The most popular sports news stories of 2010

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The Independent Football

Deaths, grudges, affairs and mutinies - just another year in sport.

With 2010 nearly at an end we've trawled through the stats to bring you the most read sports news stories of the year.

Wayne Rooney, England's dire World Cup and the upheaval at Liverpool feature most prominently in a list that, if nothing else, proves the sporting world is never short of entertainment.

1. James Lawton: Vancouver's quick descent from high ground

The Independent's Chief Sports Writer revealed that Nodar Kumaritashvili had just 26 practice runs, as opposed to the 200 for the Canadians before he was tragically killed at the Vancouver Olympics.

2. Newcastle face loss of Carroll after 'shock' Hughton sacking

The recent dismissal of Chris Hughton and the effect it could have on their England No 9.

3. Sir Alex Ferguson: 'A lack of respect'

The Manchester United manager's take on one of the most sensational stories of the year when Wayne Rooney requested a transfer from Old Trafford.

4. Terry's 'affair' with team mate's girlfriend revealed

Then England football captain John Terry went from the back pages to the front after he lost his legal battle to keep allegations about his private life secret.

5. James Lawton: Victims of a cruel injustice, but ultimately well beaten

The Independent's Chief Sports Writer gives his take on England's exit from the World Cup.

6. Juve 'agree terms with Rafa to take over'

As early as January we had the story that then Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez would be leaving Anfield for Italy, although eventually he ended up at Inter Milan.

7. Rooney could quit United for only £5m

After Rooney announced his desire to leave Manchester United, we revealed how a Fifa loophole would have allowed the striker to terminate his own contract at a reduced price.

8. Liverpool fear exodus of key players after Benitez walks

Liverpool's star assets were assessing their future amid the uncertainty at Anfield following Rafa Benitez's departure.

9. The Andy Cole Column: The real reason I've hated Sheringham for 15 years: he refused to shake my hand

The Independent columnist and former Manchester United striker revealed the reason for his long held grudge against Teddy Sheringham.

10. Dire England in chaos – and with one last shot at salvation

Following the dreadful 0-0 draw with Algeria, Sam Wallace set the scene as England looked to turn things around.