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When Stuart Williams was confronted by the emerging genius of Pele in a quarter-final of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, the classy and constructive Welsh full-back responded with the performance of his life. That day in Gothenburg, the teenager who would soon be hailed as the greatest footballer of all time, scored the only goal of the game to eliminate valiant opponents who had upset the odds by reaching the last eight. Though deprived of their own star, John Charles, through injury, the scarlet-shirted heroes held out for more than 70 minutes against a sumptuously talented Brazilian attack, in which the prodigy combined to compelling effect with the likes of Garrincha, Didi and Zagalo.

Football fans walk free after Tube brawl

Two groups of football fans walked free from court today despite admitting that they drunkenly brawled on the Tube.

Chester expelled from Conference

Chester have been expelled from the Football Conference.

Esther Rantzen: "Everyone told me I was mad to stand for election - my children think I'm round the twist"

It's 1pm or thereabouts and I'm in Luton Town Hall with Esther Rantzen, the prospective Independent MP for Luton South.

Morecambe, Duchess Theatre, London

Bob Golding's uncanny impersonation in this one-man show is a great feat of empathy as well as mimicry. He knows how Eric Morecambe's dodgy heart ticked as well as the tics of style that were his trademark. So he's able to transmit a sense of the psychological and professional background to some of the comic mannerisms – the who-put-the-glue-in-the-ginger-beer, goofy stalling-for-time grin (perfected whenever he had to out-stare the camera during cock-ups in the early days of television) or the compulsive specs-waggling playfulness that had him joking with everyone from the one-armed commissionaire at Broadcasting House (joshingly refused a complimentary ticket to a recording because he wouldn't be able to clap) to Luton Town FC (who, if he were to have a coronary on the stands, would at least be able to pick up something before the end of the season). He thought he was being a pal to everyone, but the feeling grows here that being a constant caution was a way of fending off real intimacy. For that, you have occasionally to let the other person dictate the terms of the encounter.

Outside the Box: Becks appeal on the rise as MLS tickets sell like hot cakes

From being booed as a "fraud" last time he returned from Milan, David Beckham is suddenly a star in the LA Galaxy again, having led them to what looks a highly winnable Major League Soccer Cup final against Real Salt Lake tonight in Seattle. The Galaxy go into the game with eight wins and four draws from their past 15 matches, Beckham having set up the crucial opening goal in the semi-final win over Houston Dynamo last weekend while England were losing to Brazil. Our man in LA, Guy Adams, says: "On paper, victory ought to be a formality for the LA side. Real Salt Lake are an unglamorous young team whose combined income amounts to roughly a quarter of Beckham's salary. They only scraped through to the playoffs on the last day of the season and their best-paid player, Javier Morales, takes home a mere $200,000 a year." The prospect of the Galaxy lifting their first MLS Cup since the Beckham era began in 2007 has sparked an unfamiliar rush for tickets. After the original 36,000 sold out, organisers released another 6,000 by opening an extra tier of Qwest Stadium.

Liverpool sign Luton youngster Moli

Liverpool have paid an undisclosed fee for Luton youngster Dave Moli.

Warner returns England World Cup bid handbag

FIFA vice-president Jack Warner is returning a handbag given to his wife by England's 2018 World Cup bid because he says it has become "a symbol of derision, betrayal and embarrassment".

Warner claims to be 'critical friend' of World Cup bid

The Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has defended himself against personal attacks following his criticism of England's World Cup bid.

Wilkinson rages as Burton is grounded again

Howard Wilkinson, who describes the National Football Centre at Burton as "my baby", must be wondering about its gestation period after the Football Association confirmed on Thursday that the project had been put on hold again. Even an elephant only takes 22 months to give birth. A white elephant? Do not dare suggest such a thing to the formidable former Leeds United manager – the last Englishman to win the national championship – who as the technical director of the Football Association thought he had won the debate over a national training, coaching and education centre as long ago as 1999.

Triesman denies World Cup bid is 'lightweight'

The grandees of England's World Cup 2018 bid were forced into a hurried defence of their campaign yesterday after coming under attack from two influential figures.

Wilder aspires to get Oxford dreaming

First division is a distant memory but a wily Yorkshireman has university town heading back towards the League

Outside the Box: Leeds decorator in bother for refusing to paint the town red

A painter and decorator who refuses to use red paint because he supports Leeds United is embroiled in a controversy over the city council's plans to repaint three large gates on the main roundabout at Crossgates, in east Leeds. The council intend to replace the current white, blue and silver with red, white and black. When told that Leeds fans didn't want them in Manchester United colours, Councillor Pauline Grahame said: "I've never heard such a load of rubbish." Gary Edwards urged fellow fans to contact their MPs to "step in and stop this mindless vandalism", and added: "Repainting the gates will cost £143,000. I will paint them free of charge – in all-white."

Anti-Islamists target Palestinian rally in central London

Fury as Muslim meeting is switched to Pall Mall while right-wingers protest in Trafalgar Square

Main man exacts revenge for Wombles

AFC Wimbledon 1 Luton Town 1: Late penalty eases injured pride of Wimbledon mascot who wrestled with Luton fan after his head was pulled off
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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back