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

Letters: Poland and Hitler

When Poland's leaders were Hitler's accomplices

Sport on TV: Slap and tickle as man in tights finds himself in a tight corner

The comedian Justin Lee Collins made a programme for Sky last year in which he tried to become a professional darts player. It was hardly the most Herculean of tasks – about as demanding as growing a beer belly. His latest quest was far more formidable, to become a "luchador" or Mexican wrestler in Justin Lee Collins: The Wrestler (Sky One, Thursday).

Fan's eye view: 'Let's see what he makes of Saltergate's wooden benches'

As a third generation County fan who's only ever seen his club struggle along at the bottom of the Football League, it came as a shock to find Sven Goran Eriksson set for a position at our club. Sven smiling and signing autographs as a few hundred delirious fans chanted anti-Forest songs in front of him is one of the most surreal yet delightful images I've seen. The brilliance of it won't be fully confirmed until our early-season derby at Chesterfield, seeing what Sven makes of the wooden benches that pass as a directors' box in north Derbyshire.

Football League fixtures: Newcastle kick off with a sad sense of déjà vu

When Newcastle United won 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League in early February to move five places clear of the relegation zone, their fans hoped fears of the drop had been assuaged.

For the record: 30/03/2009

"Nobody will miss you more than me." Phillip Schofield bids goodbye to departing 'This Morning' co-host Fern Britton. So, absolutely no rift there, then.

Pompey can take Hart after latest fightback

Stoke City 2 Portsmouth 2

Snow forces Gunners to postpone FA Cup replay

Arsenal's fourth-round FA Cup replay with Cardiff City scheduled to be played tonight at the Emirates fell foul of the heavy snow that is blanketing London when police yesterday decided to postpone the match. Anticipated travel problems meant that the game could not go ahead. The Gunners announced that the match will now be played on Monday 16 February which is the weekend of the fifth-round fixtures and therefore the match between either Arsenal or Cardiff and West Bromwich or Burnley scheduled for that weekend will be put back.

Droylsden's FA Cup appeal fails

Non-league Droylsden have lost an appeal against their expulsion from the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player.

Droylsden expelled from FA Cup

Droylsden manager Dave Pace has vowed to fight the decision to throw the minnows out of the FA Cup after describing his club's costly mistake as "the slightest of slight errors".

Droylsden face FA Cup expulsion

Conference North side Droylsden could be thrown out of the FA Cup after fielding an ineligible player in the 2-1 second-round replay victory over Chesterfield.

Swans visit scant reward for giant-killing Histon

Histon's stunning win over Leeds yesterday did not bring them the reward in the FA Cup third round they were hoping for. The Blue Square Premier side were handed a home tie with Swansea.

Geoff Miller: I am dealing with players' careers, their lives

From moderate player to National Selector and after-dinner king. He opens up on Vaughan's resignation, Pietersen's positivity and that infamous Pattinson pick

Shield referee dropped over debt claims

Mark Clattenburg, the Premier League's youngest referee and an official respected by all except Everton fans who have never forgiven him for last season's Goodison derby defeat, has been removed from Sunday's Community Shield and suspended from all refereeing duties pending an investigation into alleged £60,000 debts.

Lord Varley: Miner's son who became a 'sensible and pragmatic' Labour minister but in 1984 quit politics for industry

Eric Varley was Harold Wilson's anointed. From 1968, when he was plucked out of the government whips' office to become the eyes and ears of the Prime Minister in the Commons, until at least 1976, when Varley was Secretary of State for Industry, Wilson saw Varley as his successor-but-one as Leader of the Labour Party.

England Under-21 3 Ireland Under-21 0: Walcott adds final flourish for Pearce

Theo Walcott all but booked England's place in the Under-21 European Championship play-offs when he made a popular goal-scoring return to Southampton last night. The Arsenal youngster delighted a near sell-out St Mary's crowd when he curled in a beauty to wrap up a comprehensive victory for Stuart Pearce's side who only need a point now in their final game against Portugal to go through to the knockout stages.

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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
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Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
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Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

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On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
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A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
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"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker