Andrew Martin

Journalist and novelist Andrew Martin is the author of the 'Jim Stringer' series of novels based around railways. He has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman among others.

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Football: Parkes has the pick of Kidd's bunch

NATIONWIDE PREVIEW

Shearer ankle injury increases Keegan's anxieties

THESE ARE anxious times for the England coach, Kevin Keegan. A treatment table creaking under the weight of five of his players - including his resurgent captain, Alan Shearer - was a cause for concern yesterday as he prepares for Sunday's friendly against Belgium.

Football: Dream team a nightmare for Taylor

West Ham United 1 Watford 0

Motorcycling: Fourth world title is Fogarty's ride and joy

PREPARE TO see an immediate change in Carl Fogarty's demeanour. The transformation from dour intensity to joy unbridled was completed yesterday when the burden of expectation was lifted from the Ducati rider from Blackburn, Lancashire, as he secured an unprecedented fourth World Superbike championship.

Motorcycling: Fogarty closing on crown

PREPARE TO break out the bunting. A rare British sporting success is anticipated this weekend when Carl Fogarty, the bludgeon-blunt talking rider from Blackburn, is expected to secure an unprecedented fourth World Superbike title.

Football: Ferguson rules out return to FA Cup

THE WORD from the horse's mouth is that Manchester United will - with regrets - not be defending the FA Cup next season. Failing to show up for things is becoming a habit at Old Trafford. United also confirmed yesterday that David Beckham will not be appearing on the club's tour of Australia.

Football: pounds 3m Milito target for Tottenham

IF THERE is one club where they appreciate an Argentinian, it is Tottenham. George Graham was yesterday trying to bring Gabriel Milito to White Hart Lane, where the centre-half's compatriots Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricki Villa once flourished in a more glorious era for the north London club.

Football: Reluctant Laudrup is sent packing to Ajax

CHELSEA HAVE finally rid themselves of Brian Laudrup by selling the former Rangers winger to Ajax for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around pounds 2m.

Football: Feyenoord join Korsten chase

GEORGE GRAHAM'S attempts to lure the Dutchman Willem Korsten away from Elland Road to Tottenham Hotspur could yet rebound on the former Leeds manager. Korsten may now end up returning to the Netherlands and signing for the Dutch champions, Feyenoord, according to his agent, Bob Maaskant, who admits that no decision has been made on the future of the 24-year-old.

Motorcycling: Superbikes' quandary over the `easy' riders

FOR A racing series that prides itself on open competition right across the field - raising an oily finger to the rival Doohan/ Honda-dominated 500cc grand prix circus in the process - World Superbikes may experience mixed emotions at Donington this weekend.
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