Tag Archives: richard

County Championship 2013: Nick Compton"s rise highlights importance of domestic circuit

County cricket is back! And if you're in any doubt how relevant it is, just ask Compton

By
Richard Gibson

PUBLISHED:

22:26 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:19 GMT, 10 April 2013

Anyone wondering whether the County Championship retains its relevance within the framework of 21st-century cricket ought to pose the question to Nick Compton.

In an age when Twenty20 offers the quickest route to fame and fortune, Compton took the sleepy backroads around the shires with Somerset to reach the international fast lane.

Perhaps held back in his early career by lugging a famous surname around, the 29-year-old has flourished since moving to Taunton in 2010.

Driving seat: Nick Compton hit back-to-back centuries in New Zealand to all but secure his Ashes spot

Driving seat: Nick Compton hit back-to-back centuries in New Zealand to all but secure his Ashes spot

Prolific: Compton averaged 99.25 last season

Prolific: Compton averaged 99.25 last season

Last season he achieved a Bradman-esque
County Championship average of 99.25 and, two Test hundreds in New
Zealand later, he holds an England place three months shy of the Ashes.

‘The County Championship provides the route to the England team and it is really important that message is projected.

'Compton is a fine example of someone who was banging out big runs to a degree where we could no longer not pick him,’ acknowledged England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles as county sides prepare for Wednesday's opening games of the Championship season.

‘In the end he selected himself by the sheer weight of numbers he was stacking up and that has to be a boost for all county cricketers out there.

'From my experience with Warwickshire, he was by far the stand-out guy we played against; by virtue of the fact you actually had to get him out.

'He exhibited the skills you look for in a top player as well. You can’t just do it by getting runs, you have to display the mental and physical attributes to play Test cricket.’

Mark Butcher, a predecessor of Compton’s as an England Test opener, added: ‘Compo’s thing is that he was not picked on the basis of one glorious summer. He has done it year in, year out and that as much as anything is the lesson for others.’

Recognition: England coach Ashley Giles believes Compton selected himself after his prolific run-scoring

Recognition: England coach Ashley Giles believes Compton selected himself after his prolific run-scoring

Championship cricket, with its
unrelenting schedule, remains the best gauge of a player’s credentials,
according to Giles, the director of cricket who guided Warwickshire to
the title last September.

‘Over
the course of a long season, take away all the variables of weather,
injuries to a degree, and it is the best signal of who is the best
cricket team in the land,' he said.

On Wednesday morning, the Championship
pennant will be hoisted on the pavilion at Edgbaston for the champions’
opening fixture against Derbyshire. But who does Giles view as the most
likely challengers this year

Champions: Warwickshire will begin their Division One defence on Wednesday against Derbyshire

Champions: Warwickshire will begin their Division One defence on Wednesday against Derbyshire

Addition: Middlesex have been strengthened by the signing of James Harris (left)

Addition: Middlesex have been strengthened by the signing of James Harris (left)

‘I think Middlesex will be a dangerous side,’ he said. ‘When we sat back at the end of last season and reflected, we felt they were the most similar side to us in how they played their cricket. If they had nudged us a bit harder last year I reckon they could have beaten us but they were quite tentative.’

Former Surrey batsman Butcher, meanwhile, said: ‘I will be keeping an eye on Yorkshire because they are a very talented group. They have some young guys in there so to go all the way might be beyond them because of that youth.

‘To me it’s no surprise that Warwickshire got into positions to win things over the past couple of years because of the average age of their team. They are a mature team, not an old team.'

Cups run over: All the trophies that will be played for this summer, and the Ashes in the middle

Cups run over: All the trophies that will be played for this summer, and the Ashes in the middle

Ashley Giles and Mark Butcher were talking ahead of this year’s LV= County Catch-up – A monthly online programme featuring news, player interviews and behind the scenes insight from the LV= County Championship circuit.

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea will always be in my heart

Chelsea remain in my heart, says Mourinho as Abramovich closes in on deal to bring back Special One

By
Richard Sharpe

PUBLISHED:

14:04 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 26 March 2013

Jose Mourinho has fuelled speculation he will return to Chelsea next season, saying the club remains in his heart and he has 'big emotional connections' with Stamford Bridge.

It comes amid rumours that a deal to bring the Portuguese back to the London club is as good as complete following discussions with owner Roman Abramovich.

Tellingly, the Real Madrid manager played down persistent rumours he will join Manchester United, calling it 'Sir Alex's Kingdom' and willing Ferguson to continue in the job for many years to come.

Return: Jose Mourinho has said Chelsea remains 'in his heart' as speculation of a second spell at Stamford Bridge grows

Return: Jose Mourinho has said Chelsea remains 'in his heart' as speculation of a second spell at Stamford Bridge grows

In an interview with Sky Sports News recorded in London, Mourinho said: 'I can't deny in spite of this disgraceful weather I love it here and I have a house.

'I have big emotional connections with Chelsea, and one day I think naturally I have to be back to English football to Chelsea or another club.

'Chelsea means for me different than other clubs. It's in my heart as Inter is for example. One day I have to be back.'

Mourinho had been due to return to Stamford Bridge last night, as Brazil played Russia in a friendly match.

Despite being on the guest list of the Brazilian FA, there were no sightings of the 50-year-old in the stands.

However, it is now widely reported that a deal to replace Rafa Benitez at his former club is close to being agreed.

Good times: Mourinho with his Chelsea team after winning the Premier League title in 2005

Good times: Mourinho with his Chelsea team after winning the Premier League title in 2005

Reunion: Mourinho is believed to be close to agreeing a deal with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Reunion: Mourinho is believed to be close to agreeing a deal with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

In the long-term though, many believe he will succeed Ferguson at Old Trafford when he eventually retires.

On the subject, Mourinho said: 'I was in Manchester three weeks ago with much nicer weather.

'I had a lot of fun with Sir Alex, texting him on the day of the match – I said, 'what is this fantastic sunny weather in Manchester' It was really good.

'I think Manchester is Sir Alex's Kingdom and I would love that job to be forever, of course it can't but I would love it for many more years.

'In the other chair is Roberto Mancini, with a contract, he was champion last year so I don't think there is a move over there.

Kingdom: Mourinho said he wished his friend Sir Alex Ferguson could carry on forever at Manchester United

Kingdom: Mourinho said he wished his friend Sir Alex Ferguson could carry on forever at Manchester United

'I hope everything goes well for everybody, even Benitez. I hope everybody finishes the season well. I wish for them the same I wish for myself to finish the season well.'

Mourinho added he still has unfinished business with Real between now and the end of the season.

'At the end of the day, I am in Madrid and I am very committed to the rest of the season.

'We are in the last eight of the Champions League and we have a [Copa del Rey] final to play with Atletico.

'I am professional and at the moment I only think about my job in Madrid.'

Derby 2 Leicester 1 – Match report: Chris Martin seals crucial victory for County

Derby 2 Leicester 1: Martin seals crucial victory for County to heap more misery on Pearson

PUBLISHED:

19:44 GMT, 16 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 16 March 2013

First-half headers from captain Richard Keogh and on-loan striker Chris Martin saw Derby end their Leicester hoodoo with victory at Pride Park.

After five successive npower Championship defeats against the Foxes, Nigel Clough's side broke the sequence with a vital three points to move them clear of the relegation zone.

Substitute Jeff Schlupp pulled a goal back for the visitors just after the hour mark but Leicester could not rescue anything from the game as their winless league run reached five matches.

Rush of blood to the head: Chris Martin celebrates his goal to put County 2-0 up

Rush of blood to the head: Chris Martin celebrates his goal to put County 2-0 up

Frank Fielding returned in goal for Derby in one of four changes made by Rams boss Clough.

Fielding replaced Adam Legzdins to make his first appearance since losing his place through injury at the start of October.

With Gareth Roberts out with a knock
sustained in training this week, on-loan Watford midfielder Craig
Forsyth filled in at left-back.

Leading scorer Jamie Ward, midfielder
Craig Bryson and right-back Kieron Freeman all returned from injury as
Ben Davies and Valentin Gjokaj dropped to the bench.

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson made
one change to his side, recalling fit-again left-back Paul Konchesky in
place of striker Schlupp.

No way through: Lloyd Dyer (centre) finds his path blocked by Derby's Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts

No way through: Lloyd Dyer (centre) finds his path blocked by Derby's Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts

Match Facts

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

Andy King headed over the crossbar as the Foxes attacked early on but it was Derby who took the lead after 16 minutes.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan conceded a free-kick wide on the left and Keogh glanced home Ward's delivery from six yards out.

A mistake by Jeff Hendrick midway through the first half almost led to an equalising goal.

The midfielder lost possession to
opposite number Richie Wellens on the edge of his own box but Lloyd Dyer
scuffed his volley after being picked out at the far post by David
Nugent, who was denied by Fielding shortly afterwards when he let fly
from long range.

Derby felt they should have had a
penalty in the 40th minute when Wellens tripped Freeman just inside the
area down the right-hand side.

In the air: Derby's Richard Keogh opened the scoring with this bullet header

In the air: Derby's Richard Keogh opened the scoring with this bullet header

The Rams finished the first half on
top and almost extended their lead when Ward escaped down the left
before setting up Martin, but the man on loan from Norwich saw his shot
saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Martin would not have to wait long
for a goal, however, as he headed home Forsyth's left-wing cross a
minute before the half-time whistle.

Schlupp, who in Konchesky's absence
had been filling in as a makeshift left-back, was introduced at the
start of the second half with Wellens making way.

And the 20-year-old, who recently
spent a month on trial at Manchester United, got Leicester back into the
game after 62 minutes with an arrowing left-footed strike across
Fielding after being teed up by Nugent's lay-off.

Jumping for joy: Jeff Schlupp of Leicester hit a terrfic strike for the Foxes but they still went down 2-1 to their midlands rivals

Jumping for joy: Jeff Schlupp of Leicester hit a terrfic strike for the Foxes but they still went down 2-1 to their midlands rivals

The German-born Ghana international
continued to make a nuisance of himself and almost returned the favour
for Nugent in the 70th minute, but this time Fielding made the save.

At the other end, substitute Davies
worried Schmeichel with a 25-yard shot but his effort was always rising
and narrowly cleared the crossbar. Martin's deflected strike then looped
kindly into the hands of the Dane.

Leicester pushed for an equaliser but
never really tested Fielding as Derby held on for a first Championship
victory in nine outings to climb into the top half of the table.

Leicester had been pushed down to
sixth with Nottingham Forest's win at Hull earlier in the day and
Pearson's team remain in the final play-off spot.

Hull 1 Blackburn 0 match report: Rovers come back to earth as Gedo blaster keeps Tigers in the hunt

Hull 1 Blackburn 0: Rovers come back to earth as Gedo blaster keeps Tigers in the hunt

By
Richard Gibson

PUBLISHED:

21:59 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 19 February 2013

Mohamed Gedo — remember the name. At this rate you’ll be hearing it a great deal more between now and the end of the season.

For the third time in a week, the 28-year-old Egypt international opened the scoring at the KC Stadium to put second-placed Hull on their way.

Following strikes in wins against
Derby and Charlton, Gedo altered the contest against Blackburn,
eliminators of Arsenal from the FA Cup. He ghosted in at the far post to
guide in Stephen Quinn’s dink to the far post.

Get in: Hull striker Gedo (centre) celebrates his third goal in as many games

Get in: Hull striker Gedo (centre) celebrates his third goal in as many games

Match facts

Hull: Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, Bruce, Elmohamady, Meyler, Evans (Olofinjana 88), Quinn, Brady, Koren (Fathi 90), Gedo (Cairney 89). Subs not used: Jakupovic, Rosenior, Simpson, Proschwitz.
Booked: Evans.

Goals: Gedo 52, Elmohamady 67.

Blackburn:
Kean, Orr, Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson, Williamson (Campbell 59),
Lowe, Murphy, Rekik (Bentley 59), Rhodes, Kazim-Richards. Subs not used: Usai, Givet, Pedersen, Markus Olsson, Nuno Gomes.

Booked: Kazim-Richards, Orr, Martin Olsson, Rekik.

Attendance: 15,981.

Referee: Tim Robinson.

The latest Championship table, results and fixtures

His acquisition, on loan from Al
Ahly, has provided the East Yorkshire club with the firepower they have
lacked since top scorer Sone Aluko was sidelined through injury. Once
ahead there was only going to be one result, and it was no surprise when
another of Hull’s Egyptian trio, Ahmed Elmohamady, arrived to sidefoot
in Robbie Brady’s raking cross from the left.

‘We needed someone to come in and for
him to get three in three has been the icing on the cake for us,’ said
Hull manager Steve Bruce. ‘I know he’ll hit a wall but hopefully with
the sun shining as we get into spring, he will thrive.’

A fortnight ago, Hull trailed both
Cardiff and Leicester but results since have seen them narrow the Welsh
club’s lead to five points and return to the automatic promotion places.

‘It’s quite refreshing for the League
because nobody really fancied Crystal Palace, Watford and ourselves, so
it’s fair play to all three,’ Bruce added.

‘That’s the best we have played this
year. It was a complete performance from start to finish. There was a
hunger and freshness about us from back to front. We have good energy
levels and some of them look as if they can run a million miles.’

Two outstanding saves from young
Blackburn goalkeeper Jake Kean denied David Meyler in either half to
restrict Hull’s winning margin to two.

Crunching: Corry Evans goes in hard on Colin Kazim-Richards

Crunching: Corry Evans goes in hard on Colin Kazim-Richards

In contrast, Blackburn’s attacking
players had a wretched night, particularly DJ Campbell, whose decision
to snub promotion-chasing Hull on transfer-deadline day three weeks ago,
drew boos for his every mistake after coming on as a substitute on the
hour.

Fellow striker Colin Kazim-Richards,
scorer of the winning goal at the Emirates, had the visitors’ solitary
chance but Hull goalkeeper David Stockdale parried his fourth-minute
effort before scooping up the rebound ahead of the predatory Jordan
Rhodes.

‘Obviously after the euphoria of the
weekend there was always a danger the players would not be able to pick
themselves up and repeat that type of performance,’ said Blackburn
manager Michael Appleton.

In fact, Turkey international
Kazim-Richards was fortunate to remain on the field until the interval
after escaping cautions for shoving Alex Bruce in the chest and
wrestling Meyler to the turf either side of receiving a yellow card from
referee Tim Robinson for an aerial challenge on Jack Hobbs.

VIDEO: Comedian John Bishop hit in the face by blindfolded Robbie Fowler

VIDEO: Comedian Bishop sees funny side after being hit in the face by Fowler during blindfolded penalty shootout

By
Richard Sharpe

PUBLISHED:

01:09 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:18 GMT, 12 February 2013

John Bishop had the Kop in stitches on Monday night after the comedian and Liverpool fan was hit in the face by a ball kicked by Anfield legend Robbie Fowler.

The unlikely duo graced the pitch at half-time during Liverpool's 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Fowler and comedian Bishop were on the pitch at Anfield during the break to support Liverpool's 'Seeing is Believing' initiative.

Scroll down for video

Doing their bit: John Bishop (right) and Robbie Fowler (left) took penalties while blindfolded

Doing their bit: John Bishop (right) and Robbie Fowler (left) took penalties while blindfolded

Fowler, accompanied by his son Jacob, and Bishop took penalties while blindfolded during the interval to support the charity.

Liverpool had replaced their usual 'Standard Chartered' sponsors with the slogan 'Seeing is Believing' to raise money for the charity which seeks to eradicate avoidable blindness in developing countries.

The jerseys the players wore during a smash-and-grab defeat by West Brom will be auctioned to aid the cause.

Hijinks: Fowler lifts his blindfold to see how Bishop is getting on

Hijinks: Fowler lifts his blindfold to see how Bishop is getting on

Reds captain Steven Gerrard said
before the match: 'You realise at the time how difficult it is without
your sight. Especially doing activities.

'We were involved in a penalty shootout using a blindfold and it's so difficult.

'It
was really enjoyable to take part and very important for myself and the
club as well to play our part and try to help these people.'

Video Stand-up comic John Bishop gets whacked in the face with a football

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Bradley Wiggins: Liar Lance Armstrong made me so glad I"m clean

Liar Lance made me so glad I'm clean, says Tour de France winner Wiggins

By
Richard Moore

PUBLISHED:

21:59 GMT, 24 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:38 GMT, 25 January 2013

Sir Bradley Wiggins has revealed how
watching Lance Armstrong's drug confession left him feeling angry, sad
and emotional – but relieved that he will never have to tell his son his
father doped to win the Tour de France.

'I wasn't going to watch it,' said
Wiggins last night, speaking at the Team Sky training camp in Majorca.
'I was determined not to watch it. But then I got home and I watched it
with my seven-year-old son Ben.

'Those initial six questions, the yes-no answers, watching him suddenly cave in after all those years of lying so convincingly . . . there was a lot of anger, a lot of sadness. I was slightly emotional as well. It was difficult to watch. My wife couldn't watch it. She walked out the room.

All smiles: Sir Bradley Wiggins during the Team Sky Media Day in Alcudia, Majorca on Thursday

All smiles: Sir Bradley Wiggins during the Team Sky Media Day in Alcudia, Majorca on Thursday

All smiles: Sir Bradley Wiggins during the Team Sky Media Day in Alcudia, Majorca on Thursday

'It was heartbreaking in some respects for the sport, but then the anger kicks in,' Wiggins continued. 'You're thinking, “What a ****ing a******e”.

'Then I've got to explain to my son what it's all about, that he has won the same race his dad has won. But by the end of the hour and a half I had the best feeling in the world.'

It was a feeling of relief and smugness, said Wiggins, who last year became the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

Confession: Lance Armstrong admitted to doping during his interviews with Oprah Winfrey

Confession: Lance Armstrong admitted to doping during his interviews with Oprah Winfrey

He said: 'When Armstrong started welling up talking about his 13-year-old son asking him what it was all about . . . I never have to have that conversation with my own son. I can tell him his father's won the Tour de France clean and so there was an element of being quite smug.

'By the end, I thought, “You deserve everything you get”, and I felt no sympathy for him at all.

Meet the team: Wiggins with Josh Edmondson and Chris Froome in Mallorca

Meet the team: Wiggins with Josh Edmondson and Chris Froome in Mallorca

Training: Wiggins rides in Port Alcudia

Training: Wiggins rides in Port Alcudia

'I was a fan of Lance. I watched him
win the world championships in 1993 when I was 13, and when he came back
from cancer and won the Tour de France in 1999 I was 19, on the British
track programme, and that was so inspirational.

'And then I never really raced with him in his prime. I raced him at
the Tour when he came back in 2009 and I was fourth and he was third.'

Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey that he was clean in that comeback Tour,
though the US Anti-Doping Agency put the chances of him not doping that
year at 'one in a million'. Wiggins concurs. 'When he said he was upset
about USADA's claim that he doped in 2009 and 2010, I thought, you lying
b*****d,' he said.

'I can still remember going toe-to-toe with him, watching his body language and comparing the man I saw at the top of Verbier on stage 15 to the man I saw at the top of Mont Ventoux on stage 20 a week later, when we were in dope control together. It wasn't the same bike rider.

'I don't believe anything that comes out the guy's mouth any more.'

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford added that Armstrong's confession had put cycling's credibility in the 'last chance saloon'.

He said: 'The sport must never go back to the place it was in the past. Fans must genuinely trust the results.'

West Brom will not sell Peter Odemwingie to QPR

QPR dealt blow as West Brom refuse to sell Odemwingie in January transfer window

By
John Curtis, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

Peter Odemwingie has been told that he will not be allowed to leave West Brom during the current transfer window, the club's new sporting and technical director, Richard Garlick, has confirmed.

The Baggies striker is a target for QPR who have already had one offer rejected – believed to be 2million.

But Garlick insists the Baggies will only allow players to leave on their terms.

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

He said: 'Last summer there were supposedly players leaving but we kept hold of most of them.

'We don't have to sell any of our players. It's only on our terms.

'It's well documented about Peter. We had an offer and we don't intend to sell any of our players.

'When an offer comes in, we speak to the player out of courtesy. We've had that chat with Peter and he knows the situation.'

Albion also rejected a 5m bid from Rangers for defender Jonas Olsson who only signed a new four year contract in October.

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

Garlick does not expect West Brom to sign any players before the transfer window closes a week today.

He said: 'We're happy with the squad we've got and there are no immediate plans to bring anyone in.

'If an opportunity presents itself, then we will look at that, but we're looking more towards the summer.'

MS Dhoni gives India an injury scare ahead of third ODI against England

Dhoni gives India a scare after being hit on thumb ahead of his homecoming ODI in Ranchi

By
Paul Newman

PUBLISHED:

20:40 GMT, 17 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:19 GMT, 18 January 2013

MS Dhoni gave his fanatical home city of Ranchi a scare yesterday after being hit on the thumb in the nets.

The India captain, a god-like figure here, was seen with an ice-pack over his hand after the incident, giving rise to fears he could miss the pivotal third one-day international tomorrow.

However, it transpired that he did not need an X-ray and should be fit to lead India.

Thumbs up: Dhoni (right) was hit on the hand in the nets but will play tomorrow

Thumbs up: Dhoni (right) was hit on the hand in the nets but will play tomorrow

That is a good thing for this city, because rarely can any match have been more
about one person. This is the MS Dhoni ODI and it seems as though every
one of the million-plus people who live in his home city want to be at
the brand new 40,000-capacity JSCA International Stadium.

The India captain welcomed the all of his team to the house he has had built here for a reception on Wednesday but now England, who were not invited, have to try to gatecrash the festivities.

When asked if a victory would feel like raining on Dhoni’s parade, England assistant coach Richard Halsall said: ‘It’s his home town, but our players are cold and clinical enough not to think about that.’

The centre of attention: MS Dhoni takes on England in his home town of Ranchi with India looking to take a series lead

The centre of attention: MS Dhoni takes on England in his home town of Ranchi with India looking to take a series lead

It is to Dhoni’s credit that he had a house built in this far from glamorous part of north-eastern India, particularly as the building was attacked by a mob during construction in 2007 simply because he got out for a duck in the World Cup against Bangladesh.

If England are going to take a 2-1 lead, they know the best way is to silence the crowd by quickly dismissing the game’s most destructive ODI batsman.

‘If you bowl at Dhoni’s stumps the ball goes significant distances,’ said Halsall.

Big hitter: Dhoni is a dangerman

Big hitter: Dhoni is a dangerman

‘But when you bowl really well at him, as we did in the powerplay the other night, he has to change his tactics. That wasn’t the usual MS Dhoni during those five overs. He did things we wanted him to do and that’s what we must get him to do again.’

Halsall was succinct in assessing where England had gone wrong in the Kochi crash.

‘We had two very bad patches, in the last 10 overs of their innings and from the 10th to the 15th of ours, and you don’t win ODIs if you go for more than a hundred in the last 10 and lose three of your top five in six overs.’

And there was a defence of Craig Kieswetter, who looked unable to work the gaps during England’s innings.

‘Craig needed to suck up the pressure when we were 70 for four. He held his nerve when people were saying, “We’ve only scored three runs in four overs”. The disappointing thing was he (then) got out.

‘People have short memories. A couple of games ago he and Samit Patel put us in a position to win that first match.’

It is the other keeper who will occupy England’s thoughts.

AP McCoy is set to release a crime fiction novel

Stranger than fiction: Jockey McCoy set to write crime thriller book

By
Marcus Townend

PUBLISHED:

19:26 GMT, 15 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:59 GMT, 16 January 2013

Is there anything he cannot do AP McCoy might be chasing his 18th consecutive jump jockey title but the iron-man of jump racing is now set to turn his hand to being an author.

Plans for McCoy to produce a crime thriller in November were announced yesterday by Orion, who published his autobiography in 2011.

The jockey will join an established tradition of racing figures who have produced works of crime fiction based on the sport dating back to former royal jockey Dick Francis.

Man of many talents: AP McCoy released an autobiography in 2011 but is a newcomer to the world of fiction writing

Man of many talents: AP McCoy released an autobiography in 2011 but is a newcomer to the world of fiction writing

Others to have tried their luck as authors are Jenny and Richard Pitman, and John Francome.

With a relentless work schedule, it is hard to believe McCoy will have much time to sit at his keyboard but a spokeswoman for the publishers said: ‘AP will be getting advice but will be writing the book himself.’

Jon Wood, Deputy Publisher of Orion Books, said: 'I’m so excited that A.P. McCoy has decided to turn his hand to fiction.'

Champion: McCoy became the first jockey to win Sports Personality of the Year in 2010 and has ridden over 3,800 winners

Champion: McCoy became the first jockey to win Sports Personality of the Year in 2010 and has ridden over 3,800 winners

'With his unrivalled knowledge of the racing world and what it is like to be champion jockey, few are as well placed to create a brilliant new character in this genre.

'I’m sure these novels will have massive success with his army of loyal fans.'

McCoy has won the jump jockey’s title a record 17 times, and has ridden over 3,800 winners with his sights now fixed on becoming the first man to reach a total of 4,000 winners in National Hunt racing.

He said: ‘Having published my autobiography a couple of years ago, this time I will be writing a thriller, which is something very different, but I’m up for the challenge and looking forward to getting started!'

QPR join race to sign Joleon Lescott

Redknapp enters race to sign defender Lescott from City with QPR ready to pay 90k wages

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

09:51 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:42 GMT, 5 January 2013

QPR have joined the race to sign Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott as Harry Redknapp bids to beat the drop.

The west London side are looking to strengthen their defence and Redknapp is keen on England defender Lescott and QPR are understood to be prepared to meet his 90,000-a-week wages.

But he is not the only one as former club Everton and boyhood team Aston Villa are also keen.

One the move: Lescott has struggled to hold down a regular first team place at City this season

One the move: Lescott has struggled to hold down a regular first team place at City this season

If QPR miss out on Lescott then they will turn their attentions to Everton’s Sylvain Distin.

Yesterday, Aston Villa were linked with the defender as owner Randy Lerner is set to back Lambert in the transfer window and an experienced central defender is the top target.

Lescott
was born in the Midlands and grew up supporting Villa before playing
for Wolves, Everton and now City and is available for a move.

Villa bound Joleon Lescott could be set to leave Manchester City

Villa bound Joleon Lescott could be set to leave Manchester City

Villa are just one point above the relegation zone and have conceded 17 goals in their last four games.

The 10million rated defender would
have to take a drop in his wages if he were to join his boyhood club as
Lerner is trying to reduce player salaries, and Villa would face
competition from both Everton and Sunderland who are also interested in
taking the 30-year-old.

Lescott
would also have to negotiate a pay-off from City to leave the club –
just as Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland did.