Sporting Digest: Football

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The Independent Online
Ian Baird has announced his retirement from League football at the age of 33 because of a knee injury. Baird, who scored 13 goals in Brighton's miraculous escape from relegation last season, has had two knee operations in the past year, including one six weeks ago.

Giuseppe Materazzi yesterday quit as coach of Serie A side Brescia after four successive defeats left them hovering just above the relegation zone. Paolo Ferrario, the reserve-team coach will take over on a temporary basis.

Darren Beckford has been given the chance to sign for First Division Bury. The former pounds 1m striker has joined Stan Ternent's team on a short- term contract and makes his debut tonight.

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