Tag Archives: station

Rory Hamilton-Brown leaves Surrey to Sussex

Hamilton-Brown hopes to start again at Sussex after death of Surrey team-mate Maynard

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

23:54 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:56 GMT, 3 April 2013

Rory Hamilton-Brown wants to honour the memory of his tragic friend Tom Maynard after leaving Surrey to return to Sussex.

The former England Under 19 captain spoke on Wednesday of his need to leave the Oval following the loss of his flatmate and best pal, who died under a train after fleeing police in London last June.

Hamilton-Brown, 25, believes he can rediscover his drive and love for the game back at Hove, where he spent two years between 2007 and 2009.

Outbound: Rory Hamilton-Brown leaves Surrey for Sussex

Outbound: Rory Hamilton-Brown leaves Surrey for Sussex

'I realised I needed to be in a place where I felt close to people again, where there was that love and care,' he said.

'I had two fantastic years at Sussex and in a funny way, it always felt like home.

'A little part of me wants to think that I’m carrying him with me and that’s going to give you a deeper, harder drive than I’ve had before.'

Tragic: Tom Maynard died at Wimbledon Park Tube station

Tragic: Tom Maynard died at Wimbledon Park Tube station

Atletico Madrid open door for Fernando Torres return from Chelsea

Atletico open door for Torres return while Chelsea given encouragement over Falcao

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

12:45 GMT, 23 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 23 March 2013

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has opened the door for Fernando Torres to return to his former side.

The Chelsea striker made his name in Spain before moving to Liverpool in 2007.

Simeone says he knows how important Torres can be for his side and that because of his roots he knows about what it means to play for Los Rojiblancos.

Struggle: Fernando Torres has not been able to find his feet at Chelsea

Struggle: Fernando Torres has not been able to find his feet at Chelsea

He told Spanish radio station Onda
Cero: 'Fernando Torres is currently playing for another team. We have to
wait for the season to finish and decide which of the available players
could come here and do a good job.

'Fernando knows about the club's history, what it means to play here and I don't need to speak about his ability.

'We were teammates. I know how important he can be.'

Chelsea want Atletico's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao as a replacement. He has scored 25 goals in 28 games for his club this season, including a hat-trick against the Blues in the Super Cup final.

He can be procured for 48million but the Blues would be interested in a part-exchange deal involving Torres.

When asked about Falcao's future, Simeone did not insist the player would be staying at the club.
Instead he reasoned that everybody makes their own decisions and Falcao deserves respect.

Simeone said: 'I'm not Falcao and I'm not his agent. I'm the manager and have the utmost respect for him, because he gave me so much at River Plate and has done the same here.

'He always gives his all and I really respect players who do that. But everyone makes their own decisions in life.

'Every person is different, and we have to respect each other. Those who stay are always going to be the best.'

Can't stop: Radamel Falcao is in absolutely lethal form for club and country

Can't stop: Radamel Falcao is in absolutely lethal form for club and country

Frank: Diego Simeone said that Torres knows the club and he would be an important player

Frank: Diego Simeone said that Torres knows the club and he would be an important player

Peter Shilton drink-driving: England legend banned from road

England legend Peter Shilton banned from road after admitting drink-driving charge

By
Ben Kendall, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

11:58 GMT, 19 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:15 GMT, 19 March 2013

Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton has been banned from the road after admitting drink-driving.

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge during a 15-minute hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning.

The court heard that he was found to have more than double the legal amount of alcohol in his system when he was breathalysed on February 24.

Ban: Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, pictured with his partner Stephanie Hayward, was banned from the road after admitting drink-driving at Colchester Magistrates Court

Ban: Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, pictured with his partner Stephanie Hayward, was banned from the road after admitting drink-driving at Colchester Magistrates Court

He was driving a 2010-registered Jaguar XF near the Essex home of his girlfriend, Stephanie Hayward, at the time and was caught after an anonymous tip-off to police.

As he left court, Shilton, who won a record 125 England caps, said: 'I’ve nothing to say, really – just that I had a very fair hearing.'

He left in a taxi from the nearby Colchester Town railway station.

Magistrate Ilona Perkins-Van Mil banned Shilton from driving for 20 months and ordered him to pay fines and costs totalling 1,020.

The court heard that Shilton had been drinking wine at a family celebration throughout the day but did not think he was over the limit.

Admission: Shilton attended a 15-minute hearing, where he pleaded guilty

Admission: Shilton attended a 15-minute hearing, where he pleaded guilty

Prosecutor Joseph Stickings said police were called to Ms Hayward’s home at about 8.35pm.

They had received an anonymous tip-off that a man, who seemed drunk, had been driving nearby.

'As police were speaking to a woman at the address, Mr Shilton pulled up behind the police car,' Stickings said.

'The officer spoke to him and could smell alcohol on his breath. He was tested and provided a positive breath test.'

Shilton wore a charcoal suit with a tie today and spoke only to confirm his name and address and enter a plea.

He arrived with singer Ms Hayward, who sat in court wearing a black dress with lace sleeves.

Legend Former Nottingham Forest, Stoke and Derby No 1 Shilton represented England a record 125 times

Legend Former Nottingham Forest, Stoke and Derby No 1 Shilton represented England a record 125 times

Paul Tawn, mitigating, said Shilton
would find it difficult to pay any fine because his finances were
'complicated' as he is currently going through a divorce and selling his
house.

He added: 'He’d had a very pleasant day at a family celebration and had consumed wine with meals throughout the day.

'He had gone to move his car closer to his partner’s address because he had an early start.

'He didn’t travel far, just a couple of streets, and wasn’t driving very quickly at all.

'He was aware he had consumed alcohol but it was throughout the day so he did not think he was over the limit – if he had, he would not have pulled up behind the police officer.'

Paying the penalty: Shilton just fails to save a spot-kick during the 1990 World Cup semi-final shootout

Paying the penalty: Shilton just fails to save a spot-kick during the 1990 World Cup semi-final shootout

Tawn described the arrest as a 'matter
of deep regret' for Shilton, who has three points on his licence
following a speeding offence in March 2011.

Perkins-Van Mil warned Shilton he could face custody if he breached the ban and ordered him to pay the fine in full before leaving the building.

As well as appearing 125 times for his country, Shilton played more than 1,000 competitive matches for 11 different clubs including Leicester, Stoke, Nottingham Forest, Derby and Southampton during his career.

Carlos Tevez will appear in court on April 3 charged with driving offences

Tevez handed April court date after being charged with driving offences

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

17:41 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:03 GMT, 13 March 2013

Carlos Tevez has been charged with driving offences and will appear in court next month.

The Manchester City striker arrived at a police station on Wednesday afternoon as he faces further issues with driving in England.

He has now been charged with driving while disqualified and driving without insurance. He will appear at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court on April 3.

Tevez was arrested last week on
suspicion of driving while disqualified, having been banned in January
after pleading guilty to counts of failing to furnish information
relating to incidents in which one of his vehicles was caught speeding.

Visit: Carlos Tevez (pictured at the back of the people carrier) arrives at the police station

Visit: Carlos Tevez (pictured at the back of the people carrier) arrives at the police station

Visit: Carlos Tevez (pictured at the back of the people carrier) arrives at the police station

If found guilty of the latest alleged offence, Tevez could face a six-month prison term.

Earlier today, he arrived in the back of a black people carrier at Cheshire Constabulary Custody Suite in Middlewich.

Tevez will be represented in his driving case by a lawyer who Manchester City staff have dubbed ‘Merlin the Magician’ because of his immaculate record of defending the Barclays Premier League champions’ players from alleged motoring offences.

Tevez’s solicitor Gywn Lewis has been labelled a magician by the club because of his ability to make ‘many worrying cases disappear’, according to law firm Burton Copeland’s website.

Driving force: Carlos Tevez was at City's Carrington training base this afternoon

Driving force: Carlos Tevez was at City's Carrington training base this afternoon

Banned: Tevez was disqualified from driving for speeding offences

Banned: Tevez was disqualified from driving for speeding offences

The Manchester-based law firm’s
website says of the solicitor: 'In an area of law where detail is
paramount, “Merlin the Magician” as he is called by personnel at
Manchester City Football Club for whom he regularly acts, has made many
worrying cases disappear.'

Lewis
is also described by his employers as someone who, over the past 20
years, 'has concentrated on his passion for defending motorists' and
'has developed a track record of unrivalled success, ranging from minor
speeding, traffic light and mobile phone infringements to the most
serious cases of drink driving and death by dangerous driving.'

Former City stars Joey Barton, Shaun
Wright-Phillips and Danny Mills have written testimonials on Burton
Copeland’s specialist website drivingoffences.com

Dazzling: Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick in City's FA Cup tie against Barnsley

Dazzling: Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick in City's FA Cup tie against Barnsley

Wright-Phillips wrote: 'I had need to call upon the services of drivingoffence.com and in particular Gwyn Lewis.

'I can say that I am more than happy with the thoroughly professional way in which they brought my matters to a successful conclusion.'

Despite the alleged driving offence, City manager Roberto Mancini started Tevez in City's 5-0 FA Cup hammering of Barnsley on Saturday.

The Argentina forward scored a tremendous hat-trick and set up goals for team-mates Aleksandar Kolarov and David Silva.

Oscar Pistorius due in court charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius arrives at court charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva SteenkampPistorius has arrived at the Pretoria Magistrates Court
His girlfriend was allegedly shot four times through the bathroom doorIncident happened at his Pretoria mansion, north of Johannesburg
Dead woman is former FHM model Reeva Steenkamp
She was shot several times in the head and hand
Celebrated sprinter spent the night in a police cell before the hearing

Becomes the first double amputee to run at the Olympic Games, reaching the semi-finals of the 400m and the final of the 4x400m. Carries the South African flag at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and then wins a silver and two gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay.

February 2013 Charged with murder after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, is shot dead.

Pistorius's father and sister are in the front row in a heaving court room. His father said Pistorius was 'sad' following the shooting.

Henke Pistorius told SABC radio news: 'I don't know the facts. If anyone makes a statement, it will have to be Oscar. He's sad at the moment.'

The couple had been dubbed the Posh and Becks of South Africa.

The defence is expected to argue that Pistorius is not a flight risk and should be bailed.

Forensic experts are expected to continue examining the house in the upmarket Silver Woods gated community.

Near the home, people who knew Pistorius recalled a much-loved local hero.

'Some of us were in tears,' said Precious, who works at a petrol station where Pistorius used to fill up his McLaren supercar, signing autographs and picking up the tab for people in the convenience store.

'He was just so kind to everyone,' Precious said.

Initial reports suggested the model may
have been mistaken for a burglar, but Brigadier Denise Beukes later said
police were 'very surprised' by that suggestion, adding: 'These
allegations did not come from us.'

There
had been previous incidents of a 'domestic nature' at the property on
the exclusive, gated Silver Lakes Golf Estate in the South African
capital Pretoria, she added. A 9mm pistol was recovered.

Police
spokeswoman Lt Col Katlego Mogale said: 'Paramedics declared the woman
dead on the scene and police proceeded with their investigation.

'The woman sustained wounds to her head and the upper body.'

Police said an application for bail by Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwage would be opposed when he appears in court.

Charged: Pistorius, his head lowered and face covered, leaves the Boschkop police station in Pretoria for a blood test at hospital prior to being taken to court

Charged: Pistorius, his head lowered and face covered, leaves the Boschkop police station in Pretoria for a blood test at hospital prior to being taken to court

Oscar Pistorius with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in Johannesburg, South Africa, in November. Pistorius is due in court today charged with her murder

Murder suspect: Olympic and Paralympic star Reeva Steenkamp, 30, who was shot dead yesterday. The runner is due in court today

Last photo: Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg last Thursday

Last photo: Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a
picture in Johannesburg last Thursday. He has been charged with shooting
her dead in the early hours of yesterday morning

Ominous: The Paralympic sprinter posted this message on Twitter on November 27

Ominous: The Paralympic sprinter posted this message on Twitter on November 27

Dressed
in a grey hooded jacket, tracksuit trousers and trainers, Pistorius,
26, walked with head bowed from the Boschkop police station yesterday
before being taken to Pretoria's Mamelodi Day Hospital in a police
convoy.

Brig Beukes said the medical examination was 'standard procedure'.

Pistorius's spokesman, from the Fast
Track agency in London, said he was 'assisting the police with their
investigations' but no further comment could be made until matters
became clearer.

Initial rumours suggested the shooting may have been a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrong.

The couple had only been going out since November.

Miss Steenkamp, a model and law
graduate, tweeted the day before Valentine's Day: 'What do you have up
your sleeve for your love tomorrow #getexcited #ValentinesDay.'

Pistorius appeared to have serious concerns about his safety and was said to sleep with a revolver by his side.

Incident: Oscar Pistorius is believed to have shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 30, a former FHM model, pictured together on January 26 in Johannesburg

Incident: Oscar Pistorius is believed to have shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 30, a former FHM model, pictured together on January 26 in Johannesburg

Star: Oscar Pistorius has reportedly been arrested this morning having shot his girlfriend in the head and arm, killing her

Star: Oscar Pistorius was arrested yesterday morning accused of having shot his girlfriend in the head and arm, killing her

Sportsmail's Jonathan McEvoy interviewed him last summer and noted: 'This being South Africa, one
baseball bat and one cricket bat lie behind Pistorius's bedroom door.

'A revolver is at his bedside. A machine gun by his window.'

The athlete made history at the London
2012 Olympics becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in the
able-bodied Games, running in the 400m and 4x400m relay.

Beauty: A modelling photo used in Reeva Steenkamp's portfolio. Mr Taylor said that she touched many lives and was headed for stardom'

Beauty: A modelling photo used in Reeva Steenkamp's portfolio. Mr Taylor
said that she 'touched many lives and was headed for stardom'

The star was born without fibulas and underwent below-the-knee amputations at just 11 months old.

He had to win a legal battle over his
blades with the International Association of Athletics Federations
(IAAF) in 2008 for the right to compete in able-bodied competition.

Pistorius's father said his son was 'sad' following the shooting.

Henke Pistorius told SABC radio news:
'I don't know the facts. If anyone makes a statement, it will have to be
Oscar. He's sad at the moment.'

Couple: Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp had been dating for a few months after meeting at a South African awards ceremony

Couple: Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp had been dating for a few months after meeting at a South African awards ceremony

Tweet

Message: Reeva yesterday went on to Twitter to say how excited she was about Valentine's Day

Message: Reeva went on to Twitter to say how excited she was about Valentine's Day

The couple were dubbed the Posh and Becks of South Africa.

On her Twitter biography, Miss
Steenkamp described herself as a 'Model, Cover Girl, Tropika Island Of
Treasure Celeb Contestant, Law Graduate, Child of God'.

Tropika island Of Treasure is a TV show she was due to appear on this weekend.

Model: Reeva Steenkamp had been seeing Oscar since November but had forged her own successful career in South Africa

Model: Reeva Steenkamp had been seeing Oscar since November but had forged her own successful career in South Africa

Reeva

Reeva

Famous: The 30-year-old has 3,000 followers on Twitter and is a law graduate from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Last appearance: Reeva Steenkamp was photographed at the Virgin Active Sports Industry Awards in Johannesburg a week ago

Last appearance: Reeva Steenkamp was photographed at the Virgin Active Sports Industry Awards in Johannesburg a week ago

Last appearance: Reeva Steenkamp was
photographed at the Virgin Active Sports Industry Awards in Johannesburg
a week ago (left) and was often showing her own snaps on Twitter

Miss Steenkamp's publicist Sarit
Tomlinson paid tribute to her, saying she was 'the sweetest human being
and an absolute angel on earth'.

She added: 'She was the kindest, most unbelievable girl.'

She told Sky News: 'It's shocking. No one knows what happened. We're waiting for information.

South African newspapers plastered the killing across their front pages, relegating a State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma in parliament to a distant second.

The coverage reflected shock and dismay at the fall of a sporting hero who commanded rare respect on all sides of South Africa's racial divides.

'Golden Boy Loses Shine' ran a front page headline in the Sowetan, beside a picture of Pistorius, head bowed in a grey hooded tracksuit being led away from a police station.

Callers to morning radio shows expressed remorse at the death of Steenkamp, who had been due to give a talk at a Johannesburg school this week about violence against women.

There was also widespread disbelief at the fate of a sporting legend regarded as a genuinely 'good guy'.

'How is it possible for one so high to fall so low so quickly' Talk Radio 702 host John Robbie said.

Home: Neighbours of the athlete say they heard noise from the house (pictured today) just before the authorities arrived

Home: Neighbours of the athlete say they heard noise from the house (pictured yesterday) just before the authorities arrived

Location: Pistorius's home is inside a gated housing complex with a nature reserve, golf course and lots of green space, all within high walls

Location: Pistorius's home is inside a gated housing complex with a nature reserve, golf course and lots of green space, all within high walls

Police: South African police vehicles enter the Siverwoods security estate in Pretoria East where famous South African paralympic and Olympic sprinter, Oscar Pistorius

Police: South African police vehicles enter the Silverwoods security
estate in Pretoria East where famous South African paralympic and
Olympic sprinter, Oscar Pistorius, allegedly shot and killed his
girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Investigation: Police spokeswoman Denise Beukes confirmed the celebrated athlete was in custody charged with murder

Investigation: Police spokeswoman Denise Beukes confirmed the celebrated athlete was in custody charged with murder

'There are people we are waiting to speak to, to validate some of the stories.'

Asked about Miss Steenkamp's
relationship with Pistorius, Ms Tomlinson said: 'They had been together
for a couple of months and it's been a fabulous relationship – a
healthy, fabulous relationship.'

Miss Steenkamp's friend Mashadi Motsogi broke down in tears.

The distressed model said she heard the news of Miss Steenkamp's death on Twitter.

'I have lost a friend,' she said, telling reporters that Miss Steenkamp's death in a secure complex did not make sense.

'Look, security here is safe. We moved
to this area for security reasons. It does not make sense to me that my
friend was shot, mistaken for an intruder.'

Advert: An image on Pistorius's website for his sponsor Nike linked to his love of shooting has been removed today

Advert: An image on Pistorius's website for his sponsor Nike, linked to his love of shooting, has been removed

Adverts for television coverage of the Oscars featuring Oscar Pistorius were seen being pulled down in Johannesburg today

Adverts for television coverage of the Oscars featuring Oscar Pistorius were seen being pulled down in Johannesburg

Workmen move quickly to replace the roadside posters in the South Africa city

Workmen move quickly to replace the roadside posters in the South Africa city

Oscar Pistorius' sister, Aimee, left, leaves the Mamelodi Hospital, east of Pretoria where she visited her brother while he was being examined earlier today

Oscar Pistorius' sister, Aimee, left, leaves the Mamelodi Hospital, east
of Pretoria where she visited her brother while he was being examined
earlier

Incident: Oscar Pistorius with Reeva Steenkamp, 30, a former FHM model who is believed to have been shot dead today

Famous: Reeva Steenkamp worked primarily for Ice Model Management in Johannesburg, who expressed their distress at her death today

Incident: Oscar Pistorius is accused of murdering Reeva Steenkamp, 30, a high profile model, pictured together in November at an awards ceremony, and right, doing her job

Scene: Police were called to Oscar's home, pictured, at 4am where a 30-year-old woman was treated by paramedics but died there

Scene: Police were called to Oscar's home, pictured, at 4am where a 30-year-old woman was treated by paramedics but died there

Death: Oscar Pistorius on his Pretoria at his house in Pretoria, where a woman believed to be his girlfriend was found shot dead today

Death: Oscar Pistorius on his Pretoria at his house in Pretoria, where a woman believed to be his girlfriend was found shot dead

Grand: Mr Pistorius lives in a large farm in Pretoria, which is surrounded by high walls and armed guards

Grand: Mr Pistorius lives in a large farm in Pretoria, which is surrounded by high walls and armed guards

Family members of Oscar Pistorius were pictured outside the police station where he was being held

Oscar Pistorius's brother was seen outside the police station in South Africa tonight

Family members of Oscar Pistorius, including his brother (right), were pictured outside the police station where he was being held

Winner: Oscar Pistorius celebrates with his gold medal following the men's 400m win at London 2012

Winner: Oscar Pistorius celebrates with his gold medal following the men's 400m win at London 2012

Icon: The athlete has done more than anyone to promote disabled sport and is one of the world's most famous athletes

Icon: The athlete has done more than anyone to promote disabled sport and is one of the world's most famous athletes

Custody: Clothes hang out of prison cells at the Pretoria Central Prison, where Oscar Pistorius is allegedly being held before his court appearance

Custody: Clothes hang out of prison cells at the Pretoria Central Prison, where Oscar Pistorius is allegedly being held before his court appearance today

VIDEO People react in shock to news of Reeva Steenkamp's death

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VIDEO Pistorius leaves police station after murder charge…

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VIDEO Police detail 'previous domestic incidents' in Pistorius home

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VIDEO FHM Model Reeva was due to star in upcoming Tropika Island of Treasure

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VIDEO Model Reeva Steenkamp speaks at a Malibu event

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Oscar Pistorius shooting: How the South African icon was driven by anger

Icon who fell to earth: Poster boy Pistorius had scars that ran so deep

During an interview with Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria last year, our conversation turned to how the South African’s prosthetic legs affected the way he runs. Pistorius had been training on the grass track at the city’s university and it was striking that he moved in an ungainly, fidgety way.

He shifted his weight from side to side when he was not running. Those 2,600 carbon-fibre blades defined him as one of the most iconic athletes on the planet, but they looked cumbersome; painful even.

Questions turned to how being a double amputee impacted on his training regime. How was he able to compete with rivals who were born with fibulae, the bones that connect your knees to your ankles

Historic: Oscar Pistorius in Olympic action in London last year

Historic: Oscar Pistorius in Olympic action in London last year

Pistorius’s oft-repeated argument for his inclusion in able-bodied athletics was ‘there are tens of thousands of people using the same prosthetics I use and there’s no-one running the same times’, but what made Pistorius different from the rest

When asked what it would mean to become the first double amputee to run at the Olympic Games, a remarkable feat he duly achieved some five months later, it was clear he was irritated. Suddenly, the mild exterior of one of sport’s most famous faces clouded over. Pistorius became fractious and prickly.

‘It’s pretty similar to any other athlete,’ said Pistorius. ‘I think it’s a reward for any athlete, after years of training, to progress to a competition like that.’

In the spotlight: Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria

In the spotlight: Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria

In the spotlight: Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria

He was not being modest, just evasive. Pistorius, after all, was not just ‘any athlete’. He redefined what it is to run fast. He challenged the traditional perception of what a sprinter looks like.

Inspirational is a word too often attached to athletes, but it is a description that accurately reflects what Pistorius has achieved on a 400metre track.

His parents took the decision to have his legs amputated below the knees when he was just 11 months old, yet he became a symbol of battling against adversity, recognised across the globe.

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

The speed of Pistorius’s rise to prominence has only been beaten by the swiftness with which he has fallen since reports came in of the shooting in the early hours of Thursday morning.

In 2007, the IAAF, athletics’ governing body, said Pistorius’s prosthesic limbs gave him an unfair advantage but he fought the ruling and saw it overturned the following year.

He did not just challenge legislation, however, he transcended athletics and certainly Para-athletics, testing ideas and dividing opinion about what is right and wrong and acceptable in competitive sport.

Happier times: Oscar Pistorius had been with girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for a couple of months

Happier times: Oscar Pistorius had been with girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for a couple of months

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE BLADE RUNNER

Born November 1986 without the fibula, the bone that connects the knee to the ankle, in each leg. Has both legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday.

January 2004 Takes up athletics, initially to recover from a rugby injury.

June 2004 Receives his first pair of Ossur Flex-Foot Cheetah legs, Pistorius’ blades.

August 2004 Wins gold and bronze in the T44 200m and 100m at the Paralympics in Athens.

July 2007 Competes for the first time internationally against able-bodied athletes in Rome.

November 2007 Undergoes clinical tests and is then banned from IAAF competition. The organisation say Pistorius’ blades give him an unfair advantage.

May 2008 The Court of Arbitration for Sport over-rules the IAAF decision.

September 2008 Misses qualification for the Olympics by 0.7secs, but wins three golds at the Paralympics in Beijing.

January 2011 Wins three IPC world titles but loses for the first time in seven years over 100m.

August 2011 Qualifies for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu. Wins silver in the 4x400m relay, but misses out on a place in South Africa’s team for the final.

August 2012 Becomes the first double amputee to run at the Olympic Games, reaching the semi-finals of the 400m and the final of the 4x400m. Carries the South African flag at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and then wins a silver and two gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay.

February 2013 Charged with murder after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, is shot dead.

SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD MINE

Pistorius’ exploits made him the most famous Paralympic athlete on the planet and one of the sports’ top earners.

Estimated net worth: 3.2million

Estimated sponsorship deals: 3m (inc Nike and BT)

He is the highest-paid Paralympian in the world and last year was rated the eighth highest-paid Olympic athlete.

Yet, despite the countless awards and myriad appearances on chat shows and glossy magazines around the world in his crusade to be seen as a role model, the Blade Runner’s brand continued to be underpinned by his achievements on the track.

His attempt to break the 45-second barrier was set to continue this season before yesterday’s events. Pistorius had spent the last month training with British 400m runner Martyn Rooney in South Africa and was scheduled to contest two events in Australia in March.

He seemed calmer and more at ease than in the frenzied run-up to London 2012 but the burning desire to achieve, the drive that saw him lose 17kg in weight and change his body shape dramatically, remained.

Pistorius has never been afraid to set himself targets. He won three Paralympic gold medals in Beijing after failing to qualify for the Olympics and then told the world he would not miss out again in London. That he achieved that dream by reaching the semi-finals of the 400m is a testament to his self-belief and determination.

Seeing Pistorius swap race numbers with Kirani James, who eventually won 400m gold, after their semi-final provided one of the most touching moments of the Games, yet the South African’s participation was always going to be more significant than his performance.

It was not until the Paralympics that we saw the true sporting icon Pistorius had become. He was the poster boy of the Games; the good-looking South African plastered over adverts for Nike, Thierry Mugler, Oakley and BT in deals worth an estimated 3m a year, a figure that ranks him among athletics’ top earners.

When I visited him last February there was a copy of GQ magazine on the coffee table, heralding Pistorius as South Africa’s best-dressed man. The Blade Runner was the first and, possibly, only Paralympian whom many would have been able to name before the Games began. But then, suddenly, the halo slipped.

Pistorius lost his T44 200m crown to Alan Oliveira and claimed that the Brazilian’s blades were too long. His comments were not only ironic, given his continued insistence that blades did not give him an unfair advantage, but unsportsmanlike and deeply disrespectful. Yet, in the eyes of many, his outburst was the moment the Paralympics became relevant. This was elite sport we could relate to, argue over and dissect. And Pistorius was at the heart of it.

He comfortably retained his 400m crown and won another gold medal in the 4 x 100m relay, but he lost his 100m title in the stand-out race of the Paralympics. It was not Oscar’s name but that of 19-year-old Briton, Jonnie Peacock that was chanted by the sell-out crowd in the Olympic Stadium that evening.

Would there, though, have been a Jonnie without Oscar, the athlete Peacock has described as his ‘hero’ It was Pistorflius’s extraordinary sporting story that seemed to make it possible for a teenager from Cambridge who contracted meningitis when he was five years old.

And now the remarkable narrative of a quite extraordinary athlete has taken the most unimaginable twist.

A BLOODY HISTORY OF TALENT AND TRAGEDY…

Rugby star killed his daughter
Former Springbok rugby player accidentally shot dead his 19-year-old daughter when he mistook her for a car thief in 2004. Her Volkswagen Golf was being driven out of the driveway of their family home at 5am and he shot the driver from his bedroom window, thinking his daughter Marle was in bed.

Troubled end for Belcher
In December 2012, Jovan Belcher, a 25-year-old line-backer for the Kansas City Chiefs, shot his girlfriend dead before driving to the training ground and killing himself in front of his coach. The couple had a three-month-old child.

Life in prison for pitcher Ogawa
Japanese baseball pitcher Hiroshi Ogawa was convicted in September 2005 of killing a 67-year-old woman and was sentenced to life in prison. Deeply in debt, Ogawa stole $20,000 from the chairman of an industrial plant and pushed the housekeeper down the stairs before drowning her in a lake.

Did OJ get away with murder
In June 1994, NFL Hall of Famer OJ Simpson (below) was arrested for the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman but was eventually acquitted. In 2008 he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping and is currently serving 33 years.

Rozier’s seven murders
Former American footballer Robert Rozier played for St Louis Cardinals before joining black supremacist cult ‘The Brotherhood’. He admitted to seven murders and was jailed for 22 years in October 1986 after agreeing to testify against other members of the organisation.

'Suicide bid’ went wrong
Jamaican fast bowler Leslie Hylton, who played in six Tests for the West Indies against England, taking 16 wickets, was hanged in May 1955 for the murder of his wife and remains the only cricketer to have ever been executed. Hylton claimed he had been trying to shoot himself but missed.

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina acts out pre-match rituals

Reina's rituals: Liverpool No 1 acts out pre-match superstitions on TV show… but will it be enough to stop Van Persie

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

10:31 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:37 GMT, 10 January 2013

As a goalkeeper coming up against the Barclays Premier League's most in-form striker this weekend, Liverpool's Pepe Reina will need all the help he can get.

Thankfully, the Spaniard will be very thorough in his preparations as he bids to thwart Manchester United's Robin van Persie at Old Trafford.

The superstitious keeper talked through his elaborate pre-match rituals on a Spanish television show this week, proving that he leaves absolutely nothing to chance.

Scroll down for video

Superstitious: Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina goes through an elaborate series of rituals before kick-off and showed them on a Spanish TV show

Superstitious: Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina goes through an elaborate series of rituals before kick-off and showed them on a Spanish TV show

To howls of laughter from the studio audience, Reina acted out the routine he will perform when he reaches the goalmouth ahead of kick-off on Sunday afternoon.

He touches the turf and then crosses himself, knocks both posts and the crossbar, before pacing out four strides into his six-yard area.

Reina then limbers up with some squat thrusts and a couple of shimmies to get the muscles warm.

But as he revealed in his autobiography last year, Reina's rituals start the evening before when he eats two ham and cheese toasties and drinks a glass of wine to help him sleep.

Driven: Reina ensures his car is full of petrol before every home matchday

Driven: Reina ensures his car is full of petrol before every home matchday

But it's on home match days that things start to get a little weird. He wrote: 'I get up and have a shower, put my suit on and then head out to the car to buy petrol that I usually don't need.

'Six hours before kick-off at Anfield, and before I can even think about the game, I have to get to a petrol station.

'After getting in the car, I turn the engine on and look at the fuel gauge.

'It was almost full. I still need petrol, though, so I head to the same garage that I always go to when Liverpool are at home, a small filling station almost exactly halfway between my home and the stadium.

Success: Reina is a World Cup winner, so perhaps his elaborate rituals do work

Success: Reina is a World Cup winner, so perhaps his elaborate rituals do work

'I get there, open the petrol cap and begin to refuel. I am only at the pump for 20 seconds or so before the tank is full, so I go in to pay. The cashier gives me a bit of a funny look.

'To be fair, I cannot blame him. I have just pulled on to his forecourt, queued up for five minutes behind other motorists and all for 8 worth of petrol, just so my tank is full to the brim.

'He does not know it, but I do the same thing before every home game. It's one of countless rituals I have to perform to make sure I am in the right frame of mind to play for Liverpool.

'My desperation for success makes me superstitious.'

VIDEO: Reina acts out his pre-match routine on TV show (in Spanish)

Full steam ahead for Arsenal after extra Xmas break – Michael Walker"s Something for the Weekend

Something for the Weekend: Full steam ahead for Arsenal after extra break at Christmas and why Coventry and Bristol Rovers are proving to be such a sell out

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UPDATED:

09:27 GMT, 28 December 2012

Every Friday, Michael Walker will pick out 10 things to look forward to over the footballing weekend.

This week: why Arsenal have an advantage ahead of their game against Newcastle, while former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy returns to Molineux intent on piling more pressure on his former club. And then there's the great Coventry City ticket rush…

1. When Herbert Chapman was manager of Arsenal he famously persuaded London Underground to change the name of the local Tube station from Gillespie Road to ‘Arsenal’. This seems relevant given that Arsenal have a Tube-related benefit again tomorrow against Newcastle United.

The postponement of Arsenal’s game against West Ham on Wednesday due to the Tube strike means that Arsene Wenger’s players have had seven days since they played at Wigan.

/12/28/article-2253898-00124D4400000258-402_634x435.jpg” width=”634″ height=”435″ alt=”Herbert Chapman was successful in changing the name of the local tube station to 'Arsenal' in his time as manager in the 20's and 30's” class=”blkBorder” />

Herbert Chapman was successful in changing the name of the local tube station to 'Arsenal' in his time as manager in the 20's and 30's

Arsenal station will be open for business, while Newcastle will be hoping to avoid going down the tubes

Arsenal station will be open for business, while Newcastle will be hoping to avoid going down the tubes

2. Everton-Chelsea on Sunday is the stand-out Premier League game of the weekend. Rafa goes back to Liverpool and should get a hearty welcome at Goodison Park.

Benitez will see familiar sights, such as the corridor where a Chelsea predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti, was sacked.

3. Mick McCarthy is another returning manager. He goes back to Molineux tomorrow as Ipswich Town boss and will pile pressure on his Wolverhampton successor Stale Solbakken with an away win.

Wolves lost 3-0 at home to Peterborough United on Wednesday. McCarthy got the club promoted to the Premier League and kept them there for three seasons. Wolves are now 14th in the Championship.

Mick McCarthy celebrates with Stephen Ward after Wolves beat Blackburn in May 2011

Mick McCarthy celebrates with Stephen Ward after Wolves beat Blackburn in May 2011

4. Kenny Jackett once managed Swansea. That is enough to ensure he will get 'a reception' when he takes Millwall to Cardiff tomorrow afternoon.

One imagines that will be the least of South Wales police concerns.

5. Home banker alert: in League One it is Sheffield United (top) against Hartlepool United (bottom).

The Blades have scored 21 goals in 12 home games; Hartlepool have conceded 24 goals in 12 away games. The Blades haven’t lost at home; Hartlepool haven’t won away.

Sheffield United Manager, Danny Wilson looks on

Top job: Danny Wilson has taken the Blades to the League One summit after three victories in their last four league games

6. Home banker warning: the biggest surprise (Sean O’Driscoll apart) from midweek came in League Two where Barnet won 1-0 at leaders Gillingham.

Barnet have now won consecutive matches and go to Exeter tomorrow.

7. Barnet’s new six points means they are no longer 92nd of 92. Bristol Rovers have that dubious
honour. They also have very good fans. It falls into the fairly staggering category that for
tomorrow’s trip to Cheltenham, Bristol Rovers were given 1,419 and have sold every one of them.

Edgar Davids in training at Barnet and they are now off the bottom of the league

Edgar Davids in training at Barnet and they are now off the bottom of the league

8. Coventry City are another to have sold out their allocation of tickets for tomorrow, which again is
fairly staggering.

The initial 3,000 tickets for the match at MK Dons went and 2,000 more are on sale now. City are expected to make an announcement about their residence at the Ricoh Arena today (Friday).

9. Sunday’s other Premier League game is QPR-Liverpool. It is over eight years since Djibril Cisse cost 14m when he moved to Anfield.

His transfer was not considered a success, particularly when he went from September 25th to May 15th in his first season without scoring.

But Cisse made the bench in Istanbul, then came off it, then scored Liverpool’s second penalty in the shoot-out.

Cisse scores from the spot as Liverpool win the European Cup in 2005

Cisse scores from the spot as Liverpool win the European Cup in 2005

Cisse shows off his medal and now he will be hoping to shoot down Liverpool

Cisse shows off his medal and now he will be hoping to shoot down Liverpool

10. Rangers, the Glasgow version, have occasions as much as matches this season. Today sees them back at Hampden Park, where once they would visit annually to battle for silverware.

Today it’s a Scottish Third Division fixture against Queen’s Park. Rangers are expected to take 30,000 fans across Glasgow to the scene of the summer vote expelling them from the SPL.

Rafa Benitez: Winning will silence Chelsea fans

Only winning will silence abuse from Chelsea fans, admits Benitez

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UPDATED:

12:13 GMT, 21 December 2012

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has admitted he does not understand the supporters who still abuse him in the stands and chant the name of former boss Roberto Di Matteo.

The Spaniard has been subjected to taunts from the Stamford Bridge crowd since his first game in charge, a 0-0 draw with Manchester City last month.

But Benitez, who led Chelsea to a 5-1 win over Leeds in the Capital One Cup in midweek, hopes improved results can silence the doubters.

In the hotseat: Rafa Benitez told Spanish radio he plans to silence the Chelsea doubters

In the hotseat: Rafa Benitez told Spanish radio he plans to silence the Chelsea doubters

'I have a challenge, that is to win and do well, it’s about time to
convince many,' he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

'If we can win, convincing will be easier, it says “be
quiet”, sometimes I do not understand the songs (fans sing against him),
I’m focused on the game and do not know what happens in the stands.'

Benitez has also brought about an improvement in maligned striker Fernando Torres with his Spanish counterpart scoring six goals in his last five games.

Under fire: Rafa Benitez has been abused by the Chelsea fans who preferred Roberto Di Mateo (below)

Under fire: Rafa Benitez has been abused by the Chelsea fans who preferred Roberto Di Mateo (below)

Roberto Di Matteo

'Fernando is working very hard, I have the ability to talk to him in
Spanish, but he can still improve and he knows it.

'We are making small
adjustments to the tactics and motivation, and Torres is trying to help
the team a lot. His main job has to be to attack and be as close as
possible to the area.'

Former Liverpool manager Benitez also admitted it can be difficult to adapt to England after spending so long in Spain.

Helping hand: Benitez has brought the best of Fernando Torres after linking up with the striker again

Helping hand: Benitez has brought the best of Fernando Torres after linking up with the striker again

'I spent 20 years in Spain and six here, and it is a very nice place but you have to adapt, if you don’t it is very difficult to bring players, the family does not fit,' he added.

'There is a lot of tradition, it’s all very endearing, it’s a very beautiful place. In England football is lived differently and to train here is very nice.'

Demba Ba escapes fine for radio interview

No fine for Ba despite Newcastle striker critising club in radio interview

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 20 December 2012

Newcastle United striker Demba Ba has escaped a club fine for his controversial interview with a French television station this week.

The Senegal international, who appeared to indicate he was looking to join Arsenal and was critical of the team’s style of football, has avoided punishment for the interview with L'Equipe du Dimanche, a show on Canal+.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, and club executives, have studied the interview this week and decided he has not breached any club rules.

Blunder: Ba criticised Newcastle on a French radio station

Blunder: Ba criticised Newcastle on a French radio station

Ba, who is refusing to sign a new deal with Newcastle to replace the 7.5million release clause in his current deal, claimed the team's 'long ball football' had damaged their league campaign this season.

Last season Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa was fined after he criticised the team's style of play following a 3-0 win over Manchester United.

But Pardew said then: 'I didn’t see anything wrong with his interview.

'I don’t think any player at any football club is going to say their philosophy is the same as the manager.

No fine: Pardew was understanding of his star striker

No fine: Pardew was understanding of his star striker

'I didn’t when I was working with Steve Coppell (at Crystal Palace) I was the same but I still admired him and understood what he is about and learned a great deal off him.'

As doubts remain over Ba’s future at St James’s Park, Newcastle have again be linked with a reunion with England striker Andy Carroll.

According to newspaper reports, the Geordie striker is keen on a return to Tyneside after an unhappy move to Liverpool and his current loan spell with West Ham.

But he would need special dispensation to return to Newcastle in the next transfer window because he has played for two Premier League teams.