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.

Football: Stars in our eyes and lumps in our throats

THE FOOTBALL League celebrated their 100th season with a glittering Evening of Legends dinner in London last week. One hundred players were selected by a panel of football writers to mark this unique occasion. The players were chosen not necessarily as the best to grace the League since its inception in 1888, but ones who, by their reputation and achievement, quite simply and unarguably stood out.

Football: Tributes to a man who did it his way

Team of '66 lead memorial homage to Sir Alf Ramsey. By Ronald Atkin

Football: Private man, reluctant hero

ONE OF the many distinguished journalists who wrote about Sir Alf Ramsey on this, the weekend after the man's death, commented how sad it seemed that there was no monument in his honour, such as the stand named after Tom Finney at Preston, Billy Wright at Wolverhampton and Bobby Moore at West Ham or the statue at Anfield of Bill Shankly.

Obituary: Sir Alf Ramsey, 1922-1999 - World of football pays tribute to `the perfect ambassador'

No one was ever more helpful to me than Sir Alf. He was always there for advice. He was direct, which is exactly what I wanted from him as a manager. There was no preamble and no side issues. Some people found him abrasive but I loved him. Every day we lose sight of what he achieved for England and Britain.

Football: Aloof, astute, composed, loyal

SIR ALF RAMSEY, 1920-1999: We all had great respect for him... We were a very tight-knit group and Alf was our leader

Obituary: Sir Alf Ramsey, 1922-1999: Man whose magic touch put - Man of remarkable composure

We all had great respect for him... We were a very tight-knit group and he was our leader

Obituary: Sir Alf Ramsey, 1922-1999 - The words of Sir alf ramsey

We will win the World Cup in 1966.

Football: `Alf Ramsey gave England its greatest moment'

SIR ALF RAMSEY was hailed as "the greatest manager England ever had" last night by the men who played under him during English football's finest two hours, the World Cup final of 1966.

Football: England make use of United effect

European Championship: Caretaker coach is hoping Mancunian success can lift his team for June's double-header; England 3 Poland 1

Parliament The Sketch: The holy relic done good in a game for true believers

THE LAST witness to be introduced by David Davies, leading a team giving evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport committee on the staging of sporting events, was present less for his intellectual expertise than for his status as a sanctified object. He was, Mr Davies pointed out, "the only person to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final".

Football: Return of old Blue highs

New glory boys of Stamford Bridge are living up to the past

They think it's all over for soccer bars

THE BEAUTIFUL game has turned ugly for one of London's most hyped theme bars. Football Football, which opened amid the euphoria of Euro 96 and was backed by the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and brewing giants, Allied Domecq, is to close next month.

Football: Blair backs faltering 2006 bid

ENGLISH FOOTBALL launched a huge face-saving operation yesterday to convince the world it is still fit to host the 2006 World Cup finals. Support for England's bid was led by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who did not comment on the events that saw the resignation of the FA's chief executive, Graham Kelly, on Tuesday, but said: "As for our bid in 2006, believe me it is a very strong one. It is a very strong one indeed. If there is to be a bid from this part of the world then the British bid is far and away the best and we will keep on fighting the case for it."

Sport: Now I know I've become an old person

MY NINE-YEAR-OLD daughter is learning to pass a football with the inside of her foot. Practice, practice is the only way. And so we practise, and the old rituals are passed on - "foot next to the ball, head down, push the other foot through".
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