Sport Christmas and football go hand in hand. But for once I can take a back seat this year

After an early lesson, I’ve monitored my food and drink every Christmas for 48 years - until now

Gary Lineker (left) is unimpressed by Greg Dyke's choices

Gary Lineker rejects Greg Dyke's FA panel as 'pointless... a missed chance'

Much-hyped commission attacked for uninspiring selections while Campbell criticises lack of ethnic minorities involved 

PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle recognised 'point of principle'

Ritchie Humphreys replaces Clarke Carlisle as chairman of the PFA

Move comes after Carlisle retired from professional football

Loïc Rémy celebrates one of his two goals for Newcastle

Newcastle United v Leeds United: Capital One Cup match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Capital One Cup fixture at St. James’ Park

The 19-year-old, was called upon from the 26th minute after David Button was sent off for a foul on Bradford’s Nahki Wells

League round-up: Jack Bonham's Bradford battering

Brentford's teenage goalkeeper Jack Bonham endured another nightmare afternoon at the start of his Football League career after coming off the bench to concede four goals during his side's 4-0 defeat at Bradford City.

Blackburn fans vent their fury at the club’s inept owners

Spending on agents rarely brings success
– just ask Blackburn

Mismanaged Rovers paid £3.5m in fees last season and narrowly avoided second straight relegation

Jed Wallace celebrates scoring for Portsmouth

League Two 2013/14 preview: Fleetwood, Chesterfield, Cheltenham? Or maybe Portsmouth can finally change their fortunes...

A brief look at this season's SkyBet League Two which gets underway on Saturday

A snow plough clears the A66 near Bowes where the road was closed for several hours due to heavy snow as forecasters have warned that another cold snap is on its way -

Football matches called off due to poor weather as rain and snow batters England

Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Russia has fallen foul of the weather for the second time in 24 hours, with hostile conditions rendering Windsor Park unplayable.

Danny Murphy was left out of the squad entirely

Michael Appleton defends Danny Murphy omission as Blackburn miss out on Wembley trip

Millwall won 1-0 at Ewood Park in their quarter-final replay

The Sketch: A distinct shortage of AAA metaphors as George Osborne still blames Labour for economic woes

It may be that most of the Tory backbenchers who are really perturbed by George Osborne’s dogged pursuit of Plan A simply failed to turn up for his ritual session in the noisy parliamentary equivalent of the stocks to which Ed Balls subjected him today. But they left the field clear for awe-inspiringly repetitive variations on a theme, that Labour was still exclusively to blame for the trouble we’re in. Including the “humiliation” as Balls put it, of losing a Triple A credit rating the “downgraded” Chancellor had once so prized.

Benteke celebrates his goal for Aston Villa

League Two preview: Daggers can feast on Cod

Micky Mellon was left perplexed by Fleetwood's shock derby defeat at home to Accrington in midweek and, as much as he would like to believe the result was a one-off, we reckon more of the same could follow when the Cod Army make the monster journey down to Dagenham & Redbridge this weekend.

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook

League Two preview: Back a basement blockade

Paul Cook might have his work cut out winning over the Chesterfield dressing room and we see more problems ahead for the Spireites when they host improving Oxford United at the Proact Stadium on Saturday. Take some of the 11/8 available on Oxford (draw no bet).

Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws

League One preview: Trust long arm of Brian Laws

After two years in the managerial wilderness, Brian Laws isn't hanging about in his bid to turn things around at Scunthorpe and we think there's some value to be found in the 19/10 quotes about the resurgent Iron taking maximum points against high-flying Notts County in League One on Saturday.

Round-up: Ian Holloway backs Wilfried Zaha to shine

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has tipped Wilfried Zaha to make the most of his shock call-up to the England squad.

Jim Bentley manager of Morecambe

League Two preview: Back a basement blockade

Goals were at a premium in League Two on Tuesday with eight out of 11 matches finishing under 2.5 goals and we fancy more of the same on Saturday with our focus fixed on a couple of interesting tussles in particular. Let's start with Morecambe v Barnet at the Globe Arena.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

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