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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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable