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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The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
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Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
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Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

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Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing