Tag Archives: reminder

Michael Norgrove death: Boxer becomes first to die from injuries sustained in a British ring in 18 years

Norgrove tragedy a sad reminder after fighter becomes first to die from injuries sustained in a British ring in 18 years

By
Jeff Powell

PUBLISHED:

00:02 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

09:10 GMT, 8 April 2013

The tragic death of Michael Norgrove comes as a reminder not only of the dangers of boxing but of the strides taken towards making the hard old game as safe as humanly possible.

Norgrove has become the first boxer for 18 years to die from injuries sustained in a fight in a British ring.

That remarkable statistic will do nothing to ease the grief of Norgrove’s family and friends but it will defend the sport he loved against the inevitable howls of the abolitionists.

Tragedy: Michael Norgrove (left) collapsed after his fight with Tom Bowen was stopped

Tragedy: Michael Norgrove (left) collapsed after his fight with Tom Bowen was stopped

Tragedy: Michael Norgrove (left) collapsed after his fight with Tom Bowen was stopped

While the British Boxing Board of Control’s strict medical procedures ensure that fighters here are among the best protected in the world, many other sports have higher fatality rates.

While mountaineering is the most hazardous sporting activity,a runner has died in successive London marathons and numerous boys are killed every year when struck by baseballs in the US junior leagues.

Norgrove is only the third British-based boxer to die as a direct result of a fight since 1986.

At 31, the Zambian-born Norgrove became a late starter in the ring after his family moved to north London. The fight after which he lost his life was only his sixth as a professional. He passed away on Saturday night, nine days after suffering bleeding in the brain during a light-welterweight bout in the historic Ring at Blackfriars.

Green and gold: Norgrove boxed for Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, east London

Green and gold: Norgrove boxed for Repton Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, east London

He was winning that contest against Drew Docherty and did not appear to have taken any significantly hard punches. But as soon as Norgrove started behaving abnormally the referee stopped the fight and called the doctors.

'Paramedics went to work immediately and an ambulance on stand-by sped Norgrove to hospital, where trauma treatment by a neuro-surgeon is reported to have commenced well inside The Golden Hour, the first 60 minutes during which brain damage can be restricted to a minimum.

If such urgent practices had been in force years earlier, it is reasonable to speculate that Michael Watson would not be in need of a wheel-chair today and Gerald McClelland would not be in a permanent vegetative state back in the US following his dramatic battle with Nigel Benn.

Unusually, and sadly, Norgrove’s condition was too severe for him to be saved. But Board general secretary Robert Smith is right to point out that their exhaustive medical examinations and the safety precautions they demand at all promotions now reduce risk to the minimum.

James Murray, after a British bantamweight title fight in Glasgow in 1995, and Steve Watt, after a defence of his Scottish welterweight title in 1986, were British boxing’s two preceding fatalities.

Australian Open 2013: Roger Federer into second round

Flawless Federer fires timely reminder of title threat as Swiss star strolls through

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

05:24 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

06:13 GMT, 15 January 2013

Roger Federer opened up his Australian Open challenge – and his season – with a routine straight-sets victory over France's Benoit Paire.

The second seed came to Melbourne having played no warm-up tournaments, but showed no signs of rustiness as he kicked off his bid for a fourth Australian Open title with a 6-2 6-3 6-1 win over the world No 46 in just 83 minutes.

For Paire, who deals more in spurts of inspiration than the sustained brilliance of Federer, it was a painful experience and by the end he looked keen to get off court as quickly as possible.

Main man: Roger Federer eased into the second round with a straight forward win over Benoit Paire

Main man: Roger Federer eased into the second round with a straight forward win over Benoit Paire

Federer said: 'Benoit's a good player, a good talent. I haven't played a match this season yet. You're not sure [how you're going to play] and that's why you're relieved when you get through the first one.'

Federer, who won the pair's only previous encounter in straight sets, was immediately into his stride as he broke in game one, then produced a wonderful pick-up at net in his opening service game, going on to save two break points to hold for a 2-0 lead.

Paire held twice and matched his opponent in patches, but Federer broke again for 5-2 then served out in style.

Family affair: Federer's wife Mirka and two children (below) were watching him in first round action

Family affair: Federer's wife Mirka and two children (below) were watching him in first round action

The children of Switzerland's Roger Federer

Paire was unruffled, though, and opened up set two with back-to-back aces to help take the first game.

But normal service was resumed as Federer broke for 2-1 then held to love to take a firm grip on the second set.

Paire held to stop the rot as Federer sent a backhand long, but he struggled to make any impact on the Swiss player's delivery as the set progressed with serve.

Federer produced a textbook serve-volley point for 5-3, but failed to take a set-point chance as Paire held on to make him serve for the set.

Different league: Benoit Paire was unable to get to grips with Federer's superior game

Different league: Benoit Paire was unable to get to grips with Federer's superior game

Predictably, the task presented the former world No 1 with few problems as he held to 15 and took the set when Paire pushed a backhand long.

Federer broke to open the third and, with all hope lost, Paire came out swinging, but he was missing more than he was hitting and the tactic served only to hasten his demise.

Even when Paire did show good touch at net with an acute backhand, Federer was there to pat the ball into the open court – a point which gave him a 4-0 lead.

Paire finally held for 4-1, then, produced the unlikeliest of break points – his first since Federer's opening service game of the match – but could not convert it.

One for the scrapbook: Federer signs autographs after completing a routine win in Melbourne

One for the scrapbook: Federer signs autographs after completing a routine win in Melbourne

Paire's game descended into trick shots as he attempted – unsuccessfully – a volley between his legs as he served to stay in the match.

Staying in the match looked like the very last thing he wanted, though, and Federer closed it out at the second attempt.

Afterward, the Swiss, who will next face either Israel's Dudi Sela or former world number three Nikolay Davydenko or Russia, explained his decision to play no warm-up matches.

'I've had a few busy years since I had kids,' he said. 'I just wanted to cool down a bit. It's nice to enjoy the off season. I hope it's the right decision, we'll see how it goes. I'm confident in my play.'

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jumping for joy: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also made it through to the second round with a straight-sets win

Meanwhile, former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga cruised to a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win over fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra.

Serving for the match, Tsonga hit a backhand drop half-volley at the net, then powered a forehand to the open court on match point to advance to the second round at Melbourne Park.

Tsonga, seeded seventh, had his best result in a Grand Slam when he made the final of the 2008 Australian Open, losing to Novak Djokovic.

England lose to India A by 53 runs

Giles' reign off to losing start as England slump to 53-run defeat in frosty conditions in first ODI warm-up against India A

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

11:52 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 6 January 2013

Aside from the numbing cold, Ashley Giles will not remember much about his first match in charge of England’s one-day team, and nor will he wish to do so.

The new jobshare era alongside Andy Flower began in temperatures of a mere four degrees at a windswept Indian Air Force ground, and ended in a 54-run defeat with the tourists dismissed for 175 in 36 overs.

India A made 224 for four from a reduced 39 overs, and the victory target was adjusted to 229 under the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

But England were never in the chase, with Ian Bell’s increasingly belligerent 91 bringing respectability rather than a genuine threat of victory. It served as a timely reminder of why the team Giles has stepped up to coach from Warwickshire have won only once in their last 17 matches in the 50-over format at international level when visiting this country.

Bell correctly pointed out afterwards that it was unlikely to have a huge effect on their chances in the first match of the series on Friday in Rajkot, but they will hope to do better tomorrow in the final warm-up against Delhi.

There was not even the compensation of knowing India are still in freefall, as they clinched a 10-run victory over Pakistan, albeit in the dead rubber of a series in which they already trailed 2-0.

That match, and India’s decision to drop Virender Sehwag for the series against England, were the main talking points in the Indian capital as Giles’s men slipped under one of the many radars around this military venue.

The only way... Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

The only way… Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

It will have been a learning experience, especially as this was England’s first match under the latest 50-over regulations, which include two bouncers allowed per over and only four fielders outside the 30-metre circle in non-powerplay overs. England overdid the head-high bombardment, while the pick of the bowlers was Jade Dernbach, against determined batting from Indian players keen to impress national selectors.

NEIL ADCOCK (1931-2013)

Former South Africa fast bowler Neil
Adcock has died aged 81 after a long battle with cancer. He played 26
Tests between 1953 and 1962 and was a Wisden cricketer of the year in
1961.

Eoin Morgan had inserted after winning the toss, taking the role of captain in place of Alastair Cook, whose absence through a heavy cold depleted a side already missing Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott and Jimmy Anderson.

A successful run chase probably required something from Kevin Pietersen, in his first one-day international since dual hundreds against Pakistan last winter.

He started brightly enough before chipping Shree Sreesanth to mid-on after making 19. Then, what had been 42 for one swiftly became 72 for six with the kind of collapse Giles will be keen to iron out. Bell had anchored the innings, but then began to play with his trademark fluency, getting support from Tim Bresnan and Steve Finn as he mustered some respectability.

‘It’s disappointing and we aimed to win but we were outplayed,’ said Bell.

‘With more wickets in hand we might have been able to knock it off. It would have been nice to get the full 50 (overs) in. We wanted to get going this morning so that was a bit frustrating.’

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

The BCCI has refused access to 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.

Wasps 29 Bath 15: Christian Wade gives England coach Stuart Lancaster a timely reminder

Wasps 29 Bath 15: Wade wonder try gives England coach Lancaster a timely reminder

By
Chris Foy

PUBLISHED:

18:14 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 6 January 2013

Christian Wade gave another timely demonstration of his predatory instincts to help Wasps recover from a calamitous start to secure a ninth home victory of the season and climb into the Aviva Premiership play-off zone.

The 21-year-old wing pounced for a try just before half-time, which put Dai Young’s side ahead for the first time at Adams Park.

They had fallen behind after just 25 seconds, which was all the time it took for Nick Abendanon to capitalise on abject defending to strike on the right, then moments later Tom Varndell was contentiously sin-binned for what was ruled a dangerous tackle.

Solo: Wade changed the game with his brilliant individual effort just before half-time

Solo: Wade changed the game with his brilliant individual effort just before half-time

Wasps were trailing 12-3 after 15 minutes, but rallied emphatically to claim the win which takes them up to fourth in the table.

Their dominance over all-comers in
High Wycombe was maintained on the back of the powerful driving,
tackling and all-round graft of South African flanker Ashley Johnson,
allied to flashes of class from a number of the homegrown contingent and
17 points from the boot of Stephen Jones.

Young had been at pains to play down
the optimism being generated by his young team’s rise up the rankings
and what happened in the first minute was an effective method of
bursting any bubbles. Abendanon gathered Jones’s clearance kick near
halfway and was able to brush past Rhys Thomas and Varndell, before
swatting aside Joe Simpson and touching down in the corner.

Cruise: Chris Bell scored a late try as Wasps won by 14 points

Cruise: Chris Bell scored a late try as Wasps won by 14 points

ENGLAND WATCH

With a Test position on the wing up for grabs, Wasps’ Christian Wade showed his finishing prowess.

Rookie No 8 Billy Vunipola again rumbled around to good effect and outside centre Elliot Daly was dangerous in possession.

Joe Launchbury carried well for Wasps, but scrum-half Joe Simpson had a disastrously untidy outing.

Nick Abendanon of Bath was a lively, try-scoring presence but is a long way down the queue for the full-back role.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for
Wasps, after a three-point riposte from their stand-off, Varndell was
shown the yellow card for upending Horacio Agulla. It was a marginal
call at best.

Referee Andrew Small referred the
decision to television match official David Grashoff – a process which
became a regular feature of an astonishingly prolonged encounter. While
the Wasps wing was in the sin bin, Bath struck again on his flank, with a
line-out catch and strong drive creating the platform for Michael
Claassens to go over. Stephen Donald converted to make it 12-3.

Wasps continued to stumble along, but
Jones struck another penalty to keep them in touch, then Bath lock
Dominic Day was sin-binned for taking out James Cannon in the air at a
line-out.

That offence was punished with
another three points and in the 40th minute the home side forged ahead. A
patient attack through multiple phases was given impetus by Chris Bell
and Daly on the left, before captain Hugo Southwell’s long pass on the
opposite wing reached Wade, who scorched through a gap past the flapping
Donald and held off Tom Biggs to score. Jones converted to make it
16-12.

After the interval, a penalty by Tom
Heathcote, on for Donald, hinted at a Bath revival but it wasn’t to be.
Jones landed two more shots of his own before the knockout blow eight
minutes from time.

Consistent: Stephen Jones kicked five penalties

Consistent: Stephen Jones kicked five penalties

From Nicky Robinson’s brilliant flick
under pressure, Daly chipped ahead on the left, Simpson chased through
to gather and the scrum-half passed off the floor for Bell to score.
Robinson added the extra two points and Wasps protected their lead in
the face of a late onslaught to deny their opponents a losing bonus
point.

Southwell said: ‘We are improving
every week and having got to where we are in the table we want to stay
there, but the Premiership is really tight, so a couple of bad games and
we could slip back again.’

Bath stay eighth and coach Toby Booth said: ‘We forced things too much and made some average decisions.’

Gotta keep the best! Pietersen takes to Twitter to demand Chelsea"s Lampard is given a new contract

Gotta keep the best! Pietersen takes to Twitter to demand Chelsea's Lampard is given a new contract

PUBLISHED:

23:21 GMT, 30 December 2012

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UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 30 December 2012

As someone who knows how it feels to be instrumental to a team's fortunes but be ushered out, it's perhaps no wonder Kevin Pietersen took to Twitter to remind everyone of the virtues of Frank Lampard on Sunday night.

The England batsman and Chelsea fan took delight in Lampard's outstanding performance – and two goals – in Sunday's 2-1 win at Everton and urged owner Roman Abramovich to renew his contract when it expires at the end of the season.

He wrote: 'Lamps shows who the boss is today.. YOU DARE, Roman! #gottakeepthebest' and posted it just after watching a re-run of the Chelsea win on Match of the Day 2.

Support: England cricketer Kevin Pietersen took to Twitter to demand Chelsea's Frank Lampard be offered a new contract

Support: England cricketer Kevin Pietersen (below) took to Twitter to demand Chelsea's Frank Lampard be offered a new contract

England batsman Kevin Pietersen

The hashtag could be interpreted as a reference to his own reintegration to the England cricket squad after being outcast during the summer Test series with South Africa for allegedly sending defamatory text message to members of the opposition squad.

Pietersen was forced to make an apology to his captain Andrew Strauss, coach Andy Flower and other teammates after the text messages emerged and was reinstated for the tour of India this winter.

Food for thought: Lampard's double in an excellent performance at Goodison Park may prompt the Chelsea hierarchy to rethink not offering him a new contract in the summer

Food for thought: Lampard's double in an excellent performance at Goodison Park may prompt the Chelsea hierarchy to rethink not offering him a new contract in the summer

Lampard, 34, is out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of this season and, with negotiations over a new deal seemingly a non-starter, his two goals against Everton were a timely reminder of his undiminished abilities.

Pietersen is no stranger to airing his views on Chelsea's fortunes on Twitter – in November 2011, he called then manager Andre Villas-Boas a 'muppet' and gave him six months in the job. This turned out to be true, with the Portuguese sacked a few months later.

Tom Ince and Daniel Sturridge set for Liverpool

Ince and Sturridge are set for Liverpool… but Rodgers says January transfers won't solve his problems

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UPDATED:

09:49 GMT, 18 December 2012

Brendan Rodgers has warned Liverpool's problems will not be solved by the deals he aims to complete in the January window.

Liverpool are set to be one of the most active clubs next month and they will unveil Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince within days of the window opening.

Sturridge is heading to Merseyside from Chelsea for around 12million, while Ince is poised to return to Anfield at a cost of 6million less than 18months after he was allowed to join Blackpool.

On his way: Daniel Sturridge is set for Liverpool

Going back: Thomas Ince is set to return to Anfield

At the double: Liverpool are set to sign Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince in January

Those players will give Liverpool a depth to their striking options that has been lacking all season but Rodgers has made it clear they will not provide the answer to other issues which must be addressed.

Though Liverpool are not too far off the top four, the 3-1 weekend defeat to Aston Villa provided a timely reminder that Rodgers' squad are short of the necessary class to be considered Champions League contenders.

'There is a bigger picture for sure and it goes back to affordability,' said Rodgers.

'We will spend money in January to try and bring fresh faces and give us that support at the top end the reality is all the names bandied about are they going to be available

'Certainly we will bring in what we can and help us and then we will revisit it again. All our problems were never going to be solved in this window because the January window is one of the least productive and the least movement goes on there.

'But we will look to solve some of our problems then and then we will look to revisit it in the summer knowing that in the summer we will be in a much better placed then we were the previous summer.'

Plenty to ponder: Liverpool manager says the January window won't solve his problems

Plenty to ponder: Liverpool manager says the January window won't solve his problems

The previous window ended in farce, as Liverpool missed out on signing Clint Dempsey from Fulham, but Rodgers is adamant the situation now in terms of recruitment is vastly different. He has no doubt Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners, will back him.

'There is no doubt we will get reinforcements in and there is no doubt that we will get the backing, but it will come down to two things,' he said. 'The availability and affordability of players.

'I see lots of names bandied about and with all due respect names that are pie in the sky because there won't be too many top players moving about in January because clubs want top money.

'But there is no doubt that we want to bring in goals and we want to bring in players who can assist in scoring goals.

'If we can do that then that will set us up and then we can really reinforce again when the market opens up in the summer again.'

Arsene Wenger and Theo Walcott hug and make up after Arsenal win at Reading

Wenger and Walcott hug and make up after Arsenal's win at Reading (…but the fans still need some convincing)

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UPDATED:

11:20 GMT, 18 December 2012

The wrangling over a new contract goes on, but is seems all is forgiven between Arsenal's Theo Walcott and his manager Arsene Wenger.

The fans, however, may take a little more convincing.

The 23-year-old was outstanding on Monday night as the Gunners bounced back in style from last week's Capital One Cup exit to Bradford with a 5-2 win at Reading.

Friends again: Arsene Wenger warmly thanks Theo Walcott after his excellent performance in the 5-2 win at Reading as he is subbed off with five minutes to play

Friends again: Arsene Wenger warmly thanks Theo Walcott after his excellent performance in the 5-2 win at Reading as he is subbed off with five minutes to play

Discontent: This banner calling for Wenger to leave was unfurled in the Arsenal end at the final whistle

Discontent: This banner calling for Wenger to leave was unfurled in the Arsenal end at the final whistle

Arsene Wenger banner

Walcott capped the performance with the fifth goal and then had an embrace with his manager as he left the field with five minutes to play.

His excellent display was a timely reminder to the negotiators that increasing his present 75,000-a-week wages in a new deal may be a price worth paying.

But at the final whistle, and despite the result, a section of Arsenal fans made clear that it's time for a change in the dugout.

A red banner was unfurled reading: 'Arsene. Thanks for the memories, but it's time to say goodbye.'

It reflects the growing feeling in recent months that Wenger's 16-year tenure at Arsenal should be brought to an end as the club look at an eighth season without silverware.

Wenger has been targeted by disgruntled fans during home matches at The Emirates this season when Arsenal have failed to win.

Embrace: Both Wenger and Walcott expressed a desire to resolve wrangling over a new contract after the Reading win

Embrace: Both Wenger and Walcott expressed a desire to resolve wrangling over a new contract after the Reading win

After the match, Wenger was full of praise for Walcott's performance and said he still hopes to thrash out a deal before the winger's contract expires in the summer.

Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs have been linked with the England international.

Wenger said: 'I believe he has been educated at Southampton and Arsenal and he has become a top player. I hope that when he considers his future he will consider Arsenal is the best place for him and sign for us.

'I do not want to come out on details of Walcott's contract but simply say our desire and will is clear and he knows that. Hopefully we can get to a happy ending.

Celebration time: Walcott celebrates scoring Arsenal fifth and final goal at Reading, capping a fine individual performance

Celebration time: Walcott celebrates scoring Arsenal fifth and final goal at Reading, capping a fine individual performance

'I believe we have a good core of young English players. We couldn't keep the good core of young foreign players.

'We hope we will be capable of building a team around the young English players and achieve something together.

'It is not my decision – it is Theo's decision as well. If it is my decision it is quickly done.'

Walcott was coy on the status of his contract negotiations: 'Talks are ongoing and it's going to be a slow process. It's taking a long time but hopefully something will happen soon.'

PFA Community Champions: Revealed you club"s charity king… Rio Ferdinand, Vincent Kompany, Frank Lampard (and Burton"s Webster) are…

Forget the coin-throwing and racist chanting… Revealed: Rio, Kompany, Lamps (and Burton Albion's Webster) are football's charity champions – club-by-club guide

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UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 13 December 2012

What has Burton left-back Aaron Webster got in common with Rio Ferdinand, Jermain Defoe and Vincent Kompany

Apart from being professional footballers, not much on the surface, but Sportsmail has discovered they are all Community Champions – and should be applauded for their efforts.

It has been a depressing time for
football recently. Vicious chanting, coin-throwing and yet more accusations of racism
are damaging the reputation of the game on an almost daily basis.

City's champ: Vincent Kompany shows the Barclays Premier League trophy to young patient Katie at Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital yesterday (Twitter)

City's champ: Vincent Kompany shows the Barclays Premier League trophy to young patient Katie at Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital yesterday

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand


Burton's best: Albion's Aaron Webster (second from left) joins his team-mates celebrating the 2006 FA Cup fourth-round draw

Burton's best: Albion's Aaron Webster (second from left) joins his team-mates celebrating the 2006 FA Cup fourth-round draw which would have pitted them against Wolves had they beaten Manchester United in a replay

But it is too easy to forget that football can be a powerful
force for good, too.

Every year, the Professional Footballers Association ask
clubs to pick their Community Champions for the season — the single player who
has devoted the most time to charity work and gone way beyond the call of duty.

This list is a timely reminder that football is not
rotten to the core.

Each of the 92 clubs in the English football league were
asked by the PFA to nominate the player who had made an outstanding
contribution to community work over the season 2011/12.

The list of names was published in the December issue of
‘4 the player’, the PFA’s magazine that is sent to every club and player in the
football league.

The range in names is striking. Some of the biggest names
in football and experienced internationals like Ferdinand, Defoe, Kompany and Frank Lampard appear alongside teenagers Archie Love and Mauro Vilhete at
Burnley and Barnet respectively as well as Burton's Webster.

PFA Head of Community, John Hudson said: 'Players at all clubs are instrumental to enhancing the work of their community departments to effect positive change in our society.

'Although much of this goes unnoticed and more sensationalist incidents provide media attention their social responsibilities are key to inspiring many individuals in key areas such as health, education, social inclusion and equalities.

'All 92 clubs provide the PFA with their own Community Champions along with other ambassadorial support from the first team squads through to their young Professionals.

'With over 37,000 Community player appearance last season it really does highlight that all is not bad!'

Phil Neville

Charlie Adam then of Liverpool

Top men: Phil Neville (left) is Everton's community king, while Charlie Adam, now at Stoke, was the Kop idol during his time at Anfield

Whether through high-profile national programmes, or a
commitment to making a difference on a local level, these are the players who
have made the biggest difference.

Chelsea’s Lampard has undertaken an enormous amount
of charity work this year, including helping the Teenage Cancer Trust, Help for
Heroes, Sport Relief and even making a radio appearance to help secure two
14,000 bids for a Capital Child appeal. He even personally invited the two
highest bidders down to the Chelsea changing room after the game to meet the
squad.

WHO IS YOUR CLUB'S COMMUNITY CHAMPION THE FULL LIST

ACCRINGTON: Dean Winnard

AFC WIMBLEDON: Seb Brown

ALDERSHOT: Ross Worner

ARSENAL: Carl Jenkinson

ASTON VILLA: Gabriel Agbonlahor

BARNET: Mauro Vilhete

BARNSLEY: Bobby Hassell

BIRMINGHAM: Curtis Davis

BLACKBURN: David Dunn

BLACKPOOL: Matt Gilks

BOLTON: Kevin Davis

BOURNEMOUTH: Mark Molesley

BRADFORD: Jon McLaughlin

BRENTFORD: Marcus Bean

BRIGHTON: Inigo Calderon

BRISTOL CITY: David James

BRISTOL ROVERS: Matt Gill

BURNLEY: Archie Love

BURTON: Aaron Webster

BURY: Efe Sodje

CARDIFF: Andrew Taylor

CARLISLE: Jon-Paul McGovern

CHARLTON: Scott Wagstaff

CHELSEA: Frank Lampard

CHELTENHAM: Josh Low

CHESTERFIELD: Gregor Robertson

COLCHESTER: Kemal Izzet

COVENTRY: Richard Keogh

CRAWLEY: Sergio Torres

CREWE: Steve Phillips

CRYSTAL PALACE: Alex Wynter

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE: Scott Doe

DERBY: Mark O’Brien

DONCASTER: James Chambers

EVERTON: Phil Neville

EXETER: Billy Jones

FULHAM: Mark Schwarzer

GILLINGHAM: Connor Essam

HARTLEPOOL: Evan Horwood

HEREFORD: Rob Purdie

HUDDERSFIELD: Alan Lee

HULL: Aaron McLean

IPSWICH: Ibrahima Sonko

LEEDS: Ross McCormack

LEICESTER: Neil Danns

LEYTON ORIENT: David Mooney

LIVERPOOL: Charlie Adam

MACCLESFIELD: Tony Diagne

MANCHESTER CITY: Vincent Kompany

MANCHESTER UNITED: Rio Ferdinand

MIDDLESBROUGH: Tony McMahon

MILLWALL: Paul Robinson

MK DONS: David Martin

MORECAMBE: Stuart Drummond

NEWCASTLE: Shola Ameobi

NORTHAMPTON: Andy Holt

NORWICH: John Ruddy

NOTTINGHAM FORREST: Chris Cohen

NOTTS COUNTY: Mike Edwards

OLDHAM: Matt Smith

OXFORD: Ryan Clarke

PETERBOROUGH: Gabriel Zukuani

PLYMOUTH: Luke Young

PORT VALE: Adam Yates

PORTSMOUTH: Liam Lawrence

PRESTON: Iain Hume and Barry Nicholson

QPR: Shaun Derry

READING: Noel Hunt

ROCHDALE: Jason Kennedy

ROTHERHAM: Andy Warrington

SCUNTHORPE: Garry Thompson

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Harry Maguire

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Rob Jones

SHREWSBURY: Ian Sharps

SOUTHAMPTON: Lee Holmes

SOUTHEND: Chris Barker

STEVENAGE: Mark Roberts

STOKE: Jonathan Walters

SUNDERLAND: David Meyler

SWANSEA: Ashley Williams

SWINDON: Paul Caddis

TORQUAY: Mark Ellis

TOTTENHAM: Jermain Defoe

TRANMERE: Lucas Akins

WALSALL: James Walker

WATFORD: Rene Gilmartin

WEST BROM: Steven Reid

WEST HAM: Kevin Nolan

WIGAN: Emmerson Boyce

WOLVES: Stephen Ward

WYCOMBE: John Halls

YEOVIL: Bondz N’Gala

*Players were nominated for their community work during the 2011-12 season*

West Ham fans" anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham disgraced football

Chanting 'can we stab you every week' and mocking the Jews killed in Nazi gas chambers… West Ham fans' despicable behaviour at Tottenham disgraced football

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UPDATED:

11:59 GMT, 26 November 2012

The bile-spewing West Ham fans who baited their Tottenham Hotspur rivals because some of their number had been stabbed by a Nazi mob could take a couple of lessons in history.

First, they could acquaint themselves with the famous image of Bobby Moore and Pele embracing in 1970.

The icon of West Ham and England was rated by the greatest footballer in history, the man with whom he is pictured swapping shirts, as the finest defender of them all.

Disgusting: Sections of the West Ham support brought shame on their club with their chants at White Hart Lane

Disgusting: Sections of the West Ham support brought shame on their club with their chants at White Hart Lane

What the West Ham fans were chanting

'Viva Lazio'

'Adolf Hitler, he's coming for you'

'Can we stab you every week'

Joy, warmth and respect abound.

Second, and more gravely, they may wish to consider the horrors of the Holocaust, the mass extermination of two-thirds of Europe's nine million Jews.

They were men, women and children for whom there were no tomorrows. Many arrived on trains to be gassed to death.

Forgive the stark reminder but what other recourse is there for those too young to know – or perhaps too callous to care – among the latest group of football fans to besmirch the name of a proud club and our national sport

Too young to know We are perhaps being too kind here because only last week – not in the middle of the last century – Ashley Mills, a 25-year-old Tottenham fan, was the most severely injured of 10 compatriots who were subject to an unprovoked act of violence while drinking in the Drunken Ship pub in Campo de Fiori, Rome, ahead of his club's Europa League tie with Lazio.

Heard around the world: West Ham fans' chants were highlighted by Sky Sports News

Heard around the world: West Ham fans' chants were highlighted by Sky Sports News

Heard around the world: West Ham fans' chants were highlighted by Sky Sports News

No gas chambers this time but knuckle-dusters, knives, baseball bats and broken bottles. How we have moved on since Hitler committed suicide.

The Ultras – renowned hooligans in the Eternal City – had come 50 strong to make an anti-Semitic attack against Tottenham, with their traditionally Jewish heritage.

Two men, both fans of Lazio's neighbouring club Roma, were arrested and charged. In celebration of the foregoing hate-crime, West Ham fans, who were said to number hundreds rather than dozens yesterday, chanted 'Viva Lazio'.

They hissed during the game, imitating the Holocaust gassing.

They chanted: 'Adolf Hitler, he's coming for you.'

Tottenham, who won 3-1, asked: 'Can we play you every week'

The tasteless response from the away end: 'Can we stab you every week'

Aftermath: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome where Spurs fans were attacked this week

Aftermath: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome where Spurs fans were attacked this week

Y-word: Spurs fans call themselves the Yid Army

Y-word: Spurs fans call themselves the Yid Army

The morons may be a minority in football crowds, as apologists always tell us, but they are too big a minority to be waved aside as an unimportant sideshow. The lessons of the last few weeks and months tell us that.

For all the immense progress that has been made over the last 30 years to dispel the worst of the right-wing hooligan element from our stadia and to welcome women and children into what was once an intimidating machismo bastion, the fact is that a base element who would not be tolerated in other walks of life find expression in the anonymity of the football crowd.

I stress the word football deliberately. You would not find this kind of racist conduct from the striped blazers in the Lord's Long Room to the hooped shirts at our rugby league grounds, even though much drink is regularly consumed at both ends of sport's class spectrum.

I would also emphasise that this is not a total evisceration of football. Many, many thousands cheer their clubs on passionately while never contemplating any sort of race or religion-based barbarism.

Indeed, many West Ham fans will curse Sunday's offenders, whose thuggish antics appal their sense of innate decency.

We are talking about the kind of
decency that is not of the headline-grabbing variety generated by the
Society of Black Lawyers, who are in danger of making a mockery of the
situation by objecting to Tottenham fans calling themselves the Yid
Army.

I would rather those supporters did not use the Y-word but that is their business and, anyway, I detest political correctness.

But back to football. We only need to look at recent events to know that the game is apt to throw up anti-social chants.

Derby day: Not all West Ham fans at White Hart Lane were involved in the offensive chanting

Derby day: Not all West Ham fans at White Hart Lane were involved in the offensive chanting

There
are Liverpool fans goading Manchester United fans with aeroplane
gestures. That last happened at Anfield on September 23, 2012.

The 21 who died in the Munich air disaster perished on February 6, 1958.

United
fans retorted with: 'Always the victims – it's never your fault' just
as they had the previous week in their 4-0 win over Wigan.

The background to the victims ditty was the Hillsborough tragedy of 1989, when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death.

But what gave this oh-so-witty exchange topicality was the release a few days earlier of the Hillsborough files that incriminated the police and finally exonerated Liverpool fans of being complicit in their own demise by being drunk and ticketless.

Not always off the pitch: The Premier League has been rocked by race rows such as the one between Chelsea captain John Terry (right) and Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand

Not always off the pitch: The Premier League has been rocked by race rows such as the one between Chelsea captain John Terry (right) and Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand

In vain, Sir Alex Ferguson had led the calls for the long-awaited report to mark an end to the unsavoury chanting excesses that have long accompanied one of football's great tribal rivalries.

We are also aware of Manchester City's Munich runway song. And of Liverpool fans booing the National Anthem at Wembley before the FA Cup Final in May.

And of John Terry, the then England captain and still captain of Chelsea, calling Anton Ferdinand a black ****.

Arsene Wenger, the cerebral Arsenal manager, is so regularly taunted by paedophile chants that he has learned to block them out.

In light of this background are we surprised by yesterday's anti-Semitism

Well, Michael Henderson, the prominent sports writer, quoted in his book Fifty People Who Fouled up Football a prison doctor-turned-writer called Anthony Daniels, who observed the worst kind of football fan supporting England in Rome, of all places: 'They think of their savagery as a kind of democratic virtue, a proof that they do not hold themselves above the common man.

'Hence their surprise, outrage and disbelief when they are treated by foreigners as the most degraded specimens of humanity they have ever encountered.'

Seems so long ago: But this picture of Bobby Moore and Pele at the 1970 World Cup is much more recent than some of the things the West Ham fans were singing about during the match at White Hart Lane

Seems so long ago: But this picture of Bobby Moore and Pele at the 1970 World Cup is much more recent than some of the things the West Ham fans were singing about during the match at White Hart Lane

What to do beyond the well-meant but inadequate tactic of placing a phone number in match-day programmes and inviting people to phone in anonymously to report misbehaviour they witness

One answer is to dock points from the offending fans' team. It might work but is that unfair on the clubs who themselves scorn the rogue elements among their supporters as much as any of us

Still, it may be worth a try, not least because levying a fine is a largely meaningless sanction in a sport oozing with monopoly money.

Requiring the police to do their job properly would seem another massive advance. Why did they not make a few hundred arrests yesterday

Of course, we know the practical impediments to doing so, but should not a new standard, intolerant of craven misbehaviour, be imposed

Or perhaps we should just show the morons that picture of Moore and Pele. Hopeless romanticism, no doubt.

Failing that, let us explain to them the horrors of Auschwitz and Dachau and tell them about Himmler and Heydrich and Eichmann.

And ask them if they still find their little joke so hilariously funny.

Miah Richards returns to offer England boss Roy Hodgson timely reminder

England's forgotten defender Richards issues timely reminder to Hodgson on City return

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 7 October 2012

The bright banana boots would have been viewed with disdain by Martin O’Neill but Micah Richards hardly needed the latest must-have accessory to stand out from the crowd at the Etihad.

Staunch traditionalist O’Neill would ban the multi-coloured footwear prevalent among Barclays Premier League players if he could, and must have winced at the variety of shades on show.

None glowed in the failing autumn light more than Richards’, but there was another reason why most eyes were drawn towards him in Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Sunderland.

Timely reminder: Forgotten England defender Micah Richards was impressive on his return for Manchester City

Timely reminder: Forgotten England defender Micah Richards was impressive on his return for Manchester City

Back from injury and paired with Joleon Lescott, in the absence of injured skipper Vincent Kompany, there was an authority about the 24-year-old’s defensive work and an often spectacular goal threat when he ventured forward.

A flying save by Simon Mignolet and a goal-line clearance from Danny Rose kept him off the score sheet, but nothing should keep him off England’s team sheet, according to City full back Pablo Zabaleta.

Others have been mentioned, even selected, since John Terry announced his international retirement. But, perhaps partly due to an injury-disrupted start to the season, Richards’ claims have been overlooked.

Zabaleta is adamant this must change. ‘Micah is a fantastic player who deserves to be in the national team,’ said the Argentina defender. ‘He is young and strong and there is no doubt he can give to England what he gives to Manchester City.

Head boy: Richards was solid at the heart of City's defence against Sunderland

Head boy: Richards was solid at the heart of City's defence against Sunderland

‘He can play at centre back or right back, but when you look at the fantastic game he had today, you can see what he has to offer in the centre. Terry is not in the England team anymore, so maybe that is a chance for Micah to get a place in the side.’

After injuring an ankle on Olympic duty with Team GB and fearing the Sunderland game had come ‘just too soon’, Richards was pleasantly surprised to be given the nod by Roberto Mancini hours before kick-off.

‘The boss asked me if I was OK to play because Vinny was injured and, of course, I said I was,’ said Richards. ‘I was excited to be back after so long out and it was a bonus helping us keep a first clean sheet of the season.’

Another fit-again England hopeful, Gareth Barry, endorsed Richards’ credentials and had a message of his own for national coach Roy Hodgson.

‘Micah was unbelievable,’ said Barry. ‘He hadn’t played for weeks and was pencilled in for a run-out with the Under 21s during the week. Then injuries meant he became an option and it was like he had never been away. He was fantastic.

‘If I can get a run of games going, I hope I may be in the next England squad. My injury came at the wrong time, with a new manager coming in, and it can be tough to force your way back in.

‘But I am not ready to retire and will keep working hard to get my place back.’

HOW ROY'S ENGLAND CENTRE BACKS RATED

PHIL JAGIELKA (Everton)
Had a difficult first half alongside Johnny Heitinga, but once Sylvain Distin replaced the Dutchman at half-time — reducing the threat of Arouna Kone and allowing Leighton Baines to push forward — Jagielka (pictured, below) was more composed. He also showed pace and determination to close down Kone when he looked certain to score towards the end.

Everton's Phil Jagielka in action at Wigan

JOLEON LESCOTT (Manchester City)
Hardly extended by a misfiring Sunderland, but sure-footed and used the ball well. As defensive partner Micah Richards said: ‘A lot of people don’t realise how good Joleon is. He’s top class and has shown it repeatedly.’

GARY CAHILL (Chelsea)
Another 90 minutes on the bench for the Chelsea centre half — so another week of perfect preparation for international duty, then.

AND WHAT ABOUT MICAH
Had feared the Sunderland game may be too soon after only recently recovering from the ankle injury picked up on Olympic duty for Team GB but produced an assured display.