Tag Archives: sideburns

John McCririck released from hospital

McCririck released from hospital with wife claiming Channel 4 axe caused illness

Rod Minchin


12:21 GMT, 15 March 2013



14:08 GMT, 15 March 2013

Veteran racing pundit John McCririck will have to watch today's Cheltenham Gold Cup race on television after being released from hospital.

McCririck, 72, known for his distinctive sideburns and deerstalker hat, is convalescing at home after being detained in Cheltenham General Hospital.

He complained of feeling unwell during the first day of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

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Unwell: John McCririck, pictured on day one of the festival, has been released from hospital

Unwell: John McCririck, pictured on day one of the festival, has been released from hospital

The former Channel 4 pundit had said earlier this week that he planned on returning to Prestbury Park to watch the highlight of the four-day National Hunt festival.

But after being released from hospital he has returned home to recover.

Mr McCririck's agent Patsy Martin said today: 'John is resting today.

'He is not going racing today and the next race meeting he will be attending will be Doncaster on Saturday week.'

John McCririck.

Horse Racing - Royal Ascot - 4th Day John McCririck English Horse Racing Pundit at Ascot

Larger than life: But McCririck was taken ill, with wife Jenny blaming the stress of his Channel 4 dismissal

In January Channel 4 dropped McCririck from its racing coverage when it unveiled its new presenting team, headed by Clare Balding.

McCririck announced he was to sue the broadcaster for 3million, claiming it axed him from its racing coverage because he was too old.

His wife Jenny told the Daily Mirror she believed the stress from a continuing disagreement with his former employer caused his illness.

Mrs McCririck told the newspaper: 'Look at the stress from Channel 4. He was perfectly OK, he had a check-up two weeks ago, but Channel 4 have done this to him.'

Some of John McCririck's memorable moments from Channel 4 Racing

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Bradley Wiggins: Highlight was playing with Paul Weller

Winning the Tour de France and another Olympic gold medal was great, but highlight was jamming with Weller, admits Wiggins



00:01 GMT, 29 December 2012

A spectacular 2012 was brought to a fitting conclusion for Bradley Wiggins when he received a knighthood in the New Year Honours – but nothing compared to being on stage with his hero Paul Weller.

Highlights of the 32-year-old's year have included being the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France and winning his fourth Olympic gold medal, while earlier this month he was the runaway winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Scroll down to watch Wiggins and Weller

In the spotlight: Wiggins has had a year to remember after adding Olympic gold to his Tour de France win

In the spotlight: Wiggins has had a year to remember after adding Olympic gold to his Tour de France win

Wiggins is almost as famous for his
love of mod culture as he is for his exploits on two wheels, with
spectators at the Olympic time trial donning fake sideburns in his

Last week he joined Weller to perform The Jam classic 'That's Entertainment' during a charity concert at Hammersmith Apollo.

And asked for his highlight of 2012, Wiggins said: 'For me it's probably the obvious one, apart from Sports Personality, playing at Hammersmith Apollo with Paul Weller last Wednesday was incredible.

'That topped it for me, and that's not a joke. It was amazing. Playing a Jam song as well, I mean how many people get to do that'

The irreverent personality that has captured the public's imagination perhaps sits oddly with a knighthood, awarded for services to cycling, but Wiggins believes it sends a good message in the age of celebrity culture.

Pleased to meet you: Wiggins with music icons Paul Weller (above) and Liam Gallagher (below)

Pleased to meet you: Wiggins with music icons Paul Weller (above) and Liam Gallagher (below)

Bradley Wiggins

Sir Dave salutes team

Dave Brailsford has paid tribute to the collective effort of those he oversees at British Cycling and Team Sky after he was knighted in the New Year Honours list.

The 48-year-old has received the honour at the end of a year in which he led Great Britain to eight cycling gold medals for a second successive Olympics and Team Sky to an historic one-two in the Tour de France.

On his knighthood for services to cycling and the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Brailsford, who is British Cycling performance director and principal of Team Sky, said: 'It is a bit surreal really.

'It is quite humbling and it really is something to try to get my head around.

'I'm very lucky and aware that the sport of cycling has grown and that we have had great success because it is a team effort over a long, long period of time.'

He said: 'It's quite something really. I never imagined that I would ever become a knight so it's an incredible honour but there's a slight element of disbelief, and it will take a while to sink in.

'There was never any doubt whether I'd accept it or not, it was more a case that I never saw myself as a Sir, and I probably never will.

'I don't like profiting from status so it's more for my family. It's nice for my parents and grandparents to be able to say I'm a knight, and for my kids in the future.

'To be deemed good enough to have a knighthood by the establishment is quite nice really, because I've continued to be myself through most of the fame.

'Not all of it's been good, a couple of swear words and things, so it's nice to be able to receive this after everything, it shows you don't have to have a stiff upper lip and say all the right things all the time.

'It's a nice advertisement for our culture I think because so much of it is based on being something you're not with celebrity, so it's reassuring in a way.'

Wiggins had been widely tipped to receive the honour after his superb achievements this year, but he admitted he thought he may have missed out as time ticked by before he finally received notification two weeks ago.

'I was in Spain on a training camp so it came quite late,' he said. 'I actually thought, early December, you normally hear by now, so I thought maybe it wasn't going to happen this time so when it finally did come I thought, “Blimey”.'

French fancy: Wiggins leads team-mate Mark Cavendish on the final stage of the Tour de France

French fancy: Wiggins leads team-mate Mark Cavendish on the final stage of the Tour de France

Here Wiggo! The Brit was then cheered home to win the Olympic Time Trial

Here Wiggo! The Brit was then cheered home to win the Olympic Time Trial

Wiggins admitted he initially struggled for motivation as he thought about trying to follow 2012, but he has thrown himself back into training and is planning to ride both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in 2013.

There is still uncertainty about whether he will bid to defend his Tour crown or support team-mate Chris Froome, who finished second this year.

Wiggins said: “It's about setting new goals and going out and doing something else. It might not top it, it might not ever top it, but you have to go back to work at some point.

'Initially motivation was an issue but you actually crave going back to that routine and that structure. I really enjoyed being in camp again with the team and going back to what got you there in the first place. There are things I still want to do within the sport.

Another one for the collection: Wiggins was also named Sports Personality of the Year

Another one for the collection: Wiggins was also named Sports Personality of the Year

'I'm doing the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France as a new challenge, and that's very much what we're training for at the moment.

'The priority is the Tour of Italy and then we go to the Tour and it could be in a support role to Chris Froome, it could be both of us, it could be me again, it really depends on how the season pans out, on results and form and even whether both of us make it to the Tour.'

Looking further into the future, Wiggins has his sights set on an Olympic swansong in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, where he hopes to return to the track.

'I'd love to go to Rio,' he added. 'That would be an incredible way to finish it all with a fifth gold medal, and I would like it to be back on the track in the team pursuit where it all started in Sydney for me.'


1980: Born April 28 in Ghent, Belgium before growing up in London. Son of Australian former racing cyclist Gary Wiggins.

1992: Begins track cycling at Herne Hill Velodrome, London.

1997: Wins individual pursuit gold at Junior World Track Championships in Cuba.

2000: March – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester.
October – Bronze in team pursuit at Olympic Games in Sydney.

2001: September – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.

2002: July – Silver for England in team pursuit and individual pursuit
at Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Gold in individual pursuit at Track
Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

2003: August – Silver in team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
September – Wins opening stage of Tour de l'Avenir.

2004: August – Olympic gold in individual pursuit at Athens Olympics.
Also wins silver in team pursuit alongside Steve Cummings, Paul Manning
and Rob Hayles and bronze in Madison alongside Rob Hayles to become
first Briton since 1964 to win three medals at one Games.

Bradley Wiggins

2005: September – Wins stage eight of Tour de l'Avenir.

2006: July – Makes Tour de France debut, riding for French team Cofidis.

2007: March – Wins gold in the individual pursuit and team pursuit at Track Cycling World Championships in Palma, Majorca.
June – Prologue victory in Dauphine Libere.
July – Finishes fourth in Tour de France prologue in London behind Swiss
winner Fabian Cancellara but his team, Cofidis, later withdraw after
team-mate Cristian Moreni fails a drugs test.

2008: January – Wiggins' estranged father, Gary Wiggins, is discovered unconscious in New South Wales and later dies.
March – Wins individual pursuit, team pursuit and Madison gold at Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester.
August 16 – Successfully defends Olympic individual pursuit title with gold at the Laoshan Velodrome.
August 18 – Olympic team pursuit gold alongside Ed Clancy, Geraint
Thomas and Paul Manning in a world record of three minutes 53.314
August 19 – Favourite for Olympic Madison alongside Mark Cavendish but
ninth-placed finish results in Manxman suffering the ignominy of being
the only member of GB's track team to leave the Laoshan Velodrome
without a medal and has a public falling-out with Wiggins.

Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish

October – Releases autobiography titled 'In Pursuit of Glory' detailing his struggle with alcohol after Athens Games.

2009: July – Secures fourth place in Tour de France, matching highest-ever placing by a British rider.
September – Wins British Time-Trial Championship.
October – Wins stage five time-trial and overall title at Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia.
December 10 – Signs four-year deal with Team Sky, the BSkyB-backed road
team which is being led by British Cycling performance director Dave

2010: February 7 – Makes Team Sky debut at Tour of Qatar, helping squad to victory in the race's opening team time-trial.
March – Finishes third overall in the Tour of Murcia.
May – Wins Giro d'Italia prologue to become second Briton to wear race
leader's pink jersey, the maglia rosa. The victory gives Team Sky a
Grand Tour stage win at the first attempt.
July – Finishes 24th on Team Sky's Tour de France debut, upgraded to
23rd after Alberto Contador is stripped of the title for a doping

2011: March – Finishes third overall in Paris-Nice stage race.
May – Wins fourth stage of Bayern-Rundfahrt as team-mate Geraint Thomas wins overall.
June – Wins traditional Tour de France warm-up Criterium du Dauphine. Wins British Championships road race.
July 8 – Abandons Tour de France after fracturing collarbone in crash on
seventh stage. Wiggins was sixth overall, 10 seconds behind race leader
Thor Hushovd, entering the stage.

Bradley Wiggins is carried into an ambulance

September – Finishes third overall at the Vuelta a Espana, with Team Sky
colleague Chris Froome second. Finishes second in World Championships
time-trial before helping Cavendish win the road race.

2012: February: Wins stage five of Volta ao Algarve.
March – Wins Paris-Nice overall, completing victory with win on stage eight.
April – Triumphs in Tour de Romandie, winning stages one and five.
June – Successfully defends his Criterium du Dauphine title and wins
stage four time-trial for an unprecedented series of results.
July 7 – Takes the Tour de France yellow jersey after stage seven.
July 9 – Enhances hold on maillot jaune ahead of the first rest day with
a first Tour stage win, on the stage nine time-trial to Besancon.
July 21 – Wins the time-trial on the Tour's penultimate day to all but secure victory.
July 22 – Confirmed as Britain's first-ever winner of the Tour de France.
August 1 – Claims gold medal for Team GB at London 2012 in Olympic road time-trial.
November 7 – Taken to hospital after a collision with a car near his
home in Lancashire. Wiggins suffered bruising, a fractured rib, a
bruised lung and a dislocated finger.
December 16 – Wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, finishing
ahead of second-placed Jessica Ennis and third-placed Andy Murray.
December 28 – Awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

Theo Walcott Movember fundraiser

Another close shave for Theo! After scraping past QPR and Reading, Walcott has joined the Movember cause



16:15 GMT, 1 November 2012

Arsenal have been involved in a few close shaves recently, but none as close as this.

Theo Walcott is finally taking the plunge and joining another club… in support of male cancer charities.

His future at the Emirates remains uncertain, so much so Arsene Wenger has admitted he may have to sell in January.

Close shave: Walcott prepares for the Movember challenge

Close shave: Walcott prepares for the Movember challenge

Discussions will continue over a new contract but for the next four weeks Walcott has vowed he won't be shaving his face.

The Movember movement has really gained mo-mentum in recent years and with a number of celebs on board the sums raised can be described as fantashtic!

Theo must adhere to some stringent rules, however.

A different kind of close shave: Walcott was integral in Arsenal's stirring comeback at Reading

A different kind of close shave: Walcott was integral in Arsenal's stirring comeback at Reading

The moustache must begin the 1st of November with a clean shaven face. The moustache cannot join the sideburns – as that considered a beard.

And you are not allowed to join the moustache to your chin – as that's considered a goatee.

Feel free to support Theo by going to his Movember page.

Back him! You can donate money to support Walcott's Movember challenge for male cancer charities

Back him! You can donate money to support Walcott's Movember challenge for male cancer charities

Paolo di Canio"s passion rescues the FA Cup

Paolo's passion saves the day! Di Canio's verve and wardrobe rescue the FA Cup

When a day longer than his sideburns had finally drawn to a close it was Paolo di Canio who supplied the enduring image.

With leather-gloved fingers pointing to the heavens and a snug olive-green jacket fastened over his scarf he may have looked like a TV cop from the early Eighties but this was a moment of pure FA Cup passion.

Good old, slightly bonkers Paolo, posturing on the touchline to remind the nation that few moments in football can generate emotion quite like a genuine FA Cup upset.

Sky's the limit: Di Canio produced one of the shocks of the day by beating Wigan

Sky's the limit: Di Canio produced one of the shocks of the day by beating Wigan

Fourth tier beat first at the County Ground, one of four shocks (the others: Crawley, Notts County and Stevenage) on a day which had opened in mind-numbing fashion at St Andrew’s.

Seriously, who at ESPN thought Birmingham versus Wolves was a good place to start, with its weakened teams and empty seats

‘Nil-nil was inevitable,’ said Blues defender Curtis Davies. Really If only he’d told us sooner.

The day’s other early kick-off passed without a goal, although this was a terrific effort by Dagenham and Redbridge, who slipped to 90th in football’s pyramid during the day but can look forward to a trip to, ahem, Millwall.

Three o’clock approached, team news emerged and it was hard not to feel a pang of sadness for this noble trophy.

Does anyone care any longer

Tottenham, the only one of the top six in action, made 10 changes, wary of Wednesday’s game against Everton in the Barclays Premier League.

Second string: Tottenham rested 10 players for their win over Cheltenham

Second string: Tottenham rested 10 players for their win over Cheltenham

Cardiff changed 10 and Crystal Palace seven ahead of their meeting in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

The numbers on Palace’s shirts added up to more than 300, according to someone on Twitter.

Wigan made nine changes and they don’t play again until next Monday.

Of the two TV companies with rights to the action, one showed Catwoman and the other a documentary on baseball as Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas watched League Two football in Sky’s Soccer Saturday studio.


MK Dons boss Karl Robinson said Roberto Mancini’s comments about struggling to field a team were ‘embarrassing’

Some despair was chased away during the next two hours as 73 goals were scored in the 23 ties that kicked off at 3pm with Wigan, Reading, Bristol City and Doncaster humbled by opposition from lower leagues.

The FA Cup made its case for staying alive during the 21st century as Vinnie Jones – a Wembley winner in 1988 – taught the nation how to administer ‘Hands Only CPR’ to the sounds of the Bee Gees during the ad breaks.

John Murray conjured classic images on BBC 5 Live with his wonderful commentary on a thrilling tie and a party atmosphere at Moss Rose, where Macclesfield held Bolton.

Thriller: Macclesfield held Bolton to 2-2 draw

Thriller: Macclesfield held Bolton to 2-2 draw

‘There are almost 2,000 Bolton fans in there and I can see a crocodile at the front,’ said Murray, straining to be heard above the din of an old-style wooden rattle, just as BBC World Service listeners joined the broadcast.
Macc Town were going global and they did not disappoint.


After his hat-trick v Fleetwood, Blackpool’s Matt Phillips says he’ll give the ball to his mum – so she can protect it with hairspray

In Kent, Gillingham chairman Paul Scally had set the tone by re-opening a festering feud with Tony Pulis, saying the only place he wanted to bury a hatchet was in the Stoke manager’s head.

‘I’ll never forgive Tony Pulis,’ said Scally, who sacked the visiting manager in 1999 for gross misconduct, on Sky before the match. ‘He affected me, my family and this football club.’

Gills took the lead but Stoke fielded a strong team (funny that) and Premier League power proved too great.

Other dreams were wrecked early. Tamworth responded to a Football Focus pep-talk from Sportsmail’s Martin Keown by leaking a goal in five minutes at Everton from which they would never recover.

Cheltenham conceded early at Tottenham and Fleetwood and Salisbury slipped behind. /01/08/article-2083948-0F5EB57800000578-625_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Upset: Stevenage shocked Reading” class=”blkBorder” />

Upset: Stevenage shocked Reading

Wrexham are the only non-Leaguers into the fourth round draw, fighting back at Brighton with a goal which triggered a glorious passage of FA Cup romance.

It was 4.23pm when the Blue Square Premier leaders levelled with a goal from Adrian Cieslewicz.

Within a minute, Arnaud Mendy had fired Macclesfield 2-1 up and by 4.26pm MK Dons were beating Queens Park Rangers 1-0 with a Dean Bowditch goal.


Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson is braced for a bid for striker Ched Evans, who scored against Salisbury Town

Paul Benson pounced for Swindon’s winner at 4.34pm, roughly the same time Matt Tubbs was scoring for Crawley against Bristol City and Jeff Hughes scored his second for Notts County at Doncaster.

Then, the Premier League hit back. David Wheater equalised for Bolton with 13 minutes left and Heidar Helguson eased pressure on Neil Warnock with two minutes to spare.

Fulham (full strength) crushed League One leaders Charlton at Craven Cottage as Danny Murphy’s wife Joanna Taylor used Twitter to report how abuse from visiting fans forced her and son Ethan to seek refuge in the directors’ box.

Alleged abuse: Danny Murphy's wife used Twitter to complain about Charlton fans

Alleged abuse: Danny Murphy's wife used Twitter to complain about Charlton fans

Only two top-flight clubs would crash out on Saturday. Wigan, at Swindon, and Blackburn, who took the lead at Newcastle but lost to a goal from Jonas Gutierrez in the 94th minute.


Will Crawley Town reach the fifth round again, a year after losing to Manchester United at the same stage

On BBC’s Final Score, Mark Chapman winced on behalf of Steve Kean when Gutierrez scored. The most anguished of callers on the evening’s radio phone-ins supported Wigan and Ipswich (beaten 3-1 at Hull), while Bristol Rovers’ defeat seemed to be going down well at the Memorial Stadium, where John Barnes and Kevin Keegan predicted Aston Villa’s easy win.

Barnes pointed out that the upsets are usually produced by small teams in form, not the likes of Rovers, who prepared for their big day on live television by sacking manager Paul Buckle.

It is an era where the elite have more money, bigger squads, fitter players, better facilities and more thorough preparation techniques. There should be fewer shock results yet complacency still eats away in different forms.

Perhaps it comes from the manager who makes changes and sends a subliminal message around his players – and if a slip like this collides with a spirited team, it will produce sparks.

This is the FA Cup staying alive without the need for CPR, thanks to Di Canio and his ilk.

John McCririck undergoes fashion makeover

What were the odds on that Racing pundit McCririck undergoes fashion makeover

The start of the New Year is full of resolutions being made (and broken) all over the country, and you only have to look at Channel 4 Racing star John McCririck to realise anything is possible this year.

The horse racing pundit usually sticks out like a sore thumb in the paddock with his trademark tweeds and deerstalker hat. But the 71-year-old has ditched the slightly out-of-fashion Victorian threads for a trendy two-piece-suit and a trilby hat.

Not stopping there, McCririck has also had his wild hair and sideburns (which he calls wackers) tamed and ditched his glasses. The results are extraordinary with the former Big Brother contestant almost unrecognisable.


Then and now: McCririck has undergone an extraordinary makeover

Then and now: McCririck has undergone an extraordinary makeover

McCririck admitted: 'Reluctantly, I accept that looking so suave and dapper makes me a trendy fashion icon for those who aspire to re-live their hippy past.'

Even wife Jenny, whom John calls the Booby, gave the change in appearance a thumbs up despite being perfectly happy with his previous look.

She added: 'My John has always been a gorgeous, handsome hunk so whatever he wears looks amazing.

Time for change: McCririck is one of horse racing's most famous faces

Time for change: McCririck is one of horse racing's most famous faces

'Actually I rather like the new look. He needed the slightly mysterious, tantalising image of a debonair lad about town- but please don't tell him.'

The step into modern times wasn't all McCririck's idea though with Racing For Change hiring the makeover team – even if they are not certain it will stand the test of time.

A spokesman said: 'The aim of Racing for Change is broaden the appeal of horse racing and we've done a great deal but there was one rather large dinosaur who still needed modernising.

'Thankfully, Big Mac was game to give it a go but we're not sure how long it will last!'

Find out more about Racing For Change at www.racingforchange.co.uk