Issue 255 | May 11 2012
The interactive issue
OLYMPIC LEGENDS REDGRAVE HOLMES EDWARDS GUNNELL HEMERY SANDERSON
“READY FOR THE CHALLENGE”
JENSON BUTTON. WORLD DRIVERS’ CHAMPION 2009
BOSS BOTTLED. SPORT. THE NEW FRAGRANCE FOR MEN
ISSUE 255, MAY 11 2012 Radar 09 The best of UFC Ouch! Biff! Oof! Ka-pow! We’ve picked our favourite UFC bouts – and it almost hurts
10 Smokin’ aces A preview of the brilliant film charting the career of the frankly terrifying Joe Frazier
12 New clothes Olympic scarves and some of the nattiest cycling tops we’ve seen
Cover image: Richard Heathcote/Contour by Getty. This page: Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images, Evening Standard/Getty Images
14 Editor’s letter Why we shouldn’t watch Chisora and Haye... but probably will oFeatures this coming week
20 Sir Steve Redgrave Who else could possibly lead our legends feature but our greatest ever Olympian?
25 Dame Kelly Holmes The double gold winner who won the hearts of a nation
33 Jonathan Edwards Boiling four years down to 90 minutes: the agony of going for gold at the Olympics
38 Premier League Awards These ones are given by us... best squirrel picture, anyone?
54 New kit
The interactive issue The interactive issue
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This week: barefoot running shoes, for that natural feel...
56 Natalie Pike The girl who is giving Man City fans palpitations
60 Grooming We get a bit early-1990s Prince, for reasons best left unexplained
62 Entertainment The new Tim Burton-Johnny Depp collaboration. Without the scissors | May 11 2012 | 05
Jenna Randall, Synchronised Swimmer
Xb_a^dSc^QTcWT^ÙRXP[R[^cWX]VP]SW^\TfPaTbd__[XTac^cWT?[h\_XRP]S@PaP[h\_XR 7P\TbP]SXbST[XVWcTSc^[Pd]RWcWT^ÙRXP[U^a\P[fTPaU^aDTP\72P]S@PaP[h\_XRb72+ STbXV]TSc^R^\QX]TRXchbWPa_]TbbfXcW_TaU^a\P]RTUPQaXRb A replica version of the men’s suit (£220) will be available from selected stores. Stockists Tel: 0844 844 8939
Louis Smith, Gymnast
The interactive issue
p10 – Smokin’ Joe on the small screen
p10 – Olympic village: athletes’ beans spilled
p12 – Revolutionary polo shirts
Bunch of five
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
With the release of the UFC Best of 2011 next week, we pick the five roughest, toughest, most electrifying matches in Octagon history Forrest Griffin V Stephan Bonnar, 2005 The breakout fight for the UFC phenomenon, these two US light-heavyweights went at it hammer, tongs and the full damn toolkit at the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 1. The commentators compared round one to an MMA version of Marvin Hagler v Tommy Hearns, but it would be the bloodied Griffin who proved marginally the more marvellous, edging the third round to take a decision win that showered glory on both warriors. Matt Hughes V Frank Trigg II, 2005 If you whack your grudge-match rival hard in the balls, then pummel and choke him, and he responds by picking you up and slamming you down into the mat, it might not be your day. Welterweight champ Matt Hughes did his best
Terminator impression in this humdinger, soaking up punishment before forcing Frank Trigg to submit with 55 seconds left in a breathless first round. He then demanded Trigg’s clothes, boots and motorcycle. Chuck Liddell V Randy Couture III, 2006 Some matches are more about defining legacies as they are pure action. MMA icons ‘The Natural’ and ‘The Ice Man’ (Chuck Liddell, not Val Kilmer) had split their first two fights, and their rubber match shattered UFC PPV records. In front of a frenzied crowd, round one ended with Liddell being bullied to the matt and Couture cut. The second saw Randy make one slight slip and Liddell was all over him, striking with the venom of a thousand cobras to score a trademark stoppage.
Frankie Edgar V Gray Maynard II, 2011 Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar had no answers in the post-fight press conference when asked about the first round of this contest. Because he couldn’t remember it happening. Maynard hammered Edgar remorselessly in round one, before the lightweight champ staged a strong comeback in round two. They went back and forth from there, the fight ending in a decision draw, setting up a delicious third match-up.
Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Brock Lesner, Dan Henderson and more star on the double-DVD UFC Best of 2011, out on Monday, fightdvd.co.uk
Dan Henderson V Mauricio Rua, 2011 Do you like vicious uppercuts? Crunching knees? Submission attempts? Good, old-fashioned, down-on-the-mat poundings? This match between US veteran Henderson and Brazilian ‘Shogun’ Rua had all this and more. Henderson almost finished the fight in the first round with a guillotine choke, but Rua survived and, after a thriller, it was 41-yearold Hendo clinging on to survive a last-round onslaught and claim a unanimous decision win.
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Smoke and fire omorrow night sees the UK premiere of When The Smoke Clears – a documentary focusing on the life of the late, great heavyweight boxer, Smokin’ Joe Frazier. The work of British filmmaker Michael Todd, who was granted unprecedented access over a four-year period, the doc lifts the lid on the former world heavyweight champion’s life, covering his humble origins and winning Olympic gold in 1964, through to his epic battles with Muhammad Ali. Narrated by Joe’s eldest son Marvis and featuring contributions from the likes of George Foreman, Bernard Hopkins and Larry Holmes, this moving documentary also reveals just how important Joe’s gym – the Whitehouse – was to his personal crusade of helping keep crime off the streets of Philadelphia. Sadly, he didn’t supplement this (as we’d secretly hoped) by dressing up as a masked superhero named ‘The Smoke’ who took out villains with his left hook. But then, even hardened criminals probably don’t deserve that fate. When The Smoke Clears will be shown on ESPN Classic at 10pm on Saturday May 12, as part of an evening paying tribute to Joe Frazier
A view to a kill
ife as a hired henchman can’t be all bad – not if you get views like this. A peaceful moment of serenity during a lull in the chase, flying high above the mountains in your brand new Parajet Zenith, just your thoughts and the whirr of the super-efficient engine. As you manouevre the lightweight flying machine you start to reflect on your life as the brainless tool of an insane villain. Maybe you should go back to college, get that GNVQ. And then, just as you’ve resolved to get out of the crime business for good, James Bond shoots you out of the sky with a rocket launcher. Still, at least you had that one day soaring high with a Zenith. Parajet Zenith, from £5,399, parajet.com
f you’re wondering what life in the Olympic village this summer will really be like – the drug paranoia, tension, sex, black-market kit swaps and post-event booze binges – say hello to the ideal reveal. Written by an athlete from Team GB’s Athens 2004 squad who wishes to remain strictly anonymous, this is a first-hand exposé of the Olympic experience written in an enjoyably easygoing style. There’s plenty on the pressure to perform and some interesting theories on the mentality of drug cheats (and clean athletes who’ve lost to them), but it’s the gossip and rumours that most entertained us. In particular, the story of an American athlete at Barcelona, “who would later go on to great things” but suffered a disappointing Olympics, then found solace in the arms (and bed) of a large European woman rower. No name is revealed, but then half the fun is in the ill-educated guessing. The Secret Olympian, out now (Bloomsbury), £8.99
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The interactive issue
Sea of success ook at this snooty French athlete, with his thin beard and cocksure hair. He’s clearly dreaming of coming to London, taking our Olympic gold medals and sneering at our Mighty White bread. The cad. But wait. Despite his handsome face, that isn’t actually a Frenchman at all. It’s Britain’s Louis Smith, the Olympian who can pommel a horse to within an inch of its life. The reason we can tell he’s one of our own is tied nattily around his neck. It’s a Team GB scarf, which is set to have a starring role this summer.
French fancies ith the Olympics just around the corner (we may have mentioned that in this issue), it’s time to start swotting up on your cycling knowledge... because the boys from Blighty are bloomin’ good at it. Want a piece of the glory-hunting action? Then get behind the Brits (Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins) in the Tour de France, and everyone will know what a big cycling fan you are – and Le Coq Sportif’s latest collection can help you do just that. That’s because the French clothing specialists are official suppliers to the Tour. And, to celebrate, they’ve launched the La Grande Boucle collection, featuring a fine array of shorts, skirts, bags and trainers. For us, though, it’s the stylish polo shirts – inspired by the famous yellow, green and polka dot leaders’ jerseys – that really catch the eye. Get one today, roar the boys on to victory, then wallow in gold medals galore come August. You’re welcome. The collection is available from June at lookmumnohands.com
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Worn or waved by fans, it will turn our Olympic crowds into a glorious sea of red, white and blue to show support for Britain’s athletes. Crucially, all scarf profits go straight to the British Olympic (or Paralympic) Association, meaning your money directly helps to support our Olympians. A win-win, we believe they call it. Official Team GB scarves, £5 or £10, available exclusively at Next. Visit next.co.uk
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Radar Editor’s letter
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Through the barricades: Haye and Chisora square up either side of a steel fence at Upton Park on Tuesday
Is this just anarchy?
No rules are being broken, but Haye and Chisora’s feud threatens the credibility of boxing
A Editor-in-chief Simon Caney @simoncaney
few months back, I opined that nobody should have been surprised at the public spat between David Haye and Dereck Chisora, no matter how unsavoury it looked. These two men are fighters, I said, and they will fight. Now it seems they will get their chance to actually box – not just scrap. Everything is in place for them to get in the ring together at Upton Park in July. The first reaction to that was ‘it can’t happen’. After all, Haye is retired, so has no licence, and Chisora’s licence is suspended after that little fracas in Germany. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And, in boxing, where there’s a chance to make a bob or two, there is most definitely a way. There are few promoters around who are as canny as Frank Warren, and he found a most unlikely avenue to getting the fight on.
He went to Luxembourg, a country that may not be exactly steeped in boxing history, but one with a board of control happy to sanction the fight. The British Boxing Board of Control can say what it likes, it would appear, but it cannot stop this fight happening. It is impossible not to admire Warren’s enterprise here. He will screen the fight on his BoxNation TV channel, and will garner a whole new audience as a result. But should we tune in? It could be a great fight: here are two men who clearly hate the sight of each other. Better they sort it out in the ring, as they say, rather than with beer bottles and camera tripods. But wouldn’t it be better still if they were just shipped off into permanent retirement, never to sully the name of boxing again? The fact is, while most of us think that, we will still watch the fight. Boxing can bring out one’s baser instincts.
Editor-in-chief: Simon Caney (7951) Deputy editor: Tony Hodson (7954) Associate editor: Nick Harper (7897) Art editor: John Mahood (7860) Deputy art editor: William Jack (7861) Subeditor: Graham Willgoss (7431) Senior writers: Sarah Shephard (7958), Alex Reid (7915) Staff writers: Mark Coughlan (7901), Amit Katwala (7914) Picture editor: Julian Wait (7961) Production manager: Tara Dixon (7963) Contributors: Luke Nicoli, David Lawrenson
To continue the theme of rehashing old columns, I’ve said before that I find Ronnie O’Sullivan one of the most watchable sportsmen in the world. His World Championship victory on Monday was just terrific – and perhaps the best we’ve seen him play. Yet the demons are always so close to the surface with Ronnie that we never know what we’re going to get – which is what makes him so mesmerising. Few sportsmen have the metaphorical ball on a string – Messi, Warne, Phil Taylor. Yet none of those have Ronnie’s flaws. When he’s bad, he’s bad. But when he’s good, he’s the greatest ever. No question. Finally, I hope you enjoy this magazine, our first interactive issue. Many thanks to the Team GB 2012 ambassadors who agreed to be interviewed – their stories only heighten the excitement for this summer.
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Hearty thanks this week to: Total Average Distribution: 304,700 Jul-Dec 2011
Mr. Hodgson IS a realistic choice for the #England job indeed. Nice piece in @SportmagUK from @simoncaney.
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Couldn’t agree more with @simoncaney in today’s @Sportmaguk. Harry Redknapp is certainly no Brian Clough. Hodgson right man for the job.
You miss the point on Hodgson, who has a very patchy record at the highest level. He won’t improve England in any way, as far as I can see,
@simoncaney ex offenders r expected to be integrated bk into society after serving their time. Why should it be any different to sportsmen?
@simoncaney you ought to give Dave Millar’s book a read. Interesting insight whether you think he deserves a second chance or not
Iain, via email
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Reader comments of the week
IN CINEMAS EVERYWHERE MAY 11
Radar Frozen in time
16 | May 11 2012 |
These fine people of Hartlepool thought it might be a good idea to celebrate their final fixture of the Football League season by dressing up as giant smurfs and heading down to Big London to face Charlton. As ideas go, though, it was right up there with hanging a monkey as a spy â€“ Hartlepool lost 3-2 and shuffled the 260 miles home with their stumpy little blue tails firmly between their legs.
Phil Cole/Getty Images
Feeling blue (and white)
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The interactive issue
SHOULD JESS ENNIS, MO FARAH OR TOM DALEY LEAVE LONDON WITH GOLD HANGING PROUDLY AROUND THEIR NECKS LATER THIS SUMMER, THEY WOULD JOIN AN ELITE BAND OF BRITISH BROTHERS AND SISTERS ABOUT WHOM THE TERM ‘OLYMPIC LEGEND’ ALREADY APPLIES. IN THIS SPECIAL ISSUE OF SPORT, SIX MEMBERS OF THAT BAND AGREED TO RECOUNT THEIR OWN OLYMPIC STORIES IN THEIR OWN WORDS – AND THAT STARTS RIGHT HERE, WITH THE GREATEST BRITISH OLYMPIAN OF THEM ALL
“I was drooped over the oar handle, lungs burning, gasping for air... but the pain would last 15 minutes max. I was going to be a five-time Olympic champion for the rest of my life” STEVE REDGRAVE COXED FOURS 1984 COXLESS PAIRS 1988, 1992, 1996 COXLESS FOURS 2000 – and with all the eastern-bloc countries (including the East Germans) boycotting the Olympics, there were only eight entries in the coxed fours. We were up against a new American crew that we hadn’t met before; we led off the start, they rowed through us and led through the middle of the race, but in the latter stages we closed them down and went on for gold. Looking back, I was probably the first full-time professional rower in the country at this time, but that’s what you had to do to compete with the eastern-bloc countries; they were full-time athletes and if you wanted to try and beat them you had to train more than them, not less. That’s what we were doing at that time, and it’s what we did from 1984 onwards.
Los Angeles 1984: Where were the Germans? I’d actually made selection to go to the Moscow Games as an 18-year-old four years earlier, but most of our rowing funding at the time came from US-based companies. Our funding got cut because of the American boycott, so we took a much smaller team that didn’t include me. It was very disappointing to make selection and then not go, but by the time the build-up to Los Angeles came around four years later we definitely felt that we could win. The best rowing country around at the time was East Germany, but we had beaten them and broken the world record at Lucerne leading into the Games
Seoul 1988: A favourite’s chance In 1984, we had become favourites to win gold just a few weeks before the Games. But I started rowing as a pair with Andy Holmes [who had been a part of the 1984 coxed four, together with Martin Cross, Richard Budgett and cox Adrian Ellison] two and a half years out from the Seoul Games. We had won the World Championships, started breaking world records, and were seen to be the crew out of all the boats that were racing at that Games. Yes, there was pressure, but no added pressure because we were both Olympic champions going into it. I would always prefer going into a major championship as
favourite, because most of the time favourites win; we are a country that likes supporting the underdog, but I never wanted to be the underdog because... well, they lose most of the time. Give me a favourite every time. Looking back through my career, there are probably four or five races about which I can say that, at that time, bearing in mind what we were trying to do, they were near to perfection. And the final in Seoul was one of them. It did seem that the bigger the event, the more it seemed to happen – and that all started with Andy when we beat the Romanians in Seoul. That was the first one I would say came close to perfection... and the others? The three races I rowed with Matthew [Pinsent] in Barcelona four years later, and the World Championships coxless four in St Catharines, Canada in 1999. Barcelona 1992: A higher level Andy Holmes retired after the 1988 Games, and I wanted to go back into single sculling or maybe find another partner to row with. I started rowing with a guy called Simon Beresford and we had reasonable success, winning silver at the World Championships the following year. But then Simon got a back injury – he got hit by a boat training out on the Thames – and was eventually taken out of the team during the 1990 season. >
Richard Heathcote/Contour by Getty Images
I only entered the four boat about three months before my first Games in 1984, having been singlesculling up until then. My aim had always been to try and win an Olympic gold medal in the singles, and when I started rowing internationally I felt the attitude of most of the athletes wasn’t as professional as it should be – so to me the only option was to do it on my own. That’s where my passion lay, but the reality was I couldn’t go as fast as I’d have liked, so the next best option was to join another boat. There is a little bit of regret about not achieving what I had set out to achieve, but I suppose it’s a good second best to win five golds in not quite the category of boat you wanted to...
The interactive issue
That opened up some debate: should I move into the four boat, in which Matthew Pinsent was rowing, or did we try and find a new a partner for me? Back in 1988, Matthew had won gold with Tim Foster [see 2000] in the Junior World Championships; the pair started rowing down at Leander soon after, and Matthew had gone straight into the senior team and won a medal in his first year. He was a big, powerful guy, and I remember thinking that one day, possibly, we could be a good combination. In the end, I first rowed with Matthew at the Goodwill Games in 1990. We spent quite a lot of time together, really hit it off, and after a bit of wheeling and dealing with the selectors we rowed as a pair at some trials up in Nottingham. We showed some pretty good promise, and even though there was an East German pair that was pretty outstanding, we ended up going to the 1991 World Championships in Tasmania thinking there was a silver medal up for grabs. We came back with bronze, which was very disappointing, but as we stood on the rostrum and got our medals, we looked at each other and said: “That’s it, we’re not going to get beaten again.” We felt we could move up to a higher level, and the next few years, beginning with those three
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near-perfect races at the Barcelona Games, showed we were probably right. Atlanta 1996: Raising the bar Matthew and I went five years unbeaten heading into 1996, so our confidence was reasonably high – but it was slightly different, in that I’d never been in that situation of going back and doing the same category of boat with the same partner. And at each Games I went to there was more and more recognition, which meant more expectation. But we were probably the best two rowers around, with one of the best coaches in the world [Jurgen Grobler], and I’d say we were almost the best athletes we ever were at that particular time. And yet, having won by five seconds in Barcelona, we only won gold by less than a second in Atlanta. Perhaps we underperformed... there was a lot of pressure on us, and not just because the British team was performing so badly [Redgrave and Pinsent were Team GB’s only gold-medallists in the 1996 Games]. I did struggle with my emotions that week, and the pressure did take its toll, but we always knew what to say to each other and Matthew was really good at deflecting the pressure from me. I think we actually got closer because of it. Did I go to Atlanta with retirement on mind? Possibly. Matthew and I had had great times rowing together, but he was always the young buck coming through and I think he felt I was going to retire, and let him get the recognition he deserved from the partnership. So I told him I was going to stop, and the closer it got to the Games the more convinced I was that I would. That statement I made in the boat
[immediately after winning gold, Redgrave gave anyone who saw him near a boat “permission to shoot me”] was exactly how I felt at the time, but within 24 hours I knew I wanted to carry on to Sydney and do it one more time. Sydney 2000: The fiver I didn’t speak to Matthew about carrying on. It was Jurgen who sat down with him and told him I wasn’t giving up – Matthew rang me and said that if we were going to carry on, then we definitely weren’t going to do so as a pair. “We have to do something different,” he said... and that’s how the four came about. I remember very clearly as we crossed the line to win gold, James [Cracknell] hit me on the back in celebration. When you cross the line to win gold at an Olympics, there is a physical exhaustion – but there’s also a much bigger mental exhaustion. You’re physically trained to be able to to do what you’ve just done, but the mental release is huge... and in Sydney I knew I wasn’t going to carry on, so for me it wasn’t just an Olympiad’s worth of release, but a lifetime’s. That hits you pretty hard, and I remember being drooped over the oar handles after we crossed the line. I was satisfied with what we’d done, but my legs were full of lactate, my lungs were burning and I was gasping for air. But I knew this pain was going to last for five or 10 minutes, 15 maximum, and I was going to be a five-time Olympic champion for the rest of my life. Then I saw this big oaf climbing over Tim [Foster]... the boat lurched from side to side, he gave me a big hug and then rolled into the water. It was a very special moment that sums up what Matt and I think of each other. It’s still a very, very close relationship.” Tony Hodson @tonyhodson1
“Matthew and I went five years unbeaten heading into 1996, so confidence was reasonably high”
The interactive issue
“I’d wanted to be Olympic 1,500m champion since I was 14 – but I risked everything by doing the 800m first”
Stu Forster/Getty Images
KELLY HOLMES, 800 M & 1,500 M , 2004 You’d come close a few times before that double gold in your third Olympics – what do you remember from your first two Games? “Atlanta 1996 was my first Games. That probably wasn’t the best memory for me. I ended up coming fourth but was running with a stress fracture, so having the pain of injections and everything wasn’t a pleasant experience. The main thing that served me well from ‘96 was knowing that, if I could come fourth in an Olympic final with a stress fracture, then maybe I could beat them [without one]. “In Sydney, it was a completely different experience – for all reasons. As soon as you landed, you knew that everyone was so enthusiastic about the Games and you felt it was going to be something special, which it was. It was an amazing Olympics there – my abiding memories of those Games are people like Cathy Freeman and the pressure she had on her, stuff like that. I got a bronze medal [in the 800m], but I wasn’t expected to even get into the semi final, let alone the final and get a medal. I’d only had six weeks of running leading up to that season. The rest [of my
training was] in the pool and at the gym, because I’d had a calf tear. So actually winning the bronze was like a gold for me at that time.” By comparison, what was your preparation like leading up to the 2004 Games in Athens? “Athens was the first year in seven that I hadn’t been inured. I was without a doubt in the shape of my life, the training had been going well and I’d won all my 800m Grand Prix races. I felt good, and I had a brilliant team of people around me who were all buying into my dream of being an Olympic champion.” Was double gold the aim from the off then? “No, no – never. I don’t think many people would ever think of getting double gold at a championships, apart from Mo Farah these days. Since I was 14, I’d wanted to be Olympic 1,500m champion, but I risked everything by doing the 800m first. I knew I was in shape, and I thought it’d be great to go for two medals – definitely, definitely not gold in the 800m, but to go for two medals would have been a bonus. I knew I
was in shape to medal, but it never for one second crossed my mind that I would win a gold in the 800m.” How did you approach the heats and the semi final for the 800m? “You’ve got to take everything one step at a time and think about performing. I ran really comfortably in the heats, around the two-minute mark. You’ve got to do enough to ensure you get through, but relax enough to not waste energy. In the semi final, I just felt really good – I ran that in about 1.58. I ran from the back of the field and tried to run consistently. Each 200m split actually had me right at the back of the pack, which was quite a scary position to be in – but it worked for me tactically.” And for the final? “I stuck to my tactics – there is a tendency for some people to change what they do when they get to a final. I felt confident in my ability to run from the front or the back and that gave me the strength to come through. I only won by the thickness of a shirt. >
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OIympic legends “I remember as I got to the line I took the one step forward in front of the other people, like I’d practised in training, because generally when you come neck and neck with somebody down the home straight you start tightening up and your shoulders go up. But I’d practised relaxing my shoulders, and it worked.” When you crossed the line you didn’t seem sure that you’d won – what happened there? “I knew I’d come across the line first really, but then there was this sudden kind of ‘no way could I have won’ feeling. That’s when I looked up at the screen and they were doing the slow-motion playback. There was actually a guy, a British photographer, who was on the inside of the track and who was jumping up and down with his camera around him screaming that I had won. I met him again a few months later and he said: ‘Kelly, it was the best night of my life, but also the worst because I didn’t get one photograph.’”
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Did you get a chance to celebrate at all? “No – I had the 1,500m to go and I was in an ice bath at 2am that morning.”
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That gold must have given you enormous confidence going into the 1,500m? “Had I not won the 800m, I might have put myself under too much pressure. So actually, in hindsight, it was probably in my favour that I actually did win that medal because it made me more relaxed. It was hard coming out in the heats again, because you’ve won gold but then you’ve gotta run again, and you’re kind of thinking: ‘Oh, I can’t get my head into this.’ But I managed it through the heats okay, and then the semi finals. When it got to the final, I was just in a completely different zone. I was like: ‘Well I have nothing to lose – I have my gold medal. I’m fast, I’m fully in shape and I feel good about myself.’ Winning the 1,500m was my dream – that’s what I’d wanted since I was 14, so I had to at least give it 100 per cent.” You won that one too, of course – how long did it take to sink in that you were a double Olympic champion? “I think it took a long time. At that moment it was like a weight off my shoulders almost, because I’d
been working so long and hard to get to that point. But it was a surreal experience, really surreal – suddenly you’re standing on the rostrum again, for a second time. It’s weird enough the first time, but when you get on the second time, you think: ‘Oh my god, I’ve done it.’ I was overwhelmingly excited, proud of myself and of the people who had supported me.” Would you consider yourself an Olympic legend? “Oh, gosh... well, I cannot consider myself to be one – that’s something for other people to determine. But what I do know is that I have been inspired by the Olympic Games since I was 14 years old, and the inspiration I took from those Games is what drove me to be who I was and I put everything into it: the confidence, the self-belief, hard work, dedication and commitment through my life. I’m pleased that I succeeded at the sport. If other people put me into a category, that’s up to them. All I know is that I’m proud to say I am a double Olympic champion.” Amit Katwala @amitkatwala
The interactive issue
“I don’t think anybody can prepare you for what it’s like to be an Olympic champion. It changes your life”
SALLY GUNNELL, 400 M HURDLES, 1992 My very first Olympics was in 1988, and I just sort of enjoyed being at the first one. Then, in 1992, it became very serious. The whole build-up had gone reasonably well – I had a slight niggle beforehand, but nothing too much. I wasn’t in brilliant shape beforehand; I hadn’t gone out and won everything by any means. And I wasn’t going into it as the favourite, as such, but I also knew that this was my chance and if I was ever going to do it, this was the year. I tried to treat it like any other Grand Prix, and not to make such a big thing of it, so we didn’t make a big song and dance because it was an Olympic year. We just did everything that made us comfortable and did what worked, really. I always knew the Americans – people like Sandra Farmer-Patrick – and the Russian girls were going to be the key opponents, and the ones I realised would push me. Though I think I was always very good at concentrating on my own performance, really.
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The heats all went well – I won my heat, won my semi. I’ve never been very nervous before the heats and just wanted to get them out of the way. And, once you get them out the way, you sort of get into it a bit more. I remember a lot of sitting around on the day, when you are just trying to keep yourself positive – because part of you just wants to get it over and done with really. On the start line, I didn’t really look around inside the stadium. I was very much inside my own thoughts – you sort of block it out. I don’t remember any of the race and I don’t remember the gun going. I think I had a little bit of a glimpse coming over the eighth hurdle, because I’d sort of said to myself that, if I’m in the lead coming over the eighth, I knew I could win – and I was. I don’t remember coming off the final hurdle, and I don’t remember crossing the line – you’re just so focused on what you’ve got to do. I didn’t really celebrate – you’re just exhausted, emotionally as well, and I had all the relays to do.
So you don’t sort of go out and get drunk or anything, which is a bit of a shame. I don’t think we really celebrated until the end of the season in September, when you’re able to catch up with friends and family. It’s a very strange feeling, and it took months to sink in. I don’t think anybody can prepare you for what it’s like to be an Olympic champion, because it changes your life and you’re just thrown into this surreal world. All of a sudden, people recognise you when you go out and kids are peering through the window. I suppose in some respects it never goes away – your life changes, but it’s always with you, and I don’t really remember coming on a real downer from it. It’s the reason why I’m chatting to you 20 years on – it’s way higher than British and world records, because everybody remembers it. I think every day since winning that medal, somebody at some point has said something or you’re referred back to that moment.” Amit Katwala @amitkatwala
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The interactive issue
“I thought I couldn’t hold the pace, but a very calm thought came back – well you have to, it’s the Olympic final”
DAVID HEMERY, 400 M HURDLES, 1968 The intention in 1968 was to win it, and I was planning to try and run at world-record pace. To put many years of training into less than a minute was extremely nerve-racking, so the build-up to the Games was about trying to keep my nerves under control. Through the heats and semi final, I wanted to put sufficient energy in to make it through, but conserve as much as I could, because in that era where you finished didn’t determine the lane draw. I went out hard but not flat out, just with the main focus on maintaining that stride pattern. That was the plan, but I had to accelerate because I couldn’t hold 13 strides into a headwind down the back straight for more than six of the 10 hurdles, so I chose to change down and put in two extra strides. I think it was a huge gift – just before hurdle eight, I heard Roberto Frinolli from Italy step in a puddle. There was a downpour every day at four in Mexico, and the track was still wet at six in the evening
during our final time. It sounded like it was just a couple of feet behind me on my left, and the shock I got that I hadn’t got away was enough for another adrenaline rush. I thought: “I’m not sure I can hold this pace.” And then a very calm response came back: “Well, you have to – this is the Olympic final.” At the end, I had no idea I’d wound up seven metres ahead, because I checked to my right and Ron Whitney wasn’t in sight. My hands went to my knees, and in that two seconds the field to my left came past and I thought: “I didn’t look left! I wonder if I won?” There were no timing screens or anything like that. They gave me a copy of the film, and it was only when I watched it without the sound I realised how much David Coleman’s commentary gave a colour to it – he got extremely excited, and rather over the top at the end with that unfortunate Colemanball of “who cares who’s third?” – when, of course, it was another Brit [John Sherwood].
On the podium, I had a sense of relief that I hadn’t blown it – and a sense of euphoria, because to get a world record and a gold medal was literally a dream come true. I don’t particularly like the word legend – I think it sets people apart, and I actually believe there’s a spark of greatness in absolutely everyone. Even before the Games started, there were political rallies – it was a very oppressive regime in Mexico. A student came to the edge of our compound, and he said: “Please just let the athletes know this was not anti-Olympics, it was for us to speak about our regime while the world’s press is here.” I had huge support for the black power salute – it was their time to make their statement. My dad moved to the US when I was 12, so I grew up there and watched the discrimination of the black population – they were heroes on the track, but wouldn’t be given the accommodation or the jobs they deserved. There was a lot of shock in the athletes’ village.” Amit Katwala @amitkatwala
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The interactive issue
“A lifetime’s work and sacrifice boils down to those 90 minutes – to those six jumps”
JONATHAN EDWARDS, TRIPLE JUMP, 2000 I see the Olympics in a very different way now – I appreciate what an amazing celebration of human endeavour it is across the board, in terms of the athletes as well as the organisation and the whole experience. But, back when I was competing, it was just about trying to win. It was phenomenally tense and stressful because it mattered so much. The idea of saying you have to enjoy the Olympic experience is all well and good but, realistically, it’s the most important competition of your life – and it only comes around every four years. The Olympics I enjoyed the most was definitely Seoul in 1988, because I went there with no expectations at all, so I was like a kid in a sweet shop. I didn’t jump well, but I just went there to enjoy it. Barcelona ‘92 was a great Games as well, because it was a great city and a great spectacle – but I performed badly, so that tempers my memory. I was devastated when I didn’t make the final there.
Going into 1995, I’d only won one global medal and had had a pretty poor 1994, so I didn’t know what to expect. Then, suddenly, I was the world record holder and the world champion. It was a complete turnaround – a bit like Clark Kent going into the telephone box and coming out the other side as Superman. The problem is the Atlanta Olympics was coming up in just a year, so the pressure on me to perform well was cranked up immediately. Silver in Atlanta It was such a big change for me in terms of my status in world athletics. My whole experience of 1996 is of feeling incredibly pressurised. I don’t have any great memories of Atlanta, to be honest. It was just very stressful. Having said that, the stadium was awesome. It was packed full and it was hugely patriotic for the Americans, so it was a great atmosphere. I was just so tied up with my own little drama that I didn’t really take much else in.
There wasn’t a huge stack of gold-medal hopes for the British team going to Atlanta, so there was intense focus on my performance. I don’t mind saying it got to me. I knew there was a very good American – the one who went on to win it, Kenny Harrison – in the field. And, to be honest, I very nearly got nothing, which would have been pretty horrible given what people expected. In the end, I felt very proud of the way that I sort of picked myself up off the canvas with the count on nine and managed to win a silver medal with a half-decent distance. It was weird standing on the podium despite not winning the gold. But, at the end of day, it was an Olympic silver medal. Four years before, I didn’t even qualify for the final. And, up until the previous year, the best result I’d had was a bronze at the World Championships and two silvers at Commonwealth Games. I felt incredibly proud with the Olympic silver, but you can’t get away from the fact that everybody else is thinking: “He should have won the gold.” >
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OIympic legends Going for gold Four years later, the lead-up to Sydney hadn’t been perfect because I’d had an operation a year and a half before and won only bronze in the World Championships in Seville. Despite all that, I went in as favourite and the expectation was there again. It was just a different type of expectation this time – it was my own internal pressure more than external pressure. The previous three global championships I hadn’t won, even though I had gone in as favourite, so I was very aware of my own fragility and it weighed heavily on me. The thing about Olympic finals and World Championships finals is you feel like the form books are ripped up and everyone starts level. When you go to your Grand Prix meetings, there’s a pecking order and people expect the top three to finish as the top three. But in the Olympic finals, it doesn’t matter and it’s all up for grabs. When you’re used to being the favourite and used to winning, it’s quite unnerving. Another big difference from Atlanta was the growing feeling of a Team GB. I think Sydney was the first year I felt this really happened and, when Jason Queally won a gold on the first or second day in track cycling, it did give the whole team a boost. We needed that boost on the back of 1996, when we had only won one gold in Atlanta. In terms of the day of my medal itself, I just remember feeling sick the whole time I was walking around preparing to jump. It’s not fun. I tried to enjoy it, but I couldn’t. You kind of feel like a lifetime’s work
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and sacrifice boils down to those 90 minutes – to those six jumps. I tried to be philosophical and say: “I’ll try my best, and what will be will be.” But, deep down, you’re desperate to win it. Ahead of my third jump, I had a genuine sense that this was it. I don’t know why, but it felt right, and then I pulled off my 17.71m. Second place was 17.46m, so I knew it could be good enough. It wasn’t a ‘kill-a-competition-dead’ jump, but it was good. The conditions weren’t ideal for jumping, but I knew if somebody got it absolutely right, they could have threatened, so it was still a nerve-racking wait for a few more jumps. Once I’d won, I wasn’t quite punching the air with joy – it was more a feeling of relief. My lap of honour took ages, but I was just taking it all in. I think that’s something that comes from being 34, having had the four-year wait since Atlanta in which I hadn’t won any of the global titles. It was more of a reflective ‘I can’t believe I’ve done it, I can’t believe I’m Olympic champion’ moment, and I had a real sense of gratitude towards the people who had stood by me and supported me. I’ve never been confident in my career, and I’ve always had to pinch myself that I’ve achieved what I have achieved – so I spent the next few days in a bit of a daze. I had my gold medal in my hand and I was a world record holder, so it was a bit like: “Is this really happening to me?” Plus I got upgraded to first class on British Airways... that was when I knew I’d really made it.” Mark Coughlan @coffers83
Matthew Ashton/PA Photos
Leap of faith: but Edwardsâ€™ best of 17.88m in Atlanta would see him finish only second
The interactive issue
“All I wanted to do was throw the thing like almighty hell. And that’s exactly what I did”
TESSA SANDERSON, JAVELIN, 1984 Montreal 1976 was my first Olympic Games, so I was just looking forward to the whole experience. I think my lasting memory of that was being away from home for so long, the crazy pyramid shape buildings everywhere and – of course – my performance. I was away for about three or four weeks and I was only 20 at the time, so it was a big deal. I finished up ninth in the standings, though, so I was quite pleased. After the disastrous 1980 Olympics [when Sanderson failed to qualify for the final], I got injured in 1981. I finished fourth in my comeback in the 1983 World Championships, which was important for me in terms of mental strength – knowing I could compete with my injury. By the time the Los Angeles Olympics arrived in 1984, I was about 150 per cent ready in my mind, even though I was only about 85-90 per cent ready in my body. Going into the final day in LA was the most amazing, but also frightening, feeling. I’d qualified, but this was where it really mattered. The one thing I really remember is feeling that this was a personal
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battle more than a competition, because I had the world record holder to compete against, not to mention my fierce rival from my own country. My rivalry with Fatima Whitbread was one of the toughest I’ve ever known in track and field. I’m glad it was like that because I needed that to give me the aggression and strength to say: “I want it just as much as she does.” It didn’t matter to me that we weren’t good friends, because I had enough friends. All I wanted to do on that final day was throw like almighty hell. It didn’t matter how it went out, as long as it made a mark. And that’s exactly what it did. I could hear the crowd roar and shouting ‘Hey Tessa’, ‘Fantastic Tessa’, but you don’t want to believe it’s good enough too early because the distance I threw was about five metres below Tiina Lillak’s world record and around two or three below my best and Fatima’s best. We knew any one of us could still win, but I also knew that it’s not about records in the Olympic Games. Deep down, I think I knew it could be good enough to win – and after Tina pulled out of her last throw, I threw that last javelin knowing I’d won.
From the moment you’re standing behind that podium, it’s nervy yet you feel an aura of satisfaction. Everything I’d been through started running through my mind and I started thinking about my family back at home in Wolverhampton and about my coach. It was for everyone who played a big part in my life. You feel all that, then the anthem starts playing. The tears started during the anthem and I couldn’t fight them. It’s the most solemn, but most beautiful feeling in the world. If you never won again, it didn’t matter because you’d done it now. I’m glad I carried on, even though I never won another Olympic medal. I retired after Barcelona in 1992 because I thought it was time to bow out, but Great Ormond Street wanted to see if I could raise money for children’s hospitals by competing in 1996 at the age of 40. I took on the challenge and I’m pleased I did. We raised something like £300,000. And I ended up in six consecutive Olympic Games. Not many athletes can say that. And no other British athlete has won Olympic gold for throwing.” Mark Coughlan @coffers83
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Premier League Awards
BEST IN SHOW This weekend’s final fixtures bring the curtain down on another Premier League season – a campaign of many highs, many lows and many bits in the middle. Allow us, then, to sift through the past nine and a bit months to reflect on the Premier League’s real winners and losers...
Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images, Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty Images, Olly Greenwood/AFP/Getty Images, Adrian Dennis/AFP/GettyImages
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
MANAGER OF THE SEASON
MOST PROMISING YOUNG PLAYER
van Persie Arsenal 1 Robin
Pardew Newcastle United 1 Alan
Walker Tottenham 1 Kyle
Cisse Chelsea v Newcastle United 1 Papiss
As predictable as it is undeniable, the Dutchman single-handedly pulled Arsenal back from the brink of oblivion – his 30 league goals now look to have secured Champions League football and, if the Gooners better or match Spurs’ result at the weekend, the newly coveted third place. He hardly needs us telling him his talents deserve a bigger stage, however.
Tipped by many to be staring into the Premier League abyss this season, the silvery fox has played the transfer market to perfection and built a team as effective as they are entertaining. Now mentioned as the next England manager – and not even he can have expected that, or the possibility of claiming a Champions League spot, with the Magpies just two points off third going into the final day.
Impossible to quibble with the PFA on this one. Tottenham’s marauding right back looks likely to be England’s first choice for the next decade and more.
You have to be in some form to even conceive a goal like this. Running on to a Shola Ameobi knockdown three yards outside the corner of the box and without a second thought in his head, Cisse whipped a delicious, curving, dipping, first-time half-volley over Petr Cech and into the top corner with the outside of his right boot, to howls of incredulity around Stamford Bridge.
Dempsey Fulham 2 Clint You try scoring 17 league goals in a plodding mid-table side – and most of them from midfield. No room for him in the PFA awards, but plenty here.
Britton Swansea 3 Leon We’re serious. Britton has been the metronomic heartbeat of Swansea’s purring midfield, a man whose passing stats were better than Xavi’s. Some debut season, that.
Paul Lambert Norwich City
When Lambert took over at Carrow Road in August 2009, Norwich were bottom of League One. This season they sit 13th in the Premier League – a monumental leap of 54 places in less than three years. If he keeps climbing at the same rate next season, he won’t be there much longer.
Rodgers Swansea City 3 Brendan Expected to be in charge of a team boomeranging right back down to the Championship, but only by those who hadn’t paid full attention to Rogers’ slick, assured brand of tiki-taffy football. A man bound for bigger and better.
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Moses Wigan Athletic 2 Victor For so long a player capable of exhilarating and exasperating in the same mazy run, the Wigan winger was the creative catalyst for their customary 11th-hour escape from relegation. That it coincided with him declaring he wanted a move may be purely coincidental.
Welbeck Manchester United 3 Danny Promising being the key word where Welbeck is concerned – because, despite a poor goalscoring return (nine in the league season), with too few of them being poacher’s prods from two yards, Welbeck charts here as a burgeoning foil for Wayne Rooney. The best is ahead of him, them, and us.
Crouch Stoke City v Manchester City 2 Peter Controlling Jermaine Pennant’s returned header on his instep, Peter Crouch knew instinctively where the goal sat as he swivelled and shot in the fluid movement of a Brazilian, not the giant-legged Englishman we thought we knew. From 25 yards, it arrowed over Joe Hart’s despairing, disbelieving dive – and would comfortably have been goal of the season in any other year.
Coates Liverpool v QPR 3 Sebasian A blistering Hugo Sanchez-esque bicycle kick from 10 yards out that flew through a crowd of players into the net – made more aesthetically pleasing by bouncing down off the underside of the bar before crossing the line. He won’t score better.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
MOMENT OF THE SEASON An FA Cup moment, admittedly, but a moment of such pure and rare beauty that we can fudge the rules here. Seventy-eight minutes into the Arsenal-Leeds United FA Cup tie, a still jetlagged Thierry Henry marked his second debut by scoring the winner, eight minutes after coming on and as good as with his first touch. Only a Leeds United fan with a stone heart could have failed to have been moved.
GK: Tim Krul (Newcastle United), LB: Leighton Baines (Everton), CB: Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United), CB: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), RB: Kyle Walker (Tottenham), MD: Cheik Tiote (Newcastle United), MD: Clint Dempsey (Fulham), MD: Yaya Toure (Manchester City), FW: David Silva (Manchester City), FW: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), FW: Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
1 Liverpool FC
1 Manchester City 3-2 Tottenham
It’s all too predictable to plump for Andy Carroll here, with his four league goals and general look of a man drowning, but who really expected anything else? So we’ll throw in the disappointingly underwhelming Charlie Adam, the overestimated Jordan Henderson and the hysterically overpriced and overrated Stuart Downing, whose sensational twoassists-all-season stat helps account for Liverpool’s stunning progress.
Dzeko Manchester City 2 Edin We should maybe have gone for Carlos Tevez here, but his behaviour is only disappointing if you’re a seven-year-old Manchester City fan who hasn’t yet worked out that none of them really care. Instead, then, the lanky Bosnian – who they claimed was quite a hit man. Turned out they missed off the ‘s’, man.
Joey Barton QPR
Compare and contrast the fortunes of his previous and current clubs, why don’t you? Perhaps this is why he tweets so much.
In truth, less a great game, more a monumental 15 or so minutes when the game sparked into life and goals rained down. Pre-slump Spurs could have gone second with a win, which seemed theirs on a plate when Gareth Bale crossed for Jermain Defoe in injury time, an inch out and with ‘Gooooaall’ etched across his eyeballs. It would have capped an heroic fightback from two down and catapulted Spurs into the title race – only Defoe’s short legs couldn’t reach it and the ball rolled agonisingly wide. Reprieved, City roared away, won a penalty and Mario Balotelli – who moments earlier had stamped on Scott Parker’s head – dispatched the final kick with trademark insouciance. Breathless and quite brilliant.
2 Manchester United 4-4 Everton
The game that resuscitated the title race was a see-sawing slow-burner with a sting in the tail. United fell behind to a clever Nikica Jelavic header, but semper fi blue Wayne Rooney’s brace helped establish a 4-2 lead that they held with less than 10 minutes left. At which point their entire back four left early to beat the traffic and allowed Everton to score twice, leaving Sir Fergie to play a maudlin lament on his magical whistling anus.
Chelsea 3-3 Manchester United
Not a JT, Lampsy or Didier in sight as a Chelsea side managed by the dearly departed Andre Villas-Boas stormed into a 3-0 lead within 50 minutes of this February clash at Stamford Bridge. But Howard Webb and Wayne Rooney combined for two soft penalties before Javi Hernandez leapt like a little pea-faced salmon to nod in a dramatic equaliser with six minutes remaining. A bewildering encounter made even more so by the two wonder saves David de Gea pulled off to deny Juan Mata and Gary Cahill in the dying moments.
BEST SIGNING Scholes Manchester United 1 Paul Paul Scholes told Sport last August that he wasn’t “missing football at all” – and we, like everyone else, fell for it. A rusty shadow of his former self when he first returned, the ginger corporal quickly settled back into his role as the calmest, most composed midfielder in English football and almost helped United steal the league title – and with the help of QPR, it still could. Mr Ferguson’s gamble on bringing him out of retirement has been no gamble at all, but merely served to illustrate how he failed to replace him in the first place.
Ba/Papiss Cisse/Yohan Cabaye Newcastle United 2 Demba Proof that there remains truly excellent value for money in the transfer market if you bother to do your homework – or ban suits from signing players. These three combined cost around £20.7m less than the Geordie whipping boy Andy Carroll, their 33 goals combined propelling Newcastle into Champions League contention. Someone deserves a bonus.
Sigurdsson Swansea City 3 Gylfi Perhaps the shiniest of Swansea’s midfield diamonds, with seven goals in 17 appearances on loan from Hoffenheim – and now with a £10m price tag on his head. Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United are licking their lips, and they’re not the only ones. All pictures Getty Images
Premier League Awards
TWATTER.COM OF THE YEAR AWARD QUOTE OF THE SEASON
As Pepe Reina offers an insight into the pre-match rituals at Liverpool, the reasons for their shambolic league form become clear
THE MOST EFFORTLESS U-TURNS OF THE SEASON
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images, Pius Utomi EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images, Andrew Yates /AFP/Getty Images, Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images, Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images
There have been so many, but in no particular order...
Asamoah Gyan, Sunderland
Samir Nasri, Arsenal
Roberto Mancini, Manchester City
September 1 “I am disturbed by these rumours [of a lucrative move abroad]. I am happy in Sunderland, and I have a contract, I intend to honour it.”
April 2010 “The work we do [at Arsenal] is not getting the credit it deserves because we are not winning silverware. It is unfair. I think we have more merit as a club than those who just build their teams with millions of pounds.”
September 28 “I have helped [Tevez] for the last two years and I can’t accept this from him. For me, he’s finished. I cannot go on with him. If I decide these things, then he’s finished.”
September 16 Joins Al-Ain in UAE.
August 24 Joins Manchester City.
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February 23 “Carlo is a top striker. He can help us to do a good job in the next two months.”
Tony Fernandes, QPR (discussing Neil Warnock) August 20 “In many ways we’re very similar. I love his passion... he’s ever so infectious... you don’t see any hidden agenda and what you see is what you get. This is a chance to really build something. I hope he’ll stay here for a long, long time.” January 8 Sacks Warnock.
Wojciech Szczesny @aaronjramsey I don’t wanna be rude mate but you look like a rapist on that picture! lol
MOST OUTRAGEOUS DIVE OF THE SEASON A late charge, with triple-pike, from Mr A Young, but this one was sewn up by Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards in Qatar. Having accused FIFA of stealing association football from us little Englanders in front of a delegation of foreign big-wigs, he then tripped and fell into a water feature on his way to dinner, then scrambled around on his hands and knees like a shambling drunkard. The horror, Sir, the horror.
VILEST EMAIL SENT BY A MAN WHO SWORE BLIND HIS COMPUTER HAD BEEN HACKED From Garry Cook, the then-chief executive of Manchester City To Dr Anthonia Onuoha, mother and agent of Nedum Onuoha, who had been fighting cancer for a year... though supposedly intended for Brian Marwood, Manchester City’s football administrator
Charlton photo PA, all other photos Getty Images
“Carra doesn’t like me to fist him before the game. He always gives me a high-five instead of the fist”
So much competition in this most cutting-edge of categories, with @rioferdy5 and @joey7barton featuring prominently as social commentators. @joey7barton’s outbursts consisted almost entirely of quoting Nietzsche (“helmet” this, “helmet” that), while @rioferdy5’s take on the August riots (“seems these kids/people have no fear or respect for the police”) was undermined a tad by the fact he financed and glorified the straight-tobargain-bins gangland drugs movie Dead Man Running in 2009. The most notable entry came from Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny, who took to Twitter after seeing teammate Aaron Ramsey in a golfing sweater and described him as looking “like a rapist”. Szczesny quickly retired from Twitter, but it was three words too late.
Premier League Awards
BEST MARIO BALOTELLI TALE THAT TURNED OUT TO BE, SADLY, APOCRYPHAL He never gave a tramp £1,000 after winning big in a casino. He didn’t light those fireworks in his bathroom (his mates did). He didn’t turn up at a petrol station and pay for everyone’s petrol, nor buy all the patrons of a public house a round of drinks. And he didn’t, he says, drive round Manchester dressed as Santa. It’s true, though, that his mum sent him to John Lewis to buy an ironing board and he came back with a Scalextric and a trampoline. “Yes,” he smiled. “That is true.”
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
MOST ILLUMINATING QUOTE TO COME FROM A COURT CASE INVOLVING NOT THE FUTURE MANAGER OF ENGLAND
“I write like a two-yearold and I can’t spell... I can’t work a computer, I don’t know what an email is, I can’t, I have never sent a fax and I’ve never even sent a text message. I have a big problem, I can’t write so I don’t keep anything. I am the most disorganised person, I am ashamed to say, in the world... you talk to anybody at the football club. I don’t write. I couldn’t even fill a team sheet in.” Harry Redknapp statement to police, June 1 2009, recorded not written. In February 2012 he was found not guilty of tax evasion
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BEST SEPTUAGENARIAN SUGGESTION ON HOW TO RID FOOTBALL OF RACISM “There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but also the one who is affected by that. He should say that this is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen... on the field of play sometimes you say something that is not very correct, but then at the end of the game, the game is over and you have the next game where you can behave better.” Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA
CLEAREST INSIGHT INTO THE WORKINGS OF A FOOTBALL MANAGER’S MIND Harry Redknapp on Carlos Tevez September 29 “It’s unbelievable [behaviour]... it wasn’t right for Man City, it wasn’t right for football. I can’t believe it, it shouldn’t happen, it can’t happen. It’s beyond belief.” October 22 “I’d take him tomorrow. Say what you like, but he’s a world-class player. It’s all right people refusing to condone his behaviour but, to be honest, I’m only interested in what he does when he plays.”
BEST MARIO BALOTELLI SOUNDBITE MUTTERED TWO DAYS BEFORE THE INFAMOUS FIREWORK INCIDENT “I’ve changed my life… I don’t live in the town any more, I’m outside it now so it’s more quiet. I try to stay at home more. I’ll stay in now with my family, my brother or girlfriend. I am growing up. I’m okay now, I’m good. I’m happy.”
SECOND-BEST SEPTUAGENARIAN SUGGESTION ON HOW TO RID FOOTBALL OF RACISM “You’ve just got to get on with it. You know, I think players who come and complain, sometimes they are a little bit out of order.” Dave Whelan, owner of Wigan Athletic
MOST OPEN ACT OF HONESTY FROM A PREMIER LEAGUE MANAGER “It’s extremely unlikely we will be doing any business in this window. I’ll stick with what I have.” So said Harry Redknapp on the first day of the January transfer window. By the time the window closed he’d signed Louis Saha, Ryan Nelsen, failed in loan bids for Mauro Zarate and an “enormous” bid for Loic Remy, sold Roman Pavlyuchenko and loaned out Sébastien Bassong, Stephen Pienaar, John Bostock and Vedran Corluka.
BEST SQUIRREL SKETCH BY A PREMIER LEAGUE MANAGER
CHAIRMAN OF THE YEAR Steve Morgan, Wolves January 12 “I’d like to think football thinks Wolves do things our way... long-term growth, stability and strength. We don’t have a hire-and-fire mentality… the message is finally dropping: this club is about stability. You don’t get that by chopping and changing your manager.” February 13 Sacks manager Mick McCarthy.
Steve Kean, Blackburn
April 22 Wolves relegated, having added two further points from a possible 30.
Auctioned online for Save Our Squirrels.
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7 Days OUR PICK OF THE ACTION FROM THE SPORTING WEEK AHEAD
MAY HIGHLIGHTS 11–MAY 17 » Premier League: the other issues » p46 » Cricket: England v West Indies » p48 » F1: Spanish Grand Prix » p50 » Rugby Union: Aviva Premiership semis » p52 » Athletics: Diamond League, Doha » p52
And so we near the final curtain. After 37 games, a bunch of twists and no small number of turns, the final destination of the Premier League title will be decided by the very final games of the season. Those sky-blue upstarts from the Etihad are in prime position, level on points with the neighbours but with a superior goal difference that means
victory at home to relegation-threatened QPR should secure them a first league title since 1968. It’s not over until it’s over, however, and on the bus to Sunderland Sir Alex Ferguson will be reminding his charges that all they need do is better City's result to earn themselves title number 20. Beyond their control, yes, but not beyond their reach...
Red storm rising
Blue all over
Three reasons why Manchester United can still win the title...
... and three reasons why they quite clearly can’t
1. Not up for the cup City have failed to win at home four times this term, but three of those were in cup competitions and two (against United in the FA Cup and Liverpool in the Carling Cup) saw them exit said tournaments. Sunday’s game against QPR has effectively taken on cup-tie status – could the extra pressure tell on a side that hasn’t shone in one-off games this season?
1. City slickers They have had their wobbles, but City have dropped points in only one home league game this season. That was in a crazy 3-3 draw with an in-form Sunderland, but since losing 1-0 at Arsenal in April, Mancini’s side has won five in a row, scoring 15 and conceding one. They are on a roll, and QPR don’t look likely to stop them.
44 | May 11 2012 |
2. The longer the wait... City have lost seven since the turn of the year, six of them 1-0 – and five of those were to second-half goals. Roberto Mancini’s men can come from behind to win games (as against Chelsea in March), but the longer the wait for a goal goes on, the more likely they are not to get it. And how did QPR do last weekend? Oh yes, they won 1-0. With a late goal.
3. Horses for courses Times (and stadia) have changed since QPR’s last league visit to Man City, in March 2000. But the fact is they have won on three of their past five league outings there; throw in their own survival fight, and in boss Mark Hughes a United hero who would love to get one over on a club that sacked him, and this is set up to be one of those games.
2. Travelling light There have been some dismal Premier League teams this season, but none have been as dismal away from home as Rangers. Seems quite the stretch to imagine them stopping the rot at Fortress Etihad – even more so when you consider that they haven’t won on the final day of the season for eight long years.
3. United aren’t that good In the unlikely event that City do leave the door ajar, there’s a good chance that Fergie’s men will still screw it up anyway. A win at the Stadium of Light is no guarantee, just as a win at Upton Park was no guarantee in 1995. We know what happened then, and this United squad is a poor imitation of the one that lost out to Blackburn that season.
Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
SUNDAY PREMIER LEAGUE | MANCHESTER CITY v QPR | ETIHAD STADIUM | SKY SPORTS 1 3PM SUNDERLAND v MANCHESTER UNITED | STADIUM OF LIGHT | SKY SPORTS 2 3PM
7 Days SUNDAY FOOTBALL | PREMIER LEAGUE | 3PM
Destination unknown If the two Mancunian titans’ fight for the title is an epic battle between two world-class sides, then the battle for the four remaining European places resembles a Friday-night scrap in a pub car park. Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea have all had moments this season when they’ve looked to be completely out of the running, and the fact that they’re all still in with a shout of Champions League football owes more to the ineptitude of each of the others than anything else. Newcastle, meanwhile, looked to have timed a late surge back into the top four perfectly, and then promptly got thumped 4-0 against Wigan. All four are guaranteed European football next season, but the final day of matches (and Chelsea’s trip to Munich) will decide whether it’s the coveted Champions League, or the dreaded Europa League... WEST BROM v ARSENAL | The Hawthorns Currently third by a point, a win for Arsenal away at the Hawthorns will secure their place in the group stages next year. Unfortunately for Arsene Wenger, his side is currently on a run of four games without one. It’s Roy Hodgson’s last game in charge of West Brom before he sips from the poisoned chalice of the England job, so he’ll be looking to end on a high with a home win. That is, of course, if his mind’s not already occupied with keeping JT’s knob out of trouble in Poland and the Ukraine. Arsenal won the reverse fixture a comfortable 3-0, but they might find goals a bit harder to come by this time around – West Brom have kept a clean sheet in five of their past six games at home.
46 | May 11 2012 |
TOTTENHAM v FULHAM | White Hart Lane Spurs, of course, collapsed in the most incredible manner after Capello-gate. But they’re still hanging on to that fourth spot, which when all is said and done might not be enough to qualify for a place at Europe’s top table if Chelsea win the Champions League. Harry Redknapp seemed reluctant to make attacking changes in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, so perhaps he’s gambling on a German victory. Either way, his side will need to do the business against Fulham to secure fourth spot at the very least. The Cottagers are second in the form table at the moment, but have won only four away games all season and haven’t picked up a victory at White Hart Lane since 2003. The omens, then, are good for ‘Arry.
EVERTON v NEWCASTLE | Goodison Park If you’d offered the Magpies their current position of fifth back in August, they’d have snatched it up. But now the shiny spectre of Champions League riches has been dangled tantalisingly in front of their beaks, you can be sure they’ll fight for their place. They’re reliant on other results, but a win over Everton will give them the best possible chance. It won’t be easy – the Toffees have been formidable at home of late, winning six of their past seven with six clean sheets. Still, when you have Papiss Demba Cisse up front, it doesn’t seem to matter who the opposition are (unless it’s Wigan). CHELSEA v BLACKBURN | Stamford Bridge We went to press before Chelsea’s game against Liverpool on Tuesday night, so they’re either mathematically out of the running for fourth, or virtually out of the running for fourth. Even with a win, they’ll need all three of the other results to go in their favour as they welcome newly relegated Blackburn. Put simply, their best chance of securing Champions League football for next year comes in Munich in just over a week. More of that in our next issue.
SUNDAY FOOTBALL | PREMIER LEAGUE | 3PM
Last chance STOKE v BOLTON Britannia Stadium Owen Coyle’s Bolton head to Stoke knowing that even a win might not be good enough, although with QPR heading to Man City, it probably will. Bolton won the reverse fixture 5-0 – a result scarcely believable, given recent performances. Neither side are in great form – Bolton have only one win in seven, and Stoke one win in 11. Bolton have kept just three clean sheets all season, and have conceded at least two goals in six of their past seven away games. Stoke, meanwhile, have one of the better home defences – and Bolton’s top scorer is Ivan Klasnic, with an underwhelming eight strikes.
MAN CITY v QPR Etihad Stadium If the omens for Bolton Wanderers are bad, then – with apologies to Rangers fans – it’s even harder to see Mark Hughes’ side getting a result at the Etihad, where City are yet to lose a league game this season. QPR, meanwhile, have won just three away games all season and have lost their past six in a row, scoring five and conceding 17. Their previous away win came at Stoke almost six months ago – something from which Bolton will take heart. City, meanwhile, have won five in a row and go into the game knowing a win will make them champions. If QPR do stay up, it won’t be by winning here.
Ian Kington/AFP/GettyImages Bryn Lennon/Getty Images, Andrew Yates/AFP/GettyImages, Glyn Kirk/AFP/GettyImages, Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
QPR fans wanting to experience the joy of staying in the Premier League or the despair of leaving it would probably be better served heading to Stoke than Manchester to see the drop-deciding action
7 Days THURSDAY > CRICKET | ENGLAND V WEST INDIES: 1ST TEST | LORD’S | SKY SPORTS 1 10AM
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
The West Indies have spirit, but the wrong captain is in charge for the upcoming Test series in England, says fast-bowling legend Michael Holding
Australian ups and downs “It was an encouraging performance against Australia in the last series. This West Indies team is showing a lot of character – a lot more fight. But the thing is, this is a pretty ordinary Australian team and even playing in the Caribbean, in their own conditions, the West Indies still lost [2-0 in the Test series]. It was good to see the commitment and the guys out there doing everything they can. But even that, in England, will not be enough.”
Captain can’t “In my opinion, [captain] Darren Sammy should not be in the team. He isn’t good enough to play Test cricket. It’s quite obvious: he played three Test matches and got five wickets against Australia. He’s a first change; he’s not someone who comes in as a fifth or a sixth bowler. How can you justify having your first-change bowler take five wickets in a three-Test series?”
Chanderpaul the key “Shiv Chanderpaul [above] has been playing so well for donkey’s years now, and he’ll be very important in this Test series. He’s going to need to spend a lot of time at the crease, and I think they will probably have to start batting him higher in the order. As it is now, he gets to the crease with most of the top batsmen gone and not a lot left for him to bat with after. So, if the top four don’t put runs on the board, he may have to move up the order.”
Bowling promise “If we picked our best bowlers, we would have a pretty good attack. There’s Kemar Roach, who is doing so very well, plus Ravi Rampaul... but then think of a bowler who isn’t there at all, in Jerome Taylor. The last time the West Indies beat England, in 2009, Taylor was the one who won that Test match. He’s one of the best fast bowlers in the world, yet he is nowhere to be seen. Those three plus spinner Shane Shillingford is a good attack, but we can’t pick the team that should be selected.”
Batting uneasy “This is an inexperienced team and most of the players are very inexperienced in English conditions. I think they will struggle against the bowlers that they will face. England have the best bowling attack in English conditions at the moment. You may question some aspects of it, but in English-type conditions, I don’t see any team in the world that have what England have right now. They can destroy the best batting line-ups, as we have seen.”
Selection fiasco “It’s not only Jerome Taylor who’s not in the team. It’s also Dwayne Bravo, who’s the best all-rounder in the Caribbean. But they don’t want him in the team because he and Sammy do the same thing. In my opinion, the person who should be captain of the West Indies is the person who’s captaining Leicestershire right now [Ramnaresh Sarwan]. The problem is that this team is being selected on personality, not cricketing ability.”
Gayle no-show “Chris Gayle not being here has nothing to do with the selectors. He’s made his choice, but I have no qualms with Chris Gayle wanting to play in the IPL. English and Australian players can get fantastic retainer contracts from their countries that Caribbean players cannot. So I’m not going to tell any player to forget about their future, forget about feeding and schooling their kids, it’s all about nationalistic pride – no, I can’t do that. As one player in the Caribbean said to me: ‘Mikey, you can’t take national pride to the supermarket.’” Proof positive “A positive result for the West Indies would be for them to show the same sort of bite and character that they showed against Australia – and to take the games into five days. If you look at both teams on paper, there’s no way this West Indies can be talked about in terms of having a chance of winning. Realistically, if the West Indies win one Test match of the three, they will have done extremely well.” Mikey Holding was speaking ahead of England’s 1st Investec Test v the West Indies, and an unrivalled summer of domestic and international cricket live on Sky Sports HD
Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s Test average in England 48 | May 11 2012 |
Sir Chris Hoy
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7 Days SUNDAY FORMULA 1 | SPANISH GRAND PRIX | CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA | SKY SPORTS F1/BBC ONE 1PM
Who reigns in Spain? After their Far and Middle eastern jaunts, it’s normally business as usual when the Formula 1 roadshow heads to Europe and the very familiar ground of the Spanish Grand Prix. The Circuit de Catalunya’s status as both test track and race track means the drivers know it inside out, according to Sky Sports F1 commentator Anthony Davidson. “It’s really easy for the drivers,” he told Sport. “It’s like coming home when you go to Barcelona, and therefore you don’t see any mistakes.” His colleague David
Croft, admittedly speaking before the start of this crazy mixed-up season, added: “The teams go to Barcelona knowing exactly what’s going to happen.” Four rounds in, those words sound a little optimistic. The opening quartet of races has yielded four different winners from four different teams – the first time that’s happened for 29 years. Eight different drivers from six teams have made the podium so far, and further spice is added to the mix by the upgrades that many teams will be utilising for the first time. Davidson says: “By the time we arrive in Europe, we see the first lot of aero updates – and that’s always quite exciting. And we see the first leap forward in terms of the bigger, richer teams and their development progress.” Ferrari are one team who’ll be unveiling a radically changed aerodynamic package in Barcelona. Local hero Fernando Alonso has performed miracles with an unmanageable beast of a Ferrari thus far. If these upgrades work as intended, he’ll be a real contender for a third drivers’ title. Double champ Sebastian Vettel won his first race of the season in Bahrain, meanwhile, to signal a return to form for Red Bull, who had struggled to match the speed of McLaren and Mercedes in the opening few races. Mercedes showed they’re not all about qualifying-day speed with Nico Rosberg’s win in China, while McLaren are yet to win a race despite having the fastest car (until now). It could all change in Spain, though – can those upgrades help one team begin to dominate, or will another contender come forward in this already fascinating season?
SATURDAY RUGBY LEAGUE | CARNEGIE CHALLENGE CUP: WIGAN WARRIORS v ST HELENS | DW STADIUM | BBC ONE 2.30PM
No fewer than seven Super League clubs will be in action across this weekend’s Carnegie Challenge Cup quarter finals, but the stand-out tie is undoubtedly holders and league leaders Wigan Warriors against their bitter rivals St Helens at the DW Stadium on Saturday. After an awful start to the season, in which they won just two of their first seven games, St Helens sacked their Australian coach Royce Simmons. Such a football-style reaction shocked the game but, since backroom boys Mike Rush and Kieron Cunningham took temporary charge, there has been a remarkable turnaround – Saints have lost just one game out of their last eight, although that was to Wigan on Good Friday. James Roby, recognised as the best hooker in the world, will be key to them gaining revenge tomorrow, but the Warriors are a strong outfit. Full back Sam Tomkins (pictured, with ball) is the most dangerous 50 | May 11 2012 |
player in the Super League, although they will miss goal-kicking winger Pat Richards, out for 12 weeks with a knee injury. Elsewhere, there’s an intriguing contest in the south of France, where Catalans Dragons take on Warrington Wolves (Sunday 3.10pm, BBC Two). The Wolves were hammered 44-16 on their last visit to Stade Gilbert Brutus on Easter Monday, and have looked far from convincing of late. In the two remaining quarter finals, Huddersfield Giants – currently second in the Super League – will be favourites to progress from a home tie against the London Broncos (Sunday 5pm, Sky Sports 2), while Leigh Centurions – the last surviving Championship side in the draw – host last season’s runners-up Leeds Rhinos. If the Centurions see off the reigning Super League and world club champions, it will be one of the biggest upsets in the history of the game’s oldest and most prestigious competition.
Gareth Copley/Getty Images, Paul Gilham/Getty Images
No quarter given
7 Days SATURDAY RUGBY UNION | AVIVA PREMIERSHIP SEMI FINAL: HARLEQUINS v NORTHAMPTON | THE STOOP | SKY SPORTS 1 2.45PM
FRIDAY ATHLETICS | SAMSUNG DIAMOND LEAGUE: DOHA | QATAR | BBC RED BUTTON 5PM
In an Olympic year, the Samsung Diamond League inevitably reads like a succession of phoney wars ahead of the great battle to come. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of intrigue to be had from the series’ opener in Doha this evening, however. Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are notable absentees, but a high-calibre 100m field will still be on show, with Olusoji Fasuba’s six-year-old meeting record of 9.85s surely under threat. Asafa Powell (pictured) and Nesta Carter, the third and fourth fastest men in history, will lead the charge – but the Jamaican pair won’t have it all their own way, with the recently crowned 60m world indoor champion Justin Gatlin looking to upset the odds. The men’s 400m is another star-studded event, with Beijing gold-medallist and former world champ LaShawn Merritt lining up against double 400m hurdles Olympic champion Angelo Taylor. In the women’s events, meanwhile, 200m specialists Veronica Campbell-Brown (the Jamaican double Olympic champion) and the USA’s Allyson Felix (three-time world champion) are set to face off over the slightly less familiar distance of 100m. The shorter distance will favour Campbell-Brown, although with reigning Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart also in the line-up, victory for either is far from assured.
It’s playoff semi final time in the Aviva Premiership this weekend, and time for the top four to earn their stripes after disappointing Heineken Cup seasons. Wins for all four in last week’s final round of regularseason fixtures means it’s as you were at the top, with Harlequins leading the way from Leicester, Saracens and Northampton. To the Stoop on Saturday, then, where Northampton have the task of overcoming a Quins side that has suffered only one home defeat all season. Chris Robshaw and his men will be confident of reproducing the earlyseason form that saw them go unbeaten until Christmas and, while the fitness of fly half Nick Evans is a worry, Quins still possess quality across the park – including the power of Maurie Fa’asavalu (pictured). The Saints won’t plan on taking any backwards steps,
BEST OF THE REST
FOOTBALL League One Playoffs Semi Final 1st Leg: Stevenage v Sheffield United, Broadhall Way, Sky Sports 1 7.45pm
RUGBY UNION IRB Sevens Day 1, Twickenham, Sky Sports 1 10.30am
MOTORSPORT IRC Rally Day 1, Corsica, British Eurosport 10am
TENNIS ATP Madrid Masters 1000: Second Semi Final, Madrid, Sky Sports 3 6pm
CYCLING Giro d’Italia Stage 6, Urbino-Porto Sant’Elpidio British Eurosport 1.30pm
52 | May 11 2012 |
FOOTBALL League One Playoffs Semi Final 1st Leg: MK Dons v Huddersfield, Stadium mk, Sky Sports 1 12.30pm
SUNDAY MOTORSPORT World Superbikes
Round 5, Donington Park, British Eurosport 2 11.30am
Sheffield United v Stevenage, Bramall Lane, Sky Sports 1 7.45pm
FOOTBALL SPL: Celtic v Hearts, Celtic Park, Sky Sports 2 12.45pm
GOLF Players Championship Day 4, TPC at Sawgrass, Sky Sports 1 6pm
FOOTBALL League One Playoffs Semi Final 2nd Leg: Huddersfield v MK Dons, Galpharm Stadium, Sky Sports 1 7.45pm
MONDAY TENNIS ATP Rome Masters 1000 Day 1, Rome, Sky Sports 2 11am FOOTBALL League One Playoffs Semi Final 2nd Leg:
THURSDAY GOLF Volvo World Match Play Championship, Finca Cortesin, Andalucia, Spain, Sky Sports 3 1pm DARTS Premier League Playoffs, The O2 Arena, London, Sky Sports 2 7pm
WEDNESDAY FOOTBALL League Two Playoffs Semi Final 2nd Leg: Southend v Crewe, Roots Hall, Sky Sports 1 7.45pm
FOOTBALL League Two Playoffs Semi Final 2nd Leg: Torquay v Cheltenham, Plainmoor, Sky Sports 1 7.45pm
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images, Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
however. Victory in their must-win match at Exeter’s Sandy Park two weeks ago showed they can still dig deep when they need to, despite their injury worries. The second semi final sees Leicester and Saracens go head to head in a rematch of the past two Premiership finals (Saturday 5.30pm, ESPN). If those clashes didn’t ramp the rivalry up enough, Saracens putting 50 points on the Tigers at Welford Road back in September will have done the trick. Leicester got their revenge with an away win in February, but that defeat still hurts this proud club. If they can get Toby Flood and Ben Youngs fit in time, it’s hard to see them losing at home again – especially because they’ve lost just one in 16 since their international stars returned. With Manu Tuilagi at his destructive best last weekend, and brother Alesana playing his last home game for the Tigers, Saracens are going to have their work cut out in defence. Looks like a home win to us.
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The interactive issue
P58 Fujifilm’s FinePix F77-EXR includes a ‘Route Log’ and takes really fine, er, pics
Making the most of your time and money
Free your mind (and feet)
Vibram Five Fingers Sprint £105 | vibramfivefingers.uk.com
Less is fast becoming more in the quest to run harder and faster, with the newest generation of barefoot running shoes...
New Balance Minimus Zero Trail £69.99 | newbalance.co.uk
Merrell Road Glove
Photography by James Lincoln, jameslincoln.co.uk
£90 | merrell.com
Reebok RealFlex £64.99 | reebok.com
Vivo Barefoot Aqua Lite £79 | vivobarefoot.com
Nike Roshe Run Iguana £80 | nikesportswear.com
Nike Free 3.0 V4 £80 | nike.com 54 | May 11 2012 |
KARRIMOR & CRACKNELL
The Alpiniste three-layer jacket from Karrimor is built using eVent technology. eVent is the only waterproof fabric that lets the sweat out. It breathes better so it keeps you dry, inside and out, even in extreme weather. Genius. Add that to intelligent, ergonomic design for further protection and specialist features like a height adjustable hood to accommodate a helmet. It’s not just built different. It’s built better. www.karrimor.com
CAMPING • WALKING • SKIING
56 | May 11 2012 |
here is, we are told, only one man’s name Natalie Pike would consider having tattooed upon her. And that man is Shaun Goater. While the rest of us can only dream of inspiring such feeling in a doe-eyed brunette like Manchester City’s matchday presenter, the lucky Goat won Pike’s admiration in perpetuity a long time ago. Scoring more than 100 goals for her team will do that for a girl, apparently – especially when she has “watched more games of football than most middleaged men” and has had a City season ticket since 1998. The Bermudan won’t be adorning Pike’s lower back, however – that spot’s taken. Underneath the shirt, the former glamour model and The Price is Right gameshow hostess is also the proud owner of a pretty sizeable tag of Citeh’s club badge. Given her enthusiasm for all things blue – and that she is, ahem, no Carlos Tevez – Sport suggests Pike’s employers feature her on a billboard the next time they want to goad their neighbours. They’ll almost certainly have the opportunity to do exactly that in the next fortnight. She is, after all, a far nicer way to say Welcome to Manchester.
Extra time Natalie Pike
Matt Christie/Celebrity Pictures
Extra time Gadgets
Samsung Galaxy S3 Not one to be outdone by some pesky American start-up named after a fruit, Korean tech giant Samsung generated some hype of their own last week with the hotly anticipated launch of the Galaxy S3. It boasts a massive 4.8” screen and some nifty software features, including the ability to use the front-facing camera to turn the screen off when you’re not looking at it, and S Voice, a Siri-style voice control system. Your move, Apple.
We’ve scoured the galaxy in search of the best gadgets. None of them appear here, of course – alien technology is way more advanced
£TBC | samsung.co.uk
Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR If you’re going on holiday and want great pictures but don’t want to lug around a huge SLR or spend hours fiddling with knobs, then this might be the snapper for you. It’s got a massive 20x optical zoom for faraway subjects and includes Route Log, which creates an illustrated map of where you’ve been to accompany your travel snaps. Probably one to switch off if you’ve just been taking pictures of your cat. £300 | fujifilm.eu/uk
Dyson DC35 Multi Floor
LG 47LM760T 47” LED 3D TV
Light, portable, wireless – you’d think we were talking about a laptop if it weren’t for the glaring vacuum cleaner picture accompanying this text. Designed for small flats so good for London (anyone who can afford a big house in this market probably pays someone else to clean it), the DC35 has all the usual Dyson tech. A three and-a-half-hour charge lasts 15 minutes, or six minutes on boost (not as fun as it sounds).
As televisions get smarter, it’s becoming abundantly clear that old-fashioned remotes just aren’t going to cut it. So take ‘Ol’ Clicker’ out back, and get a new TV. This one comes with a ‘Magic Remote’, which won’t let you cast spells (sadly) but does have a mouse-style scroll wheel for navigating smart TVs. £1,600 | lg.com/uk
£220 | dyson.co.uk
Fitbit Ultra Slip this little thing into your pocket and, much like Sting, it’ll keep track of every step you take, every mile you walk and every step you climb. You can set daily goals through a website to help you get in shape; all it’s taught us, though, is that it’s exactly 11 steps from our sofa to our fridge. £80 | fitbit.com
Extra time Grooming THE FRAGRANCE
Signs of the times This week, two ancient art forms come together in a thoroughly modern scent
Aramis Perfume Calligraphy
£105 for 100ml
On first encountering this new unisex fragrance from Aramis, we were reminded of that period in the early 1990s when Prince changed his name to that not unappealing but largely pointless symbol. We once considered doing the same, but decided that ‘The Magazine Formerly Known as Sport’ might prove something of a mouthful for our distributors. Anyway, from the worrying antiquity of our cultural references to the ancient art forms of calligraphy, which has provided the inspiration behind the new scent, and perfumery. Such is the story behind Perfume Calligraphy, which was developed specially for the Arabian consumer but can presumably be worn by anyone who likes it. Which, after some deliberation, includes us. Warm aromas of patchouli and heated ambers soon take over from an opening blend of lemon and cinnamon, leading to a musky base that gives off more than a lingering hint of the east. It’s not a scent you would want to wear every day, and time will tell whether it proves as popular with the girls as with the guys – but it certainly offers something different. At £105 a pop, mind, it bloody well should. harrods.com
Wash & Go Solo
Molton Brown Skin-Firm Lipoamino Hydrator SPF15
A cracking bit of reverse marketing from Wash & Go this week: while the rest of the world gets excited about two-in-one this and three-in-one that, this lot have gone to back to basics with a new one-in-one shampoo. They’ve been doing good-value shampoo-and-conditioners for 20 years, of course, but there remain plenty of lads out there who don’t much care about the conditioning side of haircare and just want a simple, decent shampoo. Enter the new Solo (what else would they call it?) range, which comes in two variations: Light & Clean, and the Menthol Fresh you see to the right there. A refreshing daily boost to your thatch, and all at the recession-beating price of £1. No wonder a bottle of Wash & Go is sold every three seconds. Available nationwide, at all good pharmacies and supermarkets
60 | May 11 2012 |
We’re going to be honest with you here – there are words in the name of this brand new product from Molton Brown we don’t really understand. What we do know is that this is their first ever men’s product to come with the increasingly relevant sun-protection factor, and that it launches next week, on Thursday May 17. Most importantly, we know that its blend of Japanese hinoki oil, plant-derived lipoamino acid and sunscreen ingredients helps to smooth your skin and minimise the appearance of wrinkles, thus countering the visible signs of ageing. So what if your dark little heart is ever so slowly dying inside? With a bit of help from Molton Brown, the world need never know. moltonbrown.co.uk
C ett elli GehT121©02012 The Gillette Company.
MANY ROADS LEAD TO THE MEDAL, BUT ALL BEGIN WITH A GREAT START. SIR CHRIS HOY, 4X OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST
NOTHING BEATS A GREAT START. facebook.com/GilletteUK
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Home truths This week’s entertainment page is refusing to move out of mum’s house: we hear there are vampires out there MUSIC
The Only Place Best Coast Amazing news: Best Coast have a new album out next week. What do you mean, you don’t recall Best Coast? They’re the Californian band who create indie surf-pop in (barely) three-minute bursts. Their debut was one of 2010’s most breezily fun albums and the follow-up sounds equally promising, if a bit sleeker and less enjoyably scuzzy. The title track borrows from The Beach Boys, the cheesy sunshine ‘n’ babes lyrics just about carried off thanks to a catchy tune and singer Bethany Cosentino’s brio. They’ll never be a band of any depth, but Best Coast’s buoyancy is a strength.
Jeff, Who Lives At Home Odd title. Don’t we all live at home? The problem for 30-year-old Jeff (Jason Segel) is that he lives with his exasperated mother, doing little apart from getting stoned. That’s until he bumps into his disapproving brother Pat (Ed Helms of The Hangover fame) and the chuckle level is raised as the two begin a
bungling investigation into Pat’s wife’s possible affair, complete with pathetic attempt to barge down a hotel door. It sounds like typical bromantic comedy fare, but indie directors the Duplass brothers offer the film a few quirky twists. Jeff won’t trouble the Oscars, but might just tickle your funny bone.
Bring Up The Bodies Hilary Mantel
The least sexy film about sex ever made, Shame was the most queasily brilliant drama of 2011. Michael Fassbender excels as a superficially successful but deeply troubled sex addict, his problems all coming to a head (so to speak) after his sister arrives to stay with him. Out on Monday.
Hotly anticipated sequel to Booker Prize-winner Wolf Hall, this sweeping novel focuses on the backstabbing politics of Tudor England and the destruction of Anne Boleyn. Likely to be that rare, clever beast: a book to charm critics and enthral readers.
Through The Night Ren Harvieu
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp make their 1,273rd collaboration with this comedy about a vampire, buried alive for 200 years then dug up and forced to adjust to family life in the 1970s. Hardly a stretch for either man, but Depp has a sublime comic touch and – in Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe ‘Kick-Ass’ Moretz – a fine female cast to bounce off.
British female soul-pop singers may be all the rage (we hear that Adele has shifted a few albums), but Salford songstress Ren Harvieu is a bit different. Rather than blasting you with a foghorn, she offers smokier, subtler vocals backed by some slick string set-ups. That said, when she lets her voice off the leash on Open Up Your Arms, it sounds wonderful. A promising debut, out Monday.
62 | May 11 2012 |