Tag Archives: reasons

Stephen Hendry backs Ronnie O"Sullivan to defend World Championship … if he wants to

Hendry backs O'Sullivan to defend World Championship … if he wants to

Steven Donaldson


23:50 GMT, 23 February 2013



23:50 GMT, 23 February 2013

Stephen Hendry is convinced Ronnie
O'Sullivan would be a serious Crucible contender if he decides to cut
short his break from the sport to defend the World Championship title.

O'Sullivan, 37, will make a statement regarding his future in the sport at a press conference in London at midday on Tuesday.

He has played only one low-profile
match in competition this season, and announced in November he would be
skipping the rest of the campaign for personal reasons.

Title holder: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Title holder: Ronnie O'Sullivan

But there has been speculation almost ever since that O'Sullivan would be unable to resist the temptation to make a bid for a fifth world title.

He has apparently reached a decision, and Hendry expects it to be that O'Sullivan will make a dramatic comeback.

The entry deadline for the World Championship is the end of February, and the scheduling of his press conference for Tuesday – two days before the deadline – has only heightened speculation O'Sullivan will play.

'I would presume that's what it's for but you never know with Ronnie,' Hendry told talkSPORT.

'When I spoke to him last year, I said, “All you'll need is three or four weeks of really good practice … and you'll be well capable of winning it”.

'Maybe play a couple of best-of-19s against some top players and he'll be ready.'

Hendry says it would be positive news for snooker if the Chigwell cueman was ready to return.

Backing Ronnie: Retired snooker legend Stephen Hendry

Backing Ronnie: Retired snooker legend Stephen Hendry

'Absolutely, especially for the other players because you don't want to win the World Championship with the best player not there,' Scotland's seven-time world champion said.

Hendry retired last May, and it remains a possibility that O'Sullivan will say he too is bowing out of snooker on Tuesday.

Jimmy White, who wrote on Twitter on Thursday that he thought O'Sullivan was planning not to play, is now not so sure what to expect.

'Looking at the time frame, probably he will play,' White said. 'Who says he hasn't been practising, who knows that

'He may be saying he's never going to play again, who knows'

White promised: 'If Ronnie does decide to play, I'll go over there and give him some practice games.'

Craig Bellamy gets six-month driving ban

No-show Bellamy slapped with six-month driving ban and fined after speeding offence

Mike Hornby, Press Association


17:09 GMT, 29 January 2013



17:46 GMT, 29 January 2013

Craig Bellamy was banned from driving and fined today after admitting a motoring offence.

The former Wales captain did not attend Liverpool Magistrates Court where he was disqualified for six months and ordered to pay a 900 fine plus 400 costs.

The court heard Bellamy failed to respond to a police notice of intended prosecution.

As well as a six-month driving ban, Bellamy was fined over 1,300

Fined: As well as receiving a six-month driving ban, Craig Bellamy was fined 1,300

Simon Leong, prosecuting, said the notice was sent to the Cardiff City star after his Audi was caught by a speed camera travelling at 64mph in a 50mph section of the M62 towards Liverpool at 3.05am on April 3 last year.

At the time the former Manchester City and Newcastle United star was playing for Liverpool.

Mr Leong said: 'A notice of intended prosecution was sent to his address but the defendant did not respond.'

Bellamy, 33, was charged with failing to give a driver’s identity as required under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act.

He initially pleaded not guilty and a trial was set for November 27 last year but that had to be abandoned for medical reasons.

Bellamy changed his plea to guilty on
December 18, the day his rescheduled trial was due to take place, and
the matter was adjourned until today’s sentencing.

Bellamy didn't turn up to court, but had already entered a guilty plea

No-show: Bellamy didn't turn up to court, but had already entered a guilty plea

Bellamy already had three previous speeding offences on record

Penalty points: Bellamy already had three previous speeding offences on record

Mr Leong said Bellamy had totted up nine penalty points for three previous speeding offences.

'This offence carries six points taking him over the threshold for disqualification,' he added.

John Rowan, defending, told the court the star initially denied the offence because the notice was sent to an address where he was not living at the time.

'A plea of guilty was substituted in relation to that and he did accept that perhaps he could have done more to intercept the notice and ensure that the details were completed,' the solicitor said.

'The defendant understands he will be disqualified, that he is a totter with nine points and this carries a penalty of six.

'This is his first disqualification.'

Mr Rowan told the court he was not
provided with information about the defendant’s income but added: 'I
should point out that Mr Bellamy is a former Premiership footballer. He
is not currently playing in the Premier League but he is a professional

Deputy District Judge Simmons said: 'I must impose penalty points and six penalty points is the required number.

that he has nine penalty points already he must be disqualified from
driving for a period of six months under the totting up provisions.'

gave Bellamy credit of 10 per cent for his guilty plea, ordering a fine of 900
plus 400 costs and 15 victim surcharge which he must pay within 14

Danny Graham still wanted by Sunderland and Martin O"Neill

O'Neill boost as Graham asks to leave Swansea despite travelling with squad to Sunderland

Colin Young


11:56 GMT, 28 January 2013



18:09 GMT, 28 January 2013

Danny Graham has edged closer to a switch to Sunderland after telling Swansea he wants to quit the south Wales club for personal reasons.

Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill has been pursuing the striker for much of January, and is now likely to land his chief target before Thursday's deadline.

The former Chester Town FC striker has been included in Michael Laudrup’s squad travelling to Wearside for Tuesday's televised Barclays Premier League clash.

Heading east The out-of-favour Graham is wanted by Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill

Heading east The out-of-favour Graham is wanted by Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill

And although the Newcastle United
supporter and ex-Middlesbrough forward has not been a regular in the
Capital One Cup finalists’ starting line-up, he has featured on the
bench for most of the season.

O’Neill refused to be drawn on specific targets for the last four days of the winter transfer window, although he has denied any attempt to sign former Wigan midfielder Paul Scharner who has been linked with a loan move from his current side Hamburg.

But the Sunderland manager, who has so far added midfielder Alfred N’Diaye and Senegal defender Kader Mangane, says he is hopeful of adding a striker before Thursday’s 11pm deadline after he reluctantly allowed England striker Fraizer Campbell to join Cardiff City in a 600,000 deal.

Sunderland launched a 5million bid for Graham two weeks ago, and still face competition from Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers for the Gateshead-born striker.

Fraizer Campbell

Paul Scharner

Gone but not incoming: Campbell has already left for Cardiff but Sunderland deny any interest in Paul Scharner

Paul Scharner

O’Neill said: `We have a couple of day to add someone if we can. After February 1 that is it so we will see what we can do.

`We are linked with quite a few players and we will try and get someone in if we can. We are going to try and do something about it.

`I would like to try and improve it if we can but that is not always that easy. If we are left with this [squad] then we have to try and manage it as best we can but I am still hoping we can do something.’

Efficient: Graham has continued to score despite his limited opportunities

Efficient: Graham has continued to score despite his limited opportunities

Former Manchester United striker Campbell, who came back from two serious knee injuries during his time at Sunderland, failed to establish himself under O’ Neill in the last year.

He did score a crucial equaliser against Middlesbrough in last season’s FA Cup but was restricted to bench duties after the addition of Scotland striker Steven Fletcher in the summer.

O’Neill has now let veterans Louis Saha and James McFadden leave the club while South Korea international Ji Dong-won has joined FC Augsburg and youngster Ryan Noble is poised to join SPL club Hearts.

Louis Saha

James McFadden

Departed: Injury-hit veterans Louis Saha and James McFadden have both been allowed to leave Sunderland

O’Neill added: There was always interest in Frazier. We said we would prefer him not to go until we got someone in and it was then Matthew Kilgallon tweets that he is going to Cardiff.

`So I allowed him to go. I felt this was a big opportunity for Frazier, he didn’ t want to disappear and so I allowed him to go but I am hoping something will develop for us.’

Defenders Carlos Cuellar and Danny Rose, who both have hamstring strains, will have fitness tests before the Swansea clash along with captain Lee Cattermole. All three are rated doubtful for the game.

San Lorenzo pull out of race for Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini

Fab news for Newcastle as San Lorenzo decide against bidding for captain Coloccini

John Drayton


16:29 GMT, 23 January 2013



18:08 GMT, 23 January 2013

Newcastle have been boosted by the news that San Lorenzo have pulled out of the fight for captain Fabricio Coloccini.

The defender has been pining for a move back to his homeland for much of this month, citing personal reasons.

But after weeks of discussion, the Argentinian club confirmed on Twitter: 'Finally, after long negotiations, we announced that Fabricio Coloccini not join the squad.

Going nowhere: Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini won't be going home

Going nowhere: Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini won't be going home

'It was not possible to release the Newcastle player for this tournament and therefore the club will look for another alternative to strengthen the defense.'

San Lorenzo's decision is a major boost to boss Alan Pardew, who was defiant for much of January over the future of his star man, who has been on Tyneside since 2008.

Gary Lineker deleted Twitter to spend more time with family

Twitter was taking over my life, admits Lineker after deciding to say goodbye to his 1.3m followers

John Drayton


10:16 GMT, 20 January 2013



11:35 GMT, 20 January 2013

Gary Lineker left Twitter because the social networking site had begun to ‘take over’.

The Match of the Day presenter had stated that he had deleted his account for ‘personal reasons’ last week.

But the former England striker has elaborated on his reasons for leaving Twitter, and said that he would like to spend more time with his family.

Quit: Gary Lineker left Twitter to spend more time with his family

Quit: Gary Lineker left Twitter to spend more time with his family

The 51-year-old told The Sun: ‘I left twitter because it tends to take over and I thought I would try life without it. There is absolutely nothing sinister about the decision at all.'

Lineker had become one of the most followed users in Britain – with 1.3million fans – since he started tweeting last year.

However the ex-Tottenham hitman was targeted by one internet troll last year, who joked about his son George’s battle with leukaemia. Lineker later said the disgusting taunts made him feel ‘physically sick’.

Lineker has four sons with his ex-wife and is now married to former model Danielle Bux, who has a daughter from a previous relationship.

The TV pundit’s final tweet – posted on Friday – said: ‘I’m leaving Twitter for personal reasons . Thanks all.’

They think it's all over... it is now for Gary Lineker with this final message

They think it's all over… it is now for Gary Lineker with this final message

Loic Remy denies he signed for QPR for money

I'm not here for the money! Remy denies he snubbed Newcastle to cash in at QPR

Duncan Bech, Press Association


11:36 GMT, 18 January 2013



11:48 GMT, 18 January 2013

Loic Remy has denied he chose QPR over Newcastle for monetary reasons.

The France striker looked set to move to St James' Park after manager Alan Pardew made what he described as a 'fantastic offer', only to instead move to Rangers who are reported to have offered him 80,000 per week.

Newcastle great Alan Shearer expressed his surprise at Remy's decision and suggested that money was the motivating factor but the 8million capture from Marseille revealed the influence of QPR manager Harry Redknapp was key.

Got his man: Loic Remy (left) has joined manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers

Got his man: Loic Remy (left) has joined manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers

'The finance doesn't come into it at all because Newcastle offered me a very good contract as well,' Remy said.

'I've seen that a lot of people are surprised I came to QPR and say that I came here for money, but my decision was no way based on financial reasons.

'I could have stayed at Marseille because I had a good contract there. There are a number of reasons for why I had to leave Marseille for here.

'QPR were very open, they wanted me and it's great to be here.

Denial: Remy insists he has not moved to QPR for the money after snubbing a move to Newcastle

Denial: Remy insists he has not moved to QPR for the money after snubbing a move to Newcastle

'It's true that I hesitated between Newcastle and QPR. I went to meet the staff at Newcastle and there came a time to make a decision and I made that decision based on two factors.

'Firstly I already knew the coach Harry Redknapp and secondly, I'm very excited by the project QPR have here for the future.

'It's a big challenge and the team are in a difficult situation, but since Harry Redknapp has been here things have changed a great deal.'

Redknapp monitored Remy when he was Tottenham manager and went to Marseille to meet him, only to be put off by the 20m price tag being quoted at the time.

Main man: Remy (left) has been brought in from Marseille to rescue QPR from relegation

Main man: Remy (left) has been brought in from Marseille to rescue QPR from relegation

John Mitchell quits Sale Sharks

Sale shock as Mitchell quits just a month into job at Premiership's bottom club



20:50 GMT, 29 December 2012

On his way: Mitchell has quit Sale

On his way: Mitchell has quit Sale

Sale's turbulent season took another turn for the worse yesterday when coach John Mitchell resigned after just a month in the job.

Friday night’s narrow Aviva Premiership win over Worcester seemed to have signalled the start of a resurgence, but the 48-year-old on Saturday shocked owner Brian Kennedy by announcing he was standing down with immediate effect.

‘John has had to return to South Africa for personal reasons, which we respect,’ Kennedy said. ‘We are grateful for his valuable and insightful contributions, albeit for a shorter term than envisaged.’

Jack Wilshere says injury could save him from burnout

My injury saved me! Wilshere claims 14-month layoff could prevent burnout at Arsenal



10:49 GMT, 27 December 2012

Jack Wilshere has said being out of action for 14 months might have helped him avoid burning out.

The Arsenal midfielder has been looking on the bright side of his ankle and knee injuries and claims he’s in peak fitness, although admits there were some frustrating times.

‘I was at Emirates for every single home match,’ Wilshere told the Arsenal magazine.

Burnout: Jack Wilshere believes he could reap the benefits of his long-term injury

Burnout: Jack Wilshere believes he could reap the benefits of his long-term injury

‘It was hard at times, because I really wanted to be out there. Not just for my own selfish reasons but I wanted to help the team too because we had some difficult periods last season.

‘There were a few moments [it was hard to miss out on]. When Thierry came back in January for example. He’s a legend and I really wanted to play in the same team as him. I also would have loved to play in that north London derby in February.

‘When I look back now though, I could probably have done with a break, having played so much the previous season. Obviously I didn’t want the break to be so long, in fact I didn’t want to have a break at all, but if I look back on this in 10 years’ time, it might have done me some good in the long run.’

Back on song: Wilshere had a frustrating time on the sidelines

Back on song: Wilshere had a frustrating time on the sidelines

In the mix: The youngster has returned to Arsenal's midfield

In the mix: The youngster has returned to Arsenal's midfield

The 20-year old signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners earlier this month, which he described as his way of repaying manager Arsene Wenger’s loyalty, while he credits Cesc Fabregas for wise words on how to make a footballing career last.

‘My body is stronger than it was before,' he said. 'I’ve done a lot of work with Declan Lynch and the other physios here over the past year. I’ve improved my core, improved my leg muscle strength – everything.

'Cesc [Fabregas] used to say to me ‘take it easy, don’t play too many games’. Obviously I didn’t want to have a year off. But when I’m 24 or 25 I won’t have played as many games as someone like Cesc, and that will help me.'

Dan Walker primed to replace Gary Lineker as Match of the Day presenter

Rising star Walker handed Match of the Day presenting role



13:16 GMT, 5 December 2012

Rising star: BBC presenter Dan Walker

Rising star: Dan Walker

One of the BBC's rising stars has moved in to pole position as a future Match of the Day presenter after being handed the job on a one-off basis later this month.

The future of the MOTD line-up has been the subject of much debate this season with some observers commenting that the format of the BBC's flagship highlights show is beginning to look a little jaded.

Now it has emerged that Football Focus presenter Dan Walker will sit in for regular host Gary Lineker a week on Saturday when the former England striker is absent for personal reasons.

Walker, aged 35, is highly-rated at the BBC, having come through the ranks on local TV before moving on to national prime-time slots a few years ago.

Having previously worked at the Olympics, Wimbledon, The Open, Ascot and the last World Cup, the Crawley Town fan is seen as one of the corporation's mainstays of the future and has been presenting Football Focus since 2009.

But Walker will not anchor the MOTD 2 highlights programme as the devout Christian refuses to work on a Sunday.

Popular: Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker

Popular: Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker

There is no suggestion that there is any threat to Lineker's position.

Lineker, who has been linked with BT's new sports channel after they paid 738m to screen 38 Premier League matches from 2013, remains highly thought-of by the BBC and most public discussion recently has been about the quality of the guest pundits.

Ali Carter says Ronnie O"Sullivan will play at the World Championships

The Rocket will return: Carter tips O'Sullivan to make Crucible comeback



16:12 GMT, 3 December 2012

Ali Carter has tipped Ronnie O’Sullivan to make a Crucible comeback and defend his World Championship title.

At the beginning of November O’Sullivan announced he would not play again this season, having made only one low-profile outing since defeating Carter to land snooker’s most highly-prized trophy last May.

The explanation was that O’Sullivan had personal reasons for skipping the current campaign, and the Chigwell cueman had said after his victory in Sheffield that playing week-in and week-out on the tour was taking a heavy toll on his life.

Right on cue: Ronnie O'Sullivan has been tipped by Ali Carter to defend his World Title

Right on cue: Ronnie O'Sullivan has been tipped by Ali Carter to defend his World Title

O’Sullivan did not sign up for the ongoing williamhill.com UK Championship, or next month’s Masters at Alexandra Palace in London, but he is expected to have until late February – a deadline has yet to be set – to decide whether to compete at the season-ending World Championship.

Such a return as mooted by Carter would be audacious, as O’Sullivan would be lacking match practice when compared to any other entrant.

But after speaking with the four-time world champion at a recent exhibition match in Poland, Carter can see O’Sullivan, who turns 37 on Wednesday, cutting short his break from tournament snooker.

'Am I missing him No, not at all,' said Carter.

Taking time out: O'Sullivan said he wanted time away from the sport

Taking time out: O'Sullivan said he wanted time away from the sport

But Carter added: 'Obviously I think he’ll be back for the World Championship. I don’t care what everyone says now. There’s no way Ronnie O’Sullivan could miss that event in my opinion.

'We were in Poland and it’s personal reasons (that) he did talk to me about, that I’m not going to discuss.

'I think he’ll be back for the World (Championship), but I don’t think he knows until he wakes up in the morning what he’s going to do, and I don’t think he knows then.'

Without the man regularly branded the most natural player ever to take up the game, snooker has lost its main box-office attraction.

Crowds in York for the UK Championship appear to have suffered for the absence of O’Sullivan and the now-retired Stephen Hendry, with the balcony level at the Barbican Centre closed to spectators who were allowed access last year.

Prediction: Carter says he thinks O'Sullivan will play in the new year

Prediction: Carter says he thinks O'Sullivan will play in the new year

Any tournament without O’Sullivan gives the rest a better chance of coming away with the trophy.

Carter, who has twice been beaten in Crucible finals by his fellow Essex player, knows that certainly applies this week.

'Of course it opens it up,” said the 33-year-old.

'Ronnie’s beatable when his head’s not on but it was clear for everyone to see that this year at the World Championship his head was completely on.

'He hasn’t got four world titles, five UKs and four Masters – or whatever it is – for no reason.'

O’Sullivan actually has four of each, but Carter’s point stands.

Former world champion Graeme Dott would rather O’Sullivan was in York, but the Scot is losing no sleep over his decision to stay away, believing strength in depth means the sport can get by without him.

Dott said: “Ronnie is obviously the best player and everyone wants to see him, the players included would rather have Ronnie in the tournament than not in it.

'If Ronnie wasn’t here seven years ago you’d miss him a hell of a lot more than we’re going to miss him just now.'