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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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence