Tag Archives: wiltshire

Paolo Di Canio to stay at Swindon after "positive" talks with new chairman

Di Canio vows to stay at Swindon after 'positive' talks with new chairman

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UPDATED:

13:08 GMT, 23 October 2012

Paolo Di Canio has confirmed he is staying at Swindon after showdown talks with new chairman Sir William Patey.

The Italian was considering his
position after Jeremy Wray – the man behind Di Canio's appointment – was
replaced by Patey on the orders of majority shareholder Andrew Black.

Positive: Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio

Positive: Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio

Di Canio insisted he would need 'reassurances' from the board that they were committed to his plans.

After meeting with Patey, Di Canio told BBC Wiltshire: 'The words that he said to me are more than positive.'

He continued: 'After we spent an hour together, even if I was angry from the game [against Scunthorpe], I was happy thinking about what he said to me about the future and about me.

'I can't wait. We have to think that from now we can work for the future.'

Swindon were placed under a Football League transfer embargo earlier this month after they exceeded the fixed wage and fee cap, which can only be 65% of a club's turnover.

However, Di Canio hit out at the board, suggesting they no longer supported his goal of securing back-to-back promotions, and Patey's appointment prompted concerns the former Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton striker might follow Wray out of the County Ground.

Manager Paolo Di Canio of Swindon

He added: 'I will keep going but I wanted to be sure. I said some words to make an alert, an alarm about what was going on.

'Some people can take the lines that I am only loyal to Jeremy; I am loyal to Jeremy but I am loyal to the project he proposed to me on the first day.

'The new chairman is committed and there is also the environment around me, which is the club and the fans.

'With Jeremy I can go out for dinner every day for the rest of my life and say thanks, but there is a job.

'I will keep going but I wanted to be sure. I said some words to make an alert, an alarm about what was going on.'

Heather Stanning returns to army training

From Olympic gold to Afghanistan Rower Stanning returns to army base

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UPDATED:

12:48 GMT, 21 September 2012

While some Olympians are basking in the post-Games glow of endorsements and television appearances, rower Heather Stanning has returned to reality after rejoining the army.

The 27-year-old won Britain's first gold medal of the London 2012 Games when she partnered Helen Glover to triumph in the women's pairs.

Stanning, who is a Captain in the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery, took two years leave from her day job as she prepared her Olympics bid and was cheered on by her regiment at Roberts Barracks in Wiltshire and the troops in Afghanistan where Stanning could be deployed next year.

Back to the day job: Heather Stanning has returned to the army after winning Olympic gold

Back to the day job: Heather Stanning has returned to the army after winning Olympic gold

Attention! Stanning (centre) could be deployed to Afghanistan next year

Attention! Stanning (centre) could be deployed to Afghanistan next year

Quick march: Stanning won gold in the women's pairs with Helen Glover

Quick march: Stanning won gold in the women's pairs with Helen Glover

Luke McCormick: Swindon chairman would resign

Swindon chief Wray pledges to resign if McCormick move damages club

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 25 May 2012


Jailed: McCormick was sentenced to seven years in 2008

Jailed: McCormick was sentenced to seven years in 2008

Swindon chairman Jeremy Wray says he will resign if a controversial deal to sign goalkeeper Luke McCormick damages the club's reputation.

McCormick, now 28, was jailed for seven years and four months in 2008 for killing two young boys in a car crash while drink-driving.

The former Plymouth goalkeeper is expected to be freed from Leyhill Prison next month and Swindon have offered him a trial, with a view to winning a permanent contract.

But the offer has angered the family of Arron Peak, 10, and his brother Ben, eight, who died in the collision on the M6 in Staffordshire in June 2008.

The boys' mother, Amanda Peak, told the Sun that Swindon's decision 'was like a kick in the stomach'.

'Swindon might be a family club but now they are hiring a man who has torn my family apart,' she told the newspaper.

In charge: Paulo di Canio guided Swindon to the League Two championship last term

In charge: Paulo di Canio guided Swindon to the League Two championship last term

Wray, Swindon's interim chairman, who said McCormick had been training on day-release with the club since January, today said he would resign if the decision damaged the club's reputation.

He told BBC Wiltshire: 'I'm not going to jeopardise the club's position on this.

'I'm not going to allow the reputation of the club, that we've worked so hard to build up, to be hurt by this.

'In terms of a principle, I absolutely would resign.'

Tragedy: Arron Peak and his brother Ben were killed in the motorway crash

Tragedy: Arron Peak and his brother Ben were killed in the motorway crash

Speaking earlier this week, Mr Wray said: 'We thought long and hard about it, and it has to be made clear that everybody's thoughts can only go to the family of those two young boys and their father who was badly injured.

'Tragedy is a word used too often, but this was a tragedy and it can never be changed.

End of the road: McCormick's contract was terminated by Plymouth

End of the road: McCormick's contract was terminated by Plymouth

'As a club we did not go courting this – the opportunity was presented to us after I was contacted by his agent and he will spend pre-season training here at Swindon.

'We have had to look at it in a reasonable way and look to produce a positive outcome in horrible circumstances.'

McCormick was twice the drink-driving limit when the crash happened as he was returning from former team-mate David Norris's wedding in Bolton.

Arron and Ben were travelling to Silverstone racetrack for a dream day out with their father Phil Peak and three friends when their Toyota Previa people carrier was hit by McCormick's black Range Rover at 5.44am on June 7 2008.

The goalkeeper had been seen drinking beer and downing shots of Sambuca at the wedding reception.

Stoke Crown Court, where McCormick admitted causing death by dangerous driving and drink-driving, was told police investigators estimated his Range Rover was travelling at around 97mph moments before the crash.

Mr Peak, from Partington in Manchester, was at the wheel of the Toyota and suffered serious injuries that left him in a wheelchair.

Plymouth terminated McCormick's contract by mutual consent after he was charged.

Paulo Di Canio has board backing in racial abuse investigation

Di Canio has board backing as Swindon vow to help FA in probe into racial abuse allegations

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UPDATED:

15:42 GMT, 15 May 2012

Swindon have responded to the Football Association's decision to open an investigation into claims Paolo Di Canio racially abused Leyton Orient striker Jonathan Tehoue.

The FA confirmed they will investigate a complaint over the alleged conduct of the Italian boss while Tehoue was on loan at the County Ground in March.

Tehoue originally complained to the
club's chief executive Nicholas Watkins that Di Canio had made a
racially abusive comment about him in front of Swindon players.

Questioned: Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio

Questioned: Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio

Di Canio's alleged comments were later relayed to Tehoue by his team-mates.

The Orient forward has now written a formal letter of complaint to the FA, who have decided to open a full enquiry into the matter.

A statement released on the Wiltshire club's official website read: 'The club feels it is imperative to put the record straight on a number of points.

'For the record, Swindon Town FC states categorically that it operates a zero tolerance approach towards racism.

Claim: Jonathan Tehoue

Claim: Jonathan Tehoue

'With regard to the specific complaint raised by Jonathan Tehoue, the board was fully appraised of the facts at the time of the alleged incident back in March and having investigated it, was satisfied that it was without merit and took appropriate action then.

'The club will of course happily assist the FA in its enquiries.'

Di Canio guided Swindon to the npower League Two title in his first season in charge, in his first season as a football manager, and was named as the League Managers' Association manager of the year for his division.

The club statement continued: 'The manager, Paolo Di Canio, denies completely any suggestion that he used toward Jonathan Tehoue or anyone, abusive, insulting or threatening words or behaviour by reference to race, or at all.

'The board wishes to affirm its complete and unequivocal support for its manager in this regard.

'Further, the board is wholly satisfied that any decisions concerning Jonathan Tehoue's playing career whilst at Swindon Town FC were made for purely footballing reasons.'

Tehoue made just three appearances for the Wiltshire club before Di Canio cut short his loan spell.

The Italian told BBC Wiltshire in April: 'It's a technical decision. He's not as good as I thought he was.

Race rows: Suarez and Evra (left), and Terry and Ferdinand (right)

Race rows: Suarez and Evra (left), and Terry and Ferdinand (right)

Race rows: Suarez and Evra (left), and Terry and Ferdinand (right)

'It's really impossible to think that he will be on a football pitch for Swindon again.

'My main players give me 100 per cent because they have suffered with me all season.

'I have much better players than him in the way I want them to behave and the way I want them to play.'

It is the third high-profile incident involving allegedly racist comments the FA have had to investigate this season.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was
banned for eight games and fined 40,000 after he was found guilty of
racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

The FA also have an ongoing
investigation into John Terry's conduct towards QPR's Anton Ferdinand
during Chelsea's Barclays Premier League clash at Loftus Road in
October.

ESPN presenter Rebecca Lowe exclusive interview

EXCLUSIVE: Rebecca Lowe lives with a manager, idolised Alan Pardew and will make television history on Saturday…

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 3 May 2012

The FA Cup final will be presented on TV by a woman for the first time on Saturday.

ITV will face competition from an American-owned channel with its 12-hour coverage of a game that starts at 5.15pm: it's not just kick-off times that are changing.

Rebecca Lowe is 31 and lives in Wiltshire with the Luton Town manager, Paul Buckle. She's packing away the biscuits she bought for our interview.

Standing tall: ESPN presenter Lowe has suffered sexist abuse from football fans

Standing tall: ESPN presenter Lowe has suffered sexist abuse from football fans

'Honestly, I do usually make my own,' she says, showing me the remnants of a home-made tiramisu in the fridge as proof.

'It's just been a particularly busy week. Oh, and you'll never guess who called me this morning. Des Lynam. Des – Lynam!'

Lowe is naturally excited, even if she still has 120 pages of statistics to trawl through by tonight. After Ray Stubbs had surgery to correct a heart defect last month, she will follow in Lynam's footsteps by anchoring ESPN's coverage of tomorrow's FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool.

'It's a real honour, and a little bit “pinch yourself”, but I think it would be nice to get to the stage where we don't have the first woman anything anymore,' she says. 'That would be real progress.'

All smiles: Lowe, speaking to Laura Williamson, will make television history on Saturday

All smiles: Lowe, speaking to Laura Williamson, will make television history on Saturday

Lowe is, understandably, reticent to see herself as a 'woman in football', preferring to concentrate on her ability to do her job and not her gender.

But the subject is unavoidable. Type 'Rebecca Lowe' into Google and two of the most popular searches associated with her name are 'hot' and 'legs'.

'It would be nice to get to the stage where we don't have the first woman anything anymore'

She needs to play it safe with her outfit tomorrow. 'I'm erring on the side of trousers with a mac,' she said, because 'anything slightly out of the ordinary, people will pounce on'.

We might also pass comment on John Barnes's penchant for pinstripes, but the level of vitriol is not the same. Lowe admits it is so very different, harder even, being a woman working in football.

'I know people will be quicker to jump on my mistakes,' she said. 'That's a fact, although I'm not complaining because I set myself massive standards. You just have to brace yourself.

'With a man, that knowledge is assumed. A woman has to prove herself. That's life. Sometimes it's quite satisfying, or you can get them on the back foot and hit them with a difficult question.

'You've just got to get the tone right. I live with a manager so I know what it's like when football goes badly and a manager loses. I also think, perhaps, women are slightly more sympathetic. It's about asking the right questions but in the right way.'

Sitting comfortably: Lowe has impressed in her role with ESPN

Sitting comfortably: Lowe has impressed in her role with ESPN

HOURS OF FUN

ESPN are offering 12 hours of FA Cup coverage on Saturday, with Breakfast at Wembley starting at 8am. The match itself will be presented by Rebecca Lowe and shown in 3D. There will be no adverts. On ITV, Adrian Chiles brings you the build-up from 3.15pm, while Clive Tyldesley and Sportsmail’s Andy Townsend provide the commentary.

This was particularly the case on Saturday, March 17, as Lowe presented ESPN's coverage from White Hart Lane.

Bolton's Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch and, not knowing whether the midfielder would survive, Lowe had to make sense – live on air for almost an hour – of what had just happened.

'The Muamba night was very difficult,' she says, her tone thoughtful and quiet. 'I can't believe it happened, really, considering how well he's doing now.

'You just have to use your instincts and react like you would in the stands. There were moments when the emotion was right in my throat but everyone really pulled together. It took me a few days to get over that.'

Lowe insists she is a 'soft' person, recalling how, as a nine-year-old Crystal Palace fan, current Newcastle manager Alan Pardew became her 'absolute crush' after he scored the winner against Liverpool in the 1990 FA Cup semi-final. 'I wrote to him – and I've told him this since – but he never replied,' she says.

Crush: Lowe was an admirer of Toon boss Pardew

Crush: Lowe was an admirer of Toon boss Pardew

But there must be a more resilient side to her, too. A drama student fresh out of the University of East Anglia, she was catapulted on to the BBC's Final Score after winning a young talent competition and a six-month contract.

'It was terrifying,' she said. 'I used to take myself to the ladies and give myself a talk before each match.' Lowe has also been hit, deliberately, with a football when doing a pre-match interview on the pitch at Aldershot and, seconds before a live link from a dressing room, an assistant manager once said to her: 'Come and sit on my lap.'

She laughs this off, arguing this sort of 'banter' does not stop her doing her job. But she draws a line between sexism – the often subtle resentment that a woman does not belong – and sickening sexist abuse.

During Arsenal's 1-0 win over Leeds United in the third round of this season's FA Cup, Leeds fans targeted Robbie Savage and Lowe with verbal epithets, coins and hot dogs.

Lowe said: 'I'm used to it. There were 2,000 fans chanting something horrendous on one particular day. Even worse than what you're thinking. There were women shouting at me. Women. 'I have to say, I've not had a huge amount of sexism issues, but the sexist abuse I've probably had more of. Sexism can be very subtle and unspoken and sexist abuse is obviously very loud and absolutely horrible. I don't accept it, as in its right, but I have more important things to do.

'I was getting a ton of sexist abuse that night, but I've learnt now to block it out. You've just got to do your job. You can't go home at half-time because they're being mean.'

ESPN will bring fans live coverage of the FA Cup final, including a 12-hour schedule of shows direct from Wembley, that revives the traditions of Cup Final day. Coverage is also ad-free during half-time and until the trophy lift and in 3D on Sky 3D.

Peterborough 3 Reading 1: Promotion chasing Royals given Posh treatment

Peterborough 3 Reading 1: Promotion chasing Royals given Posh treatment

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 20 March 2012

Reading's unbeaten run came to a juddering halt, beaten 3-1 by Peterborough at London Road, but results elsewhere mean they remain in second place in the npower Championship.

It all started so well for the Royals who took the lead through Noel Hunt in the 20th minute to give the visitors hope of continuing their fine run which has seen them win nine of the last 10.

But three unanswered goals from Tyrone Barnett, George Boyd and Paul Taylor sealed the points for the hosts.

More to follow…

Royal treatment: reading's unbeaten run was ended at London Road

Royal treatment: reading's unbeaten run was ended at London Road

MATCH FACTS

Peterborough: Jones, Alcock, Zakuani, Brisley, Rowe, Frecklington, McCann, Boyd, Tomlin, Barnett, Taylor.

Subs: Lewis, Little, Ball, Sinclair, Kearns.

Reading: Federici, Mullins, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Hunt, Roberts.

Subs: Andersen, Tabb, Le Fondre, Church, Robson-Kanu.

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)