
2009–2010 Charlton Athletic 12 0
2010–2011 Northampton Town 27 10
2011 Kettering Town 9 2
2012- Corby Town 10 3

People, fans especially, would still envy my lifestyle. They’d assume I was collecting a few grand a week and living comfortably for doing very little, but I hated my existence.

For as long as I could remember, or at least from the time that I chose football over the family tradition of boxing, I just wanted to score goals, I wanted to play at the highest level, I wanted to be loved.

I’d achieved it all, but now it had been taken away from me by a body struggling to the point of collapse with the demands of my work. That had led to my mind falling apart as well. Now I just couldn’t face the future.

After signing me, Charlton had put me up in a Marriott Hotel in Bexleyheath. I’d been there for four months, returning to an empty room after training in the early hours of the afternoon, collecting my room key, making sure the door was locked behind me, pulling the curtains, lying on the bed and either staring into space or just bursting into tears, usually the latter, often both.

I had no energy, no drive. All through my football career I’d flogged myself to the limits in training and on the pitch, and I generally lived a hectic life, but now I couldn’t even be bothered to switch the TV on in my room, or make a drink, or visit the bathroom.

The sheer weight of this illness is hard to explain to those who have never come into contact with it.

I wasn’t mad. I didn’t feel like I’d gone crazy and there was no chance of me making trouble for anyone. I didn’t have the passion that would make me rant and rave or to fight with anyone. My head was empty apart from that persistent thought of suicide.

Some sufferers of depression never get to the suicide stage. I seemed to arrive there quickly. Anxiety had used up most of my energy, and all of my fight.
I certainly didn’t want to be with anyone on those miserable afternoons. I had no idea what the Charlton players did after lunch because I didn’t mix with them once the chore of training had been completed.

Former glories: Leon McKenzie, who has battled depression throughout his career, poses at his Northamptonshire home in front of his collection of signed shirts

Former glories: Leon McKenzie, who has battled depression throughout his career, poses at his Northamptonshire home in front of his collection of signed shirts

Fighting on: McKenzie has battled back from his suicide bid and is now playing for Corby Town in the Blue Square North (Conference)

Fighting on: McKenzie has battled back from his suicide bid and is now playing for Corby Town in the Blue Square North (Conference)

Sofia, my wife, would call. She was living in the family home with our daughter in Northampton. I’d answer, but I wasn’t really there. I knew how hard I’d worked to make myself a Premier League footballer and now I was feeling desperately sorry for myself because my entire career was coming to an end.

No-one had prepared me for the end of my playing days. As my career had taken off, it was all big promises of fame and massive earnings. I was surrounded by sycophants and well wishers telling me nothing could go wrong now I’d made it to the big time. I was set up for life.

I wasn’t prepared for the reality of a career collapsing in a heap, the prospect of future obscurity , and God only knows what else.

Powerhouse: McKenzie celebrates after scoring the second goal for Norwich in a famous 2-0 win over Manchester United in April 2005

Powerhouse: McKenzie celebrates after scoring the second goal for Norwich in a famous 2-0 win over Manchester United in April 2005

This was tough and, in my head at least, I was dealing with it all on my own.

I was sick of players, coaching staff and fans staring at me. I knew what they were thinking: ‘look at Leon, he’s injured and not able to play again.’

After leaving Coventry to join Charlton, I’d also got myself into serious debt which obviously didn’t help my state of mind so now was the time to act.

It was an unremarkable Tuesday morning when I finally decided to put my suicide plan into operation. I was training well, I felt fit for a change and then my hamstring went.

I pulled up. I couldn’t run anymore. I was jinxed so what was the point in carrying on, in football or in life.

I
could sense everyone glaring at me. There was sympathy from people at
the club, but not everyone, and to be fair I felt embarrassed and guilty
myself.

I was embarrassed
because I was desperate to show this club how good I could be. Instead
my body was breaking down and I was crying inside.

I
went to the medical room for treatment. It was a path I knew well. I
was on my own in there for a while and I just sat there on a treatment
bed and roared my eyes out.

While
I was there, I casually asked the club doctor for some sleeping pills,
explaining that I was having too many restless nights and I was
struggling to get through training as a result.

He
gave me a batch to help me but like the rest of the club staff, he had
no idea that what I was really suffering was a lot worse than a bout of
insomnia. He also couldn’t have known that I already had a separate
batch of 20 sleeping pills back at the hotel.

I
had enough now to be sure of making my exit. I also had some
anti-inflammatories and there was an unopened bottle of Jack Daniels in
my hotel room to wash everything down.

Nothing
could stop me now. I drove to the hotel car park and rang my mum. I
burst into tears, telling her that I couldn’t take any more pain, any
more anguish. I was sick of being injured and scared about what the
future held for me.

Mum
started crying. She hated how unhappy I had become. She hated the fact
that injuries had started to interrupt my career on a regular basis and
she now decided she wanted me to give up playing.

Good old mum- always practical, always caring- but she hadn’t grasped what I was planning.

I fooled myself that the mental struggles I was experiencing ran deeper than a career that was coming to an inglorious end.

I tried to convince myself that I had nothing left to prove or achieve anyway. I’d found and married my soul-mate, I’d played football at the highest level, I’d scored 100 goals, I’d fathered three beautiful children.

What else was there Especially as my body had now given way.

I look back at those days now and cringe. I realise now that my ‘Queen B’, my name for Sofia, and my children were reason enough to keep going, but I must have been in a bad, dark place that particular night, a place I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

I decided the world was now horrible and unforgiving and I’d seen enough of it. I wanted to join my sister Tracey who had taken her own life aged 23 eight years earlier.

I had no professional help from
within or from outside of football while I struggled with my thoughts.
I’d seen no doctors or medical experts on depression and I didn’t feel
able to tell anyone within my sport as there appeared little chance of
finding any understanding.

I’d even pushed my loving wife away.

Read Neil Ashton's exclusive interview with Leon McKenzie from December 2011…
Click here to read the full exclusive interview

Now
it was time to go. I was sure of that. I had the means and there was
no-one to stop me. I put the phone down on mum and raced into the hotel.
I had to do this before I could change my mind.

I
lay on the bed and chucked one pill after another into my mouth, and
after each batch of five or six tablets, I took a decent swig of
whiskey.

I was relentless. I was dedicated to death. This was serious shit now. I couldn’t stop myself and I didn’t want to.

Inside five minutes 40 sleeping tablets and several antiinflammatories were in my system along with half a bottle of whiskey.

Leon McKenzie, Norwich City, celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace in 2005

Leon McKenzie of Norwich City jumps a tackle from Kenny Cunningham of Birmingham City

Leon McKenzie celebrates his goal in the 2-0 win for Peterborough over Cardiff

Life in the spotlight: McKenzie celebrates scoring Norwich's second in their April 2005 2-0 win over Manchester United (left), jumping a tackle from Kenny Cunningham of Birmingham City (centre) and celebrating scoring against Cardiff for Peterborough (right)

I’d surely done it. I don’t recall much, there was no memory of an inner-peace, no sense of relief, no life flashing before me, just a longing to fall asleep for one last time.

But then I thought of my dad. I needed to say thank you and goodbye to my big, powerful father who had always been there for me, supporting me during every step of the way in my life.

I had followed his path into professional sport and he was one of the major reasons why I had travelled as far as I had.

Even in my semi-conscious state, I told myself I had to speak to him one last time. I don’t believe it was a sub-conscious cry for help or one last attempt to get people to see and understand my problems as for all I knew my dad could have been on the other side of the country, unable to make a difference.

I wasn’t panicking. In fact, I was
eerily calm. I told dad I’d done something stupid. I told him I’d taken
loads of pills. He freaked out, while I crashed around the room before
collapsing on the bed and passing out.

In amongst it: McKenzie (centre in Norwich kit) competes for the ball in the West Brom box during a 2004 Premier League encounter at Carrow Road

In amongst it: McKenzie (centre in Norwich kit) competes for the ball in the West Brom box during a 2004 Premier League encounter at Carrow Road

Ledley King of Spurs clashes with Leon McKenzie of Norwich

Leon McKenzie (left) of Coventry and QPR's Peter Ramage

Cut and thrust: McKenzie challenges Tottenham legend Ledley King (left) and battles it out for Coventry City against QPR in the Championship (right)

It turned out dad was close by.

I
had been drifting in and out of consciousness for what seemed like
hours when dad burst in with a couple of members of the hotel staff.
I was groggy, my eyes were heavy and shut, but I could still hear.

Leon McKenzie: My Fight With Life

My dad’s voice was faint, but full of concern: ‘Champ, wake up,’ he was repeating over and over again.

Then my world went black and silent. I assumed this was death.

I was wrong. I came round the next
morning in hospital. Sofia was there with my mum, dad, cousins, Tracey’s
mum Kim, my elder sister Rebecca, everyone I loved deeply, they were
all there.

And they were
all in tears. They were expecting, hoping, to hear some words to suggest
I’d reached rock bottom and that I’d now fight my way back up.
'It didn’t work then,' I said, finally realising I was still alive.

My mum stormed out of the room, appalled at what I had just said.

And
I wasn’t joking. I was disappointed to still be around. The nurse said
that one or two more pills would have done the job and that I was lucky,
but that was the last thing I felt.

Dad
had been 10 minutes away when I called him and he’d arrived in the nick
of time. That was also lucky, but frustrating from my illogical point
of view.
I instantly regretted not blagging some more pills from the Charlton medical staff.

I’d failed to kill myself and I was still depressed. More so because of what I’d just put those I loved the most through. My nightmare was to continue.

I was discharged that morning, so I got up, picked up my kit and went off to the football ground for treatment on my hamstring.

Life must go on even if you didn’t want it to.

LEON McKENZIE: My Fight With Life, Published by MacAnthonyMedia, priced 7.99. Click here to buy your copy now…
VIDEO: McKenzie on his new autobiography…

DM.has('rcpv1991247685001','BCVideo');

Lille keen to re-sign Liverpool"s Joe Cole

Lille ready to offer Cole an escape route from his Liverpool misery

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 5 November 2012

Lille could be ready to offer Joe Cole an escape from his Anfield misery.

Since returning from a loan spell at Lille, Cole, 31 on Thursday, has only started two games for Brendan Rodgers — in the Europa League and Capital One Cup. He has been limited to 32 minutes in the Barclays Premier League and seems set to move in January.

Lille coach Rudi Garcia remains a fan, and is giving serious thought to taking Cole back. Cole was a big success at Lille and, with Eden Hazard, helped the Ligue 1 side qualify for the Champions League.

On the move Joe Cole could be heading back to France if Lille launch a move to sign him

On the move Joe Cole could be heading back to France if Lille launch a move to sign him

'Joe is not only a great person, but also a great footballer. But financially it was not possible to save him,' Garcia said.

'This can be prohibitive for the return of Joe to Lille. Sportingly and humanly, I'd love to see him back.'

Happier times: Cole enjoyed a successful loan spell in France

Happier times: Cole enjoyed a successful loan spell in France

Newcastle’s former Lille player Yohan Cabaye said: ‘It worked well for him at Lille. I’ve heard that Rudi Garcia would be interested to have him back.’

Cole and Liverpool head to Moscow on Wednesday for their Europa League game against Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday. Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez will stay behind to rest for Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.

Arsenal misery with Gervinho injured for four weeks

More Arsenal misery with crocked Gervinho facing four weeks on the sidelines

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 30 October 2012

Arsenal forward Gervinho will miss up to four weeks with an ankle injury.

The Ivory Coast international was stretchered off during the 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Gervinho underwent a scan on Monday and the diagnosis is that the forward will be missing for around a month with the injury.

Knock: Gervinho picked up an ankle injury against QPR last weekend

Knock: Gervinho picked up an ankle injury against QPR last weekend

The 25-year-old will miss some crucial
games for the Gunners, including Saturday's trip to clash against
Manchester United, the club's Champions League clashes against Schalke
and Montpellier as well as the north London derby against Tottenham
Hotspur.

The news will come as cruel blow to Arsene Wenger, who is already short of forward options.

Northampton 2 Cardiff 1

Northampton 2 Cardiff 1: Last year's beaten finalists booted out in first round

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 14 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Alex Nicholls booked Northampton's place in the next round of the Capital One Cup after they came from behind to beat Cardiff at Sixfields.

Last season's runners-up fell at the first hurdle this time and can have no complaints after the League Two side overcame the early setback of going behind to the Championship outfit.

It took just four minutes for new signing Heidar Helguson to get off the mark on his Cardiff debut.

Good start: Heidar Helguson scores from the spot

Good start: Heidar Helguson scores from the spot

The former QPR striker sent keeper Dean Snedker the wrong way from the penalty spot after defender Kelvin Langmead had been harshly penalised for impeding Helguson.

Cobblers responded well with David Artell heading just wide from Chris Hackett's corner and Luke Guttridge firing over from long range.

In between, Joe Mason fired straight at Snedker following a neat turn on the edge of the box.

Spectacular: Sixfields looked good, even if Cardiff didn't

Spectacular: Sixfields looked good, even if Cardiff didn't

Northampton finally got back on level terms in the 37th minute when Ben Tozer's long throw-in found Artell whose header beat the diving Joe Lewis and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

Ben Harding missed a great chance to put the Cobblers in front three minutes later but he could only shoot wide after seizing on a weak punch from Lewis following another testing Tozer throw-in.

But the home side took the lead three minutes after the restart when Lewis failed to deal with an inswinging corner from Harding and Nicholls nipped in to head home at the far post.

More misery: Cardiff lost to Liverpool in last season's final

More misery: Cardiff lost to Liverpool in last season's final

Langmead almost increased Northampton's lead five minutes later when he turned well in the box but Lewis did well to block his close-range effort.

Guttridge was denied on the hour when his low drive was blocked by Ben Nugent with Lewis well beaten.

Cardiff offered little in the final third apart from a Joe Ralls long-range effort which flew over.

Nicholls went close to a second goal in the 83rd minute, his neat flick going just wide from a Henoc Mukendi cross.

London 2012 Olympics: Team GB men miss medals in 4x400m

More relay misery as Great Britain just miss medals in 4x400m

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UPDATED:

20:48 GMT, 10 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Great Britain finished an agonising fourth in the 4×400 metres final at the Olympic Stadium as a courageous anchor-leg run from Martyn Rooney just came up short.

Rooney attacked round the final bend and on the home straight past Russia's Pavel Trenikhin and was closing on Trinidad's Deon Lendore, but was held off.

The host quartet, which also included Conrad Williams, Jack Green and Dai Greene, finished in two minutes 59.53 seconds.

All gold: Ramon Miller of the Bahamas beats American Angelo Taylor to the line

All gold: Ramon Miller of the Bahamas beats American Angelo Taylor to the line

Bahamas won in 2mins 56.72secs, with the United States second and Trinidad third, 0.31s ahead of Britain.

South Africa, with Oscar Pistorius on the fourth leg, finished eighth.

More to follow..

England up to third in FIFA world rankings, leaving Italy trailing

Watch out, Spain! England leave Italy trailing and move up to third in FIFA world rankings

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UPDATED:

10:07 GMT, 8 August 2012

England have climbed to third place in the latest FIFA world rankings – their highest position.

Roy Hodgson’s side exited Euro 2012 at the quarter-final stage and have failed to reach the last four of a major competition since 1996.

Yet they have moved above Uruguay into third in the standings, which are led by Spain with Germany in second place.

More misery: England crashed out of Euro 2012 to Italy in the quarter-finals

More misery: England crashed out of Euro 2012 to Italy in the quarter-finals

England were outclassed by Italy in their quarter-final in Kiev six weeks ago, yet bizarrely are ranked three places higher than the finalists.

Portugal, who reached the semis at Euro 2012, are also lower, as are Holland and Argentina.

In a further quirk of the standings, Brazil are 13th – one position below Greece and three beneath Denmark.

England’s lofty position asks significant questions of the way the rankings are calculated.

Apart from a friendly win over Spain last November and the 5-1 thrashing of Croatia in a qualifier for the 2010 World Cup, England fans have had precious little to celebrate in recent times.

Odd: Italy reached the Euro 2012 final - but England are ranked above them

Odd: Italy reached the Euro 2012 final – but England are ranked above them

The nation’s last victory against significant opposition at a major competition was the 1-0 win over Argentina at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

FIFA state their rankings are based on all international matches, including friendlies, played in the previous four years.

The criteria included are the outcome, status of the match, opponent’s strength and the strength of team’s confederation.

Wins against high ranking opponents in competitive matches are very valuable, while only results over the last 12 months count in full.

Those from the previous year count half, while games played up to three and four years earlier have even less significance.

Since the 2010 World Cup, England’s record reads a respectable won 13, drawn five and lost three.

But their inability to launch a meaningful challenge at tournaments, where they have consistently fallen short against quality opponents, will bemuse supporters surveying the last FIFA rankings.

London 2012 Olympics: Marathon – Tiki Gelana wins gold as Mara Yamauchi does not finish

Marathon misery for Brit Yamauchi as Ethiopia's Gelana wins shock gold

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UPDATED:

13:23 GMT, 5 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Mara Yamauchi's Olympic marathon lasted less than 10 kilometres on the rainy streets of London on Sunday as Ethiopian Tiki Gelana took a surprise gold.

A week after Paula Radcliffe withdrew from London 2012 with a foot problem, an injured Yamauchi stopped in tears on the side of the road around 9.4km into the race as she decided she could go no further.

The 38-year-old Oxford athlete had been hampered by a bruised heel in the build-up to the Games and, although determined to get to the startline, was clearly not fit.

Golden moment: Tiki Gelana crosses the finish line to win the women's marathon

Golden moment: Tiki Gelana crosses the finish line to win the women's marathon

Gelana, in her first major championship, crossed the finish line on The Mall in two hours 23.07 minutes, an Olympic record, with Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo taking silver and Russia's Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova the bronze.

Scotland's Freya Murray, who had only been called up to the team a week ago following Radcliffe's withdrawal, was the first Briton home in 44th place, clocking 2hrs 32.14mins.

Her team-mate Claire Hallissey finished 57th in 2:35.39.

And they're off: The competitors leave the start line

And they're off: The competitors leave the start line

Yamauchi, though, was one of eight in the 118-strong field not to finish.

The 38-year-old, who finished sixth
in the Beijing Olympic marathon but has since been plagued by injury,
could not live with even the steady early pace of the large leading
pack.

'I was more than confident I could
give it a good go and I started off but on about the second corner it
(my heel) started hurting,' she said.

Wet, wet, wet: The runners had to contend with rain throughout the race

Wet, wet, wet: The runners had to contend with rain throughout the race

'I did my best – it's not the best
situation to be in, dropping out of the Olympic marathon at a home Games
– but I gave it my very best and I didn't want my Olympic journey to
end like this.

'I'm sorry for all the people who
supported me and encouraged me and came today in the pouring rain to
support me but I am still so pleased for their help.

'I've been doing lots of work cross
training and a reasonable amount of running so I knew cardio-vascular
wise I was fit and I have been able to run my foot.

'I did think about withdrawing
beforehand but I decided it's not that bad I can run I can do the race
and I had much higher hopes but sadly it wasn't to be.'

Shock win: Gelana was not expected to challenge for gold

Shock win: Gelana was not expected to challenge for gold

Shock win: Gelana was not expected to challenge for gold

Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara suffer agony again

England duo Cook and Bopara suffer agony again as Somerset beat Essex

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 24 July 2012

England batsmen Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara endured more misery on Tuesday as their Essex side crashed out of the Friends Life t20 in a quarter-final at Somerset.

A day after England fell to an innings defeat by South Africa at The Oval, the pair tried to help their county reach next month's finals day at Edgbaston, but Bopara was dismissed for a second-ball duck and opener Cook for 28 as they were all out 28 runs short of their target chasing Somerset's 175 for six despite Ryan ten Doeschate's late 47-run salvo.

James Hildreth top-scored with 58 off 36 balls for the hosts

Agony: Cook managed 28 as Essex fell short of their target

Agony: Cook managed 28 as Essex fell short of their target

Portsmouth hit with 10-point deduction

More misery for Pompey as League One club are slapped with another 10-point deduction

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 12 July 2012

Portsmouth have been told they must start next season in npower League One with a 10-point deduction.

The Football League said it will accept Pompey's membership provided whoever buys the club complies with a number of conditions, notably another points deduction.

Portsmouth were also docked 10 points last season after entering administration for the second time in two years and were eventually relegated from the Championship.

Crisis: Portsmouth have been hit with another 10-point penalty

Crisis: Portsmouth have been hit with another 10-point penalty

Last month they moved a step closer to coming out of administration after creditors voted in favour of former owner Balram Chainrai's Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal, while the Pompey Supporters' Trust are also bidding to take over the cash-strapped club.

As well as starting next term on minus 10, the Football League say Portsmouth must agree that only a limited proportion of the secured debt from the previous club can be carried forward into the new company as secured debt.

They must pay all their football creditors in full, unless mutually acceptable compromise agreements are put in place.

Cash-hit: Portsmouth are still in administration

Cash-hit: Portsmouth are still in administration

Finally, Pompey will also face a range of other restrictions on playing budgets, future borrowing and loan repayments for the next five seasons.

A Football League statement read: 'The Board of The Football League has agreed to make an offer of membership to the eventual purchaser of Portsmouth Football Club.

'The offer is subject to the successful bidder accepting a number of conditions that seek to ensure the sporting integrity of league football and the financial viability of the club going forward.

'The Football League Board has absolute discretion as to whether to admit any new company as a member of The League. In doing so, it has to strike a balance between giving a club another chance and the effect this has on sporting competition between clubs.'