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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen