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.

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.

'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

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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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas