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

Stockport game to be Taylor's last as Bradford slide down table

Peter Taylor is to step down as Bradford City manager by mutual consent after tomorrow's visit of Stockport County.

The sporting week ahead (06/02/11)

Today

Outside the Box: Wales tackle England for Under-21 games

Having failed humiliatingly with their bid for the 2018 World Cup, the Football Association will discover this week the fate of a rather lower-profile campaign for the Uefa Under-21 finals to take place in the summer of 2013.

England battle Wales for right to host 2013 event

The Football Association may still be licking their wounds after the dismal failure of their 2018 World Cup bid but next week they will go head to head with Wales to try to secure the 2013 European Under-21 Championships.

We planned to beat them 5-0, says Stevenage's 'Mourinho-lite'

Stevenage 3 Newcastle United 1

Minor British Institutions: The Lincoln Imp

Evil-looking little fellow isn't he? He was sent by the Devil himself to cause trouble here on earth, turning up at Lincoln Cathedral to disrupt the choir and trip up the Bishop.

Spireites on steep rise to the top

Chesterfield have a lovely new ground, a talented manager and an entertaining team, so life is sweet for Sheri

Jackie Sinclair: Goalscoring winger who helped Newcastle United win their only major trophy of the last half-century

The Scottish international Jackie Sinclair was that rare and cherished footballing commodity, a winger who could be counted on to score plenty of goals. At least, that was the case during the mid-1960s with Dunfermline Athletic and Leicester City, for whom the effervescent little Fifer found the net on average once every two games, a ratio of which even the majority of specialist strikers would have been justly proud.

Leeds flourish after making most of brief Somma spell

Leeds United 3 Millwall 1

Outside the Box: Derby's ban on white beards is clause to keep 'cuddly Ken' out

Relations between Leeds United and Derby, which as the book and film of The Damned United pointed out, have rarely been harmonious, seem unlikely to improve in the immediate future after last week's fixture at Elland Road. Nigel Clough, whose late father made no secret of his loathing for the club he managed for 44 days, had wanted to watch the game from the directors' box but was banned because he was wearing a tracksuit; not unreasonable attire for a football manager. Steve Bruce, Sunderland's manager, fell foul of the same dress code when he dared to turn up without a tie for the Carling Cup tie against Lincoln in midweek. Word reaches us that Derby officials are considering reprisals for the return fixture, when they could unveil a little-known regulation banning white-bearded septuagenarian chairmen from their boardroom. Father Christmas will be allowed in.

Blackpool players target £5m windfall in Championship play-off

For a bunch of players whose salaries dip to £90 a week each summer, the bonus on offer for Blackpool's players this weekend is an eye-watering prospect in itself, let alone thoughts of promotion to the Premier League and the financial bonanza that would bring.

'Fat Controller' puts Cardiff back on rails

Play-off final against Blackpool is the last stop for the often vilified City chairman who defends his track record

Outside Edge (16/05/10)

Avram Grant is tipped to be heading to West Ham, but what of another of Portsmouth's many managers in recent years, Tony Adams? Things seemed to have gone a bit quiet for the lad in recent times, but the former Arsenal hero is back. And how, with a reputed £1m-a-year contract to manage Gabala FC. What? You've never heard of them? How could you have missed a side sitting respectably mid-table in the Azerbaijan Premier League? Possibly picking his words carefully, one of Adams's new players said: "We welcome the great Tony Adams; we can be very proud to have such a great footballer as our coach." His name: Tarzen Jahangirov. Be careful, Tony, it's a jungle out there.

Kevin Davies: 'I knew I'd be booked. Fergie had done his job'

The Brian Viner Interview: Sir Alex Ferguson has singled him out for 'bullying' and he regularly tops the 'most penalised player' charts, but ahead of tomorrow's visit to Old Trafford Bolton's captain is keen to explain why he always plays the game in the right spirit

Lee and Davies outshine Redknapp's recruits

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
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Cricket World Cup 2015

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