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FA 150th anniversary: Fabrice Muamba, Olly Murs and Fabio Capello join in celebrations

Stars come out to play as FA celebrates 150th anniversary with glitzy bash in London

caused by the John Terry racism case.

He said: 'One hundred and fifty years ago a group of people met on this site and they changed the world by producing the first laws of the game.

'Throughout that extraordinary journey the FA continued to sit at its heart.

Positive sign: Former England manager Fabio Capello stops for a few autographs

Positive sign: Former England manager Fabio Capello stops for a few autographs

'Despite occasional frustrations we have always and will continue to our play our full part in influencing the development of football in UEFA and FIFA.

'Even after 150 years there remains a simple beauty to the universality of football – from Wembley to parks football a single unbreakable thread runs through.

'The bedrock of English football are the more than 2million people who play football every week.

'Women's football is third biggest participation sport in the country, disability football is the seventh biggest.

Game for a laugh: Terry Venables (centre), Lawrie McMenemy (right) and Peter Reid share a joke

Game for a laugh: Terry Venables (centre), Lawrie McMenemy (right) and Peter Reid share a joke

'We have experienced terrible tragedies including Hillsborough and Valley Parade and these events, their victims and their lessons must never be forgotten. They are an indelible part of our story.

'We are also committed to equality and inclusion.'

Earlier in the day, John Barnes was one of the first stars to arrive, signing autographs for young fans and asking if they've done their homework.

Sir Trevor Brooking was one of many wearing a 150th gold badge and former England manager Fabio Capello, looking dapper, accidentally walked into the press room! That was quite amusing, maybe he has some points to make!

VIDEO: History of FA in 150 seconds narrated by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

President Prince William was not there but in a video message he said: 'Football part of very fabric of our society.

'Hope 150th year shines light on
incredible grass roots, especially 400,000 coaches, refs and
administrators up and down the country.'

Hodgson was joined on stage by Michael Owen and blind footballer Dave Clarke.

Owen's stunning goal against Argentina
at the 1998 World Cup was shown and the Stoke striker said: 'When you get
older, you realise how good a time that was.'

Three Lions tamers: (l-r) Roy Hodgson, Fabio Capello, Sven Goran Eriksson, Terry Venables and Graham Taylor

Three Lions tamers: (l-r) Roy Hodgson, Fabio Capello, Sven Goran Eriksson, Terry Venables and Graham Taylor

England skipper Steven Gerrard said it is a 'huge honour to be captain of country' in his video message. The Liverpool midfielder apologises twice for not being there.

Barnes and Mark Chamberlain are up. Barnes' goal against Brazil in 1984 is shown and the former Liverpool star says: 'I was looking for someone to pass to.'

David Beckham – who is on a pre-planned visit to hospital patients and is also appearing on video – recalls getting up early at weekends to go to football practice in London then Manchester.

'I owe my family a great deal for taking me to matches,' said the former England captain, who represented his country 115 times.

He says stepping out a England captain is 'the proudest moment an Englishman can have.'

Singer Olly Murs was also on stage, not performing but he will be at Wembley later in the year, apparently.

FACTS ON THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world.It is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in England.The FA oversees the England national teams at all levels for men and women.Its competition, the FA Cup, began in 1872 and is the longest-running association football competition in the world.Aristocrats and Royals have dominated the list of past FA presidents – the current president is Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.The longest-serving FA secretary or chief executive was Stanley Rous, from 1934-62. He then became FIFA president and was later knighted.The FA's current headquarters is at Wembley Stadium. For 71 years, until 2000, its offices were at Lancaster Gate before it moved to Soho Square for only nine years until the move to the new national stadium took place.The current FA independent chairman is David Bernstein, and the general secretary is Alex Horne.The FA board is split between the professional game and the national (amateur) game. Since last year there are also two extra independent members including Heather Rabbatts, its first female board member.

Star of the screen: David Beckham sent a message as the FA launched the 150th anniversary celebrations

Star of the screen: David Beckham sent a message as the FA launched the 150th anniversary celebrations

FIVE PEOPLE WHO MADE THE FA WHAT IT IS TODAY

1 Sir Stanley Rous
Unquestionably, the man who has had the biggest influence over English football.
Rous was FA secretary from 1934-1961, he re-wrote the laws of the game in 1938, and championed England's entry into FIFA in 1946. He left in 1961 – to become FIFA president.

2 Ebenezer Morley
A solicitor and who was first inspired with the belief that football should have a set of rules in the same way the MCC had for cricket.

It was his initiative that led to the formation of the Football Association in 1963 and the became the FA's first secretary and later its president.

He also drafted modern football's first rules.

3 Sir Denis Follows
Although some commentators have suggested Follows' era as FA secretary between 1962 and 1973 was uninspired, he did oversee two significant events – though with much influence from his predecessor Rous, who was the FIFA president.

The first was England hosting and winning the 1966 World Cup; the second was in 1971 rescinding the ban on women's football being played at Football League grounds, a rule which had stood since 1921.

4 Ted Croker
FA secretary between 1973 and 1989, he transformed the finances of an organisation via sponsorship and realised the potential of TV income.

He has the misfortune to be in charge during an era when the game was bedevilled by hooliganism, and with three terrible disasters: Bradford, Heysel and Hillsborough.

He defended football in the face of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's attempts to sideline it, telling her famously: “These people are society's problems and we don't want your hooligans in our sport.”

5 David Bernstein
He has only been FA chairman for two years, but has done much to restore it from an all-time low point after the humiliation of the 2018 World Cup bid defeat in 2010.

He persuaded the FA council to agree to reforms to modernise the organisation, including independent board members and the first woman on the board.

He also confronted some painful issues, apologising for the FA's role in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and the organisation's approach to racism following the John Terry abuse case.

Brazilliant: John Barnes scored a famous goal against the Samba superstars in 1984

Brazilliant: John Barnes scored a famous goal against the Samba superstars in 1984

FA TIMELINE

1863 – First meeting of the Football Association at the Freemason's Tavern on October 26 to agree common rules.
– Ebenezer Cobb Morley appointed first FA secretary and was responsible for drafting the first set of rules.
– First game with the new rules played at Mortlake on December 19 between Barnes and Richmond. It finished 0-0.

1872 – The first FA Cup tournament, involving 15 teams, concludes when Wanderers and Royal Engineers meet at The Oval on March 16. In front of 2,000 spectators, Morton Betts scores the only goal for Wanderers.

– England play their first full international match, against Scotland at Partick. Game finishes 0-0.

1873 – England play first home game at The Oval, beating Scotland 4-2.
William Kenyon-Slaney (2), Alexander Bonsor and Charles Chenery get the goals.

1877 – The three different sets of rules – Sheffield Rules, London Rules and Mixed Rules – are amalgamated.

1886 – First meeting of the International Football Association Board held in Holborn.

1908 – England play first match overseas. Beat Austria 6-1.

1923 – Wembley Stadium opens. Becomes the permanent home for the England team and the FA Cup final. Bolton beat West Ham 2-0 in the first final. The attendance is recorded as 126,047, although it is thought many more were present.

1924 – England play at Wembley for first time. Draw 1-1 with Scotland.

1930 – The FA decline FIFA's invitation to enter the first World Cup, also snubbing the 1934 and 1938 tournaments.

1934 – Stanley Rous named secretary. Remains in position for a record 28 years.

1947 – Join FIFA and agree to share a permanent vice-presidency position with Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

1950 – England compete in a World Cup for the first time, losing 1-0 to the USA in the process.

1953 – First home defeat to overseas opposition – other than Ireland – as England are beaten 6-3 by Hungary with Nandor Hidegkuti getting a hat-trick and Ferenc Puskas getting two more.

1954 – England lose 7-1 to Hungary in Budapest, their heaviest defeat.

1955 – Duke of Edinburgh named president.

1959 – Billy Wright captains England for a record 90th time. Is equalled by Bobby Moore in 1973.

1966 – England hosts World Cup, beating opposition from West Germany and Spain to hold the event.

– England win tournament, beating West Germany 4-2 after extra-time at Wembley.

1981 – Bert Millichip becomes chairman, a post he holds for 15 years.

1990 – England record their best World Cup performance overseas, reaching the semi-finals in Italy where they are beaten on penalties by West Germany.

– Peter Shilton wins a record 125th cap in the third-place play-off defeat to Italy.

1992 – The Football Association takes control of the newly-created Premier League.

1996 – Hosts Euro 96.

2000 – Wembley Stadium closed for rebuilding work, done at a cost of 798 million by Australian firm Multiplex.

2000 – Loses to Germany in the contest to stage the 2006 World Cup.

2001 – England gets its first foreign manager as Sven-Goran Eriksson is appointed as successor to Kevin Keegan.

2003 – Mark Palios named chief executive. His brief tenure includes banning Rio Ferdinand from playing in a Euro 2004 qualifier with Turkey after the Manchester United defender fails to take a drugs test. Resigns in 2004 after media revelations of an alleged affair with Faria Alam.

2006 – Prince William named president.

2007 – Wembley re-opened in time for FA Cup final.

2008 – Signs a record 425 million deal with ITV and Setanta for England and FA Cup games. Setanta goes into administration during the 2008-09 campaign.

2010 – Chairman Lord Triesman forced to resign after alleging Spain and Russia had tried to bribe referees during 2010 World Cup.

– FA embarrassingly receives only two votes – including its own – in voting to host 2018 World Cup, which Russia wins.

2012 – National Football Centre at St George's Park opens.

2013 – Launches 150th anniversary celebrations at Connaught Rooms in central London.

Sepp Blatter claims racism won"t be solved by running away like Kevin-Price Boateng and AC Milan

Racism will not be solved by 'running away' like Boateng and Milan, claims Blatter

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

12:23 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:35 GMT, 10 January 2013

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has urged players not to leave the pitch in protest if they are subjected to racist abuse, saying 'running away' is not a long-term solution to stopping discrimination.

It follows the actions of AC Milan player Kevin-Price Boateng, who led his teammates off the field after being abused during a friendly with Italian lower league club Pro Patria last week.

Boateng was highly praised for his protest, including by Blatter, but the football chief warned that a repeat in the future would not make the problem go away.

Not a solution: FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Kevin-Prince Boateng's protest (below) was not the right way to stamp racism out of the game

Not a solution: FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Kevin-Prince Boateng's protest (below) was not the right way to stamp racism out of the game

Protest: Kevin-Prince Boateng leads his AC Milan teammates from the field after being subjected to racist abuse

'If you remember the Boateng problem and him running away, I made a comment on that and I still have the same feeling – it was good what he has done in order to give this impact by saying: “Listen – look at what has happened,” Blatter told Sky Sports News.

'But it can't be the solution because you can never solve any problem in your life – in your private life, in your public life, wherever – by running away.

'This is now to day “Listen, if you don't take care of our sport, we will do it.” It was a warning, but it can't be the solution.'

Protest: Boateng wears an

Protest: Boateng wears an “AC Milan against racism” t-shirt before the Serie A match with Siena last weekend

Blatter went on to make some vague promises about calling a meeting to discuss the problem of racism in the game.

He said: 'What we shall do now – and I am thinking about this – we shall make a kind of summit or discussion with all the actors concerning discrimination and racism.

'There must be a lot of solidarity and understanding that we have to eradicate it. But it can only be done if all the actors are participating, and actors are also the spectators.'

The full interview with Sepp Blatter will be shown on Sky Sports News HD Special Report at 7.30pm on Monday

QPR star Adel Taarabt claims his agent is in talks with AC Milan over possible move

QPR star Taarabt says he is in talks with AC Milan… and could use move as stepping stone for Real or Barca

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UPDATED:

08:48 GMT, 25 December 2012

QPR playmaker Adel Taarabt claims he is in talks with AC Milan over a possible move to the San Siro.

The Moroccan star says his agent is in talks with Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani and that Milan could tempt him to turn down any potential advances from a top Premier League club or Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Taarabt played a key role for struggling QPR in their first Premier League win of the season against Fulham earlier this month when he scored both goals, and his performances have lead to speculation that he could leave the struggling club.

Heading to Italy Adel Taarabt claims his agent is talking to AC Milan

Heading to Italy Adel Taarabt claims his agent is talking to AC Milan

Taarabt told Gazzetta dello Sport: ‘I would only refuse offers from the big English clubs if Milan made me an offer.

‘My agent is in talks with Galliani, but it depends on what happens with Robinho and [reported AC Milan target Javier] Pastore.

Star performer: Taarabt has been in good form for struggling QPR

Star performer: Taarabt has been in good form for struggling QPR

‘Milan aren’t going through a glorious period now, and they’re no longer a part of the top clubs.

‘However, if I joined Milan then it would open up the doors for me to great clubs like Real Madrid and Barca.’

And Taarabt believe he could be a success with the Italian giants – just like his friend and former Tottenham team-mate Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Milan man: Taarabt says the success of Kevin Prince Boateng at Milan makes him believe he can do well there

Milan man: Taarabt says the success of Kevin Prince Boateng at Milan makes him believe he can do well there

Both players struggled to make an impact on the first team at White Hart Lane before being sold and Taarabt added: ‘My friend Boateng is also at Milan. When we were at Tottenham he was often in the stands, so I think that I have a chance too.’

India v England: Stuart Broad hit by illness after just one day of second Test in Mumbai

EXCLUSIVE: Broad hands England major concern after being hit by illness after just one day of second Test

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UPDATED:

17:39 GMT, 23 November 2012

Stuart Broad has been struck down by illness at England's Mumbai hotel.

The paceman, who took no wickets on day one of the Second Test today after a dismal performance, was attended to by England team medics.

Many pundits have questioned whether the 26-year-old should have been selected for the Test at the Wankhede Stadium, with Surrey quick Stuart Meaker making a strong case for inclusion.

Delhi belly: Stuart Broad has been struck down by illness in Mumbai

Delhi belly: Stuart Broad has been struck down by illness in Mumbai

Broad now faces an overnight battle to be fit to take the field on day two with the match delicately poised. India were 266 for six at stumps with Monty Panesar, returning to the side taking four for 91.

Former England coach David Lloyd wrote in his MailOnline column before news of Broad’s illness broke: ‘Stuart Broad is out of sorts… he’s running on empty. I know him well and he will be frustrated that his contribution is not as it should be.

‘Quick bowlers need to be used in short, sharp bursts in India and his pace is down. He needs a break and England should freshen things up for the next Test.

‘They are under no obligation to pick him just because he is vice-captain. Why do we even need one’

Broad missed England’s final training
session before the Second Test and was rated as a major doubt due to
feeling 'under the weather', according to a team spokesman.

MONTY'S SMILE PUTS INDIA IN A SPIN

by Lawrence Booth, in Mumbai

Monty Panesar allowed himself a broad grin as he reflected on the ball that dismissed Sachin Tendulkar, ‘Prince of India’, on his home ground yesterday.

England’s left-arm spinner, controversially left out at Ahmedabad, has never attempted to disguise his hero-worship of the world’s most famous cricketer. He was even barred from bowling to Tendulkar in the nets at Lord’s by coach Andy Flower when India toured England in 2011.

And he still cherishes the moment he trapped Tendulkar lbw more than six years ago in Nagpur to claim his first Test wicket.

But the ball that bowled Tendulkar here will linger equally long in the memory, with Panesar keen to praise England’s spin-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed for instilling good habits in the nets.

‘My favourite wicket has to be the Prince of India, Sachin Tendulkar,’ he said. ‘I was absolutely delighted with that.

‘In the last few practice sessions I’ve been working with Mushy quite a lot in trying to get my action right. The previous ball I got my action slightly wrong it. I thought that next ball I had to make sure I get all the processes right and remember the work I’d done with Mushy.

‘It just seemed to click. I got my fingers round the ball and it came out nice.'

Panesar modestly ascribed some of his success yesterday, when he also bowled Virender Sehwag, as well as dismissing the dangerous duo of Virat Kohli and India captain MS Dhoni, to a turning pitch at the Wankhede Stadium.

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from the Second Test in Mumbai due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

DAVID LLOYD – BUMBLE"S TEST DIARY: Sir Ian Botham goes to see Rolling Stones concert

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Why Monty bowling on this pitch is 'Satisfaction' guaranteed… but unlike that old rocker Beefy, 'Wild Horses' can't drag me away from the cricket

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 23 November 2012

CLASSIC PITCH = CLASSIC MATCH

This is a cracking pitch and it promises to be a classic Test match. A spinning pitch makes for a great game. Some resolute batting from Pujara and Ashwin during some superb India resistance, and they could have a good score already.

SWANNING AROUND IN THE SHADOW OF MONTY

A big tick for Monty Panesar. He was handled very well by Alastair Cook, who brought him on in the seventh over. His dismissal of Tendulkar was a classic and it was great to see him and Graeme Swann bowl together, although it is interesting that when Monty plays, he tends to push Swann into the background. It might be that Swann thrives as being the main man in a four-pronged attack while he is less effective when there is another spinner in the side.

Perilous place: Stuart Broad's vice-captaincy does not guarantee him selection and his poor displays have put his place in the side in jeopardy

Perilous place: Stuart Broad's vice-captaincy does not guarantee him selection and his poor displays have put his place in the side in jeopardy

VICE-CAPTAINCY DOESN'T GUARANTEE SELECTION

Stuart Broad is out of sorts..he’s running on empty. I know him well and he will be frustrated that his contribution is not as it should be. Quick bowlers need to be used in short, sharp bursts in India and his pace is down. He needs a break and England should freshen things up for the next Test. They are under no obligation to pick him just because he is vice-captain. Why do we even need one

MY PRINCELY PORTRAIT

Former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell is now a world-renowned artist…and he’s doing my portrait. It’s a work in progress. I’ve sat with him for two hours so far and he won’t let me see it, he says it’s bad luck. But crikey, having my portrait done…I feel like Prince Philip!

Ugly mug: Bumble is having his portrait painted by former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell

Ugly mug: Bumble is having his portrait painted by former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell

Prince Philip

Jack the lad: Former England wicketkeeper turned professional artist Jack Russell is painting Bumble's portrait

Royal appointment: Bumble says that sitting for Russell (right) makes him feel like Prince Philip (left)

JIMMY'S DODGY BARNET

Jimmy Anderson is supposed to be a fashion icon, a star of magazines. So who on earth was let loose with the scissors to give him that haircut Whichever of his team-mates it was, they must have done it when he was asleep.

ROLLING WITH SIR BEEFY

Ian Botham is off to see the Rolling Stones in London this weekend and it promises to be a fantastic occasion. All together now: 'This could be the last time…'

Sir Ian Botham

The Rolling Stones Grrr!

Old rocker: Sir Ian (left) will be rocking it out at this weekend's Rolling Stones gig, titled Grrr! (right)

More from David Lloyd…

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Drop Trott, it's time to wield the axe because India are having England for breakfast
19/11/12

Bumble's diary: Cook doesn't perspire and never changes his gloves, magnificent
18/11/12

Bumble's Test diary: England finally wake up and join the Test series
18/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: How the utter madness of England sending in Jimmy left me calling for Sunny and Cher
16/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: England have picked the wrong team… but why I'm in a tizz over Chas
15/11/12

Bumble's guide to Twenty20 Finals day: Yorkshire v Sussex, Somerset v Hampshire
23/08/12

Bumble at the Test: KP's Headingley innings was my magic moment, will it be his last
20/08/12

Bumble at the Test: Polly thriller as Shaun finally gets to ring the Lord's bell
19/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

David James presented with MBE

James receives MBE at Buckingham Palace for services to football and charity

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UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 25 October 2012

David James was presented with an MBE on for services to football and charity on Thursday.

The former England goalkeeper, who now plays for League One AFC Bournemouth, received the accolade from HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

James, 42, has won 53 caps for his country and has played for Watford, Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and Bristol City in a 23-year career.

Honour: David James was made an MBE for services to football and charity at Buckingham Palace

Honour: David James was made an MBE for services to football and charity at Buckingham Palace

David James is awarded his MBE by the Prince of Wales

David James receives his MBE from the Prince of Wales

Hold still! James receives his MBE from HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

The stopper is second on the Premier League's all-time appearance list, with over 500 matches, and holds the record for the most clean sheets with 173.

He has also been recgonised for his work with the David James Foundation, which helps communities in Malawi improve their food supply by farming the land they live on.

James is also involved with the Special Olympics Charity and Access Sport, which offers sports provision to deprived areas of the UK.

An unorthodox back four: James poses for a picture with some Buckingham Palace regulars

An unorthodox back four: James poses for a picture with some Buckingham Palace regulars

Receiving his award, James said: 'I am extremely honoured to be receiving an MBE today. It is not an award that one sets out to achieve, making me even more appreciative to those that put my name forward.

'I have had many years playing football, years that have given me tremendous enjoyment. They have also allowed me to get involved in many charitable campaigns, for this, I am very grateful.'

Frankel and Black Caviar could breed

The ultimate love story Frankel's first date could be with unbeaten Australian mare Black Caviar

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UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 23 October 2012

It would be a match made in heaven. Two of the greatest race horses in the sport could be put together in an effort to produce future generations of history-making stallions and mares.

Frankel has been shortlisted as a possible first date for Australia's unbeaten mare Black Caviar.

The two highest-rated horses in the
world last season could meet in the breeding sheds once time is called
on the racing career of the Peter Moody-trained six-year-old.

Wonder horse: Frankel signed off with an unblemished 14-win record

Wonder horse: Frankel signed off with an unblemished 14-win record

Frankel signed off at Ascot on Saturday with an unblemished 14-win record, whereas Black Caviar is unbeaten in 22 starts.

Frankel will now be retired to stud at Newmarket for a second career as a stallion during which he is expected to earn more than 100 million for his owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, a member of the Saudi Arabian ruling family.

'We would consider going to Frankel because he is clearly the best distance horse in the world,' Black Caviar's co-owner, Neil Werrett.

'There would have to be a few conditions that would have to be worked out to make it happen, but the two best horses in the world together – that would be something.

'I might be a little biased, but I would say he is the second best horse I have ever seen.'

Happy ending Black Caviar is an unbeaten mare, and could be paired with superhorse Frankel

Happy ending Black Caviar is an unbeaten mare, and could be paired with superhorse Frankel

Joe Calzaghe called out by Andre Ward team

Is Calzaghe next for a comeback Ward's team call out Welsh legend for showdown

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 10 September 2012

Joe Calzaghe has been called out by Andre Ward's team for a super-middleweight showdown after the American retained his unbeaten record with a stoppage win over Chad Dawson.

Calzaghe, who retired undefeated in 2008, held each of the world titles during his 46-fight career.

And the Welshman claimed last year that he would be too fast and too strong for the WBA and WBC champion.

In shape: Joe Calzaghe has been out of action for four years

In shape: Joe Calzaghe has been out of action for four years

'I think the way Ward fights would have suited me to be honest. I would have had too much speed and power for him. So, yes, I would have beaten him,' he said in December.

And Ward's team has responded, calling on Calzaghe to back up his claims.

'A couple of months back, Joe Calzaghe made the comment that he would have beaten Andre Ward after Andre defeated Carl Froch in the Super Six,' Ward's trainer Virgil Hunter told boxingscene.com.

'We've given Joe the proper respect and acknowledged his legacy for his accomplishments, but if you are going to be minimizing Andre on where he is as a fighter – to make that comment when you are in retirement and sitting somewhere safely in England – if you are going to make that comment, then as a fighter you should come out of retirement and back that comment up.'

Main man: Andre Ward retained his world titles by beating Chad Dawson

Main man: Andre Ward retained his world titles by beating Chad Dawson

'If there was one fight that I could make for Andre, it would be against Calzaghe,' his manager James Prince added. 'I would love to make that fight.'

Calzaghe, now 40, last fought four years ago when he beat Roy Jones Jnr following victories over Bernard Hopkins and Mikkel Kessler.

He has repeatedly distanced himself from a comeback but has remained in training.

Ward meanwhile has has notched up impressive
victories against the likes of Arthur Abraham, Kessler, Froch, Sakio Bika and Allan Green.

London 2012 Paralympics: Road to Rio

Road to Rio 2016: So what do we have to look forward to in four years

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 9 September 2012

Split on the cards

David Prince broke the T44 400m world record in 50.61sec to take bronze but was five seconds off Oscar Pistorius’s T43 best of 45.30sec. Prince says the combined class favours those with two amputations. Keeping them together ensures a deep pool of talent, splitting them may mean a fairer field.

Rivalries will continue

The youthful head-to-heads we have seen in London will develop. Jonnie Peacock, 19, has challengers Richard Browne, 21, and Alan Oliveira, 20, while Ellie Simmonds and Victoria Arlen, both 17, have shared three thrilling races. 'I look forward to racing her in the future,' Arlen said.

Rivalries: Eleanor Simmonds and Victoria Arlen are set to battle it out for years

Rivalries: Eleanor Simmonds and Victoria Arlen are set to battle it out for years

Who gets the funding

UK Sport channelled 49,254,386 of Lottery and Government funding into Paralympic sports in the last four years and have committed the same amount for Rio but some may suffer. Archery, wheelchair basketball and swimming missed their targets while goalball and sitting volleyball could be at risk too.

Most improved: Yang Yang helped China continue on their upward trajectory at the Games

Most improved: Yang Yang helped China continue on their upward trajectory at the Games

China to stay at the top

China used to have a poor reputation for disability sport and were ninth in Atlanta 1996 with 16 golds. But, thanks to the likes of swimmer Yang Yang, who won four events, they have broken the record number of golds, topping the medal table with 95. They won 89 in Beijing and 63 in Athens and you can expect them to dominate in Rio too.

Into 2013 and beyond…

Athletics and swimming have been at the forefront of the Paralympics and both have their world championships next year. Lyon, France, hosts David Weir and Jonnie Peacock between July 20-29 and Ellie Simmonds will race in Canada from August 8-20. At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 there are 22 medals available in five sports

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Warwickshire win County Championship

Just champion! Warwickshire claim first County Championship crown since 2004

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 6 September 2012

The Bears eased to victory by an innings and 202 runs to finish top of the table for the first time since 2004.

Having bowled out Division One's bottom club for just 60 on the opening day, Warwickshire declared at 471 for eight before Worcestershire reached stumps on Wednesday night on 100 for two in their second innings.

The demolition job continued on
Thursday with Warwickshire claiming the eight wickets required to wrap
up the one-sided win shortly after lunch.

Job done: Warwickshire beat rivals Worcestershire to claim the LV County Championship crown

Job done: Warwickshire beat rivals Worcestershire to claim the LV County Championship crown

Only Moeen Ali's unbeaten 72 provided
any resistance to Warwickshire's march towards the title, but when he
ran out of partners his spirited defence was brought to an end.

Chris Wright finished as the pick of
the Warwickshire attack in the second innings, finishing with figures of
four for 65, including all three wickets after lunch.

Warwickshire's nearest challengers Sussex endured a difficult morning at the crease as they lost six wickets before lunch against Somerset at Hove.

Got him: Chris Wright was one to help tidy up the tail for the Bears

Got him: Chris Wright was one to help tidy up the tail for the Bears

Resuming on 186 for two, Sussex lost
centurion Chris Nash (126) with their score on 230, before losing five
more wickets for the addition of just 40 runs to reach the interval on
270 for eight.

Alfonso Thomas did the damage for the
home side, claiming five wickets at the cost of just 64 runs this
morning, including those of Nash and Murray Goodwin (77).

Relegation-battling Lancashire
continued to make inroads into Middlesex's lead at Lord's but victory
appears an unlikely prospect for the Red Rose with just five sessions
left in the match.

At lunch the visitors were on 327 for five in reply to Middlesex's 446, with Ashwell Prince removed on 71.

More to follow…

Resistance: Moeen Ali offered some hope for Worcestershire before he was caught by Richard Johnson

Resistance: Moeen Ali offered some hope for Worcestershire before he was caught by Richard Johnson