Sport New York Rangers player Wayne Gretzky in his final career game

Wayne Gretzky, ice hockey’s greatest player,  was born in 1961 in Ontario, Canada, where the sport is more a religion than a hobby. He first skated at the age of two on a rink that his dad Walter had made in the garden of their family home. At six, Gretzky was playing in an under-10s team. His jersey was too big for him, so he started to tuck in the right side of it, a superstition that stuck with him throughout his career.

Convention Diary: Feel the love - Mia goes down a treat

Ann Romney talked about love – but the Love that was the real smash on Tuesday night was Mia Love, the exotic Republican candidate for Utah's fourth Congressional district.

Hot ticket: Sunday's spectacular closing ceremony

What would you have done if you'd found a Closing Ceremony ticket...?

Bogus letters were left around London to test city's new-found public spirit. Charlie Cooper has the results

The Community Shield kicked off the English club season on Sunday – and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic was sent off

Can Olympic sports retain their appeal in the face of football?

As the Premier League returns to dominate the sporting landscape, Ian Herbert assesses whether the other Olympic sports can retain their appeal

Australia's Kieran Govers celebrates

The Calvin Report: Kookaburras plunge the knife in

Britain's men fail to emulate the women by taking a bronze medal as they are defeated 3-1 by Australia

Danny Kerry: 'I think women's hockey can be - and should be - the premier female team sport in the country'

Hockey: Team GB coach Danny Kerry believes Olympic bronze could spur on women's team

Great Britain coach Danny Kerry believes Olympic bronze should spur on the women's team to win a world-level event in the future.

Coach Jason Lee (pictured) has expressed concern that the 9-3 defeat by the Netherlands on Thursday will be hard to recover from

Hockey: Lee tells dejected players to win for future prospects

British men's hockey squad can deliver a boost to their drive to reach the same funding levels as the nation's women if they pull off a shock win over the world game's top nation, Australia, in today's bronze medal game.

Team GB's hockey captain Kate Walsh

Hockey: Team GB women hope to create legacy for future generations

Team GB's hockey captain Kate Walsh hopes that the team's success at the Games could secure a legacy for the sport and inspire their successors.

Great Britain’s women are left devastated after their defeat to Argentina

Hockey: GB 'bitterly disappointed' by defeat to Argentina

Great Britain 1 Argentina 2

Kate Walsh and other Team GB hockey players have proved an inspiration during the London 2012 Olympics

Hockey: Britain looks to up its game after Olympic success

The governing body of British hockey is making an ambitious push to capitalize on one of the surprise hits of the Olympics, with a recruitment drive under way which focuses substantially on the nation’s women.

Team GB prepare for their hockey match against the Dutch. Pictured (from left) are James Tindall, Ashley Jackson, Glenn Kirkham and Nicholas Catlin from a preliminary round

Hockey: Team GB promise 'good, open game' against Dutch

Great Britain’s men will not underestimate the task they face in taking on the Netherlands tomorrow night in their first Olympic semi-final since winning gold in 1988.

silver medallist Nick Dempsey plans to keep going even though windsurfing will no longer be an Olympic sport

Windsurfing: Q&A with Team GB's silver medallist Nick Dempsey

Although windsurfing will not be in the next Olympics, silver medallist Nick Dempsey plans to keep going.

31 July: Anne Panter (back) of GB in action against Hye Lyoung Han of Korea

Hockey: GB women seek return to form in semi-final against Argentina tonight

GB stalwart Anne Panter says the players are determined to find a return to their best form for a last-four clash tonight as they bid to become the first GB women's side to reach an Olympic final.

Friday 3, August: James Tindall of Great Britain celebrates with team mates after his goal during the Men's Hockey match between Great Britain and Pakistan

Hockey: Great Britain coach dares to dream after win over Pakistan

Great Britain coach Jason Lee could last night begin to contemplate “shooting for the stars” – meaning qualification for the men’s hockey semi finals – declaring after a comfortable 4-1 win over Pakistan that progress was in his own side’s gift, despite the brooding presence of world champions Australia, on Sunday.

Britain's pivot Robin Garnham shoots during the men's preliminary Group A handball match Great Britain vs Argentina

Welcome to the wacky world of handball

Jerome Taylor spends a day at the Copper Box stadium watching the surprising (and slightly sticky) hit sport that's got British fans hooked

Hockey: Kate Walsh jaw injury will not distract Team GB

Great Britain women's goalkeeper Beth Storry insists they have not been distracted by the injury to captain Kate Walsh.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

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Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

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What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

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How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

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Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

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From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

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Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

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'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty