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.'
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Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

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