Tag Archive: Football


Cardiac arrest survivor’s life-saving battle

Lifelong Billericay Town fan Tim Butt raised more than £600 last weekend to fund a defibrillator for the Essex non-league side, as part of a personal campaign to raise awareness of “hidden” heart conditions.

Battle | Tim Butt was lucky to survive a cardiac arrest in March, and has committed himself to fundraising. (Image | Emma Webb)

Battle | Tim Butt was lucky to survive a cardiac arrest in March, and has committed himself to fundraising. (Image | Emma Webb)

Tim, 24, was lucky to survive after suffering a cardiac arrest in March, but had no idea that he had a condition which put him at risk of heart problems.

Since recovering, he has committed himself to highlighting the risk of silent cardiac conditions, and raising money for national charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

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Immigration may seem a peculiar topic when talking about sport, but it is a subject that has been on my mind since Mo Farah became one of Britain’s most beloved sporting stars.

Icon | Mo Farah is idolised as a British sporting hero, putting him in the 'good immigration' bracket. (Image | NME)

Icon | Mo Farah is idolised as a British sporting hero, putting him in the ‘good immigration’ bracket. (Image | NME)

Few in this country will forget the sight of Farah winning gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the London 2012 Olympic Games: yet after the latter victory, Somali-born Farah had to deal with a journalist asking if he would have preferred to have run for Somalia, rather than Britain.

The 30-year-old gave the question short shrift, and has since developed into a sporting superstar, building on last year’s gold medals with two more at the World Athletics Championships last month.

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When the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Premier League team of the year was announced, there was almost universal disquiet at the lack of Michu, Swansea City’s swashbuckling Spanish attacking midfielder, among others.

WORD | Words. (Image | FTB Pro)

Swan shake | Michu took the Premier League by storm last year, but his 18 goals and flamboyant celebration were not enough for the PFA. (Image | FTB Pro)

How, asked many, could a player that scored 18 goals in 35 top-flight appearances, was the lynchpin of a League Cup-winning side, and cost a bargain £2million not be included among the crème de la crème of the Premier League?

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Premier League 2012/13: Team of the year

With the 2012/13 Premier League season over, a campaign in which Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as Manchester United manager and Wigan Athletic triumphed in the FA Cup at Wembley, but still went down, here is the team of the year.

WORDS | Petr Čech has had a superb season in goal for Chelsea during a campaign dogged by uncertainty at the club. (Image | Daily Mail)

Safe pair of hands | Petr Čech has had a superb season in goal for Chelsea amid many changes and continual uncertainty at the club. (Image | Daily Mail)

Goalkeeper | Petr Čech (Chelsea)

It appeared that Petr Čech would never be the same after his horrific collision with Steven Hunt back in 2006. However, he has gradually regained some of his best form, and while not the most eye-catching goalkeeper of the season, Čech been the most consistent.

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It is official, José Mourinho has returned. The man whose first press conference in England saw him famously describe himself not as “the special one”, as the press claimed, but “a special one“.

Back for Mour | José Mourinho is back. (Image | The Mirror)

Back for Mour | José Mourinho signed a four-year contract with Chelsea on Monday to return as manager after a six-year absence. (Image | The Mirror)

However, as Mark Twain said: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” For Mourinho returning to Chelsea on Monday is a very good story indeed.

As the most successful manager in the club’s history, adored by the fans and one of few men to win the treble, with Inter Milan, and lift the European Cup twice, what could possibly go wrong?

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How, you may ask, does the violent murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, South East London, last week, connect with the world of sport.

Abuse | Vile Shaun Tuck. (Image | Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Advertiser)

Tuck shopped | The non-league footballer could be prosecuted by police for his Twitter rant. (Image | Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Advertiser)

One of the most disconcerting and predictable elements of the fallout from the tragic events has been verbal attacks and vicious reprisals against non-whites, particularly Muslims.

Part of this prejudice has come from non-league footballer, Shaun Tuck, whose Twitter feed revealed an alarming amount of his unsavoury views on non-footballing matters before it was taken down.

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When the rumours about Sir Alex Ferguson retiring first surfaced on Twitter late on Tuesday evening, sparked by Daily Telegraph journalist Mark Ogden, I was sceptical.

CAPTION | Words. (Image | The Guardian)

End of an era | Some commentators have dubbed Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement the “fall of the footballing Berlin Wall”. (Image | The Guardian)

After all, Ferguson had planned to retire back in 2001, only to recant. The venerable Scot was such a fixture in British football that the thought of him no longer prowling the Old Trafford touchline, while incessantly chomping on a stick of chewing gum, seemed a too absurd a prospect to countenance.

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Why are semi-finals, the veritable warm-up before the main event, played at Wembley Stadium, once only a home to winner-takes-all matches such as domestic and European cup finals?

I think we're alone now | Too often in its relatively short life, Wembley has seen swathes of empty seats at major football matches. (Image | The Guardian)

I think we’re alone now | Too often in its relatively short life, Wembley has seen swathes of empty seats at major football matches, a fate which again befell one of the recent FA semi-finals. (Image | The Guardian)

After all, a host of newspapers across all political and style divides have published articles in the past few weeks arguing that it detracts from the final and has a detrimental effect on both domestic cup competitions.

A poll by the Guardian newspaper found that 86% per cent of fans believe that FA Cup semi-finals should not be played at Wembley. That is a fairly conclusive figure by anyone’s standards. So why are they?

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The Premier League recently announced that goal-line technology will be introduced in time for next season. Action came swiftly after FIFA president Sepp Blatter finally reversed his steadfast opposition to technology in football.

Disbelief | Frank Lampard holds his hands to his head as his shot crosses the line against Germany but no goal is given in South Africa. (Image | The Guardian)

Disbelief | Frank Lampard holds his hands aloft in protest as his shot crosses the line against Germany, but no goal is given in South Africa. (Image | The Guardian)

He said that FIFA would appear to be “foolish” if it did not act on a series of embarrassing mistakes, such as the failure to award a goal to England midfielder Frank Lampard during a game against Germany at the 2010 World Cup.

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Few things are more infuriating in football that dangerous tackling. Even more enraging, however, is seeing such conduct go unpunished.

Dangerous | Wigan Athletic midfielder Callum McManaman catches Newcastle United defender Massadio Haïdara in a challenge that saw the latter stretchered off. (Image | Daily Mail)

Dangerous | Wigan Athletic midfielder Callum McManaman catches Newcastle United defender Massadio Haïdara in a challenge that saw the latter stretchered off. (Image | Daily Mail)

Like so many in the game, the decision by the Football Association not to take retrospective action against Callum McManaman of Wigan Athletic, for his egregious challenge on Newcastle United defender Massadio Haïdara, left me disgusted.

Personally, I feel the criticism being aimed towards McManaman should focus solely on his challenge. One should look at what the player did, rather than make judgements on him as an individual.

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