Sport Wayne Rooney

The Manchester United striker insists playing for the national team is still a huge privilege that makes him proud

Cricket: Atherton to develop the kicking habit: Struggling Kiwis in danger of being put to flight when second Test starts at Lord's today

EVERY time England have been involved in a Test-match mugging in recent years they have been left reaching for the Band-Aid rather than the shoe polish, but this summer, for now at least, the boot is on their foot and Mike Atherton intends to make sure they put it in.

Football: Mullen enraged by rugged Argyle

Burnley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Football: Reading under pressure: Trevor Haylett sees the Second Division leaders beaten by their closest rivals for promotion

SUDDENLY, a contest worthy of the name is taking shape at the head of the Second Division as well, with a second successive defeat bringing Reading's comparison with Manchester United just a little too close for comfort.

Football: Clemence raises Barnet's spirits: Rupert Metcalf reports on a meeting of two former England goalkeepers which ended in a stalemate

NO FEWER than five goalkeepers - past and present - made their mark on Saturday's proceedings at Underhill, where Barnet and Plymouth Argyle fought out a scoreless draw which was less than either side wanted in their contrasting campaigns at opposite ends of the Second Division.

Football: Liverpool set to promote Evans

ROY EVANS, who joined Liverpool during the Bill Shankly era but played only 11 first-team games before joining the 'Boot Room' at 25, is expected to succeed Graeme Souness as manager of the club within the next 48 hours.

Football: Shilton making progress with the Pilgrims: Plymouth apply promotion pressure

Plymouth Argyle. . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Football: Local hero McMenemy keen on senior role for Saints

Southampton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Football / FA Premiership: Saints spark a revival

Southampton. . . . .1

Football: Ardiles looking to Angell or Allen

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR'S search for a striker yesterday narrowed to focus on Southend United's Brett Angell and the former Spur, Clive Allen, who cannot win back his place in West Ham United's attack, writes Henry Winter.

Football: Taylor enters frame as Branfoot bows to fans' pressure: Ex-England manager may be Saint

IAN BRANFOOT delivered the news that some Southampton supporters were praying for when he decided yesterday to step down, thereby creating an opening which may be filled by another manager who departed after extreme pressure from his critics. . . the former England boss, Graham Taylor.

Football / Second and Third Division Round-Up: Evans has Crewe climbing

DARIO GRADI has won plenty of praise but no trophies of note in his 10 years as manager of Crewe Alexandra, writes Rupert Metcalf. This season, though, his talented side are well placed to end their long wait for a title triumph: they lead the Third Division by six points after yesterday's 2-1 victory at Carlisle United.

Football: Plymouth bar the way for Buzaglo

Marlow . . . . . . .0

Football Diary: That'll be the day . . .

FROM bar to boardroom, everyone knows the best England team - but what do the professionals think? Players and managers at all the 89 English League clubs were canvassed for their national selections, some of which were bizarre to say the least. Gary Lineker polled twice as many votes as Paul Merson; Tony Coton did the same to David Seaman as Chris Woods' understudy. 'Coton received a lot of support from Crewe Alexandra,' explained David Hanlon, the managing director of Hatfield-based Hanlon Marketing Ltd. 'Oddly, real squad members like Martin Keown and Nigel Clough did not get a vote.'
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'