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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

Football: Kavanagh shatters stubborn Colchester

STOKE CITY stretched their lead at the top of the Second Division to four points with a 1-0 win at Colchester. But Brian Little's side were made to work hard to maintain their 100 per cent record as the Essex side refused to concede anything in defence.

Football: Nicholson drug ban is lifted

SHANE NICHOLSON was yesterday called upon to follow Paul Merson's example and educate fellow players on the dangers of drugs.

Market Report: US mega merger puts C&W back in the frame

YET another huge American telephone merger sent a buzz of excitement surging through the lines at Cable & Wireless. In active trading, the shares rose 33p to 677p as speculation resurfaced about the group's ability to retain its independence.

Football: Gifts of a Saint who got away

The youth movement: While Southampton profit from a dazzling discovery, Chelsea preach patience to their promising crop; Stephen Brenkley talks to a coveted striker once told he was not good enough

Football: Taylor promotes consistency theory

COMMENTARY

Football: Pint and a pizza keeps Marples on his toes

FA Cup countdown

Football: Emley eager for East End adventure

Non-league notebook

Football: Baines manages to avoid yellow fever

It must say something about the quality of English football this season that the wave of protest against referees currently gripping Europe has yet to cross the Channel, despite a rising tide of red and yellow cards.

Football: Law discovers the less glamorous side of the Cup

If Ilkeston Town beat Scunthorpe United in Saturday's FA Cup second- round tie, their captain will be desperate for a third-round trip to one of his many former clubs. Phil Shaw meets an Highbury old boy with something to prove.

Football: Waddle's frustrating start continues

Chris Waddle's ability to create and score goals for both club and country over his long career is not rubbing off on his new charges at Burnley. The former England winger's tough introduction to the role of player-management continued yesterday when his side lost 1-0 at Chesterfield, leaving them goalless in all six Second Division games this season.

Connelly's sweet touch

Stockport County 1 Middlesbrough 1

Cricket: Glamorgan frustrated

Derbyshire 513-6 dec & 35-0 Glamorgan 364-8 dec Match drawn

No show from Yeboah

Football

Football: Gibson rails at `grave injustice'

Middlesbrough yesterday gave up the fight for Premiership football next season and spelled out the cost to the club of the three points deducted for not turning up to play Blackburn Rovers in December.

Football: Sheringham's snub to pounds 4m

Gerry Francis, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, yesterday said he was disappointed that Teddy Sheringham had decided to leave after rejecting a four-year-contract that would have earned the striker pounds 1m a year.
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