Tag Archives: spell

Billy Davies Nottingham Forest manager

Davies back as Nottingham Forest boss to replace McLeish

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

13:45 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 7 February 2013

Forest return: Davies

Forest return: Davies

Billy Davies has returned to Nottingham Forest for a second spell as manager, becoming their third boss this season.

Davies and his representatives were in negotiations with Forest chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi on Wednesday and the Championship club announced it on Thursday afternoon.

'I'm delighted to welcome Billy back to our club and really look forward to working closely with him,' chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi said. 'Billy has unfinished business with the Reds and we know how hungry he is for success. In returning to the City Ground we believe his leadership will help us fulfil our ambition of making it to the Premier League.

'Billy is a Forest legend who needs no introduction to our loyal fans. We know how excited he is to pick up where he left off last time and we will back him 110 per cent – this is a very exciting appointment for us.'

Davies described being back at the club as a 'dream come true' and is looking forward to officially beginning his role on Monday.

'It is a privilege and an honour to be back in charge of the Reds. As my new friend Fawaz says, I have unfinished business here at Forest and I am relishing this great opportunity to return Forest to its former glory.

'My tenure at the City Ground was cut short last time and I can't wait to get my boots back on and training the lads.

'We have a great squad and I know I can get the best from them. Coming home to the Reds is a dream come true.'

The 48-year-old Scot was dismissed by Forest's old regime in June 2011.

After steering the club away from relegation following his appointment in January 2009 and then masterminding successive play-off campaigns during his first spell at the City Ground, Davies is on record as stating that he has 'unfinished business' at the club.

Davies succeeds Alex McLeish and Sean O'Driscoll at the City Ground.

McLeish resigned his post earlier this week just over a month after taking over from O'Driscoll, who was sacked on Boxing Day.

India v England in Nagpur: Hosts hold edge after day one – Lawrence Booth

Lawrence Booth: India claim the edge at stumps after England's old-fashioned progress

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UPDATED:

11:30 GMT, 13 December 2012

The opening day of the Nagpur Test was characterised by caginess and perhaps a little fear.

A combination of India's desperation to avoid a historic series defeat, England's determination not to squander a rare triumph at the toss, and a pitch of stultifying slowness meant the cricket rarely got out of second gear.

It was tempting to label as old-fashioned England's progress to 199 for 5 from 97 overs, especially given the sight of a Yorkshireman – the assured 21-year-old debutant Joe Root – getting his head down with something close to religious fervour.

Good day at the office: Pietersen steadied the England ship in Nagpur

Good day at the office: Pietersen steadied the England ship in Nagpur

In fact, the day was full of the angst that has marked both side's cricket in 2012 – and it finished, appropriately, in an uneasy kind of truce, with India just claiming the edge.

Their policy of selecting only one seamer, Ishant Sharma, would have looked slightly less curious had MS Dhoni won his fourth successive toss.

Forced to take the field for the first time in the series, the Indian captain instead opted for containment, quickly dispensing with all his slips and keeping Alastair Cook quiet with a 7-2 leg-side field for the bowling of Pragyan Ojha.

Sharma's first spell of 6-2-8-2 – which included a needless nibble by Nick Compton and a geometrically ignorant lbw decision against Cook by Kumar Dharmasena – suggested India had got their selection horribly wrong.

And while Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen were advancing to 102 for 2 against a four-pronged spin attack that seemed to rotate while Sharma rested, England appeared to be quietly taking advantage.

In the runs: Trott made 44 for England before he was dismissed

In the runs: Trott made 44 for England before he was dismissed

But India's slow bowlers were giving nothing away – and nor were the fields. If England wanted to make history, Dhoni seemed to be saying, they would have to make all the running too. It turned into an unexpectedly successful ploy.

Trott shouldered arms to the debutant Ravindra Jadeja, whose left-arm spin is a class above poor old Samit Patel's. Ian Bell contrived to pick out short extra cover with a little over 10 minutes to go before tea. And Pietersen, having controlled his urges for well over three hours, went down the track to whip Jadeja to short midwicket.

If there was culpability in all three shots, then they were at least understandable: Chinese water torture can do funny things to the mind. At 139 for 5, England's innings felt more like Ahmedabad than Mumbai or Kolkata.

But Root, who had stylishly collected 10 runs from the 11 balls he faced before tea, came with no baggage and played with a freshman's resolve, while Matt Prior helped him inch the run-rate above two.

Root ran hard between the wickets, stretched well forward to smother the very gentle turn, and even had the nerve to reverse-sweep Ravi Ashwin. Prior was the ideal partner: busy, wise, and with a deft touch against spin.

Together, they have given England hope of a first-innings total which, if the pitch really does break up, could ask serious questions of India's shaky batting line-up. But it was a day that only grudgingly yielded answers.

Picture Dispute

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

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

David Moyes: I broke my rule to re-sign Steven Pienaar for Everton

I broke my rule to re-sign Pienaar for Everton, says Moyes

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UPDATED:

22:59 GMT, 7 December 2012

David Moyes has urged Steven Pienaar to rekindle Everton's push for the top four after admitting re-signing the South African went against all his beliefs.

Pienaar's return to Goodison Park from Tottenham, initially on loan in January, provided the spark for the good form Everton have enjoyed this year and he will have a key role to play at Goodison Park on Sunday when the two sides meet.

Key man: Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar

Key man: Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar

While Moyes is thrilled that Pienaar is helping make Everton tick, he was less happy in the summer when it came to completing his 4.5million move from White Hart Lane. At the back of the Everton manager's mind was a small fear that Pienaar, 30, would not recapture the form of his first spell.

'I had a worry when it was first mooted about him coming back,' said Moyes. 'But he has been inspirational to how we have played. He has helped the team and he has helped the crowd as well. He has certainly improved us and made us better.

Everton boss David Moyes

Call: Everton boss David Moyes

'I was worried about it second time around. At Everton we have always tried to do good deals and tried to buy at the right age or certainly at the right price. We had to buy Steven back for more than we sold him and he was a year older.

'It's been a great deal for us and we've been delighted to have him and I've done many a worse deal. But at the time it just felt as if it wasn't lying well with me.'

Joey Barton has TV presenters in stitches with comedy French accent

Game for a laugh! Barton has TV presenters in stitches with comedy French accent

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UPDATED:

13:49 GMT, 27 November 2012

The immediate reactions across the
nation would have been mixed.

Stunned silence, head-in-hands, a wry
smile and maybe a few belly laughs.

But not even the professional
broadcasters inside the Sky Sports News studio could hold it together as
they showed footage of Joey Barton's cringing French accent live on
air.

VIDEO: WATCH JOEY BARTON'S HILARIOUS FRENCH ACCENT

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The footage of Barton, who is on loan
at Marseille from QPR, in a press conference became a viral sensation
over the internet on Monday and caused presenter Kirsty Gallacher to
hide behind paper notes on the desk to try and mask her laughing.
Co-presenter Jim White didn't seem to help.

The transfer deadline day favourite
reacted by going into his own French accent which did little to calm the
giggles that had got the better of Gallacher.

White is arguably more convincing
with his take on the accent and using it was keen to point out to Barton
that he is a long way off mastering the French language.

Gaffe: Joey Barton spoke in a French accent at the press conference after his league debut for Marseille

Gaffe: Joey Barton spoke in a French accent at the press conference after his league debut for Marseille

Funny side: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White

Funny side: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White

White said (in a French accent): 'The
thing is Kirsty, is I think Joey thinks by talking like that by going
up at the end of every sentence and doing the shoulder bit he is
actually speaking French. But Joey, you're actually not.'

Barton's accent has already been
compared to Steve McClaren's Dutch accent which was quickly adopted by
the Twente boss shortly after joining the club during his first spell in
charge in 2008, following his dismissal as England boss just months
before.

VIDEO: Kirsty and Jim can't help but have a laugh!

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Links have also been made with 'Allo! 'Allo! character Officer Crabtree.

Barton responded on Twitter soon after his accent video emerged.

The midfielder said: 'Steve MaClaren
(sic) eat your heart out…'In my defence, it is very difficult to do a
press conference in Scouse for a room full of French journalists. The
alternative is to speak..like a 'Allo Allo!' character which is choose.
Its simply a case of you had to be there. #youstupidwomen!'

Applause: Barton is on loan to the French team from British side QPR

Applause: Barton is on loan to the French team from British side QPR

Oh 'Allo! Barton sounded alarmingly like Officer Crabtree from the hit television series

VIDEO: WATCH STEVE MCCLAREN SPEAK IN A FAUX DUTCH ACCENT

Robin van Persie could win player of the year again – Jamie Redknapp

Jamie Redknapp: Hotshot Van Persie could be heading for a double

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 5 November 2012

Top form: Van Persie

Top form: Van Persie

If you could take one player from the Premier League at present, it would be Robin van Persie. He was outstanding again against Arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo was the last man to win back-to-back Footballer of the Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year and there is no reason why Van Persie cannot do the same.

Noble for England

A good result for West Ham, for whom Mark Noble impressed me again. He has the excellent habit of passing to players in his own team and he’s made 44 tackles this season – more than any player in the Premier League. Roy Hodgson was watching and an international call-up could be on.

Time to gamble, AVB

The boos at White Hart Lane said it all. Taking your leading scorer Jermain Defoe off when you are losing is not what the Tottenham fans wanted to see. Andre Villas-Boas surely has to be more adventurous. When you are losing, you sometimes have to throw caution to the wind and get two strikers on.

Booed: Spurs fans were not happy with Villas-Boas for substituting Defoe

Booed: Spurs fans were not happy with Villas-Boas for substituting Defoe

Join the squad, Jack

Arsene Wenger says he doesn’t want Jack Wilshere involved in England’s friendly with Sweden. But now he is suspended for next weekend, he could do a lot worse than link up with the squad. It would be good to reacquaint himself with his England colleagues – even if he doesn’t play.

Look for Silva lining

Manchester City are badly missing David Silva’s guile. At the moment they are reliant on Yaya Toure’s power but they need the Spaniard’s finesse. At the start of the season he had a bad spell and now he’s injured but Roberto Mancini will be hoping he returns soon. His ability to dribble and hit a killer pass is just what City need.

Fellaini a perfect fit

When Marouane Fellaini arrived as a defensive midfielder at Everton, I thought he was too big for the role. But his confidence is amazing and he is now unplayable further up the field. Against Fulham he was holding two players off and still winning the ball.

Outstanding: Fellaini scored twice as Everton drew with Fulham

Outstanding: Fellaini scored twice as Everton drew with Fulham

Show us you feel it

Little annoys me more than players who don’t celebrate goals against their former clubs. Robin van Persie and Kaspars Gorkss did it this weekend. Scoring is one of the best feelings – so don’t act like you’re not enjoying it. If you loved your old club so much, you wouldn’t have left.

Jonny's so good

How is this for an amazing stat Jonny Evans has not committed a foul this season. He’s played seven Premier League matches for Manchester United, so that is incredible, even though he should have been given cards against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Ernie Els: They said the South African had lost it – Derek Lawrenson

They said Els had lost it… they're not saying that any more after his triumph at Lytham

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UPDATED:

23:14 GMT, 23 July 2012

The sweetest moment of Ernie Els's career There's nothing to compare to holing that 12-foot birdie putt on Royal Lytham's final green on Sunday when nothing else would do.

Not for the man who missed six putts in a row from less than that distance on the final six holes of the 2004 Open to lose out to Todd Hamilton.

Not for someone who was a standing joke in the eyes of former Ryder Cup player David Feherty as recently as March.

Open winner: Els celebrates his last-gasp success at Royal Lytham on Sunday

Open winner: Els celebrates his last-gasp success at Royal Lytham on Sunday

Cast your mind back to the Transitions Championship in Florida, won by Luke Donald but thrown away by Els as he missed three short putts on the final three greens.

'Did you have the confidence standing over those putts' asked television commentator Steve Sands, a question loaded with a sub-plot if ever there was. Did you choke The next day, in an exhibition event called the Tavistock Cup, Feherty ramped up the cruelty.

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'Here's Ernie, who has just had a frontal lobotomy and will be putting today with a live rattlesnake,' he told the crowd.

Believe it or not, some people found that funny. Watching anyone struggle on the greens is no joke, but watching someone with Els's gifts was excruciating. How could a sport give so much to someone from tee to green and then take it away once he got there

Missing those putts in Florida cost Els his spot at the Masters, the event he always seemed destined to win. That's it, we thought, the tipping point. Aged 42, next stop – oblivion. Time to blend into the background and admire fellow South Africans who grew up wanting to swing the club and win majors like he did and pulled it off. Men like Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.

Yet Ernie did not accept the rationale. He did not do like Feherty did when the going got tough. He did not quit. The following week he finished fourth at the Arnold Palmer

Invitational. A month later, a runner's-up spot in New Orleans got him into the US Open where he finished tied ninth.

'It is a crazy game,' he said recently in an interview with The Scotsman. 'When you are a kid you grow up wanting to be, say, Ernie Els. Then, when you're Ernie you try to play like you did when you were a kid.'

Pain to gain: Els suffers with his putter in Florida earlier this year

Pain to gain: Els suffers with his putter in Florida earlier this year

On one of the hardest back nines in golf on Sunday, Ernie, after all those lost years of toil, finally found his inner kid. Suddenly the putts started to drop.

Providence, having taken so many majors from him – he has been runner-up six times – handed one back at last. It still came down to a 12-foot putt, though.

Watching anyone struggle on the greens is no joke

Ultimately, Adam Scott's collapse would have meant nothing if Els had not helped himself. From a perfect camera angle, you could see him swing the putter straight and true and the ball never looked like going anywhere else but the bottom of the hole. Take that, Feherty.

Asked to assess his career before the momentous events of last week, Els said he thought he should have won five or six majors to rank alongside Seve Ballesteros or Sir Nick Faldo.

That sounds about right to me and, by ending the long drought and winning his fourth, there is every hope he might now get there, following a victory on Sunday that was celebrated everywhere outside Australia.

When it was over, Els jumped on a plane to Canada and a corporate bash. The Claret Jug has just completed an exhaustive journey around the world in the hands of a popular protagonist and you can be sure Els will enjoy it every bit as much as Darren Clarke. And where will it all end in 2013 Muirfield, the scene of his previous Open triumph in 2002. Sweet, indeed.

It's only a game

Someone clearly forgot to tell Adam Scott that these days every tear in defeat adds up to a waterfall of popular acclaim. Thank goodness for that. The 18th green at Royal Lytham made for a wonderful scene on Sunday. After a gripping finale, the victor shook hands with the loser, one man made a speech fit for a statesman while the other held his head high. Let's be grateful to Scott for the reminder that sport still works best when people remember it is only a game.

Second best: Scott missed out on Open glory after blowing a healthy lead

Second best: Scott missed out on Open glory after blowing a healthy lead in the closing stages

Royal Lytham is No 1

They say you can tell the quality of a course by the calibre of its champions and Ernie Els's victory means the only people who have won The Open at Lytham in the modern era remain golfers who have spent time during their careers as world No 1.

That is a heck of a testament to this fabled links given the efforts Mother Nature made to disguise its natural character on this occasion. Els's final-round 68 was his 39th in the sixties during his Open career. That's two more than Sir Nick Faldo managed, followed by Jack Nicklaus (33), Tom Watson (29) and Greg Norman (26). That's not a bad list to lead, is it

The streak goes on: Els became the 16th different winner from as many majors

The streak goes on: Els became the 16th different winner from as many majors

Sweet Sixteen

And so the streak goes on. That makes it 16 winners of the last 16 major championships. We have had six Americans, three South Africans, three Northern Irishmen, and one representative each from Argentina, Korea, Germany and Ireland. Still no Englishman, though.

When you think the list does not include Tiger Woods and five other Americans ranked in the world's top 14, Adam Scott plus a certain three Englishmen ranked in the world's top 10, we might be here a while yet. Incidentally, Woods's top-five finish means he has broken the UK's stranglehold of the top three ranking positions, with only Luke Donald now ahead of him.

Quote of the Week

'I can't deny the belly putter has been great for me, but I certainly won't be complaining if the authorities ban it. It isn't the way golf is supposed to be played and if they ban it that will be fine with me.'

Could the case for getting rid of these wretched things be expressed more eloquently considering these comments were made by Ernie Els, the man who just ended the week as the new Open champion

Perhaps someone could put them in front of the rules committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, who are reviewing their controversial use, with a statement expected by the autumn.

Jonathan Woodgate relishing step down to Middlesbrough

I'm as ambitious as ever, insists Woodgate after step down to Middlesbrough

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 12 July 2012

Jonathan Woodgate is refusing to dwell on missed opportunities as he targets a return to the Barclays Premier League.

The 32-year-old defender has headed back to Middlesbrough in the search for regular football after seeing a career which has taken him to some of the biggest clubs in Europe blighted by injuries.

Had Woodgate, widely accepted as one of the most gifted home-grown defenders of his generation, enjoyed better fortune, he would certainly have added dozens more England caps to the eight he claimed.

New boys: Emanuel Ledesma, Stuart Parnaby, Jonathan Woodgate and Grant Leadbitter line up

New boys: Emanuel Ledesma, Stuart Parnaby, Jonathan Woodgate and Grant Leadbitter line up

However, despite the problems which sidelined him during his spells with Newcastle, Real Madrid and Tottenham, he insists he does not feel he has been robbed of his best days.

Woodgate said: 'No. I have been lucky. I am a professional footballer who has played for some good teams and I am playing for Middlesbrough again, like any other young lad from Middlesbrough would want to do.

'I am lucky, that's how I look at life. I'm a professional footballer. What can you do about it You have just got to get on with it and come back fighting, be resolute and show that you can play again. It's just one of those things, you have to cope with it mentally.'

Woodgate spent the summer mulling over his options before deciding to re-join home-town club Boro, where he enjoyed a successful first spell after initially joining on loan from Real during the summer of 2006.

On that occasion, he returned to England desperate to re-ignite his career after a frustrating spell in the Spanish capital.

This time around, he believes his mission is markedly different, although his hunger for success, albeit initially on a different scale, remains undimmed.

Asked about his ambitions for the term of this three-year contract, he said: 'Ambitions Loads. I want to get Middlesbrough into the Premier League – that would be a great success – and I want to play as many games as I can for the club and be successful with Middlesbrough.

'It would be a massive achievement for every one of the players to get Middlesbrough back into the Premier League, where everyone wants them and where the team should be. It would be probably my biggest achievement.'

Woodgate's comments came as he was presented to the media along with fellow signings Grant Leadbitter, Stuart Parnaby and Emanuel Ledesma.

Manager Tony Mowbray is delighted to have been able to add a player of proven quality and experience to a squad he is confident can make an even bigger push for promotion after last season's seventh-placed finish.

Mowbray said: 'We all sit on a Saturday or Sunday night and watch Real Madrid play – I know I do every weekend – and to think he has been in that arena, and yet here we are.

'In footballing terms, he is still relatively young. As a central defender, I know I played my best football around the age Jonathan is, after 30 years old.

'I played until I was 37 and in that context, he has got five years left at the top, and hopefully playing in the Premier League for a good few of those years.

'We have to get over the hurdle in front of us, of course, but I am delighted and I hope the people of Teesside are delighted that Jonathan has made this commitment to come back and help his home-town club get back to the Premier League. Not just for, hopefully, his performances on the field, but his experience of what it takes to be a top footballer.

'Just sitting and chatting, he has played with Zinedine Zidane and the original, Brazilian Ronaldo – it puts into context the quality of players, and to hear him talk, generally the best players have been the best professionals, who come in every day and do it right.

'Hopefully he brings those sort of qualities on to our training pitch, into our dressing room, around the football club and teaches the younger players that's what it takes to be a top pro.'

Gary Ablett book image of cancer-stricken Mersey star

As his former clubs prepare for Wembley derby, Ablett book reveals harrowing image of Mersey star in the grip of illness that led to his death

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UPDATED:

12:22 GMT, 13 April 2012

This is the harrowing image of Gary Ablett in the grip of the illness that resulted in his death at the age of just 46.

The former Everton and Liverpool player died in January after a 16-month battle with cancer, and on Monday his memoirs 'The Game of My Life', from which this photo is taken, will be released.

The publication of the picture comes on the eve of the FA Cup semi-final in which the two Merseyside clubs face off at Wembley for the first time since 1989.

In the grip of illness: Gary Ablett, whose book, The Game Of My Life, is released on Monday, died in January after a 16-month battle with cancer

In the grip of illness: Gary Ablett, whose book, The Game Of My Life, is released on Monday, died in January after a 16-month battle with cancer

Gone, but not forgotten: Jackie Ablett and her three children will be at Wembley on Saturday, three months after Gary died of cancer

Gone, but not forgotten: Jackie Ablett and her three children will be at Wembley on Saturday, three months after Gary died of cancer

Ablett, whose wife
Jackie – along with their three children, Scarlett, 16, Reece, 15, and Riley, 11 – will be at the match
in London, is the only player to have won the FA Cup with both Everton
and Liverpool.

Speaking ahead of the game, Jackie said: 'It's going to be a very emotional day.

'We were overwhelmed by the reaction after Gary passed away. He had no idea how much he was loved. He'll be looking down on us all. Just don't ask who he'd be supporting!'

Ablett was a Liverpool apprentice before making his debut for the club in 1986 during current boss Kenny Dalglish's first spell in charge.

Under Dalglish, he helped a dominant side win the League title in 1988 and 1990 and the FA Cup in 1989.

Ablett was sold to arch-rivals Everton for 750,000 in January 1992 and went on to lift the FA Cup with them in 1995 after a Wembley win over Manchester United.

He went on to coach at both clubs after a playing career that saw him represent Birmingham City and Blackpool, while he later turned his hand to management at Stockport County.

However, Ablett was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in July 2010, and after months of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, he died on January 2, 2012 at home in with his family at his bedside.

Mersey Mad: Ablett played for both Everton and Liverpool

Mersey Mad: Ablett played for both Everton and Liverpool

Mersey Mad: Ablett played for both Everton and Liverpool, winning the FA Cup with both – the Reds in 1989 and the Toffees in 1995

Mersey Mad: Ablett won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995

Mersey Mad: Ablett won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Jackie, who wrote a prologue to the book, added: 'I couldn't read the book until weeks after he died. But when I got to the final chapter where he's saying, “I’m going to be all right – I'm going to get through it”, I knew I had to finish it for him.

'He was amazing. He only had a few wobbles. Once he woke in the night in a panic, sobbing that he wouldn’t be around for me and the kids.

'In the book he said I told him, “Don't be so bloody stupid, of course you’ll be here”, and that I filled him with optimism.

Popular figure: Famous faces from across the football, and sporting world, came out in honour of Ablett at his funeral in January

Popular figure: Famous faces from across the football, and sporting world, came out in honour of Ablett at his funeral in January

Popular figure: Famous faces from across the football, and sporting world, came out in honour of Ablett at his funeral in January

Popular figure: Famous faces from across the football, and sporting world, came out in honour of Ablett at his funeral in January

Popular figure: Famous faces from across the football, and sporting world, came out in honour of Ablett at his funeral in January

Gary Ablett: The Game of my Life

Gary Ablett: The Game of my Life

'What else do you say He’d always been so strong for me and the kids. It was my turn to say, “It's going to be fine”, but I didn't know that.'

'We didn't know for sure that Gary was going until the day before,' she says. 'But I’m glad he was at home, so we could be with him. It still doesn’t feel real though. I still think he’s just going to walk through the door.

'You go through so many different emotions every day – even a sense of relief, because Gary isn’t suffering anymore.'

Looking to the future, Jackie continues: 'We want to set up a foundation in Gary’s memory – something to help youngsters playing football.

'Before he got ill he’d been talking about opening a dress agency – so footballers’ wives could donate clothes for charity. After he passed away Scarlett, who’s doing fashion at college, remembered his idea. Now she’s starting an online agency called So Ablett.

'The logo is a purple heart – a mixture of red and blue, just like her dad.'

Fabian Delph re-joins Leeds on loan from Aston Villa

To Ell-and back for Delph as Villa midfielder re-joins former club Leeds on loan

Fabian Delph has returned to Elland Road after signing a one-month loan deal with Leeds.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who left Simon Grayson's side to join Aston Villa for 6m in the summer of 2009, has being made available for loan by boss Alex McLeish.

To Ell-and back: Fabian Delph has left Aston Villa to re-join former club Leeds on loan

To Ell-and back: Fabian Delph has left Aston Villa to re-join former club Leeds on loan

Delph was a regular in the Villa midfield in the first half of the season but has not featured for the first-team since mid-December.

Leeds boss Grayson told the club's
official website: 'As everyone knows Fab is a talented footballer who
did very well here and secured himself a big move on the back of what he
did.

Delight: Leeds boss Simon Grayson is pleased to have Delph back at the club

Delight: Leeds boss Simon Grayson is pleased to have Delph back at the club

'This is a great deal for both parties. Fab will get some football and he is the calibre of player that we've been looking to bring in here.'

Delph made 46 league appearances in his first spell with the West Yorkshire side and will be available to face Ipswich in the npower Championship on Saturday, with the deal due to expire on February 25.

Landon Donovan insists he"s a better player

I”m a better player than I was two years ago, says Donovan as striker makes Everton return

Welcome back: Donovan is unveiled at Everton

Welcome back: Donovan is unveiled at Everton

Everton loan signing Landon Donovan believes he is a better player now than he was in his first spell with the Toffees.

The United States international has returned for a second two-month spell, having done the same in the early part of 2010.

He played 13 matches and scored twice but the American, who turns 30 in March, is confident he comes back to the Barclays Premier League a better player.

“I am really excited to get back here and play,” he said.

“Since being here first time I”ve played in a World Cup and had another couple of years” experience so I feel more prepared this time.

“I know exactly what I am getting into and exactly what is expected of me and hopefully I can fit in.

“Sometimes I think life is about expectations. Last time there was zero expectations so I can only make up from that.

“I understand there is some level of pressure and expectation but all footballers deal with that.

“I don”t worry about that, I want to enjoy my two months here and the way I play I think I can help the team.”

Donovan captained Los Angeles Galaxy to the MLS Cup this year and had only a fortnight”s break before returning to light training as he knew a move to England was pending.

Donovan admitted if he could have come back 12 months ago he would have but after playing at the World Cup in South Africa he felt he needed to use the MLS off-season to recuperate.

“Last year the manager spoke to my agent and asked if I wanted to come back and I really did but my body was pretty beat up and I didn”t think it was the right thing to do,” he added.

“It was whether it made sense. The last thing you want to do is go somewhere when you are not healthy and fit because it doesn”t help you or the team.

“It was difficult to say no but back then I always hoped I”d get another chance and fortunately this year I was able to do it.

“I want to come in and help and you never know what happens but I want to come in and do my job.”

Although he is ineligible for the New Year”s Day trip to West Brom he could come into contention to face Bolton the following week.

As the American, who had his first training session today, is familiar with the club he does not feel he will have any problems slotting back in straightaway.

“To be honest in 2010 when I got here everyone was nice and excited to have me here and I felt like I was home, everyone felt like family,” he said.

“It is an easy place to come to. The word that comes to mind is family.

“You walk around the place and everyone is friendly and are excited to be a part of this club. It is infectious and it is hard not to fall into that.”

Manager David Moyes wants to get Donovan up to speed as quickly as possible to add some much-needed creativity to the side.

“We”re pleased to have him back and he looked fine in training,” said the Scot.

“He doesn”t carry any weight and looks in good shape so hopefully we”ll try to give him a good four or five days” training and see how he is for next week.

“It is hard to judge on one morning but we will get him up and running.

“We have a great set of boys who will make it easy to settle in. “Creatively we hope he will make us some goals but he is not a prolific goalscorer.”