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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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.

Book of the Week

Mick Doohan: The Thunder From Down Under by Matt Oxley Haynes, pounds 14.99 hardback

Motorcycling: Whitham for Yamaha

JAMIE WHITHAM, the hard-riding maverick from Yorkshire, may be about to return to British Superbikes in a mouth-watering combination with his former team-mate Niall Mackenzie as part of the newly branded Virgin Yamaha squad.

Motorcycling: Tragedy tempers Fogarty's triumph

CARL FOGARTY launched his World Superbike campaign with a dominant performance in Kyalami, South Africa, yesterday, Britain's defending champion winning both races, each by a formidable distance. Yet the risks of the sport were brought into sharp focus by the death of the South African champion, Brett MacLeod, after he crashed in the first race of the Supersport world championship at the same event.

World Superbikes: Fogarty's gaze fixed on prize

Andrew Martin finds Blackburn's most phlegmatic son planning to keep busy by winning a fourth world title
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam