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Football should copy rugby stance on indiscipline

A PLAYER aiming foul-mouthed abuse at a referee still makes headlines in the world of rugby and the game should be pleased that it does.    The offence has proved costly for Northampton captain Dylan Hartley: an 11-week ban that rules him out of the British and Irish Lions tour that starts this weekend. There have … Continue reading

My first walk on the new stretch of Trailway

ONE week on from the official opening of the latest stretch of the North Dorset Trailway, I decided it was time to walk it. It was one of the few really sunny days of the spring so far and my journey took me from Stourpaine, near the church, to the Station Road car park in … Continue reading

Broad’s blast brings Test to life

WITH exquisite timing, just as the final curtain was descending on the Premier League football season, along came cricket to remind sports followers that life goes on. A dreary first Test match between England and New Zealand at Lord’s suddenly exploded into action as fast bowler Stuart Broad ripped through the Kiwi batsmen, skittling out … Continue reading

Managers on the merry-go-round

FOOTBALL managers slinking off with their P45s in their hands have become a familiar sight. It’s sometimes unpalatable, often ruthlessly unfair but familiar and routine – and usually they are paying the price for failure. This week, though, the Premier League has come up with yet another new twist – it is the country’s most … Continue reading

Sad that the FA Cup has become an afterthought

CUP Final week used to be special, the highlight of the football year. Held in spring sunshine on the first Saturday in May, the match kicked off at 3pm sharp after a TV build-up that swallowed the whole morning. Wembley was packed, fans stared at screens in front rooms, pubs and clubs, and even if … Continue reading

Ferguson: a man for all seasons

HE can be bullying and bombastic, heavy-handed and intimidating, but there can be no doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest football manager of all time. Whatever emotions his touchline antics and scarlet-faced fury may generate in observers, the veteran Scot is widely respected throughout the game; football will never see his like again. … Continue reading