Sport Juan Mata could go through a Manchester United initiation, but hopefully it won't be anything like David Beckham's

Beckham was forced to perform a sexual act on himself while looking at a picture of former United star Clayton Blackmore whereas in comparison Mata is likely to sing a song

Between the Covers 24/03/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Art house: Kraftwerk in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall

Kraftwerk to headline Latitude Festival 2013

Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk are to headline this summer's Latitude Festival, alongside Bloc Party and Foals.

Jump racing's vigil for McNamara goes on

McCoy and McManus find grim perspective in the uncertain fate of stricken amateur jockey

Harriet Walker: Why I don’t like to let go of anything

I have never been very good at letting go. I hoard emotions and belongings like a squirrel facing polar night. I consign dates and events to eternal memory. I etch them on my heart, and use them the way you do a counter in snakes and ladders; I never let anything go.

AP McCoy

Paddy Power website crashes hours before Cheltenham Gold Cup

One of Britain's biggest online betting websites failed for around an hour this afternoon, just before the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet

Page 3 Profile: Danica Patrick, US racing driver

Fastest woman on four wheels?

Cappa Bleu in pink for new Aintree tilt

Runner for runner, no trainer has a better record in picking up prize-money in the Grand National these days than Evan Williams. Admittedly, the sample is small and concerns only two horses, but a third place and three fourths from five attempts nonetheless deserves considerable respect.

Notorious Exeter safer sex ball cancelled

A long-running "safer sex"-themed student ball has been cancelled, a month after it was embroiled in controversy.

Lord Dalmeny, chairman of Sotheby’s auction house, has apologised for a controversial Auschwitz joke at a Tory party fundraiser

Tory fundraiser marked by Auschwitz joke gaffe

Sotheby's chairman apologises for "horrific slip of the tongue"

Clay, By Melissa Harrison. Bloomsbury, £14.99

This debut novel by a young writer and photographer blends the ancient and the modern as it traces, over one year, the lives of a small group of characters who live around an inner-city common and its nearby scrap of parkland. As nine-year-old "TC" flees his chaotic tower-block home to find solace and stimulus in the "forgotten, wild corners of the city", and the fauna and flora that stubbornly thrive there, Melissa Harrison draws on the urban pastoral style of writers such as Robert Macfarlane.

<b>Lionel Messi's 86 goals, selected by Jack Pitt-Brooke</b><br/>
In a year when Cristiano Ronaldo finally beat him to the Spanish title, and scored stacks and stacks of wonderful, thrilling, important goals, Lionel Messi still found a way to mark himself out as a player of unique brilliance and importance.
Barcelona lost their Spanish and European titles last season, leading to Pep Guardiola's departure, but it did not stop Messi's relentless accumulation. The incredible thing is that he does not even look particularly bothered by individual accolades, playing just for the sheer fun of it and the benefit of his team-mates. We are lucky to watch the game while he plays it.

Lionel Messi to formally sign new Barcelona contract this week

World's best player has agreed a new contract

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco gets his hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy

Super Bowl: Ravens' epic triumph over San Francisco 49ers lights up Baltimore

Underdogs welcomed home today after beating the odds, 49ers' fightback and a bizarre power cut

Steven Gerrard wins the England player of the year award

Steven Gerrard proud to be named England player of the year

Captain picks up annual award

Test the waters: Silversea offers a selection of short sailings

Cruise Report: Mini cruises give passengers a taste of life on board

Are you tempted by the idea of a cruise, but wary of committing too much of the holiday budget and your annual leave to something you might not enjoy? Booking a mini-cruise of two to four nights is a low-risk way of dipping a toe in the ocean of available cruise lines and ships.

Graham Wylie, co-owner of Prince de Beauchene and On His Own

Wylie pair head 84 entries for Grand National

Just for a moment, all eyes are trained on Aintree instead of the Cheltenham Festival with the publication of the John Smith's Grand National entries.

News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links