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.

Bolton can halt a record Rush

Coca-Cola Cup final: Rioch's master plan may prove the undoing of Liverpool at Wembley today. Ian Ridley reports

High stakes for Bolton's wonderers

COCA-COLA CUP FINAL: Bruce Rioch's side have much resting on tomorrow 's game against Liverpool at Wembley

Liverpool create slender semi-final advantage

by Guy Hodgson

Millwall deepen Arsenal's misery

Arsenal 0 Millwall 2

Boris will be wide awake for Her Majesty: On Monday the Queen will begin a historic visit to Russia. Nicholas Bethell explains why our monarchy is so revered there

I WAS there at Wembley on 30 July 1966, when our side hit the underneath of the crossbar in extra time, and I remember the linesman signalling frantically to the referee his opinion that it had crossed the line. It was that Russian linesman, as much as Geoff Hurst, who was responsible for England going 3-2 ahead in the World Cup final.

Football: Time is on England's side: Romania match highlights extent of the task facing Venables

GIVEN that it will be a major surprise if Romania are not back as one of the favourites for the 1996 European Championship, what are the chances of England beating them then? Greater, perhaps, than would appear from Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Wembley.

Letter: English soccer woes

Sir: Miles Kington in his article on Scottish football (5 September) speaks of 'Scottish cockiness', which 'as so often, dissolved into tears' and the 'breast-beating, and wailing, and agonising of the Scottish variety that always follows'. Since he mentions 'one of the classic Scottish gripes', I'll give him another two:

Sudden death goals to decide European champions

(First Edition)

The hard work of greatness

IT WAS, no doubt, pure coincidence that on the very day when David Platt of Sampdoria was elevated to football's pantheon by his coach I fell into a long and ultimately heated discussion about greatness in the game.

Sports Letter: The Walker way

Sir: Mike Walker of Norwich City should certainly be a leading contender for the job. With drastically limited resources, he has proved that it is still possible to get British players to control and pass the ball accurately, and make intelligent use of space off the ball. In the context of the English Premiership, this is little short of miraculous and makes a mockery of the idea that our players are incapable of such skills. I'm sure Bayern Munich were impressed.

Football: Gascoigne wins computer vote

COMPUTER analysis of English football has found it to be a 'clodhopping, long-ball, kick-and-rush game' that does not meet up to the sophistication of the Continental teams, according to the latest psychological research.

Football: World Cup linesman dies

Tofik Bakhramov, the Soviet linesman who judged Geoff Hurst's shot against the crossbar in the 1966 World Cup had crossed the line to put England 3-2 ahead of West Germany, has died in his native Azerbaijan at the age of 66.

Football: Fond farewell to the legend

THE long banner draped behind the North Bank goal put into words the feelings of everyone present: 'Goodbye Bobby - thanks for the memories'. They came in their thousands to fill Upton Park with its biggest crowd of the season, laying wreaths, hanging up scarves, pinning to posts old programmes and match tickets and moving tributes to Bobby Moore, who served the club so admirably on 642 occasions.

Football: Robert Frederick Moore, 1941-1993: When pessimism didn't exist: The age

IT WAS the best of times, full stop. Unless you were Bob Dylan (in which case you had other things to worry about, since you were lying in hospital, recovering from the previous day's serious motorbike accident on the back roads of upstate New York), or possibly Jimmy Greaves (in which case you were just beginning to drown your sorrows), England's victory in the World Cup final at Wembley on 30 July 1966 seemed the natural, inevitable product of an era in which the previously unimaginable happened every day.
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