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Shock and sadness over Gary Speed’s death

PLATITUDES invariably come thick and fast when someone dies suddenly and young, but in Gary Speed’s case the tributes have been heartfelt. His death, at 42, has stunned the normally thick-skinned world of football and had an extraordinarily powerful impact way beyond the game’s boundaries. There were outpourings of grief across the land when the … Continue reading

Lancashire centre-stage in Premier League story

A DOZEN games into the Premier League season and it’s all about Lancashire at both ends of the table. We’re all familiar with the saying that the season’s a marathon, not a sprint and it’s unwise to rush to early judgments, but it will take a pretty seismic change of fortunes if the title doesn’t … Continue reading

Rome: Eternal love

TEN years to the week since my first visit to Rome, I was back in the Eternal City, wondering whether I’d fall under its spell again after such a long absence. Had the march of progress and the feet of a million tourists rubbed some of the magic from Italy’s beguiling capital? Would its treasures … Continue reading

Memories of boxing’s golden age

THERE’S a poignant sort of irony in the fact that Joe Frazier’s death came at a time when remembrance is such a powerful presence. While the passing of a genuine sporting legend is always a time to reflect and remember, the great warrior’s death hauls the memories of a generation of sports fans back to … Continue reading

Sir Alex Ferguson – a football legend

LOVE him or loathe him, admire him or revile him, it is impossible to ignore the unparalleled imprint that Sir Alex Ferguson has left on English football. His reign as Old Trafford’s supremo reached 25 years last week, an achievement that few would have believed possible in this age when impatience rules and managerial change … Continue reading

Racism: a virus that refuses to die

COMPARED with a great many other countries throughout Europe, English football does not have a major race problem. The football authorities here, backed by the clubs and their multi-ethnic star players, have done a massive amount of work cleaning up the game. The Neanderthal who once stalked the terraces and made monkey noises at black … Continue reading