hei-fi 'I have very strong feelings on the matter,' says Anton Ferdinand

As the Queen's Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand broke his long silence by saying he had "very strong feelings" about any possible racial abuse, Chelsea last night continued their backing for John Terry, who is likely to captain the team in a Champions League tie here this evening.

Triumph at last for Julian Barnes (mixed with a touch of venom)

He may go down as one of the least gracious Man Booker Prize winners ever, says Arifa Akbar, but Julian Barnes deserved Tuesday night's accolade

Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

We are only two Tests into the Ashes series but already there's a compelling tapestry being stitched across the summer, detailing the thrust and counter-thrust of the teams; the fall of champions; the rise of unexpected heroes.

Nine-try Bristol demolish rivals

Bristol 68 Exeter 15

Emphasis on Coles and goals as Eriksson seeks defining display

Even by the admission of Rio Ferdinand, the English nation expects a "cricket score" against Northern Ireland in today's World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford, but it is not the humble nature of the opposition alone that is supposed to make this match a brutal, one-sided bout. It is England's time too, a squad as close to full strength as is usually possible, who have been judged long overdue in delivering a performance that reflects the reservoir of talent at Sven Goran Eriksson's disposal.

Stevens the youthful shoulder to build on

Lost somewhere in the war of words surrounding Jonathan Kaplan in Dublin was a public message of congratulation delivered by Andy Robinson to England's newest Six Nations prop. "Matt Stevens had an awesome game at tighthead," said the coach.

Ups and downs of the rugby club who just do not want to be promoted

Despite their resurgence Otley have no intention of playing in the Premiership next season, writes Paul Stephens

Dublin prepares to feast on fallen England

Expectations run high as O'Driscoll and his in-form flyers eye up stumbling world champions

Gatland: Irish beware Robinsons on a mission

Coach who knows both camps sees hope for the wilting Red Rose brigade

Leading article: Hull's decision does add up

The decision by the University of Hull to close its mathematics department is sending shock waves around Academe, coming as it does after the decision to close the chemistry department at the University of Exeter.

Hockey: England face life of reduced funds

Cuts imposed on the game by Sport England have been described by Philip Kimberley, the chairman of England Hockey, as "savage". Funding per annum for the next four years has been cut by more than 60 per cent across the board, including the funding of the England National squads up to the Commonwealth Games next year.

Jones the bat holds key to England's one-day control

If England win the Standard Bank Series, the audacious move to ask the wicketkeeper Geraint Jones to open the batting will have worked. Since audacious moves can also, however, be interpreted as cunning plans - and look what they did for Baldrick - the jury remains in deadlock.

Exeter dream of greatest upset as Ferguson sends in big guns

This week had long been pencilled in at Manchester United as one for long-distance travel. However, instead of flying to Johannesburg to take part in an exhibition match in South Africa, United's players yesterday boarded another very different aircraft to take them to Devon.

Hiley relishes a second chance in battle of wits with Ronaldo

Manchester United's excursion to the West Country offers a rare opportunity for Exeter's veteran defender

Exeter given a taste of own medicine

<preform>As Manchester United replay looms, FA Cup heroes struggle to live with being favourites at a lesser level. Mike Rowbottom</b></i> reports from Billericay</preform>

Exeter nearly lose their way in dreamland

Yesterday, a week after holding Manchester United to that famous scoreless stalemate at Old Trafford in front of a crowd of 67,551 in the third round of the FA Cup, Exeter City switched from the theatre of dreams to the local rep of reality. And this time, let's not muck about, they were the ones who were lucky to nick a draw. Against Billericay Town, watched by 1,500 die-hards, our heroes nearly crashed to earth in the third round of the FA Trophy, saved only by two late goals. From Sir Matt Busby Way to Blunts Wall Road could be construed as the sublime to the ridiculous. But really, no, not really.

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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