Tag Archives: science

PSG and former Chelsea performance chief Nick Broad killed in car crash

Cole and Reid lead tributes after PSG and former Chelsea performance chief Broad killed in car crash

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

23:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

Former Chelsea Head of Sports Science Nick Broad was killed in a car crash on Friday. He was 38.

The Englishman was part of Carlo Ancelotti's backroom staff during his two-year spell at Stamford Bridge from 2009. His role spanned both the coaching and medical departments.

Wel, respected: Nick Broad pictured with Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain

Wel, respected: Nick Broad pictured with Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain

He then followed the Italian to Paris St Germain, where he was the club's performance manager.

Broad, who began his career as a
sports nutritionist at Blackburn Rovers, died in hospital after a road
traffic accident on the outskirts of Paris.

West Brom defender Steven Reid, who
worked with Broad at Blackburn, tweeted: 'Absolutely shocking news that
Nick Broad has died in a road accident.. Worked with Nick at BRFC..
Thoughts go out to his family!! #legend.'

And former Blackburn and Manchester United striker
Andrew Cole added: 'Just heard the news about nick broad shocking news
worked with him at blackburn rovers. Heart goes out to his family.'

The French football league reportedly rejected a request to
postpone PSG's match with Bordeaux on Sunday.

Judan Ali denies Blackburn Roves links

Ali forced to deny Blackburn links as Rovers continue search for new boss

|

UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 29 December 2012

Judan Ali has denied he is set to become part of the coaching set-up at Blackburn.

Ali, a 39-year-old amateur and youth coach, became a figure of intrigue yesterday following reports himself and former Aston Villa assistant boss Kevin MacDonald were set to take up roles at Ewood Park in the wake of Henning Berg's sacking as manager.

Rovers' global advisory Shebby Singh was forced to deny these claims and rejected the notion that he took training alongside Ali ahead of today's npower Championship trip to Barnsley, despite both men being present at the club's Brockhall training base.

Ali bye bye: Rovers are looking elsewhere for their new boss

Ali bye bye: Rovers are looking elsewhere for their new boss

Having arranged a watching brief with Singh and controversial owners Venky's to further his education as a coach – a journey that has seen him work in locations as diverse as India, St Kitts and Latvia – Ali insists he simply finds himself in the middle of the latest storm to engulf Blackburn.

When asked whether he was being lined up for a position at Rovers, Ali said: 'Not at all. I've had no intentions of coaching here.

'It's for my personal development, observing how a professional club is operated and structured for elite players.

'I want to see how it compares with those I've been with in eastern Europe, in India and in the Caribbean.

'For me it's almost a once in a blue moon opportunity to be at a professional outfit such as Blackburn Rovers.

'I've not come here to look at the playing side of the business at all. It's to see how the club is, the facilities, the sports science.

'I've not come in to critique, judge or even take notes on how the training sessions are delivered by any members of the coaching team.'

Singh when you're winning: The Rovers chief has denied links with Ali

Singh when you're winning: The Rovers chief has denied links with Ali

On whether he was involved in any discussions regarding MacDonald or any other potential candidates, Ali added: 'I'm not privy to any of this information. I don't have any input on the playing side of the club and I strictly can say that I'm being transparent.

'It's a time of volatility or controversy or whatever you want to call it and I happen to be at the centre of it all.'

In reports linking him with Blackburn, Ali found himself referred to as a Bollywood actor owing to his part in 2007's 'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal' – a label he is amused by given he has never taken on a conventional acting role.

The film is based on his experiences as a youngster in London from an ethnic minority background trying to make the grade as a professional footballer.

Ali was a trainee at Arsenal and failed to find a club in England following his release, eventually joining Spanish minnows Murcia.

'I ended up working on the movie to recruit and coach and train the footballers and the actors in the movie,' he explained.

'I found myself being part of the cast by default, purely because I was on the pitch most of the time.

'The directors and producers agreed with each other it would be more beneficial to put me in the football kit and film me while I was on the ground rather than me coming on and going off.

'I was never against that, I enjoyed it. It was a great experience.'

Kell Brook world title fight with Devon Alexander pencilled in for February or March

Brook world title fight back on: Alexander showdown pencilled in for February or March

|

UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 13 December 2012

Rising British star Kell Brook has been given a provisional New Year date for a big world title fight in America.

Golden Boy promotions are pencilling in either February 23 or March 2 as the rescheduled date for the injured Brook’s challenge to welterweight champion Devon Alexander in Los Angeles.

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC 5 Live: ‘Kell could have fought as planned next month but would only have been about 60 per cent fit after injury his ankle and missing road running.

'He is a little down in the dumps but in order to do himself justice, he can't fight on that day.

'I didn't want hundreds or thousands of Brits booking their flights to America and losing out.

'There's no way after all the work we've done, we can let a 60 per cent Kell Brook go into what is a 50/50 fight.

'It's not a terrible injury; he
turned it in Fuerteventura and he can't exert himself as well as the
strength and science guys want him to.'

Hearn continued: ‘We would prefer March 2 to give him more time to be 100 per cent for a fight as tough and important as this one.

'If it was up to Kell Brook, he'd fight but I have to intervene and listen to the experts.You cannot go out to America if you have any doubts in your mind.

'New York comes back into play and they're also talking about Detroit. We don't mind where we go but what does matter is that Kell is ready for the biggest fight of his life.'

Twickenham crowd must match Welsh noise makers – Chris Foy

Crowd at HQ must roar to silence wails of the Welsh

|

UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 6 December 2012

It must be some kind of record. Almost three years before England v Wales at the next World Cup and the mutual antagonism is already evident.

When the draw was made on Monday for the
2015 tournament, Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis caught
the host nation on the hop by offering to stage the Pool A clash between
the old foes in Cardiff. England’s stunned response was of the ‘thanks,
but no thanks’ variety.

Let’s cut through the sabre-rattling here. The game will not take place in Cardiff. That scenario is unthinkable. It is England’s event and although much is made of the organisers being independent of the RFU, conceding home advantage to their near neighbours is a non-starter.

Turn it up: Twickenham Stadium needs to bring the noise against Wales

Turn it up: Twickenham Stadium needs to bring the noise against Wales

More from Chris Foy…

Chris Foy: Early World Cup draw can sow seeds of discontent
29/11/12

Chris Foy: New guru Parker will soon learn rugby is not an exact science
22/11/12

Chris Foy world of rugby: Lam's back, so it could be the chop for Howley
15/11/12

Chris Foy: Six injured and counting, Lancaster needs stability
01/11/12

World of rugby: Ireland facing the music as Strauss gets a call-up
25/10/12

Chris Foy: More referees will follow Lawrence's example and quit if this hounding goes on
18/10/12

Chris Foy: Let's play! Time for TV war to take a back seat as the Heineken Cup returns
11/10/12

Chris Foy: On your bike, Cowan! No rest for the Gloucester new boy
07/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The Millennium Stadium will be used as a World Cup venue on the simple basis that it suits English requirements. It satisfies the need for a geographical spread of matches. The West Country has a passion for rugby but lacks big stadiums, so taking games to Cardiff ticks a strategic box.

While there is no realistic prospect of England v Wales taking place there, Lewis will lobby strongly for the Millennium Stadium to host Wales v Australia. He will press his point on the basis that the home of Welsh rugby is ‘the best rugby stadium in the world’. He’s right. It is.

Located in the heart of Cardiff, on matchdays it is the heart of Cardiff, with a loud pulse all of its own. Twickenham is bigger, but the Millennium’s stands are steeper and closer, creating an intensity of atmosphere which is enhanced when the roof is shut.

So much is about the people. In Cardiff, there is fervent support, in London it is more passive.

Many Twickenham patrons turn up to be entertained, as if at the opera, while their Welsh counterparts embrace an interactive experience. There are contrasting demographics and they create a contrasting backdrop.

England’s players talk dutifully of wonderful support, but in truth they largely have to perform for their crowd, rather than feed off vocal backing.

Even when the hordes responded to the Haka last Saturday by singing Swing Low, there was one full-throttle rendition, then an almost apologetic second take which petered out into murmuring near-silence.

Ultimately, the England v Wales pool game at the World Cup won’t be staged at the Millennium, but perhaps the away players from the ‘host’ nation would be more inspired by the commotion if it was.

Commotion: There is normally a great atmosphere in the Millenium Stadium

Commotion: There is normally a great atmosphere in the Millenium Stadium

How are the Lions looking

Now that the dust has settled on the autumn Tests, it’s another opportune moment to predict how the Lions might line up for their first Test against Australia in June.

Based partly on form and partly on long-standing personal preference, a possible matchday 23 is listed below. One striking factor is the physical power of what would surely be the most imposing threequarter line the Lions have ever mustered, plus a bench role for that great wasted Welsh talent, James Hook.

Chris Foy’s latest Lions matchday Test squad: Halfpenny; Visser, Tuilagi, Roberts, North; Sexton, B Youngs; Healy, Hartley, Cole; Parling, Gray; Wood, Heaslip, Warburton (capt). Replacements: Best, Corbisiero, A Jones, Lawes, Robshaw, Phillips, Hook, Foden.

Wasted talent: Chris Foy would include James Hook on the bench

Wasted talent: Chris Foy would include James Hook on the bench

Captain Chris tackles his critics

Among modern sporting cliches, ‘he does his talking on the pitch’ is particularly well-worn, but it was a fitting summary of Chris Robshaw’s defiant work last weekend.

He had been lambasted for a close call at the end of England’s defeat against South Africa, but the national captain presented a stoic face and responded with stirring deeds in the epic win over New Zealand.

Once again, his leadership was confirmed by the raft of post-match data, which showed he was England’s leading carrier and second in the tackle count, with 19, missing none. What was most illuminating was that Robshaw hit 27 rucks, while blindside flanker Tom Wood led that list with 39.

This indicates that the back-row balance was right. Put these two together and they cover all bases required of a 6-7 combination, with a blurring of the demarcation lines, which works well.

This may present problems for Tom Croft when he is fit to press for a recall, as the rangy Tiger is a different beast entirely and his lesser impact at the breakdown means he may struggle to break up the Wood-Robshaw axis.

Stepping up: Chris Robshaw showed his worth against the All Blacks

Stepping up: Chris Robshaw showed his worth against the All Blacks

The Last Word

One of the most daunting challenges for World Cup organisers will be to sell out large stadiums in the north, but it appears the RFU aren’t rushing to assist. There have been suggestions that, prior to the tournament, a major Test could be relocated to a northern venue such as Old Trafford, but that concept now appears to be on ice. The reason is — shock, horror — money.

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said: ‘There are financial imperatives. If Xmillion doesn’t come in because we don’t play at Twickenham, how many regional development officers is that worth I don’t think we would be dashing to do it (play in the north).

Also, is a single match really going to transform things’

First of all, it is outrageously simplistic to say moving a Test up north = less revenue = reduction in grass-roots funding. The RFU spend a lot of money on a lot of things, not just development officers. Old Trafford’s capacity is only 6,000 below Twickenham’s and it has ample corporate facilities, so why not take a modest monetary ‘hit’ for the good of the game The answer is tied up in considerations such as the debenture scheme at HQ, which discourages an ‘away-day’ Test.

Ritchie cannot dismiss that concept, then argue — as he did — that taking the Saxons up north is a viable solution. Only the senior team against ‘A’-list rivals will have the desired effect.

Rafa Benitez: Will appliance of science help him rise again?

Inside the mind and machines of Rafa Benitez: will the appliance of science help him rise again

|

UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 3 December 2012

Rafa Benitez has had an underwhelming start as Chelsea’s interim manager. But he has an unshakeable faith in his ability to succeed at the highest level.

In an interview given to France Football before his Stamford Bridge appointment, Benitez provided a fascinating insight into his methods, explaining:

Why he believes he can get the best out of players like Fernando Torres.How he blends cutting-edge technology and science with old-fashioned man- management.And why he laughs off mind games with Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.

Come at me: Chelsea's interim boss Rafa Benitez has tried to pioneer new management methods

Come at me: Chelsea's interim boss Rafa Benitez has tried to pioneer new management methods

You have won the Spanish title and UEFA Cup with Valencia and the Champions League at Liverpool. What is your definition of a successful manager

A successful manager not only wins trophies but also gives stability to his club and helps them progress. If you do not have a plan, you can win but only in the short term.

You also need to consider financial fair play and how clubs operate economically. What is a successful season It depends on the plan. You can finish mid-table and be a success. Success for me is the realisation of that plan.

To succeed, though, managers need to have a good working relationship with players. What approach do you favour

My way of coaching, especially with players who can analyse a game, is not to give orders but to teach them. If we do not agree, we can discuss.

When players enter the dressing room at half-time, they must know you have a plan. You never win trophies if your players do not trust you.

You must spend time explaining difficult things. It can be an hour or five minutes, it depends on the player, but it is so he can improve, and trust is essential. Look at Torres. When he has confidence he is a top-class player, when he does not…

Steven Gerrard, when I arrived in Liverpool, played in the hole. He scored 10 goals a season. We made him play support striker, on the right, he scored 20.

Strong bonds: Benitez is a big believer in managing the man as well as the team and tactics

Strong bonds: Benitez is a big believer in managing the man as well as the team and tactics

You have a reputation for using technology. How important is that

We do not win with technology. It is a question of balance between data and team spirit. We have tons of information.

People tell me: ‘You won the Champions League because you got lucky.’

Well, I have a database for penalties since 1990, with all players and matches. We won the Under 19 Spanish Cup with Real Madrid against Barcelona on penalties. Why Perhaps because we worked on penalties

Technology can help. I saw a Japanese player during training. The coach was trying to explain an exercise through an interpreter. I use software to illustrate it with images. You don’t need an interpreter.

Every little helps: Benitez has been using technology since his early days in youth team management

Every little helps: Benitez has been using technology since his early days in youth team management

When did you start using technology

When I was the coach of Real Madrid Under 18s, I used to have a computer, and I was the only manager to do so. I had my own database, I created my own software on a Commodore 64.

I did my physical and technical test on players at the beginning of a season, and, by the end, they had increased by 30 per cent. We were at the top of the table, we had scored 114 goals and conceded only 14.

The director of the academy called me in and asked: ‘Why do you use the computer’ I replied: ‘We have scored 114 goals and conceded 14 and you’re wondering why I use a computer’

But, if you do not have people to analyse information, you’re wasting your time. We do not train with numbers or statistics but players. I have spent all my life in football, and I know that it is a strange sport. You can be incredibly precise in your shots and lose 1-0.

So, how do you use technology and science during training

We have settings for each player. It means we can explain that he has played too much, it would be better he remained on the bench. Sometimes they do not understand but they accept it a little better.

Training begins with consultation with medical staff. After that there is 60 to 90 minutes of exercises with the ball prepared according to the strategy of the upcoming match, the nature of the opponent.

Seventy per cent of the exercises are planned, the rest will depend on what you observe.

What are the biggest changes in your job since you started

For 10, 20 years, many people had no idea of financial fair play, the use of GPS systems in training, Opta, ProZone, marketing or training camps in Asia and the United States. The financial crisis will also play a role.

Are mind games important

The psychological battle is not that important. When you have many foreign players, they do not read the British press. These mind games do not mean anything to them!

NFL viagra secret: Chicago Bears star Brandon Marshall reveals on-field boost

Why are NFL stars so pumped up They take VIAGRA, claims Chicago Bears ace

|

UPDATED:

11:49 GMT, 30 November 2012

Professional sportsmen have been glugging Red Bull and popping caffeine pills for some time now in a desperate attempt for a last-minute pick-up before a match.

But it seems American footballers have taken that drive for peak performance to a new level, at least according to one player.

No wonder, he's smiling: Chicago Bears star Brandon Marshall claims NFL players take Viagra to boost their on-field performance

No wonder, he's smiling: Chicago Bears star Brandon Marshall claims NFL players take Viagra to boost their on-field performance

NFL Viagra secret revealed

Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall claims NFL stars are taking Viagra before games to boost on-field performance.

Marshall told the Mirror: ‘Some guys will do whatever they can to get an edge. I’ve heard of some crazy stories.

‘I’ve heard of guys using Viagra, seriously. Because the blood is supposedly thin, some crazy stuff.

‘It’s kind of scary with some of these chemicals that are in some of these thins, so you have to be careful.’

Up for it: Viagra is legal in the USA, provided it is prescribed by a doctor

Up for it: Viagra is legal in the USA, provided it is prescribed by a doctor

From a sports science perspective, the pills would work in a similar way as they do in the bedroom. The pills relax and widen blood vessels, in turn speeding the flow of oxygen to the muscles and boosting performance.

Viagra is legal in the USA provided it is prescribed by a doctor — it is even advertised on American television by former NFL coaches.

Matt Parker will learn rugby is not exact science – Chris Foy

New guru Parker will soon learn rugby is not an exact science

|

UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 22 November 2012

When England were building towards their 2003 World Cup triumph, Clive Woodward repeatedly talked of the ‘one per centers’ — the focus on minor details which combined to give his side a crucial advantage.

Now the concept is back on the agenda for the national team, but this time they are taking their cue from British Cycling. Matt Parker, the sports scientist who was head of ‘marginal gains’ and played such a part in the glorious exploits in the Olympic Velodrome during London 2012, will soon be working at Twickenham as head of athletic performance.

It was unfortunate that news of the appointment should come on the back of a grim home defeat. This presented a comedic open-goal, and sure enough one wag on Twitter quipped: ‘It isn’t a marginal gain they need, it’s a cavernous gain.’

Different ball game: Matt Parker was head of 'marginal gains' for the cycling team at the Olympics

Different ball game: Matt Parker was head of 'marginal gains' for the cycling team at the Olympics

Yet, what the new recruit represents is an encouraging desire for England to set global standards once again, using any trump card they can muster. Expertise from within the ranks of British Cycling could serve as a major asset in that regard.

More from Chris Foy…

Chris Foy world of rugby: Lam's back, so it could be the chop for Howley
15/11/12

Chris Foy: Six injured and counting, Lancaster needs stability
01/11/12

World of rugby: Ireland facing the music as Strauss gets a call-up
25/10/12

Chris Foy: More referees will follow Lawrence's example and quit if this hounding goes on
18/10/12

Chris Foy: Let's play! Time for TV war to take a back seat as the Heineken Cup returns
11/10/12

Chris Foy: On your bike, Cowan! No rest for the Gloucester new boy
07/10/12

World of Rugby: Tait's style is a welcome change from big hitters
04/10/12

Chris Foy: This legacy could make kids losers
27/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

However, what Parker will find is a sport where the appliance of science is, in a sense, a more subtle and complex business than it is in cycling. Rugby presents a less defined challenge for his winning methods. Granted, much comes down to physical preparation and a successful mind-set, which he will recognise, but raw emotion and collective will come into the equation in a way he may not.

Rugby and science have become joined at the hip. Players wear GPS tracking devices to gauge speed and movement, their heart-rate is monitored and analysed. Diets are strictly controlled, gym regimes are meticulously prepared.

But this is a game which puts an onus on raw courage and that cannot be drilled, although the work of psychologists helps. And old-school values have not been wholly eradicated. In France, there is still plenty of bread on the table and many players still enjoy a drop of red. Saracens have made a virtue of their ‘bonding’ weekends at Munich’s Oktoberfest and elsewhere.

There was a striking contrast after Argentina’s win in Cardiff this month. While the vanquished trooped off for stints in an ice chamber to aid their recovery, the victors cracked open a crate of cider. So, England are right to embrace progress and a visionary approach but they would be wise to strike a balance between new ways and old.

Quote of the week

England flanker Tom Wood reveals how he manages a persistent foot problem with this unusual alternative to a traditional spa session: ‘I put my foot in ice — I make it hot and cold to flush inflammation out.

‘I also claw with my feet in buckets of sand and rice in order to strengthen the toes. I try to do it three times a day. It’s generally done down in the physio room.

‘It’s quite nice here at Pennyhill Park, we have the massage and physio room downstairs, with the TV on, so I can just head down there and get the various treatments I need. I can get pampered for an afternoon in a bucket of rice!’

Rice is nice: Tom Wood loves to be pampered in a bucket of grain

Rice is nice: Tom Wood loves to be pampered in a bucket of grain

You’re still a hero at Exeter, Tom

Rob Baxter, Exeter’s director of rugby, evidently has a canny grasp of man-management. On Tuesday, he was given the unexpected news that Tom Johnson would be back with the Chiefs this weekend, after being dropped by England. His response was of the arm-round-the-shoulder kind — a strong public statement of faith in his surely despondent player.

‘Tom’s been incredibly unlucky but sometimes players get dropped on the back of a team performance rather than an individual one and that is what has happened with him,’ said Baxter. ‘He’s in that unfortunate position where he hasn’t done anything wrong. Most people have been very complimentary about the way he’s played.

‘I’m a little upset for Tom, but sometimes it’s a case of, “Last man in, first man out”, when they’ve looked to make changes, which I can understand.’

Thus, Baxter tactfully questioned England’s selection and bolstered Johnson’s self-esteem. Expect the flanker to respond with a storming performance against London Irish on Sunday.

The final word

To call this a big weekend for Wales would be something of an under-statement.

With the edifice of Welsh rugby seemingly on the brink of collapse, Lions coach Warren Gatland is back at the helm, with a Midas touch needed to avert a calamity against the All Blacks. Mixed messages are emerging about morale in the ranks.

Blame game: Warren Gatland said the media created a 'rift' in his squad

Blame game: Warren Gatland said the media created a 'rift' in his squad

On the one hand, the Kiwi was relaxed when naming his side and revealed that a quip to his management team at the start of the week that ‘the Messiah is back’ was met by a mocking put-down, which he took to be an encouraging sign.

Yet, on the other hand, Gatland condemned the media for supposedly creating a ‘rift’ between openside rivals Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric, while Jonathan Davies laid bare the hurt over criticism of players on Twitter.

If there is a concerted attempt to circle the wagons and create an us-against-the-world, siege mentality ahead of tomorrow’s clash with New Zealand, that could be an astute move. But if these are indications of a thin-skinned squad feeling the strain, heaven help them when Richie McCaw and Co set about them.

Olympics success helps the healing between FIFA and FA – Charles Sale

Games success helps the healing between FIFA and FA

|

UPDATED:

23:30 GMT, 21 November 2012

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was roundly booed by the capacity Wembley crowd at the Olympic football final at London 2012.

But yesterday he cited football’s part in the Games’ success as the catalyst for the greatly improved relationship between FIFA and the FA since the nadir of the 2018 World Cup vote.

‘The Olympic spirit had done a lot of good for football,’ said Blatter.
And the bridge building has resulted in FIFA donating $500,000 (almost 314,000) from their Goal Programme for the development of the sports science and medicine facility at St George’s Park.

Friends again: FIFA president Sepp Blatter visited St George's Park

Friends again: FIFA president Sepp Blatter visited St George's Park

Partners: Sepp Blatter and FA chairman David Bernstein

Partners: Sepp Blatter and FA chairman David Bernstein

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Richards causes ructions at the FA
21/11/12

Charles Sale: Premier League's TV deal bonanza continues as tender on course to reach 5bn after Indonesia and New Zealand sign up
20/11/12

Charles Sale: Premier League celebrate whopping 200m Thai deal
19/11/12

Charles Sale: Fayed ready to sue Premier League over fair play plan
16/11/12

Charles Sale: Cricket pundit Hughes on a sticky wicket in love match
15/11/12

Charles Sale: No way back Liverpool chief Chang return in doubt following Twitter storm
14/11/12

Charles Sale: Soccer Saturday tour scrapped… but no-one will say why
13/11/12

Sports Agenda Extra: We needed troops to step in yet G4S could WIN gong for 2012 Olympics work
05/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

It is a bizarre decision considering the FA’s huge wealth and the fund being designed by Blatter mainly to aid third world football countries and in the process shore up his election support.

But FA general secretary Alex Horne said: ‘The money goes back into developing football, so any contribution that is eligible, why not take it’

Nevertheless, the FIFA sweetener does not make much of a dent in the 18million spent on England’s doomed 2018 bid.

Bernstein shows his funny side

FA chairman David Bernstein — said to have had a humour by-pass by his FA board colleague Roger Burden — showed a jocular side to his character during a friendly tour around St George’s Park with FIFA president Sepp Blatter, not least in greeting the old rogue with a bear hug when he arrived at the National Football Centre, as did SGP chairman David Sheepshanks.

Blatter added to Sheepshanks’ credentials for succeeding Bernstein in the FA post next June by giving him ‘special merit’ for the success of the 100m SGP project.

Revie honoured

Don Revie is still best known as the England manager who betrayed his country by quitting in the middle of a World Cup qualifying campaign for a big-money move to the United Arab Emirates. Yet now there is a Don Revie room at St George’s Park in which the FA entertained FIFA president Sepp Blatter for lunch yesterday.

History forgotten: Don Revie has been honoured at St George's Park

History forgotten: Don Revie has been honoured at St George's Park

Scudamore shines

FIFA have resolved to take increasing action against third party ownership of footballers following a presentation in Zurich by Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. The PL have led the way in banning third party involvement in transfers following Carlos Tevez’s move to West Ham in 2006. Scudamore was asked to give the talk to FIFA’s new football committee, on which he sits, by UEFA president Michel Platini. Chelsea target Falcao is part-owned by a football fund co-managed by ex-Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon.

Viagogo still on the go

Secondary ticket site Viagogo are shamelessly claiming it will be business as usual in their busy selling of Twickenham seats after the Supreme Court ruled they must tell the RFU who used the website to sell rugby tickets in 2010 and 2011 in breach of RFU regulations.

Viagogo’s Ed Parkinson said: ‘The RFU may have run off with a handful of names but I can assure you this will not happen again. Our rugby business is now bigger and our data protection is better.’

Controversy: Viagogo insist is business as usual with England rugby tickets

Controversy: Viagogo insist is business as usual with England rugby tickets

RFU chief commercial officer Sophie Goldschmidt called Viagogo’s response ‘misleading’, adding that they were in no position to make guarantees to customers. The RFU, armed with the landmark Supreme Court judgement, are chasing Viagogo’s 2012 Six Nations suppliers and will be taking action over the seats being advertised online for the current autumn series.

No Elleray conflict

It has emerged that FA councillor David Elleray, chairman of the FA referees committee, has an eight per cent shareholding in First Class Cars, the chauffeur company which ferries around elite referees, England players and Premier League and FA officials. An FA spokesman said there was no conflict over the shareholding with Elleray’s FA roles.

Rights boom

The latest money-laden Premier League TV deal for the next three seasons has seen agents IMG secure the rights for Vietnam for treble the price of the current contract, Japan, where there has been a significant rise also on the back of Shinji Kagawa signing for Manchester United, and Mongolia.

Steven Gerrard 100th England cap: Jamie Redknapp and Martin Keown share their insights

Quiet and respectful but Gerrard was frightened to come down for dinner…

|

UPDATED:

00:12 GMT, 14 November 2012

With Steven Gerrard set to become only the sixth England player to reach 100 caps, Sportsmail experts Jamie Redknapp and Martin Keown share their exclusive insight on the Three Lions captain.

Insight by Jamie Redknapp
The kid who was frightened to come down for dinner

With some players, you are surprised that they forge successful international careers. With Steven Gerrard, it wasn't rocket science.

I remember my dad coming to watch our 3-2 win over Everton in 1999 – it was the game in which Robbie Fowler scored twice and famously pretended to snort the touchline.

Midfield duo: Gerrard and Redknapp share a joke ahead of the 2001 FA Cup final

Midfield duo: Gerrard and Redknapp share a joke ahead of the 2001 FA Cup final

Steven came on and played at right back and cleared two off the line in the final minutes. He was immense and dad asked me afterwards, 'Who on earth is the right back – he's like Superman'. 'You should see him play in midfield, dad,' I replied.

It wasn't long before he was in the England squad and I remember reading recently in his book that he was scared to come out of his room when the team met up.

He wrote that I had to come and take him down to dinner. I didn't even notice that he was worried but that's just typical of what a nice person Steven is – he doesn't know how good he is and he has, like everyone, his insecurities.

Insight by Martin Keown
Angel Stevie and Michael Owen, the Devil who wears Prada

I found my first few England squads slightly lonely experiences. I found it boring just sitting in my room with nothing to do.

So when Steven Gerrard was called up for the first time, I saw it as a chance to help him a bit and make him feel welcome.

Cnetre of attention: Gerrard will make his 100th appearance for England on Wednesday night

Cnetre of attention: Gerrard will make his 100th appearance for England on Wednesday night

Starting out: Former England boss Kevin Keegan presents Gerrard with his first cap in 2000

Starting out: Former England boss Kevin Keegan presents Gerrard with his first cap in 2000

I knocked on his door and told him to come out with me and Michael Owen for the afternoon.

We headed into some of the expensive shopping streets in London and had a walk around. I remember going into Prada and Michael spending a ridiculous amount of money on all sorts of things.

He just had it sent home on his account with them! It was an eye-opener for Steven – he looked like he'd never been somewhere like that before.

It wasn't a big trip but it was my way of taking him onboard as an England team-mate. I liked Steven from the start and could see that he was going to make it big. Like me, he trained like he played and although he was quiet and respectful off the pitch, he wasn't on it. I liked those attributes.

Emanuel Steward dies: Jeff Powell pays tribute

Jeff Powell: Steward was generous with his wisdom, unfailingly charming and always an entertaining raconteur

|

UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 25 October 2012

Emanuel Steward put up one helluva fight but then we expected nothing less from the granddaddy of all boxing trainers.

Almost daily, word spread through the hard old game that Manny had died. It went on for weeks but each time his sister came out announcing that he had raised himself up in his hospital bed like a champion beating the count.

Until Thursday night. One final, crushing blow in his sick stomach and an icon of the ring was gone.

Thomas Hearns, the initial light
puncher who Steward transformed into the original Hitman, carried on
leading the candle-lit vigil at their local church in Detroit.

The man who made world champions: Emanuel Steward trained many boxing superstars

The man who made world champions: Emanuel Steward trained many boxing superstars

From around the world, we joined him in our thoughts.

There was more to Manny than training
almost 50 world champions, phenomenal though that body of work stands
of itself. Steward was ever the gentleman in the most brutal sporting
business of all. He was a surrogate father to many of the hungry kids he
turned into voracious fighters.

And to those who had the good fortune
to travel with him to the four corners – of the world as well as the
prize-ring – he was the finest company. Steward was unendingly generous
with his wisdom, unfailingly charming, always an entertaining
raconteur…..and never first to leave the party.

There was seldom an early night with
Manny, who could hold his liquor with the best of us as we talked of
sepia days gone by and shining glories still to come.

He looked back on more than 40 years
at the fabled Kronk gym in Motor City where he taught the sweet science,
the noble art….. and how to ‘close the show with the big KO.’

The best: Steward was until recently training IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (left)

The best: Steward was until recently training IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (left)

THREE OF MANNY'SGREATEST

1 MARVIN HAGLER v TOMMY HEARNS, 1985
The greatest three rounds in boxing history. Steward was in Hearns’ corner in defeat.

2 EVANDER HOLYFIELD v RIDDICK BOWE, 1993
The second fight of an epic trilogy saw Steward plot Holyfield’s revenge, supplying his tactics in the ring and cooking his meals out of it.

3 LENNOX LEWIS v VITALI KLITSCHKO, 2003
Klitschko built up a points lead but Steward kept an anxious Lewis going to claim a win on cuts.

He looked forward to Wladimir
Klitschko cementing his place in the heavyweight pantheon ‘in the
crowning years of his career,’ and to schooling a new andt breed of
young boxing talent.

All while doubling up as the shrewdest of all fight commentators as HBO television’s boxing analyst.

At 68, the canvas was still his to
paint. A vicious one-two – a combination of stomach cancer and colonic
diverticulitis – has inflicted the early stoppage on the man described
by his most notable creation as the Godfather of boxing.

Tommy Hearns has never stopped giving
thanks to Steward for developing him into one of the all-time big four
middleweights – himself, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Roberto
Duran.

Many more champions came off the
Detroit production line once Steward became the master of that
sweat-shop with its creaking floor and faded posters of famous fights on
its damp walls.

As his fame spread, a queue formed of
rising champions from both sides of the Atlantic who needed to add
elite skills and his professorial knowledge to their natural talent.
They included Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez,
Evander Holyfield, Prince Naseem Hamed and Wilfred Benitez.

Steward’s expertise in stiffening the
defences of Lewis so that Britain’s first world heavyweight champion
for a century could grow into the dominate big man of his generation
encouraged the younger of the two Klitschko brothers to turn to him for
help.

One of the greats: Lennox Lewis (right, with Steward) unified the heavyweight championship belts

One of the greats: Lennox Lewis (right, with Steward) unified the heavyweight championship belts

When knock-out losses drove him close
to quitting the ring, Wladimir asked Manny if it was worth him fighting
on. Steward replied: ‘Until I set eyes on you I never thought we would
see another white heavyweight champ.’

As the product of their relationship,
Klitschko goes into his fight against Marius Char in Hamburg next
Saturday (Nov ember 10) as long-time owner of all the world titles belts
except one, which belongs to his sibling Vitali.’

Steward’s place in the corner that
evening will be taken by Jonathon Banks, still an active heavyweight
himself but one who has been preparing under Steward for a future in
training.

The all-round improvement in
Wladimir’s boxing has been achieved without compromising the feared
Klitschko family punching power.

It is in hope of finding that balance
that Amir Khan is switching trainers and Steward was among the leading
candidates to replace Freddie Roach until his illness struck. He
chuckled at the time: ‘I spend so much time in Europe now that they say
hello to me at passport control.’

Such was his own transformation from
the 13-year-old who sold popsicles from a hand-cart on the pavements
outside the Kronk and who had to go to back to work as an electrician
for a time after winning the Golden Gloves title as a US amateur
bantamweight.

In the corner: Steward with Tommy Hearns

Champion: Steward with Evander Holyfield (centre) and MC Hammer

In the corner: Steward with Tommy Hearns (left) and Evander Holyfield (centre right), plus MC Hammer (right)

Steward leaves a $15 million fortune,
his collection of Rolls Royces, his reminders that ‘Ali-Frazier I and
III were two of the greatest fights ever’ and his blessing for Ricky
Hatton’s comeback: ‘He’ll always be exciting to watch.’ He always loved a
Hitman.

The lighting of Hearns’ candle signals the end of an era.

Even the Kronk may be lost along with
Steward. The original old place shut down e a few years ago and the
nearby basement to which it moved has been rendered unfit for use by the
theft of water piping and other items of plumbling.

Steward was planning the culture
shock of leaving the ’changed’ Downtown and relocating in a suburb,
partly in search of that ‘new breed of fighters.’

That is unlikely to happen now. Nor,
any longer, will this Hall of Fame legend be putting the roof of his
rambling mansion on the outskirts of Detroit over the heads of hungry
young fighters and giving them an all-round education.

Hearns remembers: ‘He changed our lives. He taught us things outside boxing.’

We will be raising glasses to a great man. Farewell, Emanuel.