Sport In a stew: Downing is counting on a Cup win to build confidence

Being known as a "Cup team" is a mixed compliment, implying the ability to raise your game for one-off occasions, but never to sustain it. If Wigan Athletic, FA Cup winners relegated within a week, are newcomers to the genre, West Ham United have been at it rather longer.

James Lawton: England must learn to accommodate Rooney's short fuse

Eriksson has to ignore doubts about young Everton player's temperament and select him for crucial European Championship match with Turkey

Freddie's agency misses its goal

Books For Christmas: Thoughts of Pirie, trivia and other obsessions

IN GORDON PIRIE, the subject of Dick Booth's lovingly written biography The Impossible Hero (Corsica Press, pounds 16.50), British athletics had a man who bridged the gap between two eras. The middle distance idol of the 1950s, whose races against Emil Zatopek and Vladimir Kuts became legend, was of the generation of Roger Bannister and Chris Chataway - but of a quite different outlook.

1966 World Cup heroes to be honoured at last

THE SIX unrecognised heroes of England's 1966 World Cup triumph are to be honoured as "icons of the millennium", senior government sources say. The Independent on Sunday has learned that both the Queen and Tony Blair are "favourably disposed" to the remaining members of the squad being appointed OBEs or made MBEs.

Football: Dangers loom for England in European draw

ANOTHER DAY, another draw, or rather, in tomorrow's case, a brace of them.

STADIUM ROW: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TWIN TOWERS

28 APRIL 1923 The Empire Stadium, Wembley, is opened. It was built as the main attraction for the Empire Exhibition of 1924, cost pounds 750,000 and took 300 working days to complete.

Football: Redknapp covets Premiership prize

HARRY REDKNAPP said yesterday that it is the dream of winning the Premiership which drives him on at Upton Park.

FOOTBALL EURO 2000: FAVOURITE MATCHES OF THE GREAT PLAYERS

There have been many memorable matches between England and Scotland down the years. Here former players from each country have picked out their favourites.

Football: Froggatt's fortunes rekindled by Keegan

Euro 2000 Play-Offs Surprises on both sides as Cole is picked despite Shearer jibes while Scotland hopes for Ipswich striker are crushed

Football: Road to Euro 2000 - Newcastle finally win at Wembley

Tyneside Two do for country what Robson hopes they can reproduce for club; Andrew Longmore sees the silent assassin settle some old scores

Football: Larsson has last word for Celtic

Dundee 1 Sharp 86 Celtic 2 Mahe 68, Larsson 89 Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 10,531
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A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
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The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
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Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

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The Open 2014

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