Gareth Farrelly: ‘It was a toxic, bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa’

Midfielder turned lawyer claims coach Kevin MacDonald left a ‘dark shadow’ over players at Villa and says it drove him to suicidal thoughts“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity … It was like a dark shadow came over.”Gareth Farrelly, now 43 and a qualified lawyer, with a Premier League and international career behind him, is recalling the bullying he says he endured as a young player at Aston Villa in the 1990s from the coach Kevin MacDonald. It was a “relentlessly negative” regime under him. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

British surfer Tom Butler conquers potential world record '100ft tall wave' – video

Briton Tom Butler believes he may have broken the world record for surfing the biggest ever wave after successfully riding a huge swell at Nazaré in Portugal on 14 December.The 29-year-old says the wave was estimated to be more than 100ft tall. The current official record is 80ft, which was set last year by Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa also at Nazaré.Butler said surfing the wave was like 'running away from a raging bull'. It is likely he will have to wait for the WSL Big Wave Awards in April 2019 for official confirmation on whether he broke the world record.Surfing and skateboarding receive huge Olympic boost from UK Sport Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Liverpool 3-1 Man Utd: Jose Mourinho says Klopp's team were 'stronger, better, faster'

Watch Jose Mourinho's last interview as Manchester United manager as the club announce his departure in his third year at Old Trafford.

19-12-2018

What happened next? How the World Cup brought in a new era for Alex Scott – and women in football

She had already earned 140 caps for England, but Scott became one of the breakout stars of the men’s tournament this year as the first woman pundit taken to a World Cup by the BBC. She reveals why it wasn’t all plain sailing Alex Scott is not alone in looking back at the long hot summer of 2018 with a pronounced sense of nostalgia. But for the former Arsenal right back, who herself won 140 caps for England, it holds particularly cherished memories: she became the first female football pundit ever taken to a World Cup by the BBC.The Champions League winner and six-time Premier League champion saw a fearless England side ride a wave of uncharacteristic national optimism to the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Manchester United set to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker

• Mauricio Pochettino refuses to rule himself out of full-time role• United have made their worst start to a season in 28 years• How the day of Mourinho’s United axe unfoldedManchester United are hopeful of announcing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their caretaker manager after the sacking of José Mourinho on Tuesday morning, with the club intent on appointing a permanent replacement by the summer. Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino is the current frontrunner.On Tuesday Pochettino refused to rule himself out of the running. “I cannot answer this type of question, because this type of rumour happens in this business, in football,” he said. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Advent calendar 2018: A celebration of England's leading Test run-scorer - Alastair Cook

Watch the Pint-sized celebration of Alastair Cook's record-breaking Test career as the former England captain retires from international cricket.

19-12-2018

Sports Personality 2018: Lewis Hamilton 'used wrong words'

Lewis Hamilton says he is "super proud" of hometown Stevenage after his faux pas at the SPOTY awards.

19-12-2018

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson tries to block shot with his shoe

Minnesota Timberwolves' Taj Gibson makes an unorthodox attempt to block an opponent's shot after losing his shoe during his side's 132-105 NBA win over the Sacramento Kings.

19-12-2018

IPL: Sam Curran bought for £800,000 and Jonny Bairstow for £250,000

England's Sam Curran attracts the third-highest bid in the Indian Premier League's 2019 auction while Jonny Bairstow goes for £250,000.

19-12-2018

River Plate stunned by Al Ain in Club World Cup shootout

• South American champions beaten on penalties by UAE side• Real Madrid face Kashima Antlers on WednesdayThe South American champions, River Plate, were upset by Al Ain in the Club World Cup on Tuesday, losing in a penalty shootout after the semi-final finished 2-2 after extra-time.Al Ain’s players converted all five penalties before the goalkeeper Khalid Eisa saved Enzo Pérez’s fifth shot for River to seal a 5-4 victory. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Geordan Murphy appointed Leicester coach despite dismal run

• Tigers have lost eight games on the bounce• ‘We are working hard to improve performances and results’Geordan Murphy has been appointed as Leicester’s permanent head coach despite a run of eight straight defeats that has left the Tigers at “their lowest ebb”, according to the former Ireland full-back.Murphy, who has spent 21 years at Leicester as a player and coach, was handed the role on an interim basis when Matt O’Connor was sacked after the first game of the season but has managed four wins from his 15 matches in charge. Continue reading...

19-12-2018

Mauricio Pochettino plays it cool but dance with United has already begun | David Hytner

The Tottenham manager has been in Manchester United’s sights before and has enhanced his CV since – will the stars align this time?Mauricio Pochettino has been here before – with Manchester United and Real Madrid – and it is tempting to suggest that he has now perfected the tap-dance.On one side of the fine line, the Tottenham manager talks up the respect he has for his employer; his happiness in north London; his focus on the job in hand; his professionalism. And on the other, there are a series of expansive shrugs. Who knows what the future might hold? It is known as showing a bit of ankle. Continue reading...

19-12-2018