Tag Archives: street

Wilfried Bony chased by West Ham, Fulham, Stoke and Everton

Trio of Premier League sides join West Ham in race for 12m-rated Ivorian hitman Bony

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

23:00 GMT, 24 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 25 March 2013

Premier League clubs are bettling each other race to sign scoring sensation Wilfried Bony, who is pushing for a move to the English top flight next season.

The Ivory Coast striker, rated at around 12million, has been in prolific from for Vitesse Arnhem this season and is the top scorer in Holland with 26 goals in 24 league games.

His contract runs until 2015 but Sportsmail understands his agent is in talks with at least four Premier League clubs — West Ham, Fulham, Stoke and Everton — and hopes to complete a deal by the end of the week.

Strike rate: Bony (right), seen here in action for Ivory Coast, has scored 26 goals in 24 games this term

Strike rate: Bony (right), seen here in action for Ivory Coast, has scored 26 goals in 24 games this term

Eredivisie: Top 5

The 24-year-old tried to leave Vitesse
in January, but the club held firm and insisted he continued to help
the club push for a Champions League spot for next season.

Since his 4million move from Sparta
Prague at the beginning of 2011, Bony has scored 46 times in 63
appearances for Vitesse — including an amazing recent run which has seen
him net 10 goals in his last six games.

Were West Ham to land him for around
12m it would smash their previous transfer record of buying Matt Jarvis
from Wolves for 10.75m.

Bony learned the game by playing
street football called ‘Maracana’, competing in city competitions before
spending three years at the Cyrille Domoraud football Academy located
in the city of Bingerville, in south-east Ivory Coast.

Options: Sam Allardyce will be looking for more firepower, with his side netting just 32 goals this season

Options: Sam Allardyce will be looking for more firepower, with his side netting just 32 goals this season

Brian Jacks: The superstar of Superstars is now running a hotel in Thailand and doing magic tricks

Brian Jacks the entertainer: Four-time champion of Superstars and king of the dips is now running a hotel in Thailand and doing magic tricks

|

UPDATED:

00:20 GMT, 29 December 2012

Brian Jacks has just made a glass disappear through a wooden table when he comes to hypnotise me. I am looking at a white mark above a door and swaying sideways, and backwards and forwards, my eyelids heavy, my knees weak and my arms loose before he grabs me. I briefly fall under his spell.

An Only Fools and Horses actor is with us but for now all eyes are turned on Jacks, the superstar of Superstars, as he goes through his repertoire of magic tricks. Cards, coins and notes all feature in the conjuring act.

Work those quads: Superstars legend Jacks has been in Thailand for 13 years

Work those quads: Superstars legend Jacks has been in Thailand for 13 years

We are about four miles out of Pattaya, a sun-kissed, crescent-shaped bay on the Gulf of Thailand. This humid resort, a former fishing town an hour-and-a-half's drive from Bangkok, is home to go-go bars, massage parlours and sauna joints in the neon-lit twilight world close to the shady trees of a promenade strewn with women – or indeed drag queens – of the night.

Away from the centre of Sin City in a quieter, residential area known as Darkside for no more intriguing a reason than that the street lighting barely extends here, one of the most famous sporting faces British television has produced wakes early each morning to live his dream.

Brian Albert Jacks, judo champion, master of the squat thrust and king of the dips, owns apartments here – exactly 69 of them – which he rents out to expats, many of them eking out sunny retirements on meagre pensions.

Patrick Murray, better known to us as Mickey Pearce, who wore a pork-pie hat in Only Fools and Horses, now 56, slim, greying, chain-smoking but thankfully off alcohol after more than a decade fighting addiction, is one of the patrons paying between 110 and 150 a month to stay in the premises that Jacks designed.

Horse power: Jacks riding 'Copy', Kerry Packers' former polo pony

Horse power: Jacks riding 'Copy', Kerry Packers' former polo pony

Famous faces: Jacks and his friend Patrick Murray (Mickey Pearce from Only Fools and Horses)

Famous faces: Jacks and his friend Patrick Murray (Mickey Pearce from Only Fools and Horses)

Snooker's Jimmy White is another
occasional caller. Three-quarters of Jacks's clientele are Britons, the
rest mostly Europeans, a couple of them American or Canadian.

An obliging chap called Odd -Jacks's trusty helper – has driven me here
from Beach Road and the Hilton hotel's balcony view of that
sun-drenched bay. Jacks comes out to greet me by extending a hand as
thick as a fillet steak. His features are slightly worn by sun and age,
as well they might be at 66. But he is otherwise a picture of enduring
athleticism. His weight, 81kg or 12st 7lb, is precisely the same as when
he was a 21-year-old Olympic judoka. When he rolls up his shirt
sleeves, his biceps still bulge.

Golf clubs lean on the office wall. Books fill up shelves. A picture
montage of his previous life in Britain shows him mingling with the
stars of sport and entertainment from the Sixties, Seventies and
Eighties: Freddie Starr, Hale and Pace, Kenny Sansom, Mary Rand, Frank
Bruno, Ian St John, Sir Bobby Charlton, David Lloyd, Sir John Mills,
Steve Davis, Frankie Vaughan, Vic Charles, Eric Bristow and Princess
Anne.

So why, he wonders, have we flown all this way to visit him

I explain that a new Olympic edition of Superstars was filmed in Bath
last month. It is due to be aired this evening. Mo Farah, the Brownlee
brothers, Christine Ohuruogu and Jade Jones are among the BBC's cast
list. So what better moment to catch up with the orange-sucking legend
of the show

'I have been over here for 13 years,'
says Jacks. 'It's bliss. I wake up every day and it is a joy to be
alive. I can't wait for dawn to break.

Big dipper: Jacks breaking the World Arm-Dip record

Big dipper: Jacks breaking the World Arm-Dip record

All stars: Jacks with Sharon Davies, Bob Goody and Wayne Laryea

All stars: Jacks with Sharon Davies, Bob Goody and Wayne Laryea

'I love Britain. I got emotional when I won medals and heard the
National Anthem, but I was fed up with the country, too. I was fed up
with the way it had become.

'I was fed up with the ridiculous health and safety regulations. I was
fed up with the government taking more and more in taxes. And I was fed
up with the cold weather. I was fed up with immigration getting out of
control.

'Take health and
safety. I ran a judo club in Orpington in Kent for 20-odd years. One day
a woman health and safety inspector from Bromley Council came into my
office and asked, ''What's this''

'I said it was a fridge.

'She said, ''What temperature is it''

'I replied, ''I don't know, it's pretty cold''.

'She told me I should put a jelly in there with a thermometer in it.
Can you believe it I only kept my milk in there to have a cup of tea.

'She then spoke to me about the wash
basin. She asked which the cold tap was and which the hot tap was. I
told her the hot one was the one with red on it and the cold one was the
one with blue on it.

'She
said that was no good because blind people couldn't tell which was
which. I told her we didn't have any blind people playing judo.

'She said I should still put a sign up. I said if people were blind
they wouldn't see it. She said it must be in braille. Well, if they were
blind, how would they know where the sign was

Promise: Jacks the young Judo expert

Youthful: Jacks the young Judo expert

Feeling sleepy: Sportsmail's McEvoy (left) is hypnotised by Jacks

Feeling sleepy: Sportsmail's McEvoy (left) is hypnotised by Jacks

'I was getting pretty irritated by her asking all these stupid
questions and she ended up going off in a huff. So then the council sent
round people to test for Legionnaires' disease and then for asbestos. I
had been hiring this building from the council for 24 years and they
suddenly send three lots of people round in the space of a few days.
This is typical of things that are going on in Britain.

'I was a PE teacher and in the end you had to write to parents asking
their permission to put a badly behaved boy on detention. I was strict.
That is the way it should be. I said what was needed. And all these
stupid rules were getting me really annoyed.

'In Thailand I know where I stand. I report in every three months. If I don't, they deport me. End of story.'

Jacks does not want to dwell too long on the negatives. He thinks of
the tapioca, pineapple and mango he can pick in the fields that surround
his apartments and the nearby house he shares with his 46-year-old
wife, Lek.

'In Britain you
can play golf sensibly for five months of the year,' he adds. 'Here
you can play every day – and for a pittance. Within 45 minutes there are
27 golf courses. That is the major reason I am here.

'I am not as good a player as I'd like to be but I am a very
competitive person and it provides me with the competition I need. My
handicap fluctuates between eight and 12. It depends, shall we say, on
the rub of the green.'

Golf usually comes in the afternoon –
virtually every afternoon – but the days start early. He jumps on his
quad bike and charges via road and dirt track to a farm, owned by a
local police chief, to feed his horses.

The biggest and oldest of them is Replica. KP is stamped on the side,
signifying that this old polo horse belonged to the late Australian
magnate Kerry Packer. Replica is known as Copy because Thais cannot
manage his full name.

Video: Jacks the big dipper

Hell
is the second horse, but it is Max, young and white, who is mad. He was
broken in by Jacks himself with skills he learned riding with his
'inspirational' late father Albert, a London cabbie.

Jacks only rides occasionally now, his
fragile back too precious to his golfing enjoyment to be gambled with.
He has not been in a gym for years.

Back apart, his body is in good nick.
The warm weather helps his arthritis. His knees feel strong despite 11
cartilage operations. He drinks sparingly. Surprisingly, he rolls the
odd cigarette.

Over dinner
he recalls the old times. How, aged nine, watching his dad in a judo
competition sparked his interest in the sport. How he went to Japan to
improve his judo at the age of 15 years and two days. The Daily Mail
cutting of his trip to live with Mr Ichiro Hatta hangs on his house
wall. The article records how Jacks had recently broken his leg in a
rugby accident and suffered a second serious accident involving a
pane-glass window yet was still crowned national junior champion.

While in Japan, he bought a Harris Tweed coat, glasses and pipe from
the pawn shop on the American military base so that he looked old
enough to teach English as a foreign language.

'I hadn't got a clue what I was doing,' he recalls. 'I just did Old
MacDonald Had a Farm and stuff like that. There are probably still some
Japanese people over there speaking with a Cockney accent.'

He WON Britain's first judo world championship medal in Salt Lake in
1967 and another bronze at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, the global
highlights of a career in which he also won six European medals,
including two golds.

Then,
of course, there was Superstars. In that, Jacks won the British final
in 1979 and 1980 as well as the European and international titles the
same years. It is for his epic performances on the parallel bar dips (a
best of 100 in 60sec) and squat thrusts (118) that he will be longest
remembered.

Video: Jacks and sliding squat thrusts

He recalls that Philips sponsored the show, giving contestants a colour TV if they set a world record. Jacks managed the feat so regularly he had nine of them. 'I told them, ''I'm sick of the bloody things, can't I have a fridge instead” I used to do 400 dips in the course of an hour, building up each day how many I could do in one go. Then I would do thrusts, 400 of them. I trained hard. I loved it.

'I went down with my training partners to Crystal Palace for 6am in my Granada estate with my canoes and bikes on it. I would spend one hour in the canoe towing a dustbin for the 125m sprint. The canoes would go back on the car.

'Then we would get the bikes off the back and ride them for an hour. Then breakfast. Then basketball dribbling and crossbow or longbow practice while the food went down before weightlifting – clean and jerk. Then I'd swim for 45 minutes.

'I was off then from 2 to 6.30pm and then I'd train in the judo club for three hours.

'I liked all the guys I competed against – John Conteh, Allan Wells, Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett, David Hemery.

'Lynn Davies, the (1964 Olympic) long jump gold medallist, was a great athlete and a gentleman. He was the toughest rival, not because he was the most powerful but because he was the most wonderful competitor. He was good at so many disciplines.

'Malcolm Macdonald was a great sprinter – he did the 100m in 10.9sec – but wasn't so good at the other events. You could choose which two disciplines from the 10 to drop and I was not built for sprinting or cross-country running so didn't do them. We all got on so well. There was only one person I didn't like and that was Daley Thompson. Do you know what, I brought 60 kids along from the judo club and he wouldn't sign one autograph He was an arrogant, big-headed *******.

'I remember when he put his watch down in front of him before he was doing the squats. Do you think that would help him Ridiculous.

'So when it was my turn I put my orange down – as if that would help me – just to show what an idiot he was. I did 35 more than him. He tried to keep up with my training but he couldn't.

'But I have so many memories. There was
Kevin Keegan falling off his bike on the cinder track and burning
himself. They filmed three heats on that same day and I had got within
1.2sec of the actual cycling world record for one lap. There was Alan
Minter in his canoe going straight into the rhododendron bushes. Stan
Bowles put his 2.2 pistol down and it went off – blowing a hole in the
table.

Video: Keegan takes a fall

'A few years ago when they last brought back Superstars they allowed the contestants to get off the bars and then get back up and start doing more dips. That's not how it was when I was doing it and it shouldn't be like that. It makes it too easy.'

You wonder whether the class of 2012 will have Jacks's manic determination for a TV show in this more professional age. For him it was about winning. Good job, because he received an entry fee of just 500 with 2,000 going to the winner.

'That's all we got, even though we got audiences of 16 million – the same or more than EastEnders gets now. Everybody was talking about it. I remember David Vine, the presenter, coming over before the canoeing to ask me whether I would win. I said I had not come here to lose. It was not that I was being arrogant. I was just competitive. That was me. That was the way I was. I was there to win.'

And the oranges that Jacks chomped 'I have never done stupid adverts on TV,' he says. 'I don't want to endorse something I don't believe in.

But I do believe in Jaffa oranges. You can't get such good oranges over here. The tangerines are OK, though.'

There were spin-offs. For a time Jacks was opening sports centres, appearing in pantos, delivering talks. He never refused an autograph, however late in the day or restless his travelling companions were to head home.

He claims never to have been rich, though he was well enough off, living in a five-bedroom house in Orpington with space for eight cars that included a Rolls-Royce. Does he have any regrets at casting himself away from those home comforts for a new life in Thailand

'Not even in the smallest way,' he says. 'Health is more important to me than money. Here I can eat well at little cost. It tastes great and it isn't fattening. I live off 1,000 a month. I don't do anything I don't want to.

'I promise you no amount of money on God's Earth would tempt me back.I am the happiest person in the world. And by the way, I can still do my own age in dips.'

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Roy Hodgson takes presents to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Roy Hodgson brings a little Christmas magic to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital

|

UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 19 December 2012

England manager Roy Hodgson made a trip to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Tuesday, alongside coaches Gary Neville and Ray Lewington, to hand out presents from the FA.

The trio visited the Eagle ward, where children are treated for complex problems relating to their kidneys, as well as the Bear Ward, which provides inpatient care for those with heart problems.

The gifts they dispensed to those on the ward included England goodie-bags, while each ward also received a signed England shirt.

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

The England manager said it was saddening to see children struck down by such serious illnesses

Hodgson was quick to praise the efforts of those working at the hospital and parents visiting it.

‘What we're doing here is of very little importance in comparison to the work that the nurses and doctors are doing here and in comparison to what the parents are doing here too,’ he said.

‘In every ward and bedroom we have been in there has been a sick child with mothers, fathers and grandparents dedicating their time to the child and it's a very saddening experience to see people who have been struck down by quite serious kidney or heart conditions.

‘It's a good occasion for us in a sense that if we can help or cheer them up in any way then it's something we can feel happy to have done.

‘At the same time, you have a feeling of powerlessness. Apart from a few cheery words and smiles, handshakes or pats on the head, you do realise that you are powerless and the only people who can really help are the nurses and the doctors.’

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

Hodgson handed out Christmas presents along with Gary Neville and Ray Lewington

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

The trio visited the Eagle and Bear wards, and gave each a signed England shirt

He was also impressed with the
quality of care in the newly built wards, which provide patients and
families with more privacy and comfort.

They were opened earlier this year in the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building.

‘The new facilities are very
impressive and I'm glad that there are patrons about like Morgan Stanley
who can put a lot of money into this and ensure that the facilities are
here when they are needed,’ said the England manager.

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

Presents intended for the children were stolen from the hospital this week, but visits like these have helped to cheer the children up

The renowned hospital plays host to over 200,000 patient visits per year.

In their efforts to maintain the facilities and purchase the most up-to-date equipment and medication, as well as funding research, their charity raises 50million a year.

Great Ormond Street has the broadest
range of children’s healthcare specialists in the UK and gives hope to
children who are suffering from the rarest and most complex conditions.

Those at the hospital were appalled this week at the discovery that someone had stolen gifts intended for the children.

Fortunately the gifts were soon replaced by a steady stream of generous well-wishers.

Everton v Cheltenham: FA Cup scouting report

Cheltenham scouting report: What Everton must be wary of in the FA Cup

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UPDATED:

18:37 GMT, 12 December 2012

David Moyes made the long trip to Hereford on Tuesday night to watch Everton's prospective opponents in the FA Cup Third Round.

As the night turned out, it was a neat near-post header by Cheltenham substitute Kaid Mohamed that settled it in the Robins' favour.

But here are five mental notes that Moyes certainly will have made following his cold night out at Edgar Street.

1. Jermaine McGlashan

The winger was given a torrid time after referee Dean Whitestone adjudged that he had been dragged over by Andy Gallinagh in first-half injury-time.

Speed demon: Jermaine McGlashan could cause Everton problems

Speed demon: Jermaine McGlashan could cause Everton problems

But he has a serious turn of pace and, although the end product does not always match the approach, he only needs to get lucky once – as he did at Edgar Street.

2. Cheltenham weren't bullied

Martin Foyle has some big lads in his Hereford team – midfielders Harry Pell and Will Evans stand well over six feet tall and the Robins stood up well to their challenge. It is particularly apt if Marouane Fellaini is chosen for the trip to Gloucestershire.

3. No kick and rush

I liked the look of midfielder Russ Penn. In the best traditions of central midfielders he keeps things ticking over. He was the victim of a horrible challenge which ruined his evening but before then he had been the fulcrum of a team that was trying to play on a difficult circumstance.

Winner: Kaid Mohamed (right) send Cheltenham through

Winner: Kaid Mohamed (right) send Cheltenham through

4. Confidence

Although Mark Yates is battling with a smallish squad, there is nothing that acts as a greater aid to confidence than winning matches regularly. League Two clubs have a busy schedule over the holiday period but if the Robins can defeat fellow high-fliers Port Vale on Saturday, they could be on the cusp of just the type of run that sends them into their plum tie on the crest of a wave.

5. Past experience

It won't have gone un-noticed on Merseyside that this season marks the tenth anniversary of an FA Cup exit at the same stage of the season at Moyes' expense.

Upset: Shrewsbury's Nigel Jemson scored the winner against Everton

Upset: Shrewsbury's Nigel Jemson scored the winner against Everton

It may not have been the primary reason for the Scot getting into his car and making the long journey south, but memories of a painful 2-1 defeat by Shrewsbury, managed by former favourite Kevin Ratcliffe, may be what has led Everton's boss into leaving no stone unturned.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are great but can they trap a football on a lamppost?

VIDEO: Messi and Ronaldo are great… but they can't climb a lamppost while juggling a football like this street star sensation

|

UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 30 November 2012

Eat your heart out Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — you might earn a few more euros a week than this street busker, but we bet you can’t do this with a football and a lamppost!

This talented street performer, reportedly called Iya Traore, who performs regularly in the Montmarte suburb of, entertains inquisitive tourists on the streets.

He might not be revered around the world as one of the finest footballers the world has ever seen, but he certainly has a few tricks up his sleeves.

Going up: This amazing football juggler heads up a lamppost in Paris while balancing the ball on his head

Going up: This amazing football juggler heads up a lamppost in Paris while balancing the ball on his head

Spinning around: The mystery keepy-uppy artist then swings around the lamppost with the ball wedged to his foot (above) and demonstrates more of his stunning repertoire while standing on a plinth (below)

Spinning around: The mystery keepy-uppy artist then swings around the lamppost with the ball wedged to his foot (above) and demonstrates more of his stunning repertoire while standing on a plinth (below)

Paris football juggler

Paris football juggler

Paris football juggler

VIDEO: Check out his amazing skills for yourself. Take a bow, son…

DM.has('rcpv2000470137001','BCVideo');

Iya good enough Get in touch, please…

We're so impressed with Iya Traore's skills that we want him to get in touch. Iya, email us at: [email protected]

Traore starts with some fairly
basic keepy-uppies, before hypnotising crowds with a head balancing act
that has to be seen to be believed.

At one point in the five-minute performance he balances precariously on a thin iron pole while continuing his flicks and tricks.

There’s also a homage to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with his very own interpretation of a propeller kick.

And the finale has to be seen to be believed — as he performs a heart-stopping balancing act 30ft in the air.

Watch and learn, lads: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) and Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left)

Watch and learn, lads: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) and Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left)

EXTRA VIDEO I: Now watch Cristiano Ronaldo have a go (and check out the cameraman!)…

EXTRA VIDEO II: And, here's Messi showing off his skills – WITH A BOOT INSTEAD OF A BALL…

Rhys Priestland is seeing a sports psychologist to regain form

Wales fly-half Priestland reveals he's having therapy to halt declining form

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UPDATED:

01:05 GMT, 26 November 2012

Rhys Priestland has revealed that he is seeing a sports psychologist in a desperate bid to recapture his form.

The Wales fly-half has been severely criticised for his performances during Wales' run of sixth consecutive defeats and has now quit Twitter because of the torrent of abuse.

Following the 33-10 thumping by New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, Priestland said: 'After Samoa (which Wales lost 26-19) I did not want to leave the flat or see anyone, I felt I had let people down.

Desperate: Rhys Priestland is talking to a therapist to regain his form

Desperate: Rhys Priestland is talking to a therapist to regain his form

'The poor performances were a lot to do with me because I have been playing with blinkers on.

'I buried my head in the sand, cutting myself away and that has been the problem. One of the issues I have is I have not been asking for help.

'I have started to see the sports psychiatrist we used during the World Cup and he has been really good. A lot of the boys have been using Andy McCann so I thought I would give it a shot because I had nothing to lose.

'I have tried to address it and hopefully I can get back to the way I have been playing.'

Priestland was the surprise star of Wales' run to the World Cup semi-final last year but his form has been on a steady descent ever since and Warren Gatland's stubborn commitment to stick with him regardless is a cause of fierce debate in the pubs of Queen Street.

United: Priestland (right) says a number of the Wales team use a sports psychologist

United: Priestland (right) says a number of the Wales team use a sports psychologist

Alternative: James Hook received a massive cheer when he was introduced against New Zealand on Saturday

Alternative: James Hook received a massive cheer when he was introduced against New Zealand on Saturday

Wales have a very able deputy in James Hook and the Perpignan playmaker was greeted with one of the loudest cheers of the afternoon when he replaced Priestland with 13 minutes left to play.

Unfortunately, next week's game against Australia falls outside the official IRB Test window, so Hook has to return to his club in France.

With alternative Dan Biggar unlikely to be fit Wales must stick with Priestland for another week at least.

Bobby Moore beat testicular cancer before 1966 World Cup win

Revealed: Legend Moore beat cancer before leading England to 1966 World Cup

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UPDATED:

13:24 GMT, 23 November 2012

Sports writer Norman Giller has written a book that reveals Bobby Moore survived testicular cancer two years before he won the World Cup at Wembley in 1966.

The book, called Bobby Moore The Master, follows this golden era of English football and tracks every one of the 108 England matches in which Moore played – with exclusive comments on each by the man himself.

Author Giller told the Sports Journalists’ Association: 'Amazingly, Bobby survived testicular cancer two years before he collected the World Cup.

On top of the world: Bobby Moore led England to victory at Wembley in 1966

On top of the world: Bobby Moore led England to victory at Wembley in 1966

'I was among a small clique of Fleet Street sportswriters who hushed up the fact that he’d had a testicle surgically removed.

'In those uneducated days people kept secret the curse of cancer as if it was almost something of which to be ashamed.

‘Covering up a story of such weight today would, quite rightly, get the reporter the sack. But back in the 1960s cancer was a word to be whispered, and euphemistically dismissed with a Les Dawson-style mime as ‘the Big C.’

Bobby Moore The Master by Norman Giller

‘Can you imagine the hero he would have become had the nation realised the agony and torture he had been through before his World Cup triumph

'Knowing that, perhaps you agree with me that his statue at Wembley should be twice as high.’

All profits from the sales of the book will not go to the author but to the Bobby Moore Fund to help raise cancer research money.

The fund was launched in 1993 by Bobby’s widow, Stephanie, following his death from bowel cancer, and the book is being published to mark the 20-year anniversary of Bobby’s passing (and the fund’s birth) in February.

This is Giller’s 94th book — 20 of them were written in collaboration with Jimmy Greaves, who was one of Moore’s best friends.

To order a copy of the book, visit www.normangillerbooks.com

Edgar Davids gives his unique views of Roberto Mancini, Fabio Capello, his new job at Barnet and fashion

EXCLUSIVE: Edgar Davids gives his unique views of Mancini (lacks people skills), Capello (tactical genius), his new job at Barnet (I'm not being paid a penny) and fashion (it's important, man)

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UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 17 November 2012

Edgar Davids has an opinion and, as is usually the case, he is not overwhelmed by a desire to keep it to himself. This time, it's about his interviewer's choice of clothing.

'It's safe,' he says. 'But there is no adventure. You wear a suit, but you are not trying to tell me something about who you are. It lacks flair. That's not for me. You should try something, man.'

Quite a spectacle: Edgar Davids at Barnet's training ground

Quite a spectacle: Edgar Davids at Barnet's training ground

The assault is not entirely unexpected. Davids, once the 'Pitbull' midfielder of some of European football's greatest sides, has been talking about fashion for more than five minutes.

'It's my passion,' he says. He is the creative director of Monta, a company specialising in street soccer apparel, and was previously engaged to Olcay Gulsen, a renowned designer.

Davids on… Wilfried Zaha

When I was at Palace, he was a big talent but
nothing more. He was also developing bad habits technically and no-one was stopping him. His end product was very poor at times, but now he is really showing his talent. He has worked hard at his game.

One rumour suggests that he turned away a journalist because he was unimpressed by an outfit.

'That did not happen,' Davids says. 'If I refused to speak, it wouldn't have been because of his clothes. However, if I thought he wasn't looking sharp, I probably would have told him. Fashion is important, man.'

And yet here he is, the winner of six league titles, 12 domestic cups, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League, talking about his new life as the 39-year-old player-manager of League Two Barnet, a club in the basement of British football and rarely considered to be chic.

'I don't get paid a dime to be here,' he says.

On the ball: Davids at the club's training ground

On the ball: Davids shows off his skills

Own style: Davids passes on some advice to one of the young players

Own style: Davids passes on some advice to one of the young players

It's the summer of 2012, and a Greek neighbour has called. 'Fancy a Sunday league game' he asks. Davids has been living in north London since his days at Tottenham, but has only really played Street Soccer events since leaving Crystal Palace after a three-month stint in 2010.

Davids on… ‘the greats’

I played with the best. Zinedine Zidane made me look differently at star players. Some guys with that talent don’t work so hard or want different treatment. Not him. Man, those skills. One player people don’t ask me about but should is Ledley King. Left and right foot perfect, fast, almost never made a foul. Technically, he is so gifted. So relaxed on the ball. But those knees.

'I coached a team in Brixton – Brixton United – for a while,' he says. 'We won two cups. They are a good team, but I only coached. No playing.'

The phone call from his neighbour doesn't appeal so much.

'I said, “No, man”, but I woke up in the morning and thought, “You know what Let's kick a ball around”. 'In the first half, I was like, “OK, let's keep it simple, move it around”. But then in the second half, I said the famous words that I got in trouble for on television last week.

'I just thought, “Hey, I'm f*****g Edgar Davids. I didn't want people to go away and say, “I played against Edgar Davids, it was OK”. I wanted them to say, “I played against f*****g Edgar Davids and he was nutmegging me”.

'Man, second half, I did like six nutmegs and got one assist. We won.'

The game prompts a second phone call, this time from Tony Kleanthous, the Greek-Cypriot chairman of Barnet who has heard on the grapevine that Davids dusted off his boots.

Edgar Davids of Barnet photographed exclusively at the club's training ground

Standing out: Davids is enjoying the challenge

Dressing down: Davids offers some style tips to our man Riath Al-Samarrai

Dressing down: Davids offers some style tips to our man Riath Al-Samarrai

Construction work continues on the club's new ground

Big job: Work continues on the new stadium in the background

Edgar Davids at the club's training ground

Front man: Davids leads by example in training

'A friend of mine gave him my number and then I get this call,' Davids says. 'He asked if I wanted to come over for a look.

'I saw the amazing training ground and listened to his plans for the future. It worked for me.'

Davids on… Barcelona

What a team. Would I have been good enough for today’s team Absolutely. You know what it is with Barcelona They play in the half of the opponent so the space is very small and the passes are very hard. To excel, it requires those skills and I have proven I possess those skills. I can do the same as Sergio Busquets or Javier Mascherano.

An agreement was reached and Davids was last month named as joint manager with Mark Robson. The club were bottom of the Football League.

'I've never had a big dream to be a manager, but I'm a curious guy and I want to see if I like it. I've been doing my coaching badges, just the (UEFA) “A” Licence to go, and this was a good chance to play a few games and learn about management.

'You know, I've worked for some pretty good managers so I have a few ideas.'

SIXTY. That's the number of major league titles and cups won by the managers Davids worked under for Ajax, AC Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Holland. Between them, they have won the Champions League/European Cup seven times and a World Cup.

'Some were good, others not so good,' Davids says. 'I try to take the good bits from them and leave the bad, but also trying to keep my own identity. I don't want to be anyone's mimic.'

Action man: Davids against Accrington Stanley on Friday night

Action man: Davids against Accrington Stanley on Friday night

Boost: Barnet's Mark /11/16/article-2234184-1611B6C3000005DC-445_634x525.jpg

Still a pitbull: Davids is sent off against Accrington

The list of influences includes Louis
van Gaal, Marcello Lippi, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard, Fabio
Capello, Roberto Mancini and Guus Hiddink. Hiddink sent Davids home from
Euro 96 after a radio interview in which he said the national team
manager 'should stop putting his head in some players' a***s'.

'We
made up and got on fine after that,' Davids says. 'I don't talk about
best managers,' he adds, but does so anyway. 'Van Gaal as a trainer was
one of the best – it was incredible how well he prepared for games.
Lippi was very, very good. He knew his team, he knew how to meld
together a group and make it a team.

Davids on… London

I just love living here. It is so multicultural. I love
that diversity. In Amsterdam, we have it a lot, and it’s like that here. Any dish you want you can have — Japanese, Indian, Chinese. You can go from Asian to black to Jewish in the same neighbourhood. It is a reflection of society nowadays. It’s why I love Brixton — a melting pot.

'Capello taught me so much about systems, about 4-4-2, how to pressure and squeeze a team.

'Rijkaard is not a good trainer but he is a really good manager of
people. You can see Mancini lacks people management, big time.' He adds:
'I don't want to talk negative about somebody. I do not want to talk
about Mancini as there were not so many positive things.'

At Barnet's training ground, Davids'
management style is developing. He is 'a little frustrated' by the
standard but says that is 'the challenge that makes me come down here
for nothing'. The players call him 'Mr' or 'Sir' and he does likewise in
return. 'I told them it is out of the question to call me Edgar. I
don't want to be called boss because I told them they are their own
boss,' he says.

Results have improved quite dramatically. Friday's night's 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley meant they had picked up 11 points from the seven League Two fixtures played since Davids' arrival (they took three points from the previous 11). And the 'Pitbull' still has a bite – he was sent off in the 85th minute after receiving a second booking for a foul on James Beattie, the former Everton striker.

Graham Stack, the keeper, talks of the squad being driven upwards by a 'fear factor' from playing with 'one of the best in the world'.

Davids is content with his life. 'The feeling of stepping out to play for Barnet for the first time was the same as a Champions League match. It is just joy, an innocent joy. I love to play football and will continue as long as I feel that.

'Maybe I will love management – we will see. This is fun. But you never know. Maybe one day I will own a club. That is a possibility, too. Or maybe I will leave and go into fashion.'

With that, the interview ends and Davids gets up to leave. 'Your coat,' he says. 'Double-breasted. That's very, very safe, man.'

Mario Balotelli bobblehead tour of Coronation Street and Manchester

Bobble on the cobbles! Balotelli drops into Rovers Return in a visit to Coronation Street

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UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 15 November 2012

Mini me: Mario Balotelli poses with his bobblehead figuerine at Manchester City's training ground

Mini me: Mario Balotelli poses with his bobblehead figuerine at Manchester City's training ground

With rumours abounding that Luis Suarez could be heading down the M62 from Liverpool in January, it looks increasingly likely that troubled Mario Balotelli could be on his way out at Man City.

But while the Premier League will miss his terrific goals and temper tantrums, it seems the blue half of Manchester will miss the man himself even more, having taken Super Mario to their hearts.

It's a shame, because this Man About Town seems to be right at home and knows all the Mancunian landmarks, from the cobbles of Coronation Street to the Castlefield canals.

To mark the launch of the Ballotelli bobblehead figurine, out just in time to be the perfect Christmas stocking filler for any young (or old) City fan, mini Mario's been on a little tour.

He's been spotted outside the Rovers Return, the famous pub in ITV soap Coronation Street, on the Lowry bridge in the city centre and grabbing a bite to eat at San Carlo, the award-winning restaurant.

And his 'Why Always Me' t-shirt was appropriate when forced into battle with some Daleks at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Rovers return: Balotelli boblehead on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street

Rovers return: Balotelli boblehead on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street

Read all about it: Balotelli waits outside Corrie's famous corner shop The Kabin

Read all about it: Balotelli waits outside Corrie's famous corner shop The Kabin

Neighbourhood watch: Balotelli seems to be waiting for a kickabout with Kev Webster

Neighbourhood watch: Balotelli seems to be waiting for a kickabout with Kev Webster

THE HAMMERS BOBBLEHEADS…
See how West Ham immortalised their co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold HERE

The wacky figurines are part of a set
of six, priced at 15 apiece, with Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Vincent
Kompany, Joe Hart and boss Roberto Mancini also available.

The real Balotelli found it hilarious
when he came face-to-face with his plastic alter ego at the club's
Carrington training ground this week.

No doubt he's added it to his Christmas wish list.

Bobbleheads seem to be enjoying a
surge in popularity this year, with the City figurines hot on the heels
of a West Ham collection featuring owners David Gold and David Sullivan,
and Hammers star Mark Noble.

Bite to eat: Balotelli pops into his favourite restaurant San Carlo

Bite to eat: Balotelli pops into his favourite restaurant San Carlo

Road block: Balotelli posing alongside his favoured Bentley Continental GT

Road block: Balotelli posing alongside his favoured Bentley Continental GT

Love story: Balotelli once scribed the word City onto a promotional 'I love Manchester' warm-up t-shirt he wore at the Etihad Stadium

Love story: Balotelli once scribed the word City onto a promotional 'I love Manchester' warm-up t-shirt he wore at the Etihad Stadium

I"m a celebrity: Scott Sinclair slated as Helen Flanagan does latest bushtucker trial

Pray for Scotty! Man City benchwarmer Sinclair slated on Twitter
while girlfriend Helen Flanagan takes on latest bushtucker trial

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UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 14 November 2012

I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here

Read Mark Webster's latest update on life in the jungle for David Haye and Eric Bristow

'This has to be the worst time EVER to be Helen Flanagan’s boyfriend', wrote Sportsmail's Mark Webster on Tuesday. He may just have a point.

Step forward Scott Sinclair.

Great Scott: Helen Flanagan slips into a bikini on ITV's I'm a celebrity

Great Scott: Helen Flanagan slips into a bikini on ITV's I'm a celebrity

Great Scott: Helen Flanagan slips into a bikini on ITV's I'm a celebrity

Now I'm sure some of you will struggle to feel sorry for a man earning a reported 60,000-a-week at Manchester City, but while his bikini-clad girlfriend Helen Flanagan is catching the eye of almost every man in the UK on a nightly basis, poor Scott must be hoping she's the next one booted out of the jungle.

Still, the notoriously unsympathetic British public are having none of it. One particular tweet – which earned over 900 re-tweets – read: 'Helen Flanagan has now been picked twice in a row. Which is better than Scott Sinclair has done since joining Man City #PrayForScotty.' Ouch.

Double trouble: Flanagan was picked out for another trial on Tuesday night

Double trouble: Flanagan was picked out for another trial on Tuesday night

Double trouble: Flanagan takes on another trial

Double trouble: Flanagan take on another trial

And if that wasn't enough, what was the
ex-Coronation Street beauty's latest bushtucker trial
No less than a meal of camel's toe and an ostrich's anus. Yes, you read
that right.

Two of his former team-mates at Swansea rubbed salt in the wound as Helen struggled with the delicacies. '#PrayForScotty', posted Wayne Routledge. Leroy Lita added: 'Will you kiss her again @Scotty_Sinclair '

I'm sure he will, Leroy.

Pray for Scotty: Sinclair (left) shares a joke with Gael Clichy in training with Manchester City

Pray for Scotty: Sinclair (left) shares a joke with Gael Clichy in training with Manchester City